Awkward Indicator Switches? - K-Bikes.com - Excellence in Motion
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old Jul 28th, 2006, 12:38 pm Thread Starter
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Awkward Indicator Switches?

Hi
As i dont get my 1st BMW until the 1st of September i was wondering if anybody has found it strange operating the indicator switches. As a Japanese motorcycle only owning person and only used to 1 switch to operate all the indicator actions i find it strange that BMW have three switches to do the same task. Do you get used to them , or do you find them no hassle or has anybody found any aftermarket single switches that can be used instead.


yours
Tim
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old Jul 28th, 2006, 1:19 pm
 
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I had the same question when I bought my K12GT, my first BMW. I must have gotten used to it since I rented a Honda ST1300 last week while on vacation to ride the Dragon/Deal's Gap and found that the non-auto-cancelling single switch turn signals about drove me nuts!

Rusty
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old Jul 28th, 2006, 1:20 pm
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Yes, they're strange. Yes, you get used to them. It's primarily a hassle if you switch bikes frequently, but you adapt after a couple of turns.

KeS
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old Jul 28th, 2006, 2:02 pm
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timg
Hi
As i dont get my 1st BMW until the 1st of September i was wondering if anybody has found it strange operating the indicator switches. As a Japanese motorcycle only owning person and only used to 1 switch to operate all the indicator actions i find it strange that BMW have three switches to do the same task. Do you get used to them , or do you find them no hassle or has anybody found any aftermarket single switches that can be used instead.
yours Tim
Everybody I've ever met that's never owned or spent much time on a BMW complains about or has reservations with the switch gear. Conversely, almost everybody I've met that owns a BMW has come to prefer the switch gear over that "tiny little button" on the left grip of most motorcycles.
I was skeptical too before I became a BMW enthusiast and owner. I used to think the same thing as many others, "why have 3 buttons when one does the job?"
Well, as it turns out, I think those Germans put allot of effort into engineering their bikes and through a human factors study they have concluded that their 3 button design does the job better.

Why do I believe that?
The single button design found on most other bikes is usually small and can be a bit more difficult to operate perfectly. Especially if the detents between positions are not well defined and/or in cold weather with large gloves on. (i.e. you may be attempting to cancel a signal and push the button too far indicating the opposite signal then try to cancel again.) Any amount of struggle with the switch while you're riding, no matter how insignificant it may seem, does put additional tax on the brains thought processes. Why tax the mind with any unnecessary distractions while it is busy enough controlling you, controlling your motorcycle and keeping you alive.

With BMW's 3 button design once you get used to it (which takes no time at all), I think you'll find is very well thought out. The buttons are large and robust. Easy to operate with any gloves on and in any weather and the layout is actually easier for the mind to control than the multi position single button design. Why do I say that? Because each button is large and easy to operate and each performs a single purpose. The operation becomes second nature to the mind and it's unnatural to make a mistake (left to go left, right to go right, and cancel).''

Obviously, on this subject I'm a convert but I'm also a person who appreciates attention to detail in all aspects of engineering and design. When you look closely at what BMW does with their bikes I think you'll see that in so many areas they put allot of thought into them. The signal switch gear is no exception.

All JMHO of course.

Last edited by mark5lam; Jul 28th, 2006 at 4:22 pm.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old Jul 28th, 2006, 2:10 pm
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You'll get over it very quickly. You'll start cussing your standard setup on your Japanese bike soon after. I still think HD has the simplest and most intuitive setup. Press on, press off on each side.

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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old Jul 28th, 2006, 2:15 pm
 
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Originally Posted by eljeffe
You'll get over it very quickly. You'll start cussing your standard setup on your Japanese bike soon after. I still think HD has the simplest and most intuitive setup. Press on, press off on each side.
Having used the Harley signal arrangement, my only complaint is that I would still find myself checking the signal indicator to ensure that I hadn't pressed the button one too few or one too many times - i.e., I would visually verify that the turn signal was indeed cancelled. To me, that's an advantage of the BMW's dedicated "cancel" button. When I push it (unlike the Harley), under no circumstances will it activate a turn signal.

Rusty
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old Jul 28th, 2006, 3:22 pm
 
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Hand signals

I enjoy the logical layout and operation of the BMW signal package. The thought process is slim to none and the operation of it is very natural. In regards to HD, I saw someone just using hand signals instead of buttons.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old Jul 28th, 2006, 3:23 pm
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mark5lam
Everybody I've ever met that's never owned or spent much time on a BMW complains about or has reservations the switch gear.
I don't think I've read a single new bike review of bmws that doesn't contain a complaint from the reviewer about the german signals.

I like the setup - easy to signal, easy to cancel. Now, if I could just find the damned horn. Oh well, the Volvo wouldn't be able to hear it anyway.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old Jul 28th, 2006, 4:55 pm
 
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so what's "Right" ??????

If you can answer this....what's the right number of switches, you should be what....a motorcycle engineer?

Most Jap bikes have ONE

Harleys now have TWO

BMW use THREE
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old Jul 28th, 2006, 5:10 pm
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattlamotte
Now, if I could just find the damned horn. Oh well, the Volvo wouldn't be able to hear it anyway.
These are true words my friend.
I can't wait for an aftermarket horn that "blows away" this stock, worthless, piece of shit !
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