Did I fry my CDI unit after cutting my heated grips off? - K-Bikes.com - Excellence in Motion
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old Dec 7th, 2019, 9:30 pm Thread Starter
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Did I fry my CDI unit after cutting my heated grips off?

Hi all,

I’m from Singapore and recently bought a 2005 K1200R that has done 30k kilometers.

The rubber grips were not very nice anymore so decided to change them. Watched some Youtube videos and reckon I can do that myself. Despite the heated grips. I bought the correct grips from Germany. The video showed how you can carefully cut the rubber and leave the heated sleeves underneath intact. I started cutting (LEFT side) but found my grips are different; seems the heating wires are integrated in the rubber grips. Quite quickly cut one heating wire. Singapore is hot and I don’t need heated grips so decided to just cut everything off. I cut the heating wires close to the controls and then removed the grip. I decided to cut the wires instead of opening up the controls afraid wires, plugs, whatever would fall out and I wouldn’t be able to put it all back inside. Anyway, put on the new grip (LEFT side) and decided is was enough for the day and would do RIGHT the next day.

Took the bike out for a spin and when I used one of the signal buttons, both signal lights started blinking (hazard lights). Couldn’t get the signal lights to stop. At home turns out all my controls are messed up. Most no longer work. Right signal now is horn. Horn does nothing. High beam doesn’t work. Once I turn the ignition key, all signal lights start blinking. Only can stop that by turning the ignition key off and on TWICE. All super weird. But probably caused by me cutting that wire…

The bike by the way is starting and running just fine despite the issues with the controls.

Went to the only BMW specialised workshop in Singapore (besides the official BMW dealer) and he but the bike on diagnostics. Only two error messages; heated grips error and signal lights error. But he looked very worried and when I asked him to go ahead and “fix it” he said I probably fried the main computer… He said 80% chance… Not sure how he determined that and why he couldn’t give me a 100% diagnosis. When I asked him whether I can leave the bike behind for further investigation he declined. Said computer fried and cannot fix. I said “how about official dealer?”. He told me old bike, no new parts and besides, my bike is parallel imported (which I didn't know) so the dealer will refuse to work on it anyway. Nice…

I asked him if I find a new computer, will you put it in? He didn’t seem happy with that but said he would.

I browsed the web and found this site but also found ECU CDI units on Ebay for a few hundred Dollar. That’s the computer he would be talking about, right? Can that CDI just be replaced? (provided serial number 7692220 is the same of course). Or is there more to it? Why are sets sold with keys and locksets; are the linked? Any insights here on my issue and how to fix?

If I fix the CDI I also need to fix the root cause. Been thinking to replace the control. On the LEFT. Because that’s the one I screwed up but also because the hazard lights button there seems dead. It doesn’t “click” nicely. Maybe the whole issue is just a coincidence; me messing around on the left controls killed the hazard lights button which caused the problem… Anyway, want to replace the left controls but found mine are different from all the sets I found online. My hazard button is on the left (single button) next to the TRIP button (and above the ETA button) and is red with a light underneath. Controls online have the hazard button combined with the signal buttons it seams. No separate button like mine. Any ideas why that is and whether they are exchangeable?

Sorry for the long story. Basically two questions:

1. Did I indeed fry the CDI unit and can it be changed out easily?
2. Why are my controls different and can they be changed out with other sets?
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old Dec 7th, 2019, 11:47 pm Thread Starter
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Attached a picture of my left controls block
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old Dec 9th, 2019, 6:01 pm
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Hey pointy. I know very little about the bikes electronics but I do know that the blinkers heated grips etc are monitored by their own controllers which shut down in the event of a short circuit. Personally I do not think you've fried the CDI unit but there is a short circuit somewhere. Also your k12 probably doesn't have the trip computer which has an 'ASC' button where the hazard switch is and an 'info' button where the 'trip' is so I don't think you have asc either so bmw have re positioned the hazard switch to the location you have. Have a look at a photo from an American road test


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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old Dec 9th, 2019, 8:36 pm
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No time for an elaborate response right now, but i can say that the ECU is fine. That only controls the engine.

Grips, lights and all other bits are co trolled by the ZFE, central chassis computer, this is not the same as ecu, and i would say it is just fine, your problem most likely is up at the switchgear were you worked and cut wires. Take it apart, it is easy to put back together.

You used water or something else to lubricate the new rubber upon installation , right? Dry it out and test the bike again, insulate the wire you cut or just remove the remainders of it from the connector i side the switchset.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old Dec 10th, 2019, 6:58 am Thread Starter
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Thanks for the reply Mattias and Captain Howdy. Did some more inquiries myself as well.

ECU indeed manages the ignition. Motor is running fine so the ECU is not fried.

I understand all other electrical components are managed by something called the CANBUS. Can Google for details but basically it connects to all devices and switches and controls them. It seems my Canbus is either fried OR just confused. Remember I mentioned there were two error messages when the engineer read out the computer; grips heater and hazard signal lights. Well, the first I cut up so not strange. The second has a button that seems stuck so also not strange.

My current plan of action; get new left controls, unplug the heated grips and see if that fixes the issue. If not also replace the CANBUS.

The grips I put on with brake cleaner. That evaporated in seconds so no mist inside.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old Dec 10th, 2019, 11:12 am
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Dont buy parts on random.

A new switchtset is about $250, used from $50-150.

Open the one you have and see if it may just need a clean.
To fry the zfe you would to put some effort in to it, if you for instance take wires from the i dicators and connect them to each other and then turn them on nothing happens, the power just shuts off until the short is removed and ignition turned off and on again. Frying the computers is really hard. I mean it, really hard.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old Jan 4th, 2020, 11:08 pm Thread Starter
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Thumbs up

Update on my issues

I got some advice from a BMW engineer who confirmed the CDI or ZFE (canbus computer) cannot be "fried" easily. Normally if you correct the problem the canbus computer will recognise that and the issue will go away.

I checked the left controls and opened them up. They look suspicious... It has been open before and there is a loose purple wire with tape at the end. See picture 3.

I also got used heated grips from Ebay and installed those. I was hoping if I "fix" the root cause everything will go back to normal. It did not. Still same issue; motor runs fine but controls are messed up.

I then also got used left controls from Ebay. But slightly different. The ESA button is missing. See picture 1. Connector is the same and all other buttons are also the same. Fitted that but the issue remains the same. Put the old controls back on with the new controls on the handle bars just to double check. See picture 2. But issue remains the same.

Conclusion; root cause should be gone but the problem remains. Question is why??? Can the canbus be reset? Anything can be done with the diagnostics computer?

I did some testing on the issue and what basically happens is that:

1. ALL controls besides start/stop engine are messed up
2. None of the controls does anything except RIGHT signal button
3. Press RIGHT signal button and high beam, horn and hazard lights will all three be activated at the same time
4. Release RIGHT signal button and high beam and horn will stop but hazard lights remain on
5. After exactly 1 minute hazard lights will go off again

Hazard lights also always go on when you start the motor. And after exactly 1 minute will turn off again.

I drove the motor today and it just runs and functions fine. Except for the describes issues.

Anybody any tips? How to "reset" the computer? Or have an explanation for this odd behavior?

Thx in advance
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Last edited by Pointy71; Jan 5th, 2020 at 7:22 am.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old Jan 5th, 2020, 3:49 am
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disconnect battery, remove switch set on left hand, take a multimeter and check each lead coming up to the switchset for ground, ie continuitytest. Feels like you have a short or a grounding problem. Turn bars back and forth while doing it, lot of places were the wires can crack and short on either the fram or on other wires up around the steering head.

Go to google and search Bmw Motorrad SLP 2.1, it is available at many sites, download and install on a computer, prefebly on a laptop, that is the oem wiring diagram for bmw bikes up to 2008. This would help a lot as you also can se colors of wires and were they go.

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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old Jan 11th, 2020, 1:18 am Thread Starter
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Sorry for the late reply. Busy week at work.

Grounding issue is possible but before all trouble started there was no such issue. So why now?

I'm not very technical so even though I understand what you mean I don't know exactly how to do that... I'd just be frustrated, not sure what I'm doing and how to interpret the results, etc.

I took the bike to the official BMW dealer. As expected they refuse to work on my bike. It is parallel imported so not "their" bike. Disappointing. They did recommend two other bike shops that work on BMW's.

Went there, explained the WHOLE story including how I messed it up myself and also told them about the Ebay parts I sourced. Demonstrated the issue as well. The engineer did not look very keen but the shop owner said they would check it out. So left the bike behind and keeping my fingers crossed.
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