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Discussion Starter #1
Did you know the cost of having a BMW dealership in Australia change the oil in your K1200GT Series 2 is typically around $300? Or that fitting a new set of Michelin Pilot 4 tyres is $580?
"Change your front brake pads, sir? That'll be $492. For another 180 dollars we'll do the rear wheel, too."
BMW Motorrad obviously realised when they introduced the series 2 K1200GT in 2006 that a lot of blokes would in consequence be DIY servicing their machines. So the BMW designers worked on ways to stop it.
It's probably why there is no drain plug on the bottom on the shaft drive crown wheel housing, and that changing the engine oil is no long a simple matter of undoing a sump plug and replacing a filter.
Like to fit cheaper Brembo brake pads? Sorry, it won't work with your on board computer. Only BMW pads from a dealer will operate with your bike's computer.
Bought OEM pads cheaper from a dealership in the UK, did you?
"You are obviously going to send your bike over there, then, for the same dealership to "activate" the bike's sensor system with the new pads. Good luck with that."
The first alarm bell was how precious little practical info on the 06 K1200GT and its maintenance requirements there is on YouTube.
I swapped a '98 Triumph Thunderbird to move onto a BMW. Over many years its tyres rolled 20Ks apiece and were still roadworthy when changed. DIY oil changes cost $65 (including filter), and brakes pads cost $98 in total to replace on both wheels.
I now have to think about forking out $3000 to change the cam chain. BMW dealers recommend it at 60K service ("it might break").
I am wondering where the shine on riding a BMW went?
Live and learn, I guess.
 

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Only BMW pads from a dealer will operate with your bike's computer.
Pads with wear indicators (internal foil strip that breaks) have been troublesome for years. Well I think it is mostly down to the wiring connections.

Perhaps they have come up with a new trouble free reliable design? Unfortunately on big heavy bikes pad wear is high is stock Brembo calipers. It would have been better if they had skipped the pad wear indicator and put in calipers that take thicker pads.

I'm sure their integral pad wear indicator is something simple that can be got around unless you desperately need the computer showing you. On most pads you short the wires together, but then you do have to use your eyes and check pad wear regularly.



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Many threads in the "how" for oil change, brake pads etc.
there is still quite a bit of DYI
if the ecu software is updated bypass the wear indicators i.e. solder together, the new software resets for the indicators.
yes it is a pain to change FD oil on the 06-07s

but this forum, has lots of DYI stuff to make life less expensive.

It was a heck of a lot easier to do a valve check on my oilhead boxer.
but 60 more horsepower and better gas mileage, and a great adrenaline rush when you twist the grip with the GT
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I'm not real cluey about these things: what does "updated ECU software" mean? And if mine (whatever it is is) isn't updated, any tips on what to do about it? I don't need a computer to tell me what the state of the brake pads is, but neither do I want to live with a brake failure light permanently on (I assume this is what happens with non-indicator pads or OEM pads which haven't been initiated by BMW diagnostics).
 

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Quickie said:
I'm not real cluey about these things: what does "updated ECU software" mean? And if mine (whatever it is is) isn't updated, any tips on what to do about it? I don't need a computer to tell me what the state of the brake pads is, but neither do I want to live with a brake failure light permanently on (I assume this is what happens with non-indicator pads or OEM pads which haven't been initiated by BMW diagnostics).
Well we tried to explain it to you. Most pads with standard wear indicators work with one wire to each pad, or 2 wires to each pad. If 2 wires, then a foil inside the pad connects the two wires together and the computer says 'This pad is o.k'. When the pad wears down to the foil , it breaks and the computer sees 2 wires not joined together and the light comes on. Therefore, in this case if the two wires to each pad are joined together the stupid computer thinks the pads are o.k even though they may wear down to the metal.

In a single wire pad wear warning system, there is only one wire to each pad and the internal foil. As long as the pad wire is not touching a ground, the monitoring says the pad is o.k. When the pad wears down and the grounded rotor runs on the internal foil strip, the wire is shorted to ground and the wear light comes on. If you disconnected the wire in a one wire system it would never give a warning. You can see the downside here: If the wire is a bad connection to the pad you will never get a warning , so the 2 wire system is better.

All is not lost if there are aftermarket pads the same size cheaper and without wear indicators and you still want the system to work. If you are careful with a Dremmel drill and stand, you can drill 1 or 2 holes through the edge of the pad at the 1mm pad wear limit and insert ptfe covered wires which you attach to the system plug removed from old oem pads.

There's a BMW fly in the ointment because they 'may' have embedded a resistance inside their special pads. You would find that out by measuring the resistance across the wear indicator on a new oem pad. If zero its foil, if high it's a grounding wire for wear (or capacitative) and if some intermediate resistance then it's resistance. In theory using resistance could give a progressive readout of pad wear, not just 'It's worn down to the limit' If they have been that clever then the best you can do is wire resistors of the same value across the wear indicator connectors and use non-oem pads. You should never see a pad wear light come on.

There's a final more technically complex way of estimating pad wear based on measuring capacitance change inside the pad. I doubt they use that, but that can be circumvented too.

All this is useless if you are not prepared to search this forum and do things for yourself. If you can't do things then yes you probably have got an expensive bike to own and maintain at BMW Dealer prices.

I have riding buddys in two camps. Those with deep pockets and little technical knowledge that frequently visit the local BMW Stealer buying clothing, getting their bike serviced, eyeing up the new models, reading the latest mags and parting out their bikes after 2 or 3 years. Then I have other buddies who learn how to do most things themselves, use non-oem parts after research and making quality judgements and who keep the same bike for years spending very little on it.

Which camp are you in?



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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the lesson but we used to make our own brake indicators 50 years ago by drilling through the back of brake shoes to a specific depth and glueing in a cut-down copper nail with a wire soldered to it. The wire was then connected to the positive side of the circuit (on negative earthed vehicles) via a globe. A panel of four instrument globes worked well on my 1938 Morris 8. The pad sensor on the BMW is basically no more complex than that in principle, I suspect.
You may be right about a resistance embedded in the pad but what would be the point unless it provides a progressive readout (which is doesn't)? There again, it might just be a more toxic form of the "BMW ointment fly" but that would really be cynical.
My question was really focused on your comment "Updated ECU software" and the significance of it in this context. An answer to that would be appreciated as I really need to know.
Motorrad's dealer manual is very clear that after fitting even the appropriate BMW sensor pads the bike must be subjected to a BMW diagnostic unit "to initialise new components". Are you saying this isn't necessary if the brake pad sensor is bypassed of simulated?
You are right about researching on the forum- where else would I get this info- certainly not from BMW dealers, that's for sure.
I might be a bit dumb on technical matters, but thanks for your input, it's appreciated
 

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All the older BMWs required computer diagnostics to re-calibrate the low fuel level settings. The reason is the fuel sender resistance (converted to voltage) is used by the computer to trip the low fuel warning. They should have just put a manual 'calibration' resistance adjuster on the bike somewhere, but they chose to do it in software making it a pain for those swapping out their fuel level sensor.

The only reason I can see computer programing required on brake pad warnings is a) If the sensing is resistive or capacitive to give progressive wear, or rather the pad can but their computer hasn't built that in yet. or b) Once the brake pad wear limit alarm is tripped it stays so until reset using computer diagnostics - aka car service needed warnings.

Somebody needs to explain what sensing method is used in these pads, do some tests with an ohmeter or explain. Start with the pads then work back to what the computer is doing.

You have the bike model and are getting the big quotes. Why not break a connector to a pad, do a few measurement with an ohmeter, then post your results so others can share, discuss and benefit?



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Discussion Starter #10
RE your original ECU software update comment. Does it mean an update is available for the 06/07 K1200 GT that resolves the diagnostic reset requirement? What is the update software designed to do? I don't have a lot of confidence in dealer info in case you are wondering why I don't just ask them.
My intention is to remove the sensor connectors from the pads (being careful not to ground anything and also checking to see whether it is a two wire system first requiring a bypass bridge wire) to see whether or not this activates the warning system. If not, it may well be the warning system is activated only by a truly worn pad/s in which case cheaper non-oem solutions will be simple and quick. I'll investigate the sensing system in detail, including measurements and post the results.
On a different note, $3000 is the cost of a dealer supplied and fitted new cam chain (in Aus). I can buy everything- new chain, cogs, sliders, etc- from BMW Sierra for under $500, including a couple of essential special tools. It'll take me a day, possibly two (not as fast as I once was) to do, but first I am looking for comments from anybody "out there" who has experience of the quality (material and specs) of those rather important non-oem parts. I'll make that a separate forum thread, though.
 

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there have been several updates to the k12/13 computer software.

The brake sensor is two wires, fused together and inserted into the pad, wearing through the "fused part" gives you an open circuit which the computer sees as brake pads are worn and displays the appropriate icon. The original software and the first couple of update required the dealer to reset the brake warning icon, later updates the computer software turned off the icon when it saw a closed circuit.

A lot of us had a problem of over tightened tie wraps from the factory breaking the wires and showing the pad wear icon when we had good pads. I unplugged the sensor wires, cut and soldered them together at the plug and put the plug back in place for both the front and rear. When I check tire air pressure, I check brake pads. We have a lot of new housing developments under construction in the area, a check of the tires is required for nails staples etc. Plus extra following distance, secured loads are few and far between it seems.
 
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