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Discussion Starter #1
Hello fellow riders,
I had my brake pad sensor light on the instrument panel. Rear brake pads were ready to change.

I took the bike to my mechanic and he installed alternative brake pads without sensor space.

Then he cut the sensor and tied up the cable. He said that would be enough for the light to go off.

But it did not.

Took the bike to the BMW Santiago and they tried to clear the light, by they could not.

As I installed alternative brake pads, and cut the cable, they said they could not do anything else.

The question is: Is the red light on because we cut the sensor?

What should I do?

I read all the threads about this issue, but found nothing about cutting the sensor.

Thanks for the help (I hate this ugly red light in front of me ).

Andrés.

From Chile.
 

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The question is: Is the red light on because we cut the sensor?

YES.
cutting the wire does the exact same thing that triggers the light. Since it is cut now, hopefully you have enough to reconnect it thus, returning it into a solid loop somewhere after the connector.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
moymurfs said:
Since it is cut now, hopefully you have enough to reconnect it thus, returning it into a solid loop somewhere after the connector.



Thanks!

I have all the cable, since we cut it just off the sensor.

So, what do you mean when by "a solid loop"?
 

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Hi Andres - You have nothing to worry about. The fix is easy.

Do the following:

1. Strip some insulation off the end of the sensor wire. You should see two wires. Carefully expose the metal wire from the inside of the two wires.

2. Twist the metal wires together so that they make a good permanent electrical contact.
--> Much better: Use a soldering iron to solder the two wires together!

3. Protect the wires with insulation. Electrical tape will work, but shrink tubing is a much better choice.

4. Tie the wires out of the way using a plastic cable tie (tie wrap).

5. Remember to perform frequent visual inspections of your brake pads for wear.

ADDITIONAL DETAILS:

At the end of the brake wear sensor wire is an exposed loop of copper wire next to the brake pad itself. The two separate wires in the sensor "wire" are connected together through that loop. As long as current flows through the loop of copper wire, the warning light stays off. As the brake pad wears down, it also wears down the copper wire. Eventually the copper loop is worn off and the two wires are separated. Because current does not flow between the two wires, the brake wear indicator light on your dash turns on.

When your mechanic cut off the sensor, he cut the two wires apart and current does not flow. If you connect those wires together, the current will flow again, and the brake wear indicator warning light will turn off.

I hope these photos help.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you very much XMagnaRider!!!!!

I was thinking the sensor worked all the way arround.

I get now. Third picture is very clear.

I'll get to it tonight.

Otra vez, muchas gracias.

Andrés.
 

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AndresLang said:
Thank you very much XMagnaRider!!!!!

I was thinking the sensor worked all the way arround.

I get now. Third picture is very clear.

I'll get to it tonight.

Otra vez, muchas gracias.

Andrés.
¡A su orden, mi amigo!

Here are some additional notes regarding the wear sensors on 2006-2008 BMW K1200GT motorcycles:

* Brake pads come in pairs, one for each side of the rotor. The brake pad wear sensor is only on one brake pad of the pair. Thus, it is possible for the non-sensored brake pad to wear out and damage your rotor before the brake pad wear sensor wire is worn off and the warning indicator lights up. This is not too common, but it does happen.

* There are two rotors (four brake pads) on the front of the K1200GT. Only one has a brake pad wear sensor on it (out of four). As above, one of the brake pads on the non-sensor side can wear out faster and damage the rotor before the brake pad wear sensor wire is worn off and the warning indicator lights up. This problem is more common.

* There is no source that sells brake pad wear sensors as a separate part. If you want a brake pad wear sensor, you must buy the BMW brake pad that comes with the sensor.
(Now that 3D printers are more common, I wonder if someone can design one. Then again, considering the first two items, why would you want one?)

* Third-party brake pads for the K1200GT do not come with brake pad wear sensors. I do not know if there is a patent issue, or perhaps the market is too small to bother. The most popular third-party brake pads are from EBC and SBS.

* EBC brake pads have notches for a brake pad wear sensor. If your brake pad wear sensor is not completely worn through, then you can move it to an EBC brake pad. The problem is that plastic or resin part is very brittle and it is easy to break, so take your time and be careful.

* EBC rear brake pads are harder and do not respond in the same way as the softer BMW brake pads. This may affect ABS operation on the rear brake.

* SBS brake pads do not have notches for the brake wear sensors.

* SBS rear brake pads are made from a softer material than the EBC pads, more like what BMW uses in its own rear brake pads.

* I had EBC brake pads on my K1200GT (after carefully transferring the wear indicators). After reading the thread below, I switched to SBS brake pads and tied my sensors out of the way, relying on visual inspection now.

* BMW eliminated brake pad wear sensors on K1300GT and K1600GT models. They must have learned something from their K1200GT experience, eh?

Very Helpful Thread About K1200GT Brake Pads:

Here is a thread with a detailed discussion of EBC and SBS brake pads. There is lots of good information here. I know RFW and value his expert opinion very much. :

http://www.i-bmw.com/showthread.php?t=30899
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the info.

Problem solved. Tied together and soldered the cables. Went for ride around the block and gone the light it is!!

I am so happy!!! :)
 

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XMagnaRider said:
Hi Andres - You have nothing to worry about. The fix is easy.

Do the following:

1. Strip some insulation off the end of the sensor wire. You should see two wires. Carefully expose the metal wire from the inside of the two wires.

2. Twist the metal wires together so that they make a good permanent electrical contact.
--> Much better: Use a soldering iron to solder the two wires together!

3. Protect the wires with insulation. Electrical tape will work, but shrink tubing is a much better choice.

4. Tie the wires out of the way using a plastic cable tie (tie wrap).

5. Remember to perform frequent visual inspections of your brake pads for wear.

ADDITIONAL DETAILS:

At the end of the brake wear sensor wire is an exposed loop of copper wire next to the brake pad itself. The two separate wires in the sensor "wire" are connected together through that loop. As long as current flows through the loop of copper wire, the warning light stays off. As the brake pad wears down, it also wears down the copper wire. Eventually the copper loop is worn off and the two wires are separated. Because current does not flow between the two wires, the brake wear indicator light on your dash turns on.

When your mechanic cut off the sensor, he cut the two wires apart and current does not flow. If you connect those wires together, the current will flow again, and the brake wear indicator warning light will turn off.

I hope these photos help.
Do you cut the wires just before the copper wear pad ( pic 3 ) ?Or just before the male /female connector ?
 

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Bigmc said:
Do you cut the wires just before the copper wear pad ( pic 3 ) ?Or just before the male /female connector ?
It's not a copper wear pad it's a sacrificial piece of plastic with a molded channel to hold the wire that forms a loop. You can pull the wire out of the channel and discard the plastic. If you caught it before the rotor wore through and touched the wire you can simply tape it sealed then zip-tie it out of the way. If you are anal or want to get fancy, you can follow the wire up under the bikes right side (left, if looking at it straight on) cowl and cut it close to the connector. Near the external temp sensor probe. Up there you can trim the insulation and solder the ends together, and then tape it. You can then discard all the lower section of wire.
 

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moymurfs said:
It's not a copper wear pad it's a sacrificial piece of plastic with a molded channel to hold the wire that forms a loop. You can pull the wire out of the channel and discard the plastic. If you caught it before the rotor wore through and touched the wire you can simply tape it sealed then zip-tie it out of the way. If you are anal or want to get fancy, you can follow the wire up under the bikes right side (left, if looking at it straight on) cowl and cut it close to the connector. Near the external temp sensor probe. Up there you can trim the insulation and solder the ends together, and then tape it. You can then discard all the lower section of wire.
Thanks.
Did this this morning ( front and rear ) and light still on ?
Any ideas ?
 

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Bigmc said:
Do you cut the wires just before the copper wear pad ( pic 3 ) ?Or just before the male /female connector ?
moymurfs said:
It's not a copper wear pad it's a sacrificial piece of plastic with a molded channel to hold the wire that forms a loop. You can pull the wire out of the channel and discard the plastic. If you caught it before the rotor wore through and touched the wire you can simply tape it sealed then zip-tie it out of the way. If you are anal or want to get fancy, you can follow the wire up under the bikes right side (left, if looking at it straight on) cowl and cut it close to the connector. Near the external temp sensor probe. Up there you can trim the insulation and solder the ends together, and then tape it. You can then discard all the lower section of wire.
Bigmc said:
Thanks.
Did this this morning ( front and rear ) and light still on ?
Any ideas ?
Moymurfs described it well.

If it were me, I would cut it close to the plastic "copper colored" wear pad. That way you have plenty of wire to get it right. The important point is do NOT cut it above the connector, in case you ever want to install a real BMW brake pad (with brake pad wear indicator) again.

I am working from memory here, but I remember something about riding away and pressing each brake lever firmly three times to reset the light. Try riding the bike a few times and using each brake three separate times, shutting the engine off, then trying again - something like that. It may reset the indicator for you.

If that does not work, carefully disconnect the connector at the end of the wire and verify that there is continuity between the two wires in the sensor wire (because they form a loop, remember?). Use an electric multimeter to test continuity (or resistance in ohms) and search for a short circuit.

If the wire is good, then make sure that the wire is properly seated in the connector.

There was a BMW service bulletin (recall?) a long time ago regarding the front brake wear sensor wires. The problem was that the factory tightened the cable ties around the wire too tightly during assembly, and the sensor wire broke later, giving the rider a false reading. BMW replaced both sets of front brake pads with new ones (including one pad with a new sensor and wire). They cable-tied the new brake wear sensor wire more gently.

If you have the above problem, then it will be obvious from the continuity test. Trim the wires closer to the connector and wrap them together again, then run the continuity test again. I would think about trimming the wire just above where the last cable tie was located. Once the "twist test" shows continuity, you can solder the wires and cover them with heat shrink tubing.

My best guess is that a ride with three brake squeezes (both front and rear) will reset the indicator.
 

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Or.....you could just buy the BMW pads and sensors and put them in as they were designed for in the first place... :) ...instant fix. :D

kbikeinbc
07 Kgt
 

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kbikeinbc said:
Or.....you could just buy the BMW pads and sensors and put them in as they were designed for in the first place... :) ...instant fix. :D

kbikeinbc
07 Kgt
Yeah, except for the fact that the sensors do not do any good. As I said above, the sensor does not always wear out before another pad wears out and does damage to one of the rotors. You must visually inspect your brake pads anyway.

That's why BMW removed them in 2009 (K1300GT) - because the idea was good in theory, but it did not work as well as expected in practice.

Unless you feel that BMW brake pads are better than third party brake pads, I would fix the sensor wire problem once and for all, and then move on to the third party pads. (As I said above, I prefer the SBS brake pads - they are most like the BMW ones, especially the rear brake pads.)

RANT ON:
I wish BMW had provided a way for riders to acknowledge and "dismiss" alerts after startup. The alerts would appear again the next time the bike is started. Thus, if another unexpected alert appears, it will be obvious.
RANT OFF
 

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Fixed !

It was the rear connector ( bike side ) chopped both front and rear out bike side ( any new owner will have to buy a new connector block ).
Three stabs on the brakes even at 40mph didn't do the trick and a GS911 would put the light out but it would come back on.
Its all out now and fingers crossed staying out, but it still took the GS911 to do it.
 

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Bigmc said:
It was the rear connector ( bike side ) chopped both front and rear out bike side ( any new owner will have to buy a new connector block ).
Three stabs on the brakes even at 40mph didn't do the trick and a GS911 would put the light out but it would come back on.
Its all out now and fingers crossed staying out, but it still took the GS911 to do it.
Good post.

Twisting the sensor wires together will not turn off the warning light. Neither does riding 30 or 40 mph and tapping the brakes three times. The GS911 must be used.
 

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GeoffJ said:
Twisting the sensor wires together will not turn off the warning light. Neither does riding 30 or 40 mph and tapping the brakes three times. The GS911 must be used.
It depends on the version of BMW software installed on the bike.

Earlier software versions would not reset the brake pad sensor warning light - it had to be done at a dealer, or with a GS-911.

Later versions will reset the light by riding it and using the brakes a few times.
 

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Meese said:
It depends on the version of BMW software installed on the bike.

Earlier software versions would not reset the brake pad sensor warning light - it had to be done at a dealer, or with a GS-911.

Later versions will reset the light by riding it and using the brakes a few times.
I cut the sensor wire on my 2007 K12GT a few inches from the connector and soldered the wires together. I took the bike for a ride, tapped the front and rear brakes a few times at speeds over 50 mph and nothing happened. The light did not turn off. I suppose this means I don't have a later version and will have to pay a dealer to clear the light.
 

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GeoffJ said:
I suppose this means I don't have a later version and will have to pay a dealer to clear the light.
Or just buy a GS-911 and clear it yourself.
 
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