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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Intermittant power to instrument panel-Edited!

My 2008 K1200GT starts fine, but sometimes the display panel with all its warning and indicator lights that is located between the Speedo and Tach stays dark, no indicators. The bike starts and runs fine, but after a few minutes the warning lights all light up and flash, along with the warning red and yellow triangle light. This goes on for a while and then it seems to settle down after 1/2 hour or so.

While a loose connection to the display panel might do it, I'm not sure why it would stop misbehaving after a few miles, so I am leaning to some kind of low voltage situation that goes away once the bike has run for a while.....??

Battery is one year old. Bike sits with battery tender on it, gets very little use.

I guess I will have to do a good battery test, and then dig into the connections to the display panel...

**Update 1: Pulled the multi plug on the back of the instrument panel, it was tight and undamaged, dry. Put some dielectric grease on the connector pins and reassembled. No effect, problem still there.

***Update2: I'm thinking that the battery is the culprit. I charged up the battery and went riding. No problems for a few minutes, then flashing warning lights. Rode on for 20 minutes or so, and the lights settled down and no flashing.

I won't rule out a bad connection somewhere, like where the negative cable grounds to the bike, but my $$$ is on the battery as the bike sat on a charger for over a year.

**Really enjoying the conversation :)
 

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Waiting for your results.

I watch the forum a lot so I can have a guess as to what my GT may decide to do next.

Still waiting for the fuel pump recall notice, I should have videoed the fuel running down the side of the motor. Fixed with a plastic epoxy and Beemer boneyard clamp and fittings kit. Thought about letting it catch fire and collecting the insurance, but there isn't a bike out there I like better. A couple of maybe's but they are missing so many of the things you only could get on a the GT.

Like most of us it's a love, hate relationship with the GT :rolleyes:
 

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Discussion Starter #3
aj7840 said:
Waiting for your results.

I watch the forum a lot so I can have a guess as to what my GT may decide to do next.

Still waiting for the fuel pump recall notice, I should have videoed the fuel running down the side of the motor. Fixed with a plastic epoxy and Beemer boneyard clamp and fittings kit. Thought about letting it catch fire and collecting the insurance, but there isn't a bike out there I like better. A couple of maybe's but they are missing so many of the things you only could get on a the GT.

Like most of us it's a love, hate relationship with the GT :rolleyes:
Yep. Even with this inconvenience, I was riding the bike in Florida for the past few days and it is still a blast to wind it up and GO! With side bags and the GIVI 52L top case it makes a great grocery getter too.

back on topic: I need to find a place to do a proper load test on the Odyssey battery I installed last year.
 

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Its NOT the fuel pump is it? The recall we are waiting on. Its for the fuel cell connection area, correct?

I'm just hoping that it isn't 'another' problem (fuel pump) with this GT.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Just to follow up, the original problem I posted about was that the dashboard lights all flashed on and off when starting and riding off.

While doing the flashing light thing, the turn signals and brake lights (and pretty much all accessories tied to the Canbus would not work.

I have a one year old Odyssey battery that has been on a charger for a year, as I did not ride the bike at all last year.

I checked out the battery and after charging with the fancy $$$ BMW logo battery charger the battery showed a charge of 12.7-12.8V

I hooked up a Battery Tender charger compatible with the Odyssey battery and left it on all night.

This morning the battery is reading 13.3V and the dashboard h shows NO problems with flashing lights, etc.

So, it seems the expensive, complicated Canbus compatible charger is not working so great and I will use the cheaper Battery Tender to keep my bike ready to ride.

*** Update *** The problem is still there, took it out for a test ride, and the instrument panel is flashing like a christmas tree....My GS911 tester is out of town so I cannot see if and error codes are being thrown, maybe I'll finally give it to dealer to take a look, or trade it on a new R1200GSA Water Buffalo.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Latest Theory:

Well I'm sure you are all waiting on the edge of your seats to see if I can solve this...

Today I noticed that the instrument cluster light flashing does NOT happen when the red "brake lining" double-circle warning indicator is lit.

HISTORY
Some of you may recall the issue with some K12's where a fault in the wiring for the (front) brake lining wear indicator indicates that your brakes are worn out even when there is plenty of meat left on the brakes. The cure for this is replacement of the wiring to the wear indicators, or a kludge where you take the wear indicators out of the circuit with some creative wiring.


Here's a link to the issue: http://www.k-bikes.com/forums/showthread.php?t=9682

I never addressed this issue on my bike, so every once in a while the red warning light illuminates on my dash, and I ignore it.

So, it turns out that there may be a link between this old indicator lighting up and my flashing instrument problem.

I am going to perform the procedure to cure the brake wear indicator lighting and see if that works.

Don't hold your breath.....
 

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Discussion Starter #8
It worked, I solved the problem of the crazy flashing instrument panel!

This morning I performed the brake lining wear indicator light fix of cutting the wear sensor wire and closing the circuit just below the plug to the front brakes. I soldered the two wires together and covered it all with shrink tube. At the brake pad I removed the useless wear sensor insert.

The wire from the plug to the brake pad had at least 8 wire ties clamping it down, with lots of crazy routing angles. I found at least two places where the wire had been damaged by the plastic wire tie wraps. Somebody needs to take the wire tying tool away from Hans the Destroyer on the assembly line. I know of at least one other situation caused by this clown (ignition switch wiring).

I replaced the plug and the wire fix and fired it up, rode off and after a minute or three of flashing warning lights and lots of brake applications by me the various computer mission control units/canbus/black magic/FM all settled down and now I have a nice running bike again.

Finally. You can all start breathing again.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
No Go. Flashing Instrument Cluster returned.

Went on ebay and bought a used instrument cluster, which did not solve the problem, so its not the cluster.

I guess I'm back to waiting for my GS911 to get back to me so I can troubleshoot scientifically.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Solution to Intermittant Flashing Instrument Cluster

Those of you waiting for a resolution to this problem can relax, it's solved!

2008 K1200GT

The problem was that the entire instrument module would frequently, as in once every few seconds, start flashing ALL warning lights, and while flashing, pretty much everything connected to the canbus would cease to function, leaving me with no turn signals, brake lights, ESA control, fuel and temperature levels, etc.

On some days, the instrument module would be totally dark at startup, and I would have no indicators at all.

Engine functions and head and tail lights were not affected at all, the bike ran great.I don't know if ABS was active.

Needless to say this was an issue for me in riding, and was also going to make it hard, or expensive, to sell this bike some day.

I recently started looking around the internet for wiring diagrams for the 2008 GT, but these are not easily found.

Looking at the parts diagrams and ads for BMW wiring harnesses ($$$$) lead me to start thinking about the complex of electronics modules and wiring on these bikes.

It appears that almost everything related to the bikes electronics goes through the ZFE or Central Vehicle Electronics (In German: Zentrale-Fahrzeug-Elektronik) module.

The ZFE is accessed by removing the right side tupperware, up front right in front of the air snorkel, and is a book sized silver component.

The wiring of this module consists of several huge and a few small cables running to components all over the bike.

One web site I found discussed an intermittent instrument electronics failure like mine that was resolved when a technician traced out some frayed wires in the bundle going from the instrument cluster to the ZFE!

I pulled the tupperware, loosened up the two screws and the press on rubber vibration isolating grommet on the ZFE, turned on the ignition. My instruments were totally dark at this point.

I jiggled (tech term) the ZFR, moving the cable bunch about. The instruments lit up!

I disconnected and inspected all connectors to the ZFE, pulled on the wires, adjusted the cable ties to relieve pinching, etc.

At some point the instruments stopped flashing and stayed on, so I reinstalled the ZFE and took the bike for a ride.

So far, no problems.

So, the good news is I now think I know WHERE the issue is, and feel confident that I can eventually trace the specific wire or connector that is failing. If the problem recurs I can start to open up the wiring harness at this specific area and troubleshoot, and eventually repair or replace as required.

Thanks for your attention.
 

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Remember post #2 where I said I wanted to know what my GT would do next. :mad:

Weird things on the display today. Started the bike and the display "froze" same readings for almost 20 minutes with the lower 1/3 flickering.

Shut off bike and had breakfast with the riding club, started bike after breakfast, display is working, 20 minutes into ride, fuel indicator goes "0", GPS loses external power, and headlight failure icon comes on. Head for home, fuel indicator comes back on, head light icon still shows failure, fuel indicator goes to "0" again.
Shut bike off at home to open garage door. Power up everything looks good, start engine, head light fault icon comes on, fuel indicator goes to "0".

Will start trouble shooting and let you know what I find. Thanks lhendrick for the clues of where to start.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
aj7840 said:
Remember post #2 where I said I wanted to know what my GT would do next. :mad:

Weird things on the display today. Started the bike and the display "froze" same readings for almost 20 minutes with the lower 1/3 flickering.

Shut off bike and had breakfast with the riding club, started bike after breakfast, display is working, 20 minutes into ride, fuel indicator goes "0", GPS loses external power, and headlight failure icon comes on. Head for home, fuel indicator comes back on, head light icon still shows failure, fuel indicator goes to "0" again.
Shut bike off at home to open garage door. Power up everything looks good, start engine, head light fault icon comes on, fuel indicator goes to "0".

Will start trouble shooting and let you know what I find. Thanks lhendrick for the clues of where to start.
Those are the symptom I had too:

Note : GS911 device showed a fault that said communication between the instrument module and ZFE had failed.

At the end of my troubleshooting, it turned out to be a huge connector plug on the back of the ZFE module (there are two, my prob was with the rearmost. There was a zip tie/tie wrap too tight right around the base of that connector, discovered by yanking on the cable with the ignition on and watching for when it caused the fault. It was apparently causing an intermittent problem, pinching wires. Took it off. Voila!, after days of unwrapping the thick cables trying to find any frayed wires. You can get to this area under the right side tupperware.

I suspect a more patient person would look for any damage internal to this cable, but as you may see, there are a LOT of individual wires in there, and I am not planning to do that unless the problem recurs. BTW, a new harness costs $$$ 1,500 $$$ or so. :(

Good luck.
 

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The flickering dash seems to be from a bad HID headlight module.
I had converted to HID, the module failed, applying power to the module (starting the bike) would cause the display to act weird. Stuck in an H7 bulb (disconnected HID) problem seems to be gone. Removed HID stuff, tried to fire it up with the tractor battery no go, tried new HID bulb no go, Tried new HID module with old bulb no go, New HID module and new bulb works. Installed on bike, everything seems fine, will have to do more than a ten minute test ride.
fingers crossed :teeth
 

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Discussion Starter #15
aj7840 said:
The flickering dash seems to be from a bad HID headlight module.
I had converted to HID, the module failed, applying power to the module (starting the bike) would cause the display to act weird. Stuck in an H7 bulb (disconnected HID) problem seems to be gone. Removed HID stuff, tried to fire it up with the tractor battery no go, tried new HID bulb no go, Tried new HID module with old bulb no go, New HID module and new bulb works. Installed on bike, everything seems fine, will have to do more than a ten minute test ride.
fingers crossed :teeth
Good to hear you have found your problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
Interesting (to me), the problem of intermittent power to the instrument cluster has recurred, so I was forced to look further into a possible wire break/short/whatever in the harness that runs to the ZFE (Central Vehicle Electronics) module. I couldn't find anything obvious and there are LOTS of wires in that bundle. I had unwrapped the cable bunch, what a mess!

I looked into a replacement wiring harness. BMW want $1500!! and the job to replace the harness is mind boggling. I found one on ebay for $71 and bought it to see if I could perhaps just replace the section in focus. No go on that.

However, while pulling the original harness connector to the ZFE, I noticed that the locking mechanism on the huge connector was very stiff, and when I pushed and pulled it finally clicked into place in a firm way that was new to me. It had been rubbing on the back of the ZFE mounting board.

By this time I had taken most of the bike apart to see about the harness replacement, but now I spent a day getting it all back together, and VOILA!

The problem is solved. I have a solid instrument cluster that has stood up to repeated restarts and rides.

P.S. While I had the bike apart, I pulled the air box, and tried to apply the air box fettle to address the fast idle when the bike gets hot. I must have the original bad design air box and the idle is terrible when hot (2000 rpm). So, I took it all apart and worked over the offending piece and put it all together and it didn't work :(

Next project: replace the air box ($350). Getting the stacks back on straight inside the air box is a major PITA, my arm is still sore.
 

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lhendrick said:
Getting the stacks back on straight inside the air box is a major PITA, my arm is still sore.
:yesnod: I'm with ya' brother! Spray silicone made life a lot easier
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
lhendrick said:
Interesting (to me), the problem of intermittent power to the instrument cluster has recurred, so I was forced to look further into a possible wire break/short/whatever in the harness that runs to the ZFE (Central Vehicle Electronics) module. I couldn't find anything obvious and there are LOTS of wires in that bundle. I had unwrapped the cable bunch, what a mess!

I looked into a replacement wiring harness. BMW want $1500!! and the job to replace the harness is mind boggling. I found one on ebay for $71 and bought it to see if I could perhaps just replace the section in focus. No go on that.

However, while pulling the original harness connector to the ZFE, I noticed that the locking mechanism on the huge connector was very stiff, and when I pushed and pulled it finally clicked into place in a firm way that was new to me. It had been rubbing on the back of the ZFE mounting board.

By this time I had taken most of the bike apart to see about the harness replacement, but now I spent a day getting it all back together, and VOILA!

The problem is solved. I have a solid instrument cluster that has stood up to repeated restarts and rides.

P.S. While I had the bike apart, I pulled the air box, and tried to apply the air box fettle to address the fast idle when the bike gets hot. I must have the original bad design air box and the idle is terrible when hot (2000 rpm). So, I took it all apart and worked over the offending piece and put it all together and it didn't work :(

Next project: replace the air box ($350). Getting the stacks back on straight inside the air box is a major PITA, my arm is still sore.

Back again!


So, after a few weeks of riding my intermittent instrument problem recurred. The bad wires in the harness up by the ZFE that control all must have worked their way together again and I have some kind of interference between the Xenon headlight and instrument cluster.

So, I bit the bullet and bought a complete wiring harness on ebay for my specific model 2008 KGT. $125 for a used one, BMW wants about $1,800 for the part. Right!

Needless to say, the install of this is daunting. You will get to learn about ALL your bikes electrical systems and accessories. It took me a day to strip the bike down, as all panels come off,tank, air box, headlight module, etc

A second day to trace out every wire and match it to the replacement harness to ensure I had the correct part. I did. There are 55 connections. Label everything!

Two days to disconnect every connection, cutting a million zip ties, and connect all connectors, occasionally having to take apart some nasty part of the bike to squeeze some of the huge multi connectors into place as the harness winds its way from the back to the front. I split the job across these two days so I wouldn't get overwhelmed. I took a lot of pictures of how things were hooked up. I panicked only once or twice and walked away to drink beer and consider lighting fire to the whole thing....

With all the connections made I installed the battery and voila! Success.
Test ride and then an hour or two to put all the panels back on.

At one time I needed to make some room to route the thick anaconda like cable past the ABS brake lines and ended up unscrewing them from the ABS Module, so I had to bleed the rear brakes, but that went fast, and now my fluid has been flushed, so good to go.

I've been riding for a few days. The reason I am happy is the Xenon headlight no longer comes on with the ignition before engine start, which was a symptom before the harness replacement. No more problem with instrument cluster.

One other side effect is that while I had the bike apart a few weeks ago, I decided to install the upgraded air box to deal with the 2000 rpm idle problem when hot.

The air box had to come off to get to the wiring harness so I had the fun of reinstalling it. This time, rather than wrestle with the air horn/velocity stacks inside the air box, which really is no fun because of limited access, I left the air horns mounted in their rubber gasket mounts in the air box, and used the weird BMW hose clamp/clips to reattach them to the throttle bodies. This is also not a pleasant job, but I finally got it buttoned up.

So, I now have a usable 2008 K1200GT with 15,000 miles.
 

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Dang, Larry, I'm impressed!

It must feel really good to have your bike back . . .
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Meese said:
Dang, Larry, I'm impressed!

It must feel really good to have your bike back . . .
Thanks, as you know, when they are running, they are good.
 
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