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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
New guy to the forum. I have a 2004 K1200RS, my first BMW. Love it! Some of my instrument lights no longer work. How do I gain access to them? Any suggestions of replacement bulbs? Any guidance will be appreciated.
 

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Not too difficult, just need access to the back of the instrument cluster. Good time to change the color if desired, I used blue bulbs.

From the service manual

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Remove the windshield, windshield holder covers (two silver covers T25 4-screws, remove two lower windshield holders, a little tricky (phillips screw and rotate the L-shape holder sideways towards the center on the bike). Then remove the entire front cowling. Once the cowling is removed it pretty straight forward BUT the dash should be loosened to rotate forward for simplicity to remove the bulbs. I just replaced mine last week with yellow/amber LED bulbs from Amazon....really nice in the daytime too. https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B09SHRPZDR/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&th=1 I originally installed the blue ones but they were very hard to see the dash numbers, the yellow really pop!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Remove the windshield, windshield holder covers (two silver covers T25 4-screws, remove two lower windshield holders, a little tricky (phillips screw and rotate the L-shape holder sideways towards the center on the bike). Then remove the entire front cowling. Once the cowling is removed it pretty straight forward BUT the dash should be loosened to rotate forward for simplicity to remove the bulbs. I just replaced mine last week with yellow/amber LED bulbs from Amazon....really nice in the daytime too. Amazon.com I originally installed the blue ones but they were very hard to see the dash numbers, the yellow really pop!
Thank you for the detailed response to my question. I have ordered the amber colored lights, as you suggested. I hope to get them installed as soon as I get a break in my schedule.
 

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Remove the windshield, windshield holder covers (two silver covers T25 4-screws, remove two lower windshield holders, a little tricky (phillips screw and rotate the L-shape holder sideways towards the center on the bike). Then remove the entire front cowling. Once the cowling is removed it pretty straight forward BUT the dash should be loosened to rotate forward for simplicity to remove the bulbs. I just replaced mine last week with yellow/amber LED bulbs from Amazon....really nice in the daytime too. https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B09SHRPZDR/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&th=1 I originally installed the blue ones but they were very hard to see the dash numbers, the yellow really pop!
I'm curious how the amber light looks on the gauges. If you could post a pic or two I'd appreciate it.
 

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K1200RS (2003, 1998)
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Here are a few pics of mine with blue LEDs for instrument panel backlight bulbs. I also installed clear LEDs behind the warning/indicator lights, but they're too bright at night. If you also replace the warning/indicator bulbs, I recommend standard bulbs or lower-brightness LEDs (if available).

For the "Neutral" indicator light, using an LED bulb will likely cause issues. I can't remember exactly what they were, but it had to do with different resistance/power draw from the LED vs. standard bulbs on the Neutral indicator circuit. For this reason, I used a standard bulb for Neutral indicator.

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Speedometer Odometer Trip computer Light Gauge
 

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Here are a few pics of mine with blue LEDs for instrument panel backlight bulbs. I also installed clear LEDs behind the warning/indicator lights, but they're too bright at night. If you also replace the warning/indicator bulbs, I recommend standard bulbs or lower-brightness LEDs (if available).

For the "Neutral" indicator light, using an LED bulb will likely cause issues. I can't remember exactly what they were, but it had to do with different resistance/power draw from the LED vs. standard bulbs on the Neutral indicator circuit. For this reason, I used a standard bulb for Neutral indicator.
Thank you for update and photos...

The warning bulb that you should NOT change to a LED is the Alternator / charging warning - the one shaped like a Battery. The Neutral warning is NOT a problem although I do not see an advantage in doing so. All my 20 years old warning bulbs with 98,000 miles (158,000 KM) of riding are still stock from factory and none has burned yet. They are all visible during a very clear day even with sun in my face.

The only bulbs that will burn over time are the backlights of the instruments - there are 5 of them - see photo below. Unlike later models with CANBUS , on these older K1200 BMW has not bothered to put a sensor so that the backlighting of the dash is OFF during daylight. So these 5 incandescent stock bulbs are always ON every minutes from ignition ON to ignition OFF.


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The warning bulb that you should NOT change to a LED is the Alternator / charging warning - the one shaped like a Battery.
Ah, my memory must be getting bad (I replaced mine a few years ago). I knew it was one of the bulbs that caused an issue.

I'm sure Sailor is correct, so follow his guidance!
 
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