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letter from BMW

3843 Views 10 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  rlmr
hallo guys, just got a letter in the mail from BMW where it is explained how the brake system works, telling that if you overuse the brakes with a battery not 100% charged you will end up in a zone where it is uncertain the correct functionment of the system.
the translation of the pages of the info booklet are all but clear.
the booklet states at the end that we should not worry that all will be fine and "within specs"....the latins were saying "excusatio non petita recusatio manifesta" or if noone asks for a explanation it should be something unclear, there is something wrong.

did anyone get the same?

I believe that the electrical servo in draining too much power and at a certain point the battery will not deliver enough energy to get the system running. bmw did not comment on this.
my "S" is still waiting for the software upgrade, till next week i will be in san Francisco where the wheather is absolutely great and i wish I could ride on the wonderful coast.....

enjoy the new site it's great to have all of us back together.
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I took the ERC rider course on my '02 RS and there was no battery drain during the braking excercise. Wonder if its the same ABS system on our S as I am planning to take the ERC again next year. There is a lot of waiting around, short runs and hard braking in this course. Anyone take the ERC on their S yet?
Personally I think they are just covering their asses for something that may or may not happen..
I got the same letter, although it was for an R1100RT I don't own any longer. It sounded as if BMW is covering their butt on ABS, since the RT didn't have servos.
ABS or Not to ABS...

I just spoke to two dealers about ordering my new S... WITHOUT the ABS option...

Guess I don't have to worry about this prob?? Cool.
Pirate said:
I just spoke to two dealers about ordering my new S... WITHOUT the ABS option...

Guess I don't have to worry about this prob?? Cool.
Can you do that or is that a "special order"?
I thought the warning had more to do with the servo than it did the ABS. In other words, if you pulled the crap out out of it repeatedly, like a kajillion times a minute for 5 minutes, during a "low battery" situation, than there wouldn't be enough power to operate junk. Non-ABS bikes still have a servo don't they? If so, I'm guessing the warning applies to them too.

Jerry, why are you going the non-ABS route?
If I recall correctly, this is in response to one of the testers in Germany crashing a K1200S after performing 25 full-on stops in a row. On the 26th attempt, the servo assist was not available and the rider may not have been prepared to use only residual braking an crashed.
I also got the letter and understood that the problem is merely the servo than ABS itself.
Having read that I remember wondering why my headlights are dimming so much due to voltage loss every time when I break. If the servo really takes that much power, now I understand why my headlights are doing that.


Please excuse the ramblings of an "old" moto-cop.;)

This applies to cars and bikes.

When we first got cars and bikes with ABS, like any demonstrator we put them through their paces... to extreme. However the best example was the Ford Sierra XR4i (sorry I do not how the model was badged outwith the UK). When thee vehicles were taken into service I always thought that the ABS was a "safety-net" to get me out of trouble if my skills fell short dealing with a particular hazard... basically if I cocked up and needed to hit the brakes to the max. It took the cadence braking skill out of the equation and if it was at all possible to stop in the distance available the ABS would allow me to do this and still give me the ability to steer. No matter what, go into a bend too fast and you will exceed the grip afforded by the road / tyre interface and you will slip (from a few millimeters to many metres!)... ABS will not save you then.

Anyway I digress.

Not long after these vehicles were taken into service (this is back to the XR4i story) there was a spate of them being wrecked by the so called best trained drivers. After some analysis the cause was found...

No matter how urgent the call, Patrol drivers normally kept something up their sleeve for the "just in case" moments. However some were eating away at their safety margin, relying on the ABS for almost all braking... result - no safety margin and lots of written off cars.

Thankfully that happened further south than my home area and anyway were were driving BMW 525i's even in those days and our R series bikes did not have ABS... that came with the K's.

So to cut a long story short...

If you are riding well you will very very rarely find the ABS operating. If you rely on the electronics to make up for your lack of hazard perception and inability to brake properly for a hazard, then it appears you will severely test the BMS servo system. But viewed from another point of view... if your brakes do fail to act with full servo after the 20th quick application, then you have only come off a wee bit further down the road than you would have done had you not had the benefits of the technology.

Sorry if this is a bit of a sermon, but I really enjoy my bikes, I am not the slowest rider around and I have spent a considerable portion of my 30 years police service dealing with road traffic incidents and reconstruction incidents. You get used to it, but picking up bits of people from the wrecks then having to tell their loved ones, sucks!

I know this may annoy some of our sporting heros, but the K1200S is an excellent road bike... it will hold its own on track days, but BMW built a beautiful road bike... use it as such.
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