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Discussion Starter #1
I recently had a software update applied to my K12S. I believe it only affected the ZFE (body module?) and it seems to have negatively affected the way an external battery charger works.

Prior to the update I was able to plug in my CAN-bus aware BMW charger in to the accessory socket on the K12 and it would start charging and sequence through all four charging stages, lighting the appropriate LED status lights on the charger. Depending on battery state, this could take several hours. When it got to the last stage it would remain there, providing the maintenance or float charge.

After the software update if I plug in the charger as before none of the status lights on the charger will come on and the red emergency flasher light on the left hand grip will blink about once every 2 or three seconds. If I turn the ignition on and then plug in the charger and then turn off the ignition OR plug in the charger then turn the ignition on and then off the charger will start functioning normally and the red light on the left hand grip will stay illuminated. However, sometime after the charger reaches the last stage (not sure how long as I didn't catch it) all the charger status lights go off and the red light on the left grip goes back to blinking. When all the status lights are off and the red light on the left grip is flashing the battery is NOT being maintained!

So, with this update, your battery charger will run through one charge cycle and then shut off. Your battery will not be on a maintenance or float charge. I measured the battery voltage during the above test and can confirm that the charger shuts off, never to come back on unless you turn the ignition on and then off again, and then you only get one charge cycle again.

Anyone else with a late softare update observe this? I'll try to report back with the software update version number when I speak to my dealer when they open tomorrow.
 

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Which Version ?

Tony

I have been awaiting the Version 5.01, as it had been said it would replace Version 5.00.
Do you know which one they up-dated Your bike with ??
(Sorry, I cant recal the p/n's of these Versions, maybe we are lucky: ..Do you remember ManfredH))
 

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Discussion Starter #3
LOCUS said:
Tony

I have been awaiting the Version 5.01, as it had been said it would replace Version 5.00.
Do you know which one they up-dated Your bike with ??
(Sorry, I cant recal the p/n's of these Versions, maybe we are lucky: ..Do you remember ManfredH))
Locus,

That's the number I hope to come up with tomorrow. I thought I was getting a V5.xx update for the engine management (bms-k ?) but like I mentioned I only got a ZFE (?) update.
 

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wyeknott said:
I only got a ZFE (?) update.
"ZFE" means "Zentrale Fahrzeugelektronik" (= central vehicle electronic).

Engine update with version K024-05-02-510 is only to be prgrammed if the release on the bike ("I_STUFE_HO" showed by the CT1 tester) is one on of the following:
K024-03-10-500
... -03-10-510
... -04-03-500
... -04-07-500
... -04-11-500
... -04-11-510
... -04-11-520
... -04-11-530

Manfred
 

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Like your system, my battery charger cuts off and the Emergency Switch ( the "ES") light flashes every two-to-three seconds when the battery reaches full charge.

I assume, and it is a big assumption that:

1. The ZFE interupts the Auxillary Power Outlet (the "APO") when the battery is fully charged, and causes the ES to flash
2. The Special BMW Battery Charger (the "SBMWBC") seems to recognize the interuption and stops sending a charging current
3. The ZFE continues to monitor the battery charge level
4. The ZFE activates the APO when the battery needs a top-up and the ES goes on
5. The SBMWBC recognizes the battery state when the APO is activated
6. The SBMWBC goes through its four-stages of charging again
7. And the ZFE repeats the process when the battery is fully charged.

My observations:

The APO is active when the ES light is on continuously. And when the APO is disconnected, the ES light is off.

The SBMWBC indicates a charge only when plugged into the APO and the ES light is on. If the ES light is off the charge LED's go out.

Conclusion:

SBMWBC+APO+ZFE+ES+LED+ON is good.

SBMWBC+APO+ZFE+ES+LED+OFF is bad.

SBMWBC+APO+ZFE+ES+LED+FLASH is doubtful.

SBMWBCAPOZFEESLEDONOFFFLASH is I do not know.

a very confused KPower.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
KPower said:
4. The ZFE activates the APO when the battery needs a top-up and the ES goes on
5. The SBMWBC recognizes the battery state when the APO is activated
6. The SBMWBC goes through its four-stages of charging again
7. And the ZFE repeats the process when the battery is fully charged.
That is what I thought too. I did a 10 hour test where I placed a 16.9-ohm load on the battery after the "SBMWC" went through all four charging stages and shut off. This put a load on the battery that was slightly below what the charger is capable of putting out. After the 10 hours the battery was down to 11.48 volts and the charger never did come back on. So much for maintaining your battery during long time storage.

I tried the same charger on both the R1200RT and R1200GS. The charger went through all four stages and stayed at the last one at the end of the charge cycle. And all I had to do was plug the charger in to the "APO". No fiddling with the ignition key on either of these two bikes, contrary to what the owner's manual says.
 

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Interesting results.

I will ask the service manager at John Valk BMW tomorrow and report back to you.

Regards,
 

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Rusty at John Valk BMW is waiting for BMW Canada to give him an answer. We may have request the information from the Fatherland.

Rusty has experienced the same issue with a K1200R that is being stored at the dealership. Like us, the battery charger cuts-off and the red light on the bar flashes every two-to-three seconds when the battery reaches full charge. And it appears that the charger never comes on again.

I will post an update when I hear from Rusty.

Regards,
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Here's an update to the battery charger observations on my K12S. My K12S firmware update brought me up to version K024-05-02-510.

I left the charger on the R12GS for several days. During that time I saw the charger change back to the third charger state (2/3 or amber LED) from the fourth state on three occassions, each time returning back to stage 4. So it seems that on the R12GS, and I assume also on the R12RT, that the charger is working as we would expect it. On the K12S, with this firmware update, it goes into a coma, never to awake!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Bruce,

Same here. Waiting for my dealer to hear back from the local Field Tech Rep. On another note, one of my three BMW chargers died. The red error light comes on soon after plugging it in, regardless of what is on the output end of the cable (bike or no bike). Exchanging it for another one this weekend.
 

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Tony,

I'm connecting the BMW Charger via a tail directly to the battery until we find a solution. The charger now works as expected and remains on float (green) after the charging cycle has finished.

I will follow up with Rusty at John Valk BMW on Monday.

Regards,

Bruce
 

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Unless you have a VERY accurate and temperature compensated charging system you do NOT want to leave the battery on float. Small errors in float voltage can destroy a battery over time. Besides, with a vehicle battery there is no benefit in floating it. A periodic refresher charge every few weeks is entirely adequate if the bike is not in use.

Bob.
 

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Bob,

I keep my bikes connected to battery chargers whenever they are not being used. I replace batteries approximately every four years as a precaution and have never had a problem. I currently use a Battery Tender on my K1200RS and a new BMW charger on the S.

Have I been lucky or are these chargers VERY accurate.

Thanks for the input.

Ken
 

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kencorsun said:
Bob,

I keep my bikes connected to battery chargers whenever they are not being used. I replace batteries approximately every four years as a precaution and have never had a problem. I currently use a Battery Tender on my K1200RS and a new BMW charger on the S.

Have I been lucky or are these chargers VERY accurate.

Thanks for the input.

Ken
Hard to say whether it is luck or accuracy. All I can state are two facts......

1) If the float voltage is more than about 0.2V in error for the exact type of battery (Flooded cell, AGM or GelCell, since each requires a different value), and not properly compensated for temperature, then damage to the battery can result. This is especially so with GelCells.

2) There is no benefit whatsoever to floating a battery that is in storage, as compared to topping the charge up every few weeks. All you are trying to do is ensure it doesn't sulphate as a result of a long period of self discharge. In fact, depending on the accuracy of the float charger, there is a real possibility of causing damage.

Thus since floating the baattery has no advantage at all as compared to a periodic "refresh" charge every 3 to 5 weeks, and there are some potential dangers associated with float charging, the decision on what method to use seems obvious to me.

Bob.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
RFWILSON said:
Thus since floating the baattery has no advantage at all as compared to a periodic "refresh" charge every 3 to 5 weeks, and there are some potential dangers associated with float charging, the decision on what method to use seems obvious to me.
Then maybe it's a good thing that the software has this glitch or maybe it isn't a glitch and it's what BMW wanted all along. That is, attach the charger and let it do its thing and then automatically shut off after all is done. Recycle (turn the ignition on and then off) every 3 to 5 weeks and repeat the one charge process. Again, maybe the K12S is doing it right and it's the R12RT and R12GS that has it wrong.
 

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I had a 2005 R1200GS and the special bmw charger would charge the battery up and shut off. My solution was to remove the seat and charge the battery directly with my battery tender. End of problem. BTW I recieved a full refund for the special bmw charger. the canbus just may be a tad too high tech for real world use? Peace.
 

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I put the bike on the charger once a week..works for me. I also wired my power outlet directly to the battery.
 

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kencorsun said:
Bob,

I keep my bikes connected to battery chargers whenever they are not being used. I replace batteries approximately every four years as a precaution and have never had a problem. I currently use a Battery Tender on my K1200RS and a new BMW charger on the S.

Have I been lucky or are these chargers VERY accurate.

Thanks for the input.

Ken


Same here, but I use a battery tender on my S, hooked directly to battery via quickplug. When not using, it tucks right behind the headset, under the battery panel.
 
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