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Discussion Starter #1
Just returned from an 8 day roadie, covering 3500kms and the following symptoms appeared while on the trip. They have appeared briefly before, some 5 years ago, but have been dormant until now...
1 When the engine fires up the speedo needle moves up to the 30kph [20mph] and then drops to zero.
2 After start up, if during the ride I run the revs up to 8000RPM the speedo needle issue disappears at the next start up.
3 If I don't use high revs, the issue remains on each start up.
4 On one occasion during the ride, and the next start following extensive C Control use, the starter would "click" but not start. With the ignition on, the headlight remained off, but indicators and horn all operated. It normally remains on until the starter button is hit and then comes on again when the starter disengages. Headlight is hard wired in NZ. Anyway, after a bit of head scratching the head light came on with the ignition, a prod of the starter and she fired up! No more CC on the trip, and she fired every time, although the speedo needle issue remained.
The engine has done 80000km [50000 miles] and the battery was replaced with a factory gel unit two years ago.
Last time this happened, [5 years ago] I had been riding in VERY VERY salt laden sea air. The problem eventually disappeared after a [recommended] good thrash to 8000 RPM. This time, I had been on a sea crossing by ferry, and being pretty rough, sea spray had coated all the bikes on board with a very liberal coating of salt water which was washed off the next day!
SO, could I have an earth problem somewhere, and if so, any ideas where to look.... It was suggested the main earth on the starter motor could be the culprit, but it's APITA to get to. Could I have a rectifier problem or simply a gel battery going bad? All advice and ideas greatly appreciated. Replies may be a little slow given time zone differences....and I live in a remote, but beautiful part of NZ and my favourite wrench lives a two day ride and a ferry crossing away!
BTW 5 years ago, nothing showed up on the diagnostic... Haven't had the battery checked out yet as I though I'd wait for suggestions, but it's is kept on a time controlled battery minder when not in use.
Thanks for your help
 

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1. Take off the seat.

2. Find a whole bunch of connectors under the right hand seat rail that gets (salt) water dripped down on them from the seat.

3. Don't bother working out which is the speedo sensor connector, carefully pull each one apart and scrape out any gunge with a needle file and brush the insides with methylated spirit, then saturate and brush with a contact cleaner. If you can sheath the lot to stop water getting in even better.

4. If you still get the problem:

5. Take off the front plastics so you can lift up the headlamp unit and get to the rear of the instruments. If all the contacts to the instruments look 'weathered' from corrosion, Do the lot. Remove each contact one at a time, scrape off any gunge, clean with meths and contact cleaner. When nice and clean, replace the contact. If you want to shortcut the speedo/tacho just do those.

If that doesn't fix it, the problem might be electronic in the speedo head.



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Discussion Starter #3
Voxmagna, you're a bloody legend! Thank you, I will investigate all your recommendations and post a reply when done.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Voxmagna, under the seat on the R/H rail is only one connector, with 6 pins, and well shielded from any rain dripping from the seat. I checked it anyway, and its like brand new inside - all nice and clean and shiny. Cleaned it anyway. Under the L/H rail beside the tool tray are 3 connectors, all different so they can't be mixed up. They also are spotless inside. Accessed the underside of instruments, and apart from some dust and a small amount of road grime, all looked pucker. The terminals were in no way corroded, in fact they are still a bit shiny. Checked for tightness, and all screws took a little tightening, but in no way would be considered loose. Apart from the two salt air/water events, the bike is kept in a very dry environment. This issue has ONLY occurred after these days on two separate road trips and seem to coincide with extended cruise control use [although this may simply be a coincidence]. Any other ideas anyone....
 

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Mine's an older bike. You don't say what year yours is and I've assumed it has the separate sensor on top of the rear drive? Mine has separate connectors for the speedo sensor and the rear light cluster, just clipped together. This is where my rear drive sensor ends up and it's logical if you were replacing the sensor, it would come with a short wiring harness and mating plug.

You still have to check behind the instruments, The front fairing design is a moisture and condensation trap. The electronic Hall sensor is a relatively high impedance circuit compared to water and especially salt water. Any moisture track or salt deposit around those contacts will short out the signal. Check the wiring run from your rear sensor and identify the colors so you know you are on the right connector. I would still wash the connectors with meths. They may look clean, but salt water once deposited can dry and leave an invisible conductive film. The cruise control must be picking off the speedo sensor so the possibility of a moisture/ low resistance track is there on that wiring too. I don't have cruise so I can't say where cruise would tap in for the signal.



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Discussion Starter #6
Its an 02 model and doesn't have the sensor on top of the rear drive. I have checked the rear of the instruments, and while all looks ok, I will wash down all the sensors with meths to be sure. As there is no rear drive sensor, where does the speedo pick up from? Does it pick up off the gearbox and if so, where, so I can check it out for moisture.
 

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OK that's starting to explain why your connector format under the seat rail is different to mine.

Early bikes had a Hall sensor fitted in the top of the RD housing which picks up the crown gear teeth rotation, The short wire harness was connected under the seat like I said.

On later bikes they realised they already had a wheel sensor in the ABS ring gear, so why have two and used that instead to provide the road wheel pulses to drive both the ABS and speedo. I don't have that system so I can't tell you how it is wired but I can offer some suggestions:

If your bike is NOT giving ABS flashing light warnings, then I would guess that the toothed ABS sensors are giving pulses and working OK. If you are getting warnings, check the ABS ring clearances first.

You should get the Clymer manual as it has wiring diagrams that can help you. According to my manual, for a 2003 the speedo has ground and positive lines, so they are a good place to start checking first. There are signal lines between the ABS control unit, flasher unit (for road speed cancelling) and the cruise control unit. The tacho shares the same power supply rail, so if that too is intermittent it might be a clue. If you can get the fault whilst on the stand, temporarily disconnecting the connectors to the cruise controller and flasher unit may eliminate any possible short problems inside those units. Don't ask me where they are on the bike, I'm not a BMW engineer!

There are many more places to look for bad connections or salt water tracking to ground. Personally I would now look at the back of the instrument cluster as I suggested earlier. Make sure everything contact wise is clean. Also the wiring loom there flexes a lot with steering, so wiggle the steering lock to lock and look for intermittents.

If you do it carefully, you should be able to run the bike at idle on the centre stand in a high gear to get a signal up to the speedo whilst also moving the wiring about.

A Clymer manual will save you a lot of time and help you understand what's going on.



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Discussion Starter #8
Hey, thanks a lot for your help. I was out for a few hours on the bike today, and as you can guess, there were no symptoms! Anyway, I will work through your suggestions, pick up a clymer and see where we go. Thanks again,
Richard
 

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:clap: Yes as always, bloody good advice from Voxmagna, but since you mentioned cruise control, I may have something else.

My bike is a 03, with Cruise and Factory Alarm, and there is a bunch of connectors under the fairing next to the horn, and I did find some corrosion in there. I did check all the connectors on my bike after I bought it this year, as it came from rainy Vancouver....! I believe anyone with a similar bike that is more than 3 years old should do the same, electrical gremlins are a PITA.....but so easy and cheap to avoid with proper maintenance.

I do not recall exactly what the connectors under the fairing are for, and my plastic is still on, but from looking at it a few minutes ago, I am pretty sure they are for the cruise control.

My BMW Repair manual does not have the wiring diagram, but they are available from BMW, and country specific,and possibly production date specific too, not cheap however for something you probably do not even need for that job.....but here is a link anyhow. Great site if you need part numbers also. :thumb:

http://www.maxbmwmotorcycles.com/fiche/DiagramsMain.aspx?model=K 1200 RS 01&prod=032000-072004

P.S. Many dead bugs behind that instrument cluster??? :teeth
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Hey h96669, Thanks for that. I will strip the tupperware off [again] this weekend and attend to the back of the instruments with some meths. I had it in my mind to have a thorough look around the CC area while in there and your suggestion encourages me to do it. My bike lives [for the main] in a very dry area, both lack of rain fall, and very low humidity, so don't expect to find much, but then it don't take much either....I will let you know how I get on
 

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Lucky guys, your summer is just beginning...........! :teeth
 

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Discussion Starter #12
And you don't wanna know how awesome the roads are in my neck of the woods. Go to Google maps and find Wanaka - nothing but brilliant B roads [thats all we have here] with stunning scenery, and twisty roads for ever! Our favourite ride is a trip to the West Coast [Haast] and back. 150 km each way...
 

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Same here for the roads.......but the West Coast is 650km away! And lots of animals....! :wow2:
Open ranges too, my last ride there was a lot of this on the road, slowed me down: :manure:
But that's why some of us like to hide out here......! BTW anything new about possible Moose sightings in New Zealand? :dunno: Check this out.....!http://www.canada.com/national/nationalpost/news/story.html?id=bbd5956e-fdc1-49fa-bdb6-3cdaf78d70a6
Up here it would be the Sasquatch....! :yeow:
Our winter is just starting....... :cry: :bmw: :yeah:
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Ah yes, the moose story! Unlike the loch ness, the moose, all 10 of them were actually real, and released in Fiordland national park, along with just about everything else on four legs that the Brits liked to shoot at the time. The moose can [apparently] hear a watch tick at 40 metres which gives them the advantage over any surveillance equipment - so the story goes. But your story is 4 years old, and, yes there is more evidence of moose about. I managed to put my moose on this more recent story from Geographic magazine
http://www.nzgeographic.co.nz/articles.php?ID=185
 

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Cool, I'll buy that......I had a more recent one in Canadian Geographic Magazine, same guy too! I just liked the other link because Sasquatch was mentioned in there! :thumb:

http://www.canadiangeographic.ca/Magazine/JA06/feature_moose_mystery.asp

He should come out here, they are not that elusive! Probably has anyhow for his research, or is he Canadian, I'll have to reread all that....! :)

Lots of room for them (and us) here! And Waaaaaaaaay too much Deer! :yeow:

http://maps.google.ca/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=burton+bc&sll=40.780541,-87.275391&sspn=33.848091,92.724609&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=Burton,+Central+Kootenay+K,+Central+Kootenay+Regional+District,+British+Columbia&ll=49.985157,-117.885259&spn=0.902427,2.897644&t=h&z=9

And for a good story on shooting mooses in my neck of the woods:

http://www.ottawasun.com/news/canada/2009/11/14/11747346-cp.html

And I have to edit this again......I see some similarities between our satellite maps ....Big Lake,Snow capped mountains, Highway 6......Interesting! Any serious rider here knows, or should know,Hwy 6. :thumb: :tim :yeah:

Any Sasquatches.......???? :)
 

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Discussion Starter #16
The gremlin is still about, and in attack mode :( - the tale so far... Just returned from the Burt Munro rally [Worlds fastest Indian] and have documented the following.
1 Speedo needle jumps at engine start almost every time regardless of CC use. On one occasion, during CC use, the indicators would give one very short "flash" and reset. A quick blast to high revs sorted that out however, and indicators returned to normal
2 When the starter is hit, the load shedding relay kicks in and the lights go out. [normal] Once the engine starts the relay kicks out and the lights come on. However, when the relay kicks out, the headlight doesn't light up to full intensity immediately, but flickers a few times before full intensity. This same "flickering" of light can be seen in the lights, and the high beam light on the dash when riding at night, with the lights flickering momentarily as the revs pass through 3000 to 3500 rpm. Again, high revs removes the symptoms [temporarily] :dunno:
3 I have thoroughly washed down all connectors on the back of the instrument cluster with meths, as well as checking the CC connectors [at back of CC] and washing them down also, although they looked factory new :teeth
4 If anything, the situation is worsenng - In the past, no CC use avoided any symptoms. Now, however, the speedo needle jumps at every start regardless of CC use, or high revs :wtf:
5 We had an awesome blast in the hills today with very fast, tight riding and lots of revs :teeth which would usually remove all the symptoms at the next startup, but not today :dunno:
 

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Somewhere I suggested you could have a loading or fault problem in the CC circuit. Have you got Clymer and can you disconnect the CC?

I have looked at my Clymer for a 2003RS with ABS. The Speedo has a common connection to the Turn signal flasher unit and the Cruise controller. The ABS sensor feeds the ABS control unit and from there there is a take off of speedo pulses or control signals on pins 37 and 38. The Speedo also has a common line to the flasher unit and CC unit.

Normally, I would fault find this kind of problem with a 'scope on the pulse lines running the rear wheel on the stand. All I can suggest you try now is:

Clean the CC connector - does the problem stay or go away? (CC loading issue)
Clean the CC connector - check

Clean the flasher unit connector - does the problem stay or go away?
Remove the flasher connector - check

Remove the ABS controller connector, clean and replace. It's a bit of a fiddle to get at on the left side.

Whilst you are doing all this, a 'scope on the speedo pulse line will let you see if anything is changing or intermittent. The 'scope is a better tool and more sensitive to intermittent connections because you will see short breaks in signal, whereas the speedo needle will just smooth them out. On my older separate sensor non-cruise system, the speedo pulses are a full 12 volts peak to peak starting high at +12 volt when the wheel is not rotating.

You have alluded to flickering lights. That's a big worry on a bike with electronics and pulse sensitive circuitry. It could suggest ground wire problems. Are you sure the battery is good with clean terminals AND the second black ground IS connected to the battery? By good I mean could the battery be going open circuit, which would put a load of pulse hash from the alternator on the wiring?

What I said earlier still goes, but now I think you should solve the problem of getting the supply solid before moving on to instrumentation issues. If this is your real problem the next 'attack' might be the ECU, then you won't be riding anywhere!



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The CC circuit is also somehow connected to the Clutch and Brake levers switches, those can be temperamental.......but flickering lights, bad ground yes but maybe a defective relay somewhere. And them battery grounds...."Fils Noirs", snaking themselves way out of sight.... :(
Battery going bad......could it be one of the famous Gel Batteries, should read 12.8-12.9 V when charged, anything under that...... :wtf: I'm putting a link to some battery info, the charge charts are in there depending on battery types, lots of "good to know stuff" :
http://www.batteryfaq.org/

Bad ground.....I'd look first at the headlight grounds, BMW followed the world price on copper a few years back and went to much smaller wiring....never a good thing. I have already updated my headlight grounds, did not like what I was seeing there......! :( And there has been problems already reported with them.I think they changed to the smaller size around 2002-03.....World prices.....good for recyclers and copper thieves, bad for us! :(

Relays......On the earlier K-Bikes most of the relays were the same ,so you could switch them around and get a better idea as to what could be the problem. However I know where the relays are hiding now so,.....not so easy to do. On older cars we used to bypass them to test the circuits first, then we'd know if they were defective or not.And a bad ground may cook the relays too..... :twocents:

Speed sensors......some bikes like mine use the ABS sensor for that, others have a dedicated speed sensor on top of the final drive, depends on production dates....! And I think it may all be connected to the brain to give proper fuel/air mixture too.....! :confused:

So, looks like you may have to take some plastic off again, may I suggest one of them cordless screwdrivers.....! :)

I'm sending a good link to the parts catalogue, may help you figuring the relays and speed sensors out....!
I see you are getting good with the :) :) :)
:thumb: :thumb: :thumb:

http://www.maxbmwmotorcycles.com/fiche/fiche.aspx

:2beers:
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Voxmagna and h96669, thanks again for your advice. I have a lot of work ahead of me, and I will post results when progress warrants, or I have another question....
 

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:thumb: and check out them Mooses....! :D
 
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