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R1200RT Brake failure !


vincentbob

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Had my bike booked in for a new set of front brake disks to be fitted under warranty (4000 miles, one disk 0.001" runout, the other 0.010"?), symptoms came on quickly without any event I can recall that might have caused it. Then just yesterday I had an EWS error message and an erratic speedo problem, contacted the dealer and was advised that it was probably a glitch in the software that they would investigate when they were changing the disks. But today on my way home the instruments suddenly started giving every error message in the book, I tried to stop but had no brake servo. It was nearly a trouser filling event, lucky it didn't happen during my 1300 mile tour of Scotland last week, with full luggage and the wife on the back.

The emergency assistance BMW rep cam out and said that "it looks like an instrument/Canbus failure?, but these problems can be intermitent", so its being trailered to the dealer for investigation. I asked if the braking system was linked with the Canbus, as I am quickly losing confidence in this system. He repied that it is linked and needs the Canbus to be working, he suspects a bad earth. I can understand the ABS perhaps needing Canbus, but to tie a basic function such as brakes into the electronics without back up is dangerous. Anyone who understands anything about control system safety knows that that is not a good idea. The Rep also claimed that my warped disks were the first he had heard of!.

I will be asking the question again, but it seems a bit of a coincidence that two things should fail at the same time.

The bike still runs, despite the instumentation going haywire, and the brakes not working.

Has anyone else had similar problems?

I will update when I know more.

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John Bentall

Yes, I've had the ABS failure light come on linked with a totally inoperative speedo. Since the speedo is driven off the ABS sensor, this is often due to the ABS sensor wire having chafed through after a tyre has been fitted elsewhere than a BMW dealer. In fact this issue has prompted on of the recalls. Since tyres had just had the changed at a quick-fit place I suspected ......

But the next time I switched on all was well and it has not happen since. And this failure was NOT LOGGED in the fault code store.

At the time of the failure I could not tell whether the servo had stopped as well - I was riding slowly!!!

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Bob--

 

There have been, apparently, a small number of failures like this. One thing for everyone to remember, should you be among the unlucky few, is that there is a "residual braking" function that remains available if you lose servo assist.

 

It requires a lot more effort to brake the motorcycle, but you can still generate a fair amount of braking force without the servos. I'm sure it's more than alarming, but if the rider is aware of this it's a manageable emergency.

 

Please report back to us once you learn the cause. There is currently a BMW recall campaign underway to address two problems. It would be interesting to know if your problem was caused by one of these issues.

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This will sound like preaching and has probably been covered before; but:

 

If you are riding a BMW with servo-assisted brakes you should try stopping with the engine off, coasting in neutral. Find a quiet street and try it from different speeds beginning at about 20 mph. This will give you a good idea of what to expect should you experience a brake failure, or otherwise loose the servo-assist.

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Also, if a bad ground is suspected, check the obvious: the connection at the battery!

(Seems there have been a couple of loose ones recently...)

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Hi and welcome to the board wave.gif

 

Which dealer did you get the bike from? If it is Pidcocks, Keith will give you straight information as to what went wrong and we look forward to discovering the problems.

As other have said, there is a residual braking mechanism - totally mechanical - it just needs a LOT more effort than the servo brakes. In tests I got the front to just lift the rear wheel and the rear brake to lock up the back. In residual mode there is no linking or ABS.

 

Perhaps when you are back on the road we could meet up for a ride? I live near Market Bosworth and work in Leicester.

 

Cya, Andy thumbsup.gif

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Interesting! Rode 70 miles last week, parked the bike, then when I got rolling, the 'brake failure' light did not go out. Instead it started flashing at 4 per second, with warning triangle signal, all of which is a deep doo-doo alert brake-wise.

 

Called dealer, who said contact BMW recovery. But as I was on a quiet road, rode the bike a ways, and all braking functions apparently worked normally. Rode straight to dealer who checked it out, and nothing apparently wrong. They cleared the fault code.

 

Have done 400 miles since, and everything normal.

 

I really can do without false alarms, and I have to say the entire episode was unsettling. Suppose I had been touring…

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You might have triggered it by not having the brake leverl fully extended (brakes not applied) when you started the bike. That'll cause the fault you described.

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This will sound like preaching and has probably been covered before; but:

 

If you are riding a BMW with servo-assisted brakes you should try stopping with the engine off, coasting in neutral. Find a quiet street and try it from different speeds beginning at about 20 mph. This will give you a good idea of what to expect should you experience a brake failure, or otherwise loose the servo-assist.

 

+1 here. I found an untraveled 1/4 mile long hill and practiced turning off the power and braking from various speeds (going downhill). The hill allows more practice at a lower speed, and allows you to almost stop and keep rolling without having to restart immediately.

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Thanks for that thought Rider, and it's a good one. Actually, I had heard about this, so did a number of hands-off re-starts before I started grinding my teeth in earnest. Error signal would not go away though. I think this was a genuine gremlin.

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Hi all, thanks for all the comments. I got the bike from Balderstone BMW in Peterborough as they gave me the best deal, I got it last November. The worrying thing is that it started on tuesday with a spurious EWS alarm message which indicates that an incorrect key is being used that has failed the immobiliser test?, despite the fact that the engine was running, and I was travelling down the road at the time. The speedo also oscillated between 0 and whatever speed I was actually doing. After stopping and restarting the problem went away. The next time it happened, today, the EWS alarm was followed by numerous other messages and symbols, occillating speedo and tacho, and failure of the servo.

When I try to start now, there is no display at all, no servo operation, yet the engine starts, and when started the display begins to function with all the error messages as previosly mentioned.

The battery terminals are tight, and all the lights, side stand interlock, screen etc all work ok.

The bike is being collected tomorrow and taken to the nearest dealer, Pidcocks in Longeaton. I hope it won't take long to fix, as I need it for daily transport.

Having said that, and all that has been said about residual braking, I must say that the effort needed to bring it to a stop without the servo is considerable, and I will want a pretty good explaination as to how such a major component as the brakes can be subject to the vagaries of a computer glitch.

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Having said that, and all that has been said about residual braking, I must say that the effort needed to bring it to a stop without the servo is considerable

 

Agree with that. My 1200GS residual braking was quite good - wooden and a bit slow to get going but quite effective.

 

I find the residual on the RT quite scary - I must go out and try it again. Still don't fancy it 2 up with luggage though. ooo.gif

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Good news ???!!!, Yes, the dealer also found that the brake servo was not operating, and the instruments were haywire, but fortunately all they had to do was reload the software, and the system returned to normal.

No faults found that caused the problem, just a software glitch. Phew, I was worried for a moment.

Seriously, the only thing keeping the servo operating is the software. I hope someone better than Microsoft designed it. There is no back up other than the residue braking, which I'm sorry if others think is fine, I think its S***. I bought the bike on the back of all the claims that BMW made about its "Safe braking" system, ABS / Servo and all that.

The dealer also fitted the Brake Banjo and ABS cable clips, subject of a recall. Funny, I don't remember being recalled about any Brake related safety issue (I had of course heard here). I wonder what effect a massive flow restiction to the front brakes will have upon the s*** residual braking. What do you think.

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FYI - Apparently the Canadian recall for banjo bolt and sensor cable routing has just been sent out. Recall notices:

 

06-118 : banjo bolt

06-089 : sensor cable routing

 

cheers. sb

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