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When servicing your own bike


Lawman

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I have been wondering the same thing, i guess we can change oil, change tires when needed with a little help, if a person knows what to do, the only time we need to take to bmw shop is for the 12,24 or yearly insp.or if something elect. or the computer screws up. I guess the cost of Maint. is the price we pay for riding a BMW. I would still like to do some of it and learn more about what makes my RT tick.

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The way I see it there are two basic catagories of need for dealer diagnostic equipment. The first is where the equipment can help to troubleshoot a problem more quickly (as in pointing to a front wheel sensor in an ABS problem, or a bad TPS in a driveability problem, etc.) but isn't strictly necessary in order to repair the problem. The second is when the equipment is mandatory, as when the computer must be used to set up for an adjustment or repair, or when the ECU must be reconfigured/reset/etc. in order to complete a repair.

 

Note that 'public domain' test tools are freely available for all later-model OBDII automobiles but unfortunately that is not the case for most motorcycles. The more the bike needs the outboard diagnostic equipment the more this matters. Also note that on the 1100 bikes Motronic and ABS fault codes could be read with simple home-brew tools, and while the 1150 bikes lost this ability they still aren't dependant on diagnostic tools for any kind of normal service or repairs. Now look at the current generation of bikes. I don't like the trend. And BTW, lest it appear otherwise I'm definitely not against electronic diagnostics per se, I think they're a marvelous tool to have at your disposal. But only if they're at your disposal and not just the dealer's.

 

So anyway, I have the same question as you, but mostly interested in situations where case #2 exixts and I would be SOL without the diagnostic tool. That would be a deal-killer for me when considering purchase of the bike unless the anticipated need for the equipment would be very rare. But since the new bikes are still so new (and BMW is typically not very candid on this topic) I don't know if we really have much of a handle on this type of information yet.

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Good question, Billy. On your RT, basically anything computer related is reserved for the dealer. These include brake bleed tests, fault monitoring and anything specific to CANBUS and engine electronics.

 

All things mechanical are within the grasp of anyone with moderate mechanical abilities. Valve adjustments, TB sync, belt changes, tire changes, brake bleeding, swingarm and rear drive maintenance are all easily accomplished by do-it-yourselfers.

 

Our own Tech Daze events are a great place to start. Many of the members of this website volunteer their time to teach others how to service their own motorcycles. All one has to do is hook up with one of these events and they're on their way.

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Ben Peeples

Techno research (sp) makes compter diagnostic software for the ducati. It works well. I am surprised that no one makes it for the BMW. I've done all of my own maintenance and just completed the 42,000 mi. service. At 72,000 I will let BMW replace the alternator belt as it was a PIA.

Ben

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...Valve adjustments, TB sync, belt changes, tire changes, brake bleeding, swingarm and rear drive maintenance are all easily accomplished by do-it-yourselfers...

 

I thought TB sync and ABS brake bleeds needed the use of the GT1.

 

parking stepper motors for TB sync and modulating ABS for the brake bleed.

 

Have we got around those requirements or do we just not think it's necessary to bother with?

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Ignore the stepper motors and the idle. Just sync at 3.5-4k after you set the valves. All will be well. grin.gif

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Thanks..guys...Seems like all routine maintenance can be done without sacrifice without the benefit of the computer. I'm anxious to at least learn to adjust valves and possibly see a brake bleed at Limecreek's next month..I think I would enjoy my bike more if I felt competent to do most or all the preventive maintenance..Just something about being able to do it myself and doing it the way I think it should be done that adds to my satisfaction..Also, if I have a samll problem while on a trip I might be able to help myself...Knowing a little about my bike would just give me a little more self confidence..Thanks...

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I thought TB sync and ABS brake bleeds needed the use of the GT1.

 

parking stepper motors for TB sync and modulating ABS for the brake bleed.

 

Have we got around those requirements or do we just not think it's necessary to bother with?

 

Yes and no. You can do the TB sync as Marty says by ignoring the idle sync and sync the cable at 3-4k. The steppers are self adjusting and don't need to be sync'd at all.

 

As for bleeding, it's not a problem to do the bleed process without the computer. You just need it to perform the bleed test. After I do my routine maintenance, I drop in at a dealer and ask them to read the codes (bleed test is part of this). Some dealers will do it for free, some charge around $35. Regardless, you get the computer readout and the service is complete.

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