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Could somebody please explain the canbus system to me in layman's terms?

Also, is this the system used on my '04 RT?


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First off, you do not have Canbus on an '04. From my I understanding the Canbus system is so the wiring loom of the bike can use fewer wires. Someone a lot smarter than me will chime in soon.

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Think of the CAN (Controller Area Network) as a computer like network that the various controllers use to share information. For instance, the ABS controller receives signals from the brake switches to turn on the brake lights. The ABS controller does not directly control the brake lights, the ZFE (central vehicle electrics) does. The ABS controller "tells" the ZFE to turn on the brake lights via the CAN bus. There are many different signals etc. sent over the CAN bus depending on what the bike is doing at the time. The CAN system is useful in that it reduces the number of wires needed for all the controllers on the bike to communicate with each other. As the complexity of the bikes and cars increases, this sharing of information between controllers is necessary. Despite what you may have read, the CAN bus DOES NOT control the accessory socket or anything else on the bike. CAN bus is a pipeline for information exchange only, the control modules do all the turning on and off of accy. sockets, lights etc.


NO, your 2004 R1150RT does not have CAN bus. The individual controllers do not share information the same way that the newer machines do.


Hope this helps!

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If you're still interested (as mentioned your bike doesn't have it) PM me your email address and I send you a scan of a great article explaining the BMW control modules and their implementation of the CAN-BUS communication protocol.

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