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1200RT brake problem


flobti

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This week on the way home from work, I got a brake warning signal - General Warning Light Red & ABS Warning Lights flashing 4/sec.

 

For the 10 miles I had remaining, the brakes seems pretty much normal, but sometimes I couldn't put my finger on it, but things seems "wrong". I tried stopping & restarting to see if it would reset, but no luck. When I got home, I read the manual to find out, it meant I had no ABS and no power assist.

 

The next day, I decided to take it in to get it checked. To my surprise, no warning lights. I still decided to go to the dealer (about 25 miles - back roads - rush hour). Halfway there, the warning lights returned. At first, I had no problems with the brakes, but gradually, I was getting erradic brake behavior. What I finally realized is that the servo was intermittent. The problem was that if I pulled hard to get the residual brakes, the servo could suddenly pulse & that would be pretty scary, especially with no ABS. I kept my distance from other traffic, down shifted & finally made it to the dealer.

 

Now that I fully realize what was happening, I should have just called for a tow. However, the book doesn't mention this "intermittent" problem & just warns there is no ABS & no power assist. That situation would be much easier to deal with.

 

So far, no answer on what the problem is. Sort of shakes my confidence in the bike.

 

Anyone else had any similar experiences? Is this anything like what some were talking about the complaints in Germany?

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2005 R1200RT. Same warning in the first 400 miles. The wire for the front ABS was routed too near the front rotor and wore through. Normal servo braking remained, ABS was disabled. ABS Sensor/cable replaced by the dealer under warranty. Some other folks here have had similar issues. Works fine now.

 

Co

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Now that I fully realize what was happening, I should have just called for a tow.
I think that is a bit extreme. I have tested braking on my RT with the power off and the brakes work very well with no servo assist. So long as you know power isn't there you can prepare youself accordingly. With no servo assist the brakes on my R1200RT are far better than on my old 1984 R100RS.
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I think what made him think it should have been towed was when the power assist would kick in while he was squeezing down on the lever to use residual braking. I can see where that would be a bit scary. I don't know that suggesting towing a vehicle with a brake related malfunction is extreme. It's a personal judgment depending on ones tolerance of risk. Hopefully they get it squared away John and you'll be riding soon. These are machines that are going to break. It's unfortunate when it happens but it's going to happen to some of us. I only have 2600 miles on mine but they have been fun miles with only a few minor issues that didn't even require a visit to the dealership.

 

Now that I fully realize what was happening, I should have just called for a tow.
I think that is a bit extreme. I have tested braking on my RT with the power off and the brakes work very well with no servo assist. So long as you know power isn't there you can prepare youself accordingly. With no servo assist the brakes on my R1200RT are far better than on my old 1984 R100RS.
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Now that I fully realize what was happening, I should have just called for a tow.
I think that is a bit extreme. I have tested braking on my RT with the power off and the brakes work very well with no servo assist. So long as you know power isn't there you can prepare youself accordingly. With no servo assist the brakes on my R1200RT are far better than on my old 1984 R100RS.

 

I strongly disagree with you. There are too many uncertainties in the braking systems on these bikes to keep riding them when the behavior is erratic. As I read his post, I kept screaming to myelf: don't ride that bike! dopeslap.gif

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Yes, in hindsight, it was foolish to keep riding. And yes, David(& David), it was the fact that the servo would randomly kick in that made it impossible to fully access the residual brake power without fear of loosing control. I was fine as long as I didn't have to face any emergency situation - that's why I was foolish. dopeslap.gifdopeslap.gifdopeslap.gif

 

I know things can break, but I guess my biggest complaint is that the warning system was not accurate & didn't warn me accurately. It clearly said the situation was as Scott described, which would have made the bike still rideable.

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Co,

 

According the manual, the symptoms you describe should have given you a different warning. Your ABS lights should have blinked once per second & the General Warning Light red - that would indicate only loss of ABS. Is that the warning you got? Or did yours blink 4/sec, like mine did? That was indicate loss of power assist also.

 

Just wondering how accurate & reliable the warning system really is.

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What I find interesting is that anecdotally there have been far more problems reported with the new RT brakes than were reported with the new GS brakes. So far the GS brakes as a whole have proven to be reilable, and you'd think they'd be even more reliable on an RT, with that additional development time. As far as I know, the only difference between the two is additional residual braking. Kinda weird.

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Maybe that's because there have been more RT's sold in a shorter period of time than GS's confused.gif. Or maybe us RT buyers are just whiners and the GS folks just grin and bear it wink.gif

 

What I find interesting is that anecdotally there have been far more problems reported with the new RT brakes than were reported with the new GS brakes. So far the GS brakes as a whole have proven to be reilable, and you'd think they'd be even more reliable on an RT, with that additional development time. As far as I know, the only difference between the two is additional residual braking. Kinda weird.
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Co,

 

According the manual, the symptoms you describe should have given you a different warning. Your ABS lights should have blinked once per second & the General Warning Light red - that would indicate only loss of ABS. Is that the warning you got? Or did yours blink 4/sec, like mine did? That was indicate loss of power assist also.

 

Just wondering how accurate & reliable the warning system really is.

 

My apologies, you are correct. That's what I get for replying at midnight! Mine was a different problem.

 

Co

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Maybe that's because there have been more RT's sold in a shorter period of time than GS's confused.gif. Or maybe us RT buyers are just whiners and the GS folks just grin and bear it wink.gif

 

I would say it's the latter. And my condolences for having to step down in reliabilty. smile.gif

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What I find interesting is that anecdotally there have been far more problems reported with the new RT brakes than were reported with the new GS brakes. So far the GS brakes as a whole have proven to be reilable, and you'd think they'd be even more reliable on an RT, with that additional development time. As far as I know, the only difference between the two is additional residual braking. Kinda weird.

 

See UKGser.com for loads of discussion about the servo brakes on GS bikes

 

Paul

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Stopped by the dealer today. They duplicated the problem (at first, the brakes seemed to function normally) - said they had not seen another bike with this problem. Apparently, the Motronics did not give an adequate explanation of the problem - only showed increased pressure.

 

They already ordered & received a completely new brake unit - as of this morning, they were waiting for the OK to install from BMWNA. It should be ready tomorrow, hopefully. smile.gif

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I strongly disagree with you. There are too many uncertainties in the braking systems on these bikes to keep riding them when the behavior is erratic.
I missed the part where John said the servo was activating after the failure. Wow. I guess I skipped over it because it didn't make sense. The system is supposed stay off once it fails and can only be reset with a power cycle. What John is describing does not sound like a brake problem but power connection problem to the braking system. Of course the behavior of the brakes is a VERY serious side effect. Still, the computer should still shut down the circuit and leave it shut down. Given the symptoms I agree with you, BMW should have been made to come pick up the bike. Very scary.
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I sure hope the new unit gives you no trouble John. Of all the issues I've read about the servo assist brakes yours is the first to scare me a bit. Well after David pointed out the part of the post I missed. I guess if electrical power was intermittant the diagnostic would have shown it. I hope the failure you experienced is a one of a kind. Thanks for relaying it to us. thumbsup.gif

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  • 2 weeks later...

As of now, my problem has been resolved. After almost 2 weeks in the shop, they finally got BMWNA's approval to replace the whole brake unit. At first, they tried to bleed the lines in the unit itself, but the problem finally showed up again.

 

Since it has been fixed, I only have ridden it about 130 miles with no problems. I've been unable to ride it since, as I sent my seat to KonTour for custom seats. Can't wait to get them back, probably the end of next week.

 

It was indeed a scary problem. I'm sorry to hear of someone else with the same problem - makes it even scarier - I was hoping mine was just a freak occurence.

 

Good luck with yours!

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