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Red warning light


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Had a problem on Monday with the oil pressure switch, see thread:




At that time the oil warning light and other red warning light marked "!" came on. I have now fixed the oil warning light, but now I'm having trouble with ABS warning light and the main warning light.


When I start up and set off, the ABS light flashes fast for a few hundred yards (no servo on brakes) then it all settles down the ABS light goes off and the brakes work fine, but the "!" warning light comes on and stays on. The bike rides fines, but it's a little disconcerting..... Ideas?


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The general warning light being steadily lit means that either the taillight or stoplight has failed. You have to check the filiaments visualy as the ABS unit controls both of these and if one bulb fails it uses the other at reduced intensity as the tail light, increasing the intensity when a brake is applied.


The fast flash is probably a sticky brakelight switch - the front often gets a bit sticky due to gunk building up under the boot by the master cylinder. These tend to weep slightly leading to this crud. With the bike indicating the ABS fail (fast flash) try pushing the front brake lever forward, to see if this corects it - check the brakelight operation whilst you do this.


The rear beake switch can also get road gunk or small stones in it, stopping the switch from releasing, though this would not normaly self-correct after a short-time as you are seeing.





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OK... checked tail light bulb and brake light bulb and both are OK.


Pushed back front bake level...

Switched on ignition, ABS=Fast_Flash for a few seconds then ABS=Steady_Flash.


Start engine, ABS=Steady_Flash


Move off and after a few yards ABS=OFF.


Use of front brake OK, brake light works OK.

Use of rear brake OK, brake light works OK, but Main "!" warning light comes on...????



The front/rear brake affect can be seen when bike is stationary.



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Andrew, did you actually remove the rear bulb(s) & look at it/test it?



On the 02 RT,, the rear brake & tail light can still appear to work even if the tail light filament is burnt out.. The IABS computer just brings the brake light on at about ½ brightness to act as the tail light so it looks like it (the tail light) is still working.. When the IABS computer does this it also lights the dash general warning light..



If you don’t have a burnt out tail light I would be surprised.. If all the rear lights are good (& test good) maybe you knocked something loose when you installed that oil temperature switch (how much did you take apart to get to the switch)..





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I removed both bulbs and tested with a multimeter. When I apply either brake a red light comes on at the back, not sure which bulb it is...

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Andrew, it’s usually the tail light that causes the dash light problem.. The IABS controller notices the tail light is not working so brings a brake light on at1/2 power to act as a tail light,, then lights the dash general light to tell the rider..



Might be a tail light bulb problem,, or could be a problem in the tail light circuit not sending power to the tail light.. (tail light fuse good?)


Test all the bulbs in the rear,, then use your multi meter (or test light) to verify power to the tail light contact in the rear socket assembly..


Not sure on the UK version but on the US version should be the two bulbs in the center of the rear light assembly.. The two outers are turn signals & the center lower is tail light with the center upper being brake light..


I suppose there is also the possibility you knocked something loose up front when you were changing the oil temperature switch..





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I suppose there is also the possibility you knocked something loose up front when you were changing the oil temperature switch..

No the "!" light came on a few seconds after the oil light first came on.


The bottom bulb (tail-light) is on and working.


The top bulb (brake-light) comes on when I use the front or rear brake, but only the back brake causes the "!" warning light to come on.


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Andrew, not real sure what you have there..


I’m not familiar with the UK bike differences so maybe there is a UK different usage of that general warning light compared to the US bikes..


As far as the US side goes it is usually the rear tail light bulb that brings on the general warning light if there is not other ABS flashing lights to go with it.. (the general light will come in conjunction with some ABS faults)


I have worked with a fellow about a year ago by E-Mail (US 1150RT) that had a similar problem to yours,, general light stayed on all the time..

I had him go through & check all the rear lights & socket contacts.. Same as you he said all was OK..

He asked for more suggestions & about all I could think of was a rear bulb that was out of spec or a low voltage battery..

I suggested he change out the rear bulbs & have the battery load tested..

-He changed the rear bulbs & installed a new battery,, then about a week later E-Mailed me back that the light was now working OK.. I still don’t know if it was the bulb change,, or the new battery,, or if neither & the problem just went away on it’s own..


I guess the rear bulb change would be cheap enough & if that doesn’t cure the problem you would end up with spare bulbs for the future..


Maybe get a battery load test from a local bike shop..


If you are close to a BMW dealer you could have them pull the ABS codes & see if the system shows you a fault..


Otherwise,, hopefully someone has run across this before & can shed some further light on this for you..




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About the only difference between US and UK spec bikes is that US bikes have an evaporative recovery system and the headlight dips the wrong way.


My experience is that 90% of electrical faults are either corroded connectors or bad earths (grounds). I would remove the stoplight bulb and clean it up, then check the harness from the rear brakelight switch to the ABS unit. A new bulb cannot hurt - as the ABS unit detects failure by measuring voltage, any high resistance in the path could just push it over the 'fail' threshold.



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Thanks Twisty, I'll try another bulb. Battery was new 6 months ago, but was a warranty replacement after the previous one died after 11 months.....


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  • 1 month later...

The red light continued to come on intermittently whenever I touched the rear brake. I changed the bulbs but it didn't help. I think I have now traced the problem to a faulty rear brake-light switch which I hope to replace this week.....


No I've got clutch trouble :-(

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  • 2 weeks later...

Red light was on constantly Monday, and I had no back brake which was a real pain as I was riding home in a blizzard. I ordered a new brake light switch but they sent me one for an "r1150" not an "r1150RT", so now I have to wait for that to arrive!


Now I've got an oil leak and it's cold and due to snow again :-(

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