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HES LEssons Learned and Screw Ups

Jim Moore

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I have been trying to fix a problem with my bike (02 R1150GS). It has been losing power in the rain. I finally got around to replacing the HES. It was a little more complicated and frustrating than I expected, but I have a few lessons learned to share.


There appear to be two versions of the HES, a five-wire version and a four wire version. For recognition purposes, the four-wire version also has a 2-inch plastic sheath about halfway along the wire. I think the five-wire HES is generally used on the 1100 series, and the 4 wire HES is generally used on the 1150 series. I say "generally" because all the older documentation on the HES shows the five wire version and all the new HES's that you see are the four wire version. However, my bike had a five wire HES as original equipment. The replacements for the 1150 I got from beemer boneyard and from Euro Motoelectrics were both the four wire versions. The four wire version works fine on my bike when installed correctly. More on that in a minute.


As most of you know, the 1100 series bikes had a significant HES failure rate. Th 1150, not so much. I'm sure it's because of the redesigned HES. Unfortunately for you 1150 owners, it appears that you may or may not have the highly desired four wire HES on your bike. If you have a five wire HES, I'm afraid you are still susceptible to the HES-failure-in-the-rain syndrome. Next time you have your tank off, you may want to check the connector for the HES and count the wires. The connector plugs in just behind the coil. If you have a five wire HES, you may want to consider carrying a spare.


Now, on to the screw-ups. I had a very difficult time aligning the steel cup, the pulley, and the HES sensors. If you end up with the cup and pulley misaligned, the cup will quickly (like immediately) chew up the sensors and destroy them. Of the six times I had the pulley off over the past four days, I managed to get it wrong three times. That's after screwing it up the first time and really concentrating on getting right. I may have a slightly bent pulley, or a bent cup, or something. In any event, when you take that pulley off, take great pains to ensure it is on correctly. Turn the engine by hand a few times and listen for a scraping noise from underneath the pulley. If the bike screeches like you have a loose alternator belt when you start it, shut it off immeediately.


It cost me a few bucks to learn these lessons. Hopefully the lessons learned will help someone out.

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