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ESA jam fixed

John Bentall

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I recently had my daughter on the back and set the ESA onto full load (two helmets).

On our return 3 days later, I was unable to reset the pre-load - though the damping adjustment was fine.

My dealer told me that the rear had overshot its operating parameters when the pre-load was set and then refused to adjust further. He had a fix program supplied by BMW that allows the strut to operate outside its normal parameters and to "unjam" itself. I have now be able to reset the ESA back to normal load (1 helmet).


The story I was told was that BMW shipped a batch of bikes with a "transportation only" washer in or on the rear strut and that caused the ESA to "jam". The software fix allowed the problem to be sorted.


Hope this helps someone.

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So they made a "software fix" for a hardware problem? Why don't they just remove the washer?


Sorry to sound cynical John, but my rear shock demonstrated similar problems to yours, with the damping adjustment failing shortly after (front and rear). I suspect something upstream is the problem, as all ESA functionality has failed.


I received a call the day before yesterday telling me the rear shock is faulty (at 7000km!) They said they tried to "reprogram" the shock, but their box wouldn't communicate with the shock. So it's a replacement.


I should have my bike back next week sometime. Will let you know.


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My machine is a 2005 with 64,000km on the clock when it demonstrated the first ESA problem last weekend. One can only hope the dealer received plently of advice from BMW Australia and the Berlin factory before deciding to replace the shock. I suppose if the diagnostics/comms fail totally and there is no fault stored then the dealer cannnot even try the fix that I received.


Hope it all works out.



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  • 3 weeks later...

Thanks John. As you saw in the other thread, they replaced mine. It seems to be working okay, but on a couple of occasions today I got an "ESA!" caption on the MFD briefly, when turning the ignition on.


Although the shock is still working (less than 100km since replacement), it seems my bike is heading down the same path again....


And to top it off, I filled my tank today and the fuel gauge says I have 1/4 of a tank....


DOUBLE DRAT!!!! :dopeslap::P

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