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Brake failure warning


MLTDWN

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Was riding my '02 R1150RT today thru the mountains - been out of town for a couple of months and hadn't ridden it since. After about 15 miles the brake failure light started flashing and I lost my ABS braking. I looked at my owner's manual and saw no diagnostic cure since the other warning light wasn't on. Anyway the residual braking worked - it just took a much harder pull and it didn't stop easily. Turned around to cut my ride short and on the way home, the light stopped flashing and the ABS brakes came back. My dealer in Tucson is closed tomorrow and I'd like to fix it if I could. Does anyone one know if it's just low on fluid and is something I can do myself. Or is it something probably more complicated. Just seemed weird it came back on by itself. Can't say I'm much of a mechanic. Also does anyone know if it has to be some special BMW brake fluid or is something you can get at any motorcycle shop.

Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks.

CC Rider

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Checking the fluid levels is one way to start. Then change them.

 

There are articles over the web on how to do this but you will need a vacuum device to get the old one out. I use a Mityvac - I mean I haven't used it yet, but it's there in the box waiting to be used :D

 

Dan.

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OP - low fluid can cause this. If the flashing occured on a re-start, a sticking brake light switch can cause it too.

 

There are articles over the web on how to do this but you will need a vacuum device to get the old one out. I use a Mityvac - I mean I haven't used it yet, but it's there in the box waiting to be used :D

 

Dan.

 

I have carried out several fluid changes and I do not have a vacuum device - and BMW advise against use of them on the servo brakes - possibly to avoid dislodging seals on a very expensive unit. The article on this site under M/C FAQ is a good walk-through, the nearest thing to a vacuum device being a turkey baster.

 

Andy

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...the brake failure light started flashing and I lost my ABS braking. .CC Rider

 

 

Frightening eh!

 

I wish you all the best to resolve this.

Mine did the same and despite carefully running through checking brake light circuits, ABS sensor cicuits, Fluid level checks, fluid level changes. nothing solved the problem and I lost confidence in the braking ability of my bike as it almost killed me on a very winding coastal road. At that point I decided to remove the servo (search servoectomy). This was for me the single best mod I have done on my bike to give me more confidence.

 

I wish you all the best and hope your solution is successful. If you decide to go the route many of us have with the Servoectomy, just post and we will give you the walkthru's you need.

 

Keep us posted.

 

Andy

 

PS Dont' use a vacuum device to bleed through. just a conventional method.

 

Andy

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"...and I lost my ABS braking..." You actually lost your servo brakes, not just the ABS.

Sticking switches, dirty fluid in the ABS circuit, and low fluid levels are prime suspects.

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Morning CC Rider

 

With your “General warning light OFF, but the ABS warning light ON “ that is not a real meaningful failure code as it just means your motorcycle “Only” has residual braking in both circuits”. You really don’t need a warning light to tell you that do you?

 

That single “brake” warning light also means it gives you little information on the cause of the brake pump failure. That (single) warning light doesn’t usually point to low brake fluid or a sticking brake switch (those show a different failure light sequence) . Your “single light on” failure more points to a full pump failure, or low voltage to the brake controller pump.

 

You basically have a couple of ways to go on diagnosing the problem, one is to get your dealer to use their diagnostic computer to read the stored failure code (or codes), or find someone with a GS-911 code reader to grab the failure codes.

 

With you mentioning riding through the mountains and not riding the bike for a while—Any chance you were using the brakes a LOT and for extended times? If so maybe just a low power to the ABS pump problem. That ABS pump takes a lot of power to operate and if you were using the brakes a lot for long extended decels you might have lowered the battery voltage to below the brake controller’s low voltage threshold (that will give you that single brake failure light). That will also usually allow the brake system to return to normal powered operation as the brakes are used less and the battery voltage increases.

 

If you are really worried about the cause of failure then get your dealer to read the failure code or codes for you (no way to do that at home without a GS-911).

 

Your other option is to ride the bike normally without doing a lot of extended braking to see if the light stays off. If it does then you probably just used the brakes too much and too long on that mountain ride. The early 02 1150RT’s had a service bulletin on using the brakes too long in some situations. The later 1150RT’s (after serial number ZE 87455) or software version 9 or later used an energy saver incorporated into the ABS pump system.

 

 

 

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  • 4 months later...

Moring Rick

 

Welcome to the board----

 

We need way more info from you—such as what are you working on, what do you want to end up with, do you want to install new front & rear brake light switches or make a relay contraption in place of the ABS controller.

 

Please give up a little history on your problems and where you are headed with this.

 

Technically you have hijacked this thread so maybe start a new thread so we can keep YOUR problem separated from helping the original poster here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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