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R1150RS Light Switch... No Low/High Beam


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Just recently purchased a 2003 R1150 RS with 37,900 miles on it. Overall the bike is in very good condition.

However one problem was that someone had tried repair the no low/high beam problem by installing a toggle switch using splices in the harness.


Silly mess, lazy mechanic.


High dollar switch used.

So the next step is to find out if the left hand combo light switch is repairable. Removed the switch and two screws from the back to open it up.

See the two square red boxes showing the location of screws.


The first screw was easy to find, however it would not come apart, then I found the second screw under the BMW production label.


The next few photos show how dirty the contacts were, used electro-cleaner to clean out and re-assembled the 12 year switch.









Switch cleaned up real nice, once together I tested the switch to confirm no broken wires and contacts did there thing.

Now time to reconnect and test low/high beam and be so proud of myself.


Well low and behold, big nada, nothing, no go, ain’t happening. Well I do have a clean switch and that’s it. What to do?

I have found that there really is not much love out there in the forum world for us lonely RS guys. Very little info like the RT or GS guys.

So I now asking for anyone who might have come across this before to chime in.

The process of elimination is as:


  • Ignition On
  • Hazard Lights work.
  • Horn works.
  • Left turn signal works.
  • Low beam does not come on.
  • High beam does not come on.
  • Momentary passing light works.


I am well aware of the poorly designed (small gauge wires) used by BMW to power up the headlight system. I would like to fix this problem before I run a larger 14 or 12 gauge wire through two relays to fix this. By repairing the problem I will then know that I don’t have some other surprise waiting to happen down the road.

At the connector between the switch and wire harness I have the following:

  • White wire for low beam 0 volts.
  • White/yellow wire for high beam 0 volts.
  • Green/blue wire for monetary 12 volts.
  • Brown wire ground/earth wire check out, no shorts.
  • Yelow/brown wire Hazard 12 volts.
  • Brown/yellow wire Horn 12 volts.
  • Blue/violte wire Left Turn Signal 12 volts.


20150824_183924-L.jpg 20150824_183937-L.jpg


I really don't want to start cutting ties and unwrapping the bundle to find this problem and I know that it's not a fuse because there is not one for the lights on this year model.


Any and all suggestion are greatly appreciated.

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Afternoon BeachGuy


Your headlight has (2) separate power inputs. The flash to pass is powered directly from the ign switch & the low/hi beam is powered from the Load Relief Relay.


Are you getting 2 power inputs???



My guess is: you now have power coming in from the White/Yellow wire but not from the Green/blue wire.


You need to see power into the high/low beam switch on BOTH the

White/Yellow wire and the Green/blue wire.


If no power into the hi/lo switch on Green/blue wire then make sure you have full time 12v B+ going to the load relief relay & ALSO that the load relief relay has 12v to it with key on.


Then verify load relief relay is good & working correctly.


The load relief relay uses the starter solenoid as it's ground path so make sure the starter solenoid small wire is connected.


If your bike came without a factory headlight switch then there is (was supposed to be anyhow) a jumper in the R/H handlebar switch pod that supplies the Green/blue wire with power from the load relief relay.

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If your bike came without a factory headlight switch then there is (was supposed to be anyhow) a jumper in the R/H handlebar switch pod


It possible that the RH switch cluster has been replaced with a European switch cluster that has an extra switch for turning off the headlight!!!!! In my case I rewired this extra switch to control my PIAA aux driving lights.


This extra switch, if you have it, would be about 2" to the left of the heated handgrip switch.



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Thanks all for the replies, haven't had time to work on this problem last couple of days. In reply here is what I found.

1 The green/ blue wire on the switch is the only one of three that has power.

2 I do have a 3 way switch on the right hand combo switch. The bottom indicator shows a symbol O at the bottom.

3. I won't be able to check these wires until tomorrow, but I'm guessing the switch is a dirty as the left hand one.


I will follow up tomorrow.


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The saga continues!


Ok then, after a full day in a very hot shop here is what I have concluded.

I have a dead wire somewhere in the wiring loom between the right hand combo switch and the left combo switch. I believe that the right hand combo switch is a European switch. I don’t know this for sure so I’m attaching a photo of it and maybe one of you experienced people can tell me.

Right Hand combo switch: 2003 R1150 RS


Left Hand combo switch: same bike of course.


Wiring Schematic that I used, and appears to be correct.


Here is where my problem lies, Regardless of which position I have the 3 position right hand switch in, I cannot get the passing (momentary switch) light to work. I’m not sure if it's one of the two switches (left or right)or if its in the wiring itself.

I have been able to use a jumper wire from power to the switch make the the momentary switch work. By doing this the High Beam will come on and off as I toggle the switch.

Any ideas, has someone had this problem before?


Now for a second great awakening who can tell me what this electrical connector on the right hand side under the plastic fairing is for?. I have it boxed off in White and Red colors. It’s called a carrier in the part book and is the same attachment point that the connectors for the lights from the right hand combo switch is on.




The large Red wire with white strip appears to be switched power. That would be great for future uses. Presently nothing is attached as per the evidence of road dirt.

Many thanks in advance.


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Evening BeachGuy


Any history on that bike, IE any chance it is a European import?


The non-US (European) uses a slightly different headlight set up & uses a light relay.


As for your blue connector?-- I'm not that familiar with the RS wire harnesses. I could probably look it up in one of my older BMW factory wire prints but we first need to determine what bike you have (A US or European gray market import)

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WRT not much love...

Bikers Oracle started as R 1100 RS group, may help w/an 1150.

When I had my R 1100 RSL I frequented the site.

Not current but they were helpful and based in UK may have insight on Euro version.

Best wishes.

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As for your blue connector?-- I'm not that familiar with the RS wire harnesses.


On the R1150RT there is a 4 pin connector with those identical color wires that ties into an optional alarm.

Red/white is un-switched power

Brown is ground

Blue/red goes to left flasher

Blue/black goes to right flasher


No RS wiring diagrams available but seems likely.




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On an 1150RT.. that sure looks like the "optional equipment connector" on the left side under the mirror. Same exact wire colors and if memory serves, the same connector. Per my RT and the schematic and Stan, it is un-switched power. In fact, this is where I stole power for my GPS.




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Well, I typed in the last 7 numbers into realoem.com part page and it came up as a US built bike. However no guarantees that this is correct. You may have info that I don't so here's a photo of the VIN tag. Any help?




I am checking out the Bikers Oracle now to see what I might gain.


Thanks Guys


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Afternoon BeachGuy


Yes, that does look like a US tag as it mentions federal & has weight in pounds.


So it sort of sounds like the on/off switch was added.

I presume it also doesn't have a lighting relay?


This is s long convoluted thread so can you tell us where you are at now & EXACTLY what power it is lacking where.

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