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Thread: Hexhead question from an Oilhead guy

  1. #1
    Rally Rat RTRandy's Avatar
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    Hexhead question from an Oilhead guy

    Yesterday I was getting serious about buying an 07RT so I had a long visit with my local dealer to hash out all the issues.

    One of their respected mechanics told me, knowing I like to add a lot of stuff, that it's far more difficult to add devises because of the electrical Canbus system. For example, he told me the flashing LED tail light replacement messes up the ABS so it's virtually impossible to add stuff like that. He told me I can't put the kind of switch I have for my Motolights on a Hexhead. I told him I would want to get a new Zumo for this bike and he told me the BMW Nav III is the easiest to mate with the RT since it was made for the bike. The Nav III retails for about $1,300 and I'm not sure it's a better unit at twice the price for a Zumo.

    We discussed using a Canbus helper system and he said while there were several out there, not all work well. He said the one from Touratech seems to be the best he had worked with.

    So what's the deal? Anybody come across similar problems?

    Here's my wish list for extras:
    Autocom
    Valentine 1
    Zumo
    Motolights
    I assume there are already outlets for my Gerbings electric liner.

    What have you Hexhead owners learned or done regarding add ons and what should I expect if I indeed pull the trigger and buy one of these bad boys?
    Last edited by RTRandy; 06-02-2007 at 10:06 PM.

  2. #2
    charleshickman
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    Canbus issues

    There is an outlet below the rider seat on my '06 r1200gs, but forget a Gerbing. The outlet is programed for 5 amps. My jacket with a controller shuts it down after one flash. I bought an additional accessory socket for the front of the bike, but it plugs into the same circuit as the under seat socket. Same 5 amp, total, capacity. what most people seem to be doing is adding an accessory fuse panel connected directly to the battery. I have a Centech to install tomorrow, so I can use my jacket on my planned trip to Alaska. I would note that some people have been able to use their Gerbing jacket with the stock socket, but their must be some variability in the actual shut down current level. Like I said, my controller flashes once and it shuts down.

    Note to BMW if you listening, "A 5 amp accessory socket is not sufficient. The accessory socket on my '02 r1150r was fused at 15 amps, and that was acceptable."

  3. #3
    Rally Rat
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    At one point in the '06 RT manual it says 5 amps, and at another it says 10 amps from the accessory outlets. However, I can run an Airman Sparrow compressor (which I believe draws more than 5) with no problem.

  4. #4
    Bede
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    05 RT add ons for the canbus

    I added Hyperlites, no problem.

    I have a Zumo. I used the connector that is used for the BMW/Garmin unit. It is under the handelbars see the thread

    http://www.k-bikes.com/forums/showthread.php?t=4648

    I bought the connector at Max BMW Motorcycles PN:83300413585

    I have had no issues with heated clothing, Gerbing liner.

    Per the owners manual the sockets are 10A. Tapping elsewhere into the canbus system can be lower at 5A. Of course there is always connecting directly to the battery which has no limitations.

    Bede

  5. #5
    Rally Rat RTRandy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 69974 View Post
    Tapping elsewhere into the canbus system can be lower at 5A. Of course there is always connecting directly to the battery which has no limitations.

    Bede
    I was back at the dealer today and the mechanic told me pretty much the same thing. He can pigtail the outlet directly to the battery and put a 20amp fuse in the line so it should handle pretty much anything.

  6. #6
    Registered User MOTOR31's Avatar
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    Is there room under the seat to make and place your own bus bar? You can tap it directly from the battery then ground to the frame for the item being powered. Using a heavy guage wire from the positive battery terminal to a small bus you can set whatever accessory you want to the secondary bus.
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  7. #7
    Two Bricks Shy of a Load RocksforBrains's Avatar
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    Accessories added to 12RT

    I have a 2005 R1200RT. I have added hyperlites (flashing LED brake lights) and have had zero issues w/ Canbus or ABS. Hyperlites makes a specific version for the R1200RT. They work fine. I just added a Touratech Canbus helper and wired in my Sirius Satellite radio with no problems. I attached the trigger wire to one of the front "city lights" using a do-dad from Twisted Throttle so I didn't have to splice into the harness. Works great. From reading this forum it is clear that you have to be more careful adding accesories to the hexheads that the oilheads, but it has been done by many people. Check on the BMW Sport Touring site as well. There have been many threads about how to do this on that site.

    Kurt

  8. #8
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    I'm always amazed at the misinformation given by some dealers.
    I have added all the things you spoke off with no problem whatsoever.
    I have an 07 R1200RT. I installed the motolights with no problems. I did use a switch to control them. On my 1150 I was able to use the autoswitch wired to my turn signal cancelation button. I don't think that's an option with the 07.
    I wired my Zumo straight to the battery and it works perfectly. I added the hyperlites last week and again no problem. I also wired the front outlet to the battery (fused) so I could use my Gerbings and not worry about the amp limits.
    Everything works fine with no abs faults and I ride a lot.

    Bill
    07R1200RT

  9. #9
    Registered User easy's Avatar
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    I have a '06 with no issues regarding the Zumo. I think he is just trying to sell you the BMW model and make a little extra money, which would lead me to question his credibility. My Zumo wired directly to the battery works very well. On occasion, I also hook up my heated vest or cell phone to the accessory outlet up front with no problem.

    I put another accessory outlet in the back wired direct to the battery to accept my battery tender. That one works well also.

    I dont know how to answer the other questions, but he is flat wrong about the Nav. recommendation. Sounds like he is trying to navigate to your wallet.

    What does he say about final drive fluid change?

    Easy

  10. #10
    Cannonball Rider #52 darrylri's Avatar
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    The non-RT CANbus bikes have a 5amp limit on the accessory socket, which is not enough to run a Gerbings liner. The RT is supposed to have 10amp sockets. I removed mine on my '07 R1200ST and installed a Powerlet pigtail from the battery. I have also installed a Brake! tail/brake light, and they have models specifically for the various CANbus bikes. The one for my ST just plugged in and worked.

    If you want to add more stuff to your bike, you'll want to follow others' advice about putting in a separate fused box and getting any switched power from a relay. Your aftermarket items will have to have their own separate wiring system.
    --Darryl Richman, forum liaison
    http://darryl.crafty-fox.com

  11. #11
    just hangin' out 2bikemike's Avatar
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    Talking Experts?

    Quote Originally Posted by billfiler View Post
    I'm always amazed at the misinformation given by some dealers.
    I have added all the things you spoke off with no problem whatsoever.
    I have an 07 R1200RT. I installed the motolights with no problems. I did use a switch to control them. On my 1150 I was able to use the autoswitch wired to my turn signal cancelation button. I don't think that's an option with the 07.
    I wired my Zumo straight to the battery and it works perfectly. I added the hyperlites last week and again no problem. I also wired the front outlet to the battery (fused) so I could use my Gerbings and not worry about the amp limits.
    Everything works fine with no abs faults and I ride a lot.

    Bill
    07R1200RT
    I was down at my local dealer the other day shooting the breeze with the parts guy, on his counter he has a sign that says, "Caution do not believe every thing you read on the internet, we are not responsible for damage or repairs that the so called experts on the internet advise you to do. Please check with our factory trained technicians before attempting any modifications or repairs, that could cost you hundreds of dollars to remedy". Are you guys so called experts?
    keep it light enough to travel.....
    2013 GL1800 Goldwing
    '81 Honda CB650 Custom

  12. #12
    Cannonball Rider #52 darrylri's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2BikeMike View Post
    I was down at my local dealer the other day shooting the breeze with the parts guy, on his counter he has a sign that says, "Caution do not believe every thing you read on the internet, we are not responsible for damage or repairs that the so called experts on the internet advise you to do. Please check with our factory trained technicians before attempting any modifications or repairs, that could cost you hundreds of dollars to remedy". Are you guys so called experts?
    Dealers do hate the internet.

    And sometimes there is good reason. I've seen some really bad advice passed along, and how is the average reader supposed to divine what's good and what's not? Also, I think there's no question that some problems are blown up way out of proportion to their actual occurance in the real world because they get repeated so often on the net.

    But dealers also hate the internet because it empowers owners, and allows them to make informed service and add on choices, rather than blindly following the dealer's advice. I know of a rider who has turned his servicing needs over to an independent shop instead of the local dealer, because they wanted to sell him a new wiring harness for his bike, when it turned out that he had a bad relay.

    The internet doesn't have a lock on bad advice.
    --Darryl Richman, forum liaison
    http://darryl.crafty-fox.com

  13. #13
    Registered User easy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2BikeMike View Post
    I was down at my local dealer the other day shooting the breeze with the parts guy, on his counter he has a sign that says, "Caution do not believe every thing you read on the internet, we are not responsible for damage or repairs that the so called experts on the internet advise you to do. Please check with our factory trained technicians before attempting any modifications or repairs, that could cost you hundreds of dollars to remedy". Are you guys so called experts?
    I'd be much more apt to accept the dealers advise if he were not trying to sell me something. LetÔÇÖs face it, they do not make money when someone repairs their bike via information acquired over the internet. And there is a great deal of good information on the internet, hence, we are there now. And as for the dealer not being responsible for damage done by following bad advice on the internet, they have never been responsible. But they do make money repairing the bad advice, which makes me wonder just how much some of them do care.

    Don't get me wrong there are many great dealers out there that are a credit to their profession. There are also some folks on this site that know just as much as a dealer mechanic. My bet is some of them know more.

    But you also have to be suspect of someone who is giving you advice, the result of which is to put money in his outstretched hand.

    In short, don't think someone is an expert because he's selling something.

    Easy

  14. #14
    bluebiker
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    As far as adding items to the CAN BUS, I just picked up an '06 RT from a dealer that was the owners personal bike, it had a XM radio setup on it and an autocom, wired in to go on and off with the bike with a separate fuse block and relay, (I'm not sure where they get power to trigger the relay) and it seems to work flawlessly.



    Quote Originally Posted by 2BikeMike View Post
    I was down at my local dealer the other day shooting the breeze with the parts guy, on his counter he has a sign that says, "Caution do not believe every thing you read on the internet, we are not responsible for damage or repairs that the so called experts on the internet advise you to do. Please check with our factory trained technicians before attempting any modifications or repairs, that could cost you hundreds of dollars to remedy". Are you guys so called experts?
    As far as dealers being "experts" I had a few bad experiences with the service dept of the nearest BMW dealer to my home, (no longer in business, wonder why?). My previous bike was an K1200LT that I had installed an autocom on (I'm a certified auto, truck, and school bus mechanic so if felt I could handle it) following autocom's instructions. Everytime I brought the bike in for service they could not reconnect the autocom, either it was left disconnected or was connected improperly. The also misdiagnosed a battery problem, partially because of the way the autocom was connected, (again installed according to autocom's directions). The last time I brought it back to have the autocom connected properly they tried telling me that I had totally "screwed up" the autocom install and that if I left the bike with them they'd "straighten it out for me". Needless to say that was the last time I returned to that dealer for service and did not shed a tear when they closed.

  15. #15
    Focused kbasa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DarrylRi View Post
    The non-RT CANbus bikes have a 5amp limit on the accessory socket, which is not enough to run a Gerbings liner. The RT is supposed to have 10amp sockets. I removed mine on my '07 R1200ST and installed a Powerlet pigtail from the battery. I have also installed a Brake! tail/brake light, and they have models specifically for the various CANbus bikes. The one for my ST just plugged in and worked.

    If you want to add more stuff to your bike, you'll want to follow others' advice about putting in a separate fused box and getting any switched power from a relay. Your aftermarket items will have to have their own separate wiring system.
    I used a CanBus Helper from Touratech, activated by the accessory circuit, to power all the gizmos on my GS.

    CanBus is simple, provided you do it right.
    Dave Swider
    Marin County, CA

    Some bikes. Some with motors, some without.

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