While making a run to the Vanilla Bean in Pomfret, CT for breakfast last Sunday morning with friends, I was pretty surprised when Bryan pulled up next to me to advise that the brake lights on my '96 R11RT were stuck on. I have Hyper-Lites on my brakes so it was a double whammy with the LEDs constantly blinking along with the stuck brake light. I fiddled with the pedal and hand lever to see if it was stuck somehow to no avail. Grrrrr! Well, I likely won't get rear-ended while moving today but if I stop short it may be another story.
I called my buddy "Mophoto" (Maurice K. - Treasurer of YB) and he suggested I run it up to Gary VanVoorhis, a YB member who has been fixing Beemers for a long time. I called Gary and he said "bring it up Tuesday after dinner and we should be able to get it squared away". After dinner? Someone who will work on a bike in the evening on MY schedule? This is too good to be true.
Tuesday night I buzzed up to Gary's and he had 10 bikes in his shop in various stages of repair, restoration, and disassembly. He pushed one out of the way and motioned for me to roll right in which I did. Before I had me helmet off he was under the RT taking off the silver cover that the foot brake and pegs are attached to.
He carefully removed all the fasteners on that piece and the small piece of snap in side tupperware and then gently pried the brace/brake/peg cover out and then removed the brake light switch underneath it.
He put it in his hand and said "ah ha!" and took a can of penetrating oil and starting spritzing and working the switch back and forth and then put it back in and started working the pedal and in no time flat the brake lights were functioning properly and correctly.
The moral of the story, and the reason that I've written this up is to advise others that the brake switch is fully exposed to the elements and will get cruddy and will gunk up and will stop functioning at some point if it is not maintained. Gary said a regular squirt of PB Blaster or other oil will help to keep it working and prevent it from becoming clogged with crud so it can't close.
The best part of this experience was talking to Gary and another customer who was in there at the same time about their trip to Chile last January and the 12K plus miles they did on their F650s around the Chilean desert and high altitude Andes trail riding. They are headed back this year to go the full distance down to Tierra del Fuego. I can't wait to hear that report!
Hope this helps others as it helped me.