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Thread: CAN Bus reader - anyone using one?

  1. #1
    Fred Trimble
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    CAN Bus reader - anyone using one?

    I checked the tech library and didn't see anything obvious. Anyone using a CAN tool that they can recommend?
    Fred Trimble
    1985 K100RT
    2009 R1200RT

  2. #2
    not so retired henzilla's Avatar
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    What are you trying to read?
    Steve Henson
    SABMWRA MOA Club#62's Flat Fixer/ current forum moderator
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  3. #3
    Honey Badger Semper_Fi's Avatar
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    The GS911 can read the codes on the Computer.

    Canbus is just a communication link
    2011 R1200 GSA Smoke Grey Metallic Matt
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  4. #4
    Fred Trimble
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    Specifically, I want to reset the 'Service' message on my instrument panel. In general, I want to see what there is to see. CAN (Car Area Network) is an interesting area to explore on modern bikes (been around for a long time on cars, as you probably know). I found the GS 911 in a quick internet search. I was looking for tools and I'm a little suprised that more interface tools didn't pop up. Therefore, I'm asking our knowledgable and curious members what else is out there. After all, BMW has been using CAN bus for 6+ years and we all like to buy stuff and work on our bikes.
    Fred Trimble
    1985 K100RT
    2009 R1200RT

  5. #5
    Still plays with trains. tinytrains's Avatar
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    The Controller Area Network (CAN) Bus is a two wire serial communications bus for industrial and automotive use. Kind of like ethernet for for cars. It allows controllers to talk to each other. Such things as telling a brake light controller to turn on or off the bulb, or having the brake light controller report the bulb is burnt out.

    There are CAN Bus monitors, but you will just see traffic packets of 1's and 0's that will be quite meaningless to the user.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Controller_area_network

    As stated above, the GS911 will read the diagnostic codes out of your bike.

    Scott
    1988 K75 Low Seat
    2009 R1200R Roadster

  6. #6
    Cam Killer marchyman's Avatar
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    The GS-911 will also reset your service reminder, park the throttle actuators to set off idle balance, and let you monitor a bunch of stuff in real time if you are so interested. As others have explained, this has little to do with the CAN-bus. So little that the device works on some oilheads which don't have the CAN-bus.

  7. #7
    dhgeyer
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    Based on what you say in your second post, I think that the GS-911 is exactly what you are looking for, or certainly the closest thing to it on the market. It does allow you to reset your service reminder, as well as check all fault codes, park the step motors in your throttle bodies, watch certain values in real time, and a few other goodies. I have one, PC interface only, and am very happy with it.

  8. #8
    Outlander Omega Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 35675 View Post
    Specifically, I want to reset the 'Service' message on my instrument panel. In general, I want to see what there is to see. CAN (Car Area Network) is an interesting area to explore on modern bikes (been around for a long time on cars, as you probably know). I found the GS 911 in a quick internet search. I was looking for tools and I'm a little suprised that more interface tools didn't pop up. Therefore, I'm asking our knowledgable and curious members what else is out there. After all, BMW has been using CAN bus for 6+ years and we all like to buy stuff and work on our bikes.
    It would be interesting to find out how well that GS911 works. I have a Snap-On Tools Solus for cars. BMW, Mercedes, VW are not covered in the Solus due to Proprietary software. On the common cars I can control/test/actuate an amazing amount of the vehicle functions. It's not a magic fix but will get you headed in the right direction. There has been many posts in forum land that a good dealer-that you purchased the bike from-should reset the service minder light at no charge. It seems that's most of what people want out of the code reader. :
    "Well they say.. time loves a hero but only time will tell.. If he's real, he's a legend from heaven If he ain't he was sent here from hell" Lowell George
    2009 F800GS 1994 TW200
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  9. #9
    A bozo on the bus deilenberger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Omega Man View Post
    It would be interesting to find out how well that GS911 works. I have a Snap-On Tools Solus for cars. BMW, Mercedes, VW are not covered in the Solus due to Proprietary software. On the common cars I can control/test/actuate an amazing amount of the vehicle functions. It's not a magic fix but will get you headed in the right direction. There has been many posts in forum land that a good dealer-that you purchased the bike from-should reset the service minder light at no charge. It seems that's most of what people want out of the code reader. :
    Well - the GS911 works very well. It's not a mystery - it's been on the market for 3-4 years now (I reviewed it for the ON when it first came out..)

    The Snap-On Solus is a box I'm also familiar with for cars, a friend/mechanic has one. He's tired of the late and very expensive update modules from SnapOn and is looking at other alternatives now.. I tested it for an article for the BMW Car Club of America Roundel magazine, can't say I was awfully impressed, but that was a number of years ago. There are MANY other tools available that DO cover VW, Mercedes and BMW functions (including the AutoEnginuity - a parallel sort of device to the GS-911) just fine, despite their "proprietary" software (IMHO that's basically an excuse from SnapOn..)

    The GS-911 is a work in progress - there are continual beta releases that update the capabilities of the tool to more extensive coverage on bikes it already covered, and on bikes that are newly covered. It won't do everything the dealers computer will - but it is quite adequate for the average small shop or home wrench.
    Don Eilenberger http://www.eilenberger.net
    Spring Lk Heights NJ NJ Shore BMW Riders New Sweden BMW Riders
    '07 R1200R (current ride) and some bimmers.. and a Porsche

  10. #10
    Cam Killer marchyman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Omega Man View Post
    It would be interesting to find out how well that GS911 works. I have a Snap-On Tools Solus for cars. BMW, Mercedes, VW are not covered in the Solus due to Proprietary software.
    The GS-911 is specifically designed for use with BMW motorcycles, with the manufacturer apparently reverse engineering the functions of the BMW GT-1. Not all functions are supported, but every so often there is an upgrade that adds more. For my '05 the only function that is missing for normal maintenance is the whizzy brake bleed test. So far I've done without that function. It is on their "road map" of things to add.

    The last update in March added a bunch of stuff. Link.

    It's also fun to go into real time capture mode and then plot the output.

    Last edited by marchyman; 04-05-2014 at 05:08 PM. Reason: fix broken link

  11. #11
    Outlander Omega Man's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by deilenberger View Post
    Well - the GS911 works very well. It's not a mystery - it's been on the market for 3-4 years now (I reviewed it for the ON when it first came out..)

    The Snap-On Solus is a box I'm also familiar with for cars, a friend/mechanic has one. He's tired of the late and very expensive update modules from SnapOn and is looking at other alternatives now.. I tested it for an article for the BMW Car Club of America Roundel magazine, can't say I was awfully impressed, but that was a number of years ago. There are MANY other tools available that DO cover VW, Mercedes and BMW functions (including the AutoEnginuity - a parallel sort of device to the GS-911) just fine, despite their "proprietary" software (IMHO that's basically an excuse from SnapOn..)

    The GS-911 is a work in progress - there are continual beta releases that update the capabilities of the tool to more extensive coverage on bikes it already covered, and on bikes that are newly covered. It won't do everything the dealers computer will - but it is quite adequate for the average small shop or home wrench.
    That was nicely summed up for both Products!
    "Well they say.. time loves a hero but only time will tell.. If he's real, he's a legend from heaven If he ain't he was sent here from hell" Lowell George
    2009 F800GS 1994 TW200
    Part of the Forum Threadside Assistance Program

  12. #12
    Outlander Omega Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marchyman View Post
    The GS-911 is specifically designed for use with BMW motorcycles, with the manufacturer apparently reverse engineering the functions of the BMW GT-1. Not all functions are supported, but every so often there is an upgrade that adds more. For my '05 the only function that is missing for normal maintenance is the whizzy brake bleed test. So far I've done without that function. It is on their "road map" of things to add.

    The last update in March added a bunch of stuff. Link.

    It's also fun to go into real time capture mode and then plot the output.

    If you managed to get that graph from the 911 : I might be able to get it out of the Solus but it would be a cumbersome transition.
    "Well they say.. time loves a hero but only time will tell.. If he's real, he's a legend from heaven If he ain't he was sent here from hell" Lowell George
    2009 F800GS 1994 TW200
    Part of the Forum Threadside Assistance Program

  13. #13
    Has the GS-Lust The_Veg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deilenberger View Post
    There are MANY other tools available that DO cover VW, Mercedes and BMW functions
    Yep; I've got a VW and I recently picked up a VW/Audi-specific interface tool. Very handy stuff. I figure that at the rate that a good VW wrench charges, I only need to reset 3 fault-codes for this thing to pay for itself. Of course I can do other stuff with it too, like the other day when I knew I had blown a coil-pack and wanted to know which one: hook up the laptop to the car and read which cylinder stacks up the misfires. How's that for easy?
    2012 R1200GS

    "If you can't fix it with a hammer, it's electrical." -somebody's dad

  14. #14
    A bozo on the bus deilenberger's Avatar
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    Since this thread is becoming less and less Hexhead specific - I'm moving it to the Gear section.

    Please keep your hands and feet inside the thread for your safety and protection and HANG ON!

    Don Eilenberger http://www.eilenberger.net
    Spring Lk Heights NJ NJ Shore BMW Riders New Sweden BMW Riders
    '07 R1200R (current ride) and some bimmers.. and a Porsche

  15. #15
    Cam Killer marchyman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Omega Man View Post
    If you managed to get that graph from the 911 : I might be able to get it out of the Solus but it would be a cumbersome transition.
    The GS-911 gave me the data in comma separated values (CSV) format, I think. Just about any spreadsheet made can read CSV. Once the data is in a spreadsheet it's simple enough to pick the row and column for graphing. Doesn't look like I kept the data, though. There were lots more columns than just battery voltage.

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