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Thread: Disabling ABS on a '97 R1100RT ?

  1. #1
    Long Range Rifleman
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    Disabling ABS on a '97 R1100RT ?

    I have searched high and low for a simple answer to this question. Tape over the lights, ignore the lights, pull the bulbs, turn ignition off and back on while rolling, etc. None of these options appeals to me.

    I am looking for a simple way to completely disable the ABS system so I don't have to live with the alternately blinking lights all the way to work on cold mornings. I rode lots of miles without ABS before my Beemer and don't really care to deal with the hassles of a battery tender or replacing a battery that starts the engine just fine on 20 degree mornings.

    Can anyone tell me how to just turn the damned thing off without dissecting the bike to get to the controller plug?

    Please?

  2. #2
    Left Coast Rider
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    Just a guess but I think its a bit more complicated than deactivating the ABS electronics.

    I suspect you'll be looking at re-routing your brake hoses from your master cylinder directly to your brake calipers, bypassing the ABS unit. Guessing further, you may need to also change your master cylinders as the originals may have been designed to work exclusively with the ABS system.

    I'm sure more info from more experienced individuals will arrive shortly.

  3. #3
    Registered User m_stock10506's Avatar
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    The OP has an R1100RT, so his brakes will be standard hydraulic non-ABS brakes when his ABS-II system is in fault mode.

    There is a relay in the fuse box, Relay 8, ABS Warning relay. Try removing it and see if it stops one or both lights from flashing.
    Michael Stock, Trinity, NC
    R1100RT, R100, R60/6

  4. #4
    Nickname: Droid
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    Michael is right about the realy. But the problem is not the ABS and the flashing lights, the real issue is the low-voltage cold weather starting conditions, that trigger a soft-fail condition. That triggers the ABS warning lights into the flashing mode you describe. The only real fault of the ABS-II system was its sensitivity to low voltage conditions when the bike is started, and that the ABS modulator gets powered before the bike starts instead of after it is running. On ADV Rider there is a post to rewire the ABS connector so the ABS powers up AFTER the bike is running.

    But if you still want to de-power the ABS: Remove the seat on your bike. Turn on the ignition, and listen for a relay clicking in response to the blinking lights. That is the ABS power relay. Turn the bike off, and remove the ABS relay, the one Michael mentioned. The bike will run fine without it, like I did on my 94 RS for eight years. But then I eventually replaced the failed ABS modulator and reactivated the system. If you do this do NOT trash the relay, store it elsewher on the bike.

    Back to the real issue. There is no reason at all to remove the ABS system, or to de-power it either. Your real issue is a low votlage battery condition. Get a Deltran, or Schumacher, or BMW battery tender and leave the bike plugged in when you're not riding it, even just overnight. "Hassles of a bettery tender"? What hassles? Get the small transformer style tender that just plugs in the wall outlet. You'll maintain the battery charge level, you'll keep the ABS ready and active for when you need it, and you'll get much longer battery life. No more blinking lights. All plusses. I live in cool/cold east central Wisconsin and ride my 94 RS from March 1st to December 1st, and with using a battery tender I have never had a cold weather ABS start fault since using the tender. The battery in my RS lasts longer than normal, so less frequent replacement. Only $35 bucks for the small bettery tender at your local cycle shop. Your bike will appreciate it too.

    Now, we tend to be fairly direct here on these forums, and not to point fingers or past judgement, but still you want to give up the potential life saving capability of ABS versus the "hassle" of plugging in a battery tender? Yes you claim to have ridden many previous ABS free miles (100,000? 250,000+?). But, how much rider training have you had or done? Do you practice high effort braking skills? I ask because a lot of riders feel they are better riders than they really are. Just saying, don't give up that critical ability without really weighing the consequences.
    Last edited by ANDYVH; 11-19-2012 at 02:40 PM.

  5. #5
    Long Range Rifleman
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    Andy,

    I tried the relay removal and the lower lamp stays illuminated.

    I understand your argument for ABS but I don't care to have to deal with a bettery tender, etc. Thanks for the concern and the time to reply.

    I managed to get by without ABS for many, many years. After finding a schematic, I will continue to do so when I remove power from the control unit this weekend.

    thanks to all for the replies.

  6. #6
    Pepperfool GSAddict's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NI5L View Post
    Andy,

    I tried the relay removal and the lower lamp stays illuminated.

    I understand your argument for ABS but I don't care to have to deal with a bettery tender, etc. Thanks for the concern and the time to reply.

    I managed to get by without ABS for many, many years. After finding a schematic, I will continue to do so when I remove power from the control unit this weekend.

    thanks to all for the replies.
    It would really be as simple as plugging into the 12v BMW Receptacle.
    The same as you would with your heated vest.
    Just sayin'
    '
    Ufda happens..........

    It's all about the details.

  7. #7
    Registered User RapidRoadRescue's Avatar
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    I redone 98 RT to manual brakes in the past, abs pump was removed, brake lines redone and brake light wired so if it was no pressure will go on just like in older car.
    Its possible, you want to do it right the first time.

    RRR
    The guy who invented the first wheel was an idiot. Now, the guy who invented the second wheel... he was the genius.
    www.motorcycleworkshop.net
    www.rapidroadrescue.com

  8. #8
    Rally Rat
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    Quote Originally Posted by NI5L View Post
    Andy,

    I tried the relay removal and the lower lamp stays illuminated.
    Reach behind the dash and pull that socket out. remove the bulb and you're good-to-go. That tiny bulb costs about $5, so put it somewhere safe.

  9. #9
    Long Range Rifleman
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimMoore View Post
    Reach behind the dash and pull that socket out. remove the bulb and you're good-to-go. That tiny bulb costs about $5, so put it somewhere safe.
    Pulled the relay, pulled the bulb and put them in a baggie in the glove box......no more pesky ABS lights.

    Thanks for the input guys.

  10. #10
    Benchwrenching PGlaves's Avatar
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    As a related aside, there is a lawsuit filed in California against Ford because they made automatic stability control an option instead of standard equipment for profit related financial reasons. It will be interesting to see how this one turns out.

    This applies in that if I disabled my ABS I would make sure there was no way an insurance company could find out I did that. Hypothesize a crash where ABS might have made a difference. Or worse, hypothesize a low side where the bike slides into oncoming traffic causing a chain reaction crash with injured third parties.

    Sure it is pure speculation but I can just see an insurance company all over the disablement of fitted safety equipment.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
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  11. #11
    Long Range Rifleman
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    Quote Originally Posted by PGlaves View Post
    As a related aside, there is a lawsuit filed in California against Ford because they made automatic stability control an option instead of standard equipment for profit related financial reasons. It will be interesting to see how this one turns out.

    This applies in that if I disabled my ABS I would make sure there was no way an insurance company could find out I did that. Hypothesize a crash where ABS might have made a difference. Or worse, hypothesize a low side where the bike slides into oncoming traffic causing a chain reaction crash with injured third parties.

    Sure it is pure speculation but I can just see an insurance company all over the disablement of fitted safety equipment.
    Good points, Paul. Funny thing is, that the ABS is apparently still functional, sort of, just no annoying lights. Turns out the relay is only an ABS warning light relay. I hear it doing the self test once I have ridden it some and restart after parking.

    Win - win so it seems.

  12. #12
    Jammess jammess's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PGlaves View Post
    As a related aside, there is a lawsuit filed in California against Ford because they made automatic stability control an option instead of standard equipment for profit related financial reasons. It will be interesting to see how this one turns out.

    This applies in that if I disabled my ABS I would make sure there was no way an insurance company could find out I did that. Hypothesize a crash where ABS might have made a difference. Or worse, hypothesize a low side where the bike slides into oncoming traffic causing a chain reaction crash with injured third parties.

    Sure it is pure speculation but I can just see an insurance company all over the disablement of fitted safety equipment.
    Hello Paul,
    Good and interesting points you bring up. After I removed the ABS system on my '04 1150RT I got to thinking about the possibility of opening a big can of worms liability wise if I ever sold the bike. I called the closest dealer and asked how he viewed my bike as a potential trade in and he said for liability reasons he wouldn't take my bike on trade nor would he consign the bike. Even though I personally prefer the bike as it is in its present configuration I would not have removed the ABS had I thought about liability at the time.
    Jammess

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