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Thread: 05 R1200ST - Can not get neutral indicator

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    05 R1200ST - Can not get neutral indicator

    My 05 R1200ST has 20,000 miles, is well maintained but has been giving me problems lately. When cold (I live north of Philly) the bike does not show the green neutral light until the the bike warms up. I plan to take this bike to Alaska this summer and want to make sure she is in perfect health. In reading many forums it appears I may have to change the gear selection sensor but any people say just cleaning the connector may work.

    I would appreciate any comments on your experience and your opinion if this is a hard component to replace. My Haynes manual is not very clear on this component.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Benchwrenching PGlaves's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeR1200ST View Post
    My 05 R1200ST has 20,000 miles, is well maintained but has been giving me problems lately. When cold (I live north of Philly) the bike does not show the green neutral light until the the bike warms up. I plan to take this bike to Alaska this summer and want to make sure she is in perfect health. In reading many forums it appears I may have to change the gear selection sensor but any people say just cleaning the connector may work.

    I would appreciate any comments on your experience and your opinion if this is a hard component to replace. My Haynes manual is not very clear on this component.

    Thanks
    They are both right. Make sure the wire connections are clean and sound. That might fix it but probably not. What usually happens is that gear oil eventually seeps in past the switch seal and contaminates the electrical contacts in the switch. Current fails to flow through the oily contacts. But after riding a while the oil warms and thins, and if you shift through neutral a few times the contacts get wiped a little cleaner and the switch works for a while.

    I haven't done it on a 1200 but if BMW followed it's normal practice the switch is on the back of the transmission. You might or might not have to pull the swingarm to remove and replace the switch.
    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
    http://www.bigbend.net/users/glaves

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    The Hexheads don't have a multi-pole gear position switch like the Oilheads. Instead, they use a potentiometer which provides a different voltage output in each gear. This voltage goes to the ECU, which sends gear position to the instrument cluster over the CAN bus.

    When your bike is in neutral but the indicator is not lit, does it start without you having to pull in the clutch lever? If it does, the ECU is reading the correct voltage corresponding to neutral and the problem may be in your instrument cluster.
    Karl
    2007 R1200ST

  4. #4
    Benchwrenching PGlaves's Avatar
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    I like my K75s better and better every time I read something like this.
    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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    Paul,

    I agree. There are many times I wish I still had my K100RS.
    Karl
    2007 R1200ST

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    Reply to the gear position sensor

    When the neutral does not come on the bike will not start even if you pull in the clutch. Due to this problem I brought the bike in to a BMW dealer (Montgomertville Cycle Center in Hatfield PA) and they feel the gear position switch needs replacement which may require 10 hours of labor plus parts. Yikes. I'm going to do this but I am disappointed since I recently replaced a starter (about $ 900) and had a fuel leaked fixed ( $ 400). I did not expect so much work for a BMW motorcycle.

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    A bozo on the bus deilenberger's Avatar
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    Take a look at the thread I moved to NorthEast Regional forum.

    I think you need a better place to take your bike. The charges you're paying are way over what I'd expect, even from a dealer. The dealer should be able to calibrate your existing gear-potentiometer in about 60 seconds with their computer. It can also be done with a GS-911.

    The basic adjustment is -

    1 - Reset the learned adaptation values (this is what you need the computer for, or the GS-911)
    2 - Go through all the gears
    3 - Read the value for each gear on your computer/GS-911.

    That will tell you if the potentiometer is failing. There is not a lot of guesswork about it.

    If you want to take a ride to the NJ coast (you can see the aftermath of Sandy) - we can hook it up to my GS-911.
    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

  8. #8
    A bozo on the bus deilenberger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PGlaves View Post
    I like my K75s better and better every time I read something like this.
    I don't. My K75S gear indicator always started getting bizarre whenever the rain started getting serious. I've had no problems with my hexhead gear indicator. And I can still read my clock on the hexhead..

    We really gotta get Voni on an R1200R (they come in red).. so you can learn the essential goodness of that design..
    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

  9. #9
    Benchwrenching PGlaves's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deilenberger View Post
    I don't. My K75S gear indicator always started getting bizarre whenever the rain started getting serious. I've had no problems with my hexhead gear indicator. And I can still read my clock on the hexhead..

    We really gotta get Voni on an R1200R (they come in red).. so you can learn the essential goodness of that design..
    If there was an R1200R in this household it would replace my R1150R and be mine. I have ridden Chuck Wetzal's just enough to like the way it handles. If they made a true RS in the 1200 series Voni might add one beside her R1100RS.

    If they found how to make the wiring on the potentiometer sealed from moisture they could have done exactly the same with a multi-contact switch. And even I could design a switch installation where oil couldn't get to the contacts.

    But the older I get the less impressed I am with technology for technology's sake. We hauled an R1200GS for 3,000 miles around southern Africa a few years ago while the tour leader rode the backup F650 because the lockout antenna ring failed and none of the dealers in South Africa or Namibia had one. Fuel strips, fuel pump speed controllers and several other totally unnecessary failure prone devices also come to my mind. This failure prone stuff detracts from the riding experience; they don't add to it.
    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
    http://www.bigbend.net/users/glaves

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    Response to Don's offer

    I saw Don's offer to use his diagnostic tool and appreciate the offer. But from my observations where the sensor is located and my repair book's description on how to replace the sensor I can see that it will take a lot of hours to get to it. I'm going to bite the bullet and have the work done but if any more major items come up I'm not going to keep the bike.

    I'm going to post the bike's history as a separate item and look for feedback. I'd appreciate feedback because this is getting interesting and I don't want to throw money away nor get stranded during my travels.

    Thank you for your comments.

    Mike T

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