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Thread: 95' R1100R Alternating ABS lights?

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    Question 95' R1100R Alternating ABS lights?

    It just started flashing today. It has a new Odyssey battery. After a short ride. When I plugged in the Odyssey battery charger it showed 'fully charged'. But the alternating ABS light still persists.
    Bike starts fine. Runs good. I did find a broken green wire in the tach wire harness. I soldered it back together.
    The bike has been and still does run great. It has 1000 miles on it since I installed a DynoJet Power Commander 3. Plug and play. No cutting or splicing wires.
    Does this have to go to a Dealer and have the fault code checked?
    Is it something I can do?

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    Registered User dieselyoda's Avatar
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    You bet dude, check the code yourself.

    You need some simple stuff and this web site: http://www.largiader.com/abs/absfault.html.

    This Anton guy is pretty smart feller.
    1997 R1100RT (Restored Basket Case) , 1981 KZ 440 LTD (Restored Basket Case)
    1986 K75S(the beutch), 1993 K1100RS (blown engine), 1997 Chev Short Box (4x4 with an LT1)
    "You can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him."

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    Try reseting the ABS

    I believe its the three wire connector under the seat that has a blue cap on it. Ground the center wire and turn the key to the run position and hold the ABS button down and count to 10. Check my facts though as it has been a while since I messed with that stuff. Goggle "BMW R 1100R ABS fault codes" or "reset" and you should find your answers.

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    Thank you for the insite and help.

    Would worn brake pads or low brake fluid throw a code?
    My pads look OK. But too thin pads would cause the brake fluid to appear low.

    " It happens before you start the engine it is an item that is tested at power-up".

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    Registered User dieselyoda's Avatar
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    To the best of knowledge, the answer is "No"

    Quote Originally Posted by james1300 View Post
    Thank you for the insite and help.

    Would worn brake pads or low brake fluid throw a code?
    My pads look OK. But too thin pads would cause the brake fluid to appear low.

    " It happens before you start the engine it is an item that is tested at power-up".
    I have a really bad habit of burning pads down to the skin. I told my girlfriend we had "couple months" before we needed to do the brakes on her car. When I got around to doing them, she heard, "Oh Crap". I explained with all sincerity that there was no danger, she had many minutes left on the pads. She didn't buy it.

    There isn't a fluid level sensor on either master cylinder or any brake wear indicators that are electrical or electronic. As far as I know, key on, the ABS module looks to make sure the circuits are complete. When the bike gets to about 3 mph, it looks for the sensors to provide input. I have also discovered through the Oilhead forum the ABS will re-look at itself every 12 minutes or so. I don't want to get into a discussion if that time frame is accurate, close, was good enough for me.

    Before I have gone nutty looking for massive problems, I always change the brake light bulb. I have fixed way too many of my buddies ABS issues with a new bulb, even when the bulb looked good. I learned that lesson from Freightliner's massive mistakes with CAN-Bus and Multiplexing. Your bike doesn't have any of that crap but maybe, you never know what simple things get overlooked and you spend huge dollars for something that was just that simple.
    1997 R1100RT (Restored Basket Case) , 1981 KZ 440 LTD (Restored Basket Case)
    1986 K75S(the beutch), 1993 K1100RS (blown engine), 1997 Chev Short Box (4x4 with an LT1)
    "You can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him."

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    Quote Originally Posted by james1300 View Post
    Thank you for the insite and help.

    Would worn brake pads or low brake fluid throw a code?
    My pads look OK. But too thin pads would cause the brake fluid to appear low.

    " It happens before you start the engine it is an item that is tested at power-up".
    The usual suspect is low voltage, which you won't have with a fully charged Odyssey.
    The controller insists on good voltage for the motors.
    There are no sensors for fluid levels or pad wear.
    Each pad has a notch at the edge; if the notch is still there then you are still within the wear limit.
    The wheel rotation sensors are similar to guitar pickups, a magnet with a coil around it.
    I don't know if there is a simple continuity test performed. If so this could happen before rolling.
    The self test has to wait until the wheels start to turn to really test the signal from them.
    Mine has solid rings which are fairly robust, some of the later bikes have a stamped steel ring which can be dented.
    A dent will cause a failure and you might be able to knock it back out.
    In your tool kit there should be a 2-leaf (min and max) feeler gauge for checking the clearance between the sensor and the ring.
    I don't know why it would ever change.
    That leaves the controller and the motors themselves.

  7. #7
    Day Dreaming ... happy wanderer's Avatar
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    This might be too obvious and you probably know this already but when you start the bike you need to turn the key on and wait several seconds. If you insert the key, turn it on and start cranking it over immediately the ABS will not initialize properly and throw a fault like the one you are seeing.

    Question for you: When you take off and get rolling a few miles an hour, do you hear the ABS initialize at all?
    MJM - BeeCeeBeemers Motorcycle Club Vancouver B.C.
    '81 R80G/S, '82 R100RS, '00 R1100RT

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    Quote Originally Posted by happy wanderer View Post
    This might be too obvious and you probably know this already but when you start the bike you need to turn the key on and wait several seconds. If you insert the key, turn it on and start cranking it over immediately the ABS will not initialize properly and throw a fault like the one you are seeing.

    Question for you: When you take off and get rolling a few miles an hour, do you hear the ABS initialize at all?
    As soon as the key is turned on. The ABS dash lights start alternating.

    No. the ABS does NOT initialize.

    The exact moment when the fault happens will help you know what caused it: if it happens before you start the engine it is an item that is tested at power-up.

    Which items should I be checking?
    Last edited by james1300; 10-05-2013 at 08:03 PM.

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    WineGuyD wineguyd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by james1300 View Post
    As soon as the key is turned on. The ABS dash lights start alternating.

    No. the ABS does NOT initialize.

    The exact moment when the fault happens will help you know what caused it: if it happens before you start the engine it is an item that is tested at power-up.

    Which items should I be checking?
    I get the same problem occasionally but found that if I just turn the key off, wait about 10 seconds and start up the bike again that the lights flash in sync and the ABS initializes. I don't know what causes it but it has always rectified itself by turning on and off.(BTW my brakes are new all around)
    Purveyor of fine wines & spirits
    Rides a 1996 R1100R

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    Quote Originally Posted by wineguyd View Post
    I get the same problem occasionally but found that if I just turn the key off, wait about 10 seconds and start up the bike again that the lights flash in sync and the ABS initializes. I don't know what causes it but it has always rectified itself by turning on and off.(BTW my brakes are new all around)
    Tried your way. No change.

  11. #11
    Registered User m_stock10506's Avatar
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    James1300; go back and RESET the ABS fault. You should then have the ABS lights flashing together when you first turn the ignition ON. Then pay careful attention to see if you get a new fault; and if you get it, when did it occur. At this point though, you really have to start out with the fault code cleared out. All you need is a stiff wire to ground out the center terminal of the ABS diagnostic plug under the seat.
    Michael Stock, Trinity, NC
    R1100RT, R100, R60/6

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    Quote Originally Posted by m_stock10506 View Post
    James1300; go back and RESET the ABS fault. You should then have the ABS lights flashing together when you first turn the ignition ON. Then pay careful attention to see if you get a new fault; and if you get it, when did it occur. At this point though, you really have to start out with the fault code cleared out. All you need is a stiff wire to ground out the center terminal of the ABS diagnostic plug under the seat.
    Ok. But, these machines usually don't throw fault codes without a problem, right?

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    Registered User dieselyoda's Avatar
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    They can throw hard faults with no real problem.

    Quote Originally Posted by james1300 View Post
    Ok. But, these machines usually don't throw fault codes without a problem, right?
    Any fault will be stored as a code. The cause of the fault can be very simple though.

    The ABS will set a code for low voltage, which most often happens at morning start-up. They can throw faults if during the initial test, that a circuit is high in resistance, like when a bulb oxidizes increasing it's resistance.

    Internally, it checks the ABS solenoid and the sensors.

    If you have both lights flashing when you roll, it checks the ABS motor or actuation and the wheel speed sensors. I know for a fact, you can't get the ABS to work on the center stand by just spinning the rear wheel, they both have to turn.

    If it was me, I would grab the code I know is stored by following the link I posted before. I would then clear the code and see if it returned. If it does, check the code again and compare to the original. This is standard practice in any shop I have run and we did all types of heavy equipment.
    1997 R1100RT (Restored Basket Case) , 1981 KZ 440 LTD (Restored Basket Case)
    1986 K75S(the beutch), 1993 K1100RS (blown engine), 1997 Chev Short Box (4x4 with an LT1)
    "You can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him."

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    Will attempt to reset fault code today. Thanks for all your help!

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    Thank You!

    Quote Originally Posted by james1300 View Post
    Will attempt to reset fault code today. Thanks for all your help!
    Fault Cleared! Everything is good in Jim's BMW World!

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