Starting a GS-911 Academy - What do you want to learn, and how much would you pay? - BMW Luxury Touring Community
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post #1 of 6 Old Jan 17th, 2020, 3:51 am Thread Starter
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Cool Starting a GS-911 Academy - What do you want to learn, and how much would you pay?

Good day, all!

Pretty much as the subject line says.
I do technical documentation and videography for Hexcode (the South African manufacturers of the GS-911 and ezCAN).
We're in the early stages of starting up an online technical academy. The aim is to teach GS-911 owners, BMW enthusiasts and journeyman mechanics how to do BMW Motorrad-specific vehicle diagnostics and, in the process, fully exploit the capabilities of their GS-911.
Our curriculum is not exclusive to GS-911 owners. However, since it is GS-911-centric, you will only get the full benefit of it if you own a GS-911.

We're planning on presenting a range of four technical courses (running the gamut from 'Beginner' to 'Expert').
The aims are to A) make each enrolee a competent diagnostic technician, familiar with every feature of the GS-911 and able to use it to solve any relevant problem, and B) build a like-minded community of vehicle technicians who enrich the BMW Motorrad community with their knowledge and experience.

I want feedback from every mechanic, tinkerer, technical enthusiast and weekend bodger who reads this:
  • What technical aspects would you specifically want to learn from this series of courses, and
  • Bearing in mind that what's being offered is a complete technical curriculum in four parts, what would you be willing to pay for that curriculum? (Unfortunately, the answer can't be 'Nothing'... hundreds of hours are being put into creating and developing these courses.

I look forward to hearing from you all!

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post #2 of 6 Old Jan 17th, 2020, 1:22 pm
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Re: Starting a GS-911 Academy - What do you want to learn, and how much would you pay

One point for me would be once a person has paid for a course, that person would have some sort of Key, maybe their GS-911 serial number and a second confirmation of something so that they could come back for a refresher and double check information. Some key that could not be shared of course. Price by section. I know the need to protect intellectual information but I always like a book. You know someone is going to "print screen" and make one. I would pay $400US for a comprehensive book.

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post #3 of 6 Old Jan 17th, 2020, 4:55 pm
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Re: Starting a GS-911 Academy - What do you want to learn, and how much would you pay

I am a novice with a wrench. I use forums like this to educate me, so I can take care of all of the regular maintenance. I have a a GS911 tool, but to be honest with you I only use it to reset the service reminder, bleed the brakes and recalibrate the shocks. I've read it is a powerful tool and I would be very interested in learning more. Much of what I have read is highly technical and out of my wheelhouse. I'd be willing to pay a $200 for a course.
As part of your marketing, I would select some people who are very active on this, and other BMW websites. Let them take the course for free and provide their feedback to the rest of us. There are a few people on this site I trust implicitly. If they said the course was worth more than $200 I'd pay it.
If all I had to go on was marketing from a company, I would hold off until I heard some reviews.

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post #4 of 6 Old Jan 17th, 2020, 5:42 pm
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Re: Starting a GS-911 Academy - What do you want to learn, and how much would you pay

I have a GS 911 and use it with limited abilities. I have a fair knowledge of what I can do with bikes I own and register with the unit. I have often wondered how much help I could do for a fellow rider broke down on the road without registering the bike to the GS-911. That could be a topic you could cover. It would need to be less than $100 US dollars to interest me in purchasing.

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post #5 of 6 Old Jan 20th, 2020, 8:05 am Thread Starter
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Re: Starting a GS-911 Academy - What do you want to learn, and how much would you pay

Hi again everyone!

This is a generic reply, so you are likely to see it on other biking sites. Reaching out for feedback through multiple forums comes under the heading of research and due diligence. This kind of thing needs to be done before putting together technical courses that take a lot of time in research, compilation and administration.

Secondly, to clear up confusion on the subject of what I do and what my position is:
- I DO NOT directly represent Hex or any of its subsidiaries.
- I represent a joint undertaking between myself and Hex.
- My ultimate aim is to greatly extend the knowledge base that allows BMW riders to do effective diagnostics.
- I'm a dedicated rider myself. I own two running BMWs and three more in various stages of assembly. Coming from that perspective, I want everyone who reads this to be able to spend less time doing diagnostics, and more time riding their bikes.

I've noticed some of the same questions coming up multiple times in different forums. I'll try to explain as best I can:

Regarding concerns that the Academy will simply 'teach a user how to operate the GS-911':
The Academy content will not address basic operation of the GS-911. That topic will be the subject of the revamped GS-911 User's Manual (due for release later this year).
The Academy will aim to teach users how to exploit GS-911's capabilities to do advanced diagnostics and troubleshooting, with emphasis on hard-to-solve problems such as intermittent electrical faults.

Regarding concerns that the information gathered by GS-911 cannot currently be compared to lists of known baseline values:
This is an area I'm aiming to address.
Bear in mind that it is a Herculean task. The only entity that has immediate access to that information is BMW Motorrad. For obvious reasons, they will not simply hand it over.

Regarding concerns that the fault codes gathered by GS-911 cannot currently be compared to an exhaustive list of known fault codes:
As I mentioned above, no one but BMW Motorrad themselves have access to their source code.
For that reason, it's harder and more time-consuming than it sounds to compose a list like this. Much of it would involve A) attempting to simulate every possible failure mode on every compatible bike, and B) decoding code streams that may be unfamiliar - sometimes with no fallback other than educated guesswork.
Regardless of that, this is another subject I want very much to address. Watch this space.

Regarding concerns that no actionable steps are currently given for fault codes and fault conditions:
This is exactly the problem that the Academy aims to address.
As I said in my OP, the whole point is to teach learners how to do BMW Motorrad-specific vehicle diagnostics, with emphasis on hard-to-solve problems.

To those who responded to my original post with suggestions and constructive criticism: Thank you!
You are helping to make the difference between 'Can't be done' and 'Did it last week', and every suggestion will be taken into account going forward.

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post #6 of 6 Old Jan 20th, 2020, 9:41 pm
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Re: Starting a GS-911 Academy - What do you want to learn, and how much would you pay

I think it is a great idea to offer education concerning the use of the GS-911. I would consider myself a beginner and not very confident using the GS-911. I would like to see a very detailed course for beginners with a lot of reference material of how to best interpret the results obtained. Nothing should be taken for granted and every step should be designed for “dummies” concerning the beginner course. I would predict that most users of the GS-911 are in the “beginner category” and use the GS-911 for quick diagnosis of general problems. My goal in using the GS-911 is to determine if I can address the problem at hand saving me from going to the dealer for non-complex things I can fix myself. I think “GS-911 for Dummies” would be a good idea (at least for me, my wife knowing me a long time seconds the idea). I think $200.00 for an online course that offers downloadable reference material would be fair. In any event I give you credit for pursiung this idea, good luck.
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