ABS Hydraulic Control Unit Shot at 15,000 miles.... - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 27 Old Oct 27th, 2006, 5:26 pm Thread Starter
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Unhappy ABS Hydraulic Control Unit Shot at 15,000 miles....

Just took the bike out for a quick ride and my ABS fault indicator light tells me we've got a problem.

Hoping for something simple like a dirty sensor, etc.. I got the worst news from Beaudry Motorsports... the unit is shot.

2001 LTC with only 15,000 miles (that's another story!). Always dealer serviced on time.

Dealer tells me the replacement part is $2,100, plus 7 hours labor at $67.00/hour ($2,600).

That's 15% of my original purchase price, brand new.

That's not going to happen.. just ruined my bike.

Unbelievable! I'm done with the LT's.

Anyone with a similar problem?

Makes me want to go back to riding my Japanese sport bikes that only needed oil changes, easy tune-ups and tires....

Anyone wanna buy my bike?

Mike
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post #2 of 27 Old Oct 27th, 2006, 5:38 pm
 
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Is there a way to bypass and disconnect the ABS altogether?
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post #3 of 27 Old Oct 27th, 2006, 5:42 pm Thread Starter
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Oh.. I have brakes.. just not the ABS function.

Constant red lights flashing at me telling me my bike is a piece of crap!

Takes all the joy out riding...

I'm not bitter... ;^)
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post #4 of 27 Old Oct 28th, 2006, 1:12 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikek12ltc
Just took the bike out for a quick ride and my ABS fault indicator light tells me we've got a problem.

Hoping for something simple like a dirty sensor, etc.. I got the worst news from Beaudry Motorsports... the unit is shot.

2001 LTC with only 15,000 miles (that's another story!). Always dealer serviced on time.

Dealer tells me the replacement part is $2,100, plus 7 hours labor at $67.00/hour ($2,600).

That's 15% of my original purchase price, brand new.

That's not going to happen.. just ruined my bike.

Unbelievable! I'm done with the LT's.

Anyone with a similar problem?

Makes me want to go back to riding my Japanese sport bikes that only needed oil changes, easy tune-ups and tires....

Anyone wanna buy my bike?

Mike
Did Beaudry Motorsports put the bike on the computer to check the ABS unit, or did they just deduct from the symptoms? I am not familiar with them or their reputation...
The low mileage is irrelevant. In fact it may be the reason for a potential failure if the bike sat still for a long time...
But I still would try a complete flush of the brake system and be sure the ABS unit is faulty before spending that kind of cash. I suppose you already tried topping off the rear reservoirs and that your pads have enough thickness.
Just a thought, but you may want to check beemerboneyard.com and eBay for a good used unit...

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For her I swam across the deepest ocean!
For her I walked through the largest desert!
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post #5 of 27 Old Oct 28th, 2006, 1:24 pm
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Not to disparage the dealer, but I went into shock when my ABS light would not go off. Topped of the brake resevoirs and all is well. I have the same milage as you on a 2002.

Dave
Monkton, MD
and Pawleys Island, SC
2002 K1200LTC
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post #6 of 27 Old Oct 28th, 2006, 1:29 pm Thread Starter
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The bike was on the dealer computer and indicated a hard fault on the unit itself.

I'm still in discussions with them re: what to do, and no work has been done yet.

I will certainly try these options first (they actually sound reasonable). It would be great if that takes care of the problem. We'll see...

Onward...

Thanks!!
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post #7 of 27 Old Oct 28th, 2006, 1:50 pm
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First thing I would do is to take the connectors off the abs unit and put them back on a few times and then apply a little dialectric greese and reinstall then check to see if she is still faulted. A little corrosion or bad connection can cause a lot of problems. Best of all this check is free.

Brian Ley
WA State of mindless sheep
USA where everything is illegal
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post #8 of 27 Old Oct 28th, 2006, 1:54 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikek12ltc
The bike was on the dealer computer and indicated a hard fault on the unit itself.

I'm still in discussions with them re: what to do, and no work has been done yet.

I will certainly try these options first (they actually sound reasonable). It would be great if that takes care of the problem. We'll see...

Onward...

Thanks!!
It depends on the alignment of the planets and the mood of the customer service agent, but give BMW Customer service a call. Be reasonable, but firm and concise.

(800) 831-1117 option #4

Randy Prade
Aurora, CO

Just ride it!
Meet Riley

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post #9 of 27 Old Oct 28th, 2006, 7:33 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by randy
It depends on the alignment of the planets and the mood of the customer service agent, but give BMW Customer service a call. Be reasonable, but firm and concise.

(800) 831-1117 option #4
I tried that when mine went out ,...........
BMW said Sorry but since I was three years out of warranty
Portland Motorcycle replaced mine for $2400
They gave me a break on labor as I just had $6000.00 of body work done from the accident (Which was caused by no ABS)

Tim In Portland


2000 Lt Icon
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post #10 of 27 Old Oct 28th, 2006, 9:37 pm
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abs fault

>>>The bike was on the dealer computer and indicated a hard fault on the unit itself.


When the abs faulted on my 2001 LT on the way to Curve Cowboy this August, I had the same fears. I stopped by Blue Moon near Atlanta while at the reunion and the intial fault on the computer was the dreaded abs unit failure with a recommendation to replace. The mechanic cycled my abs unit with the computer which cleared the fault for now and my lights aren't flashing. Did your dealer try to do a reset for you?

My unit is probably failing, because it frequently tries to reset with a loud clunk when I'm pulling away from stoplights. It hasn't faulted again yet...but I'm sure it will eventually. Those of us with 1999-2001 machines are "lucky" enough I guess to still have brakes when the abs unit faults because we don't have the linked servo power brakes. The abs unit itself is supposedly cheaper for those model years as well. Check out the various parts fiches available online such as the one of Max's BMW website. Unless the price has recently gone up, the last price I remember was about $1500 for the 99-01 unit. Like everything else...I'm sure that's subject to change.

I'd sure be curious to know how many folk have needed abs unit replacements. It's said to be the most expensive part on the bike. I'm trying to decide what to do when my finally dies. With normal braking functions retained on the older machines, it may be hard to justify replacing the unit if I have to spend $2-3 k on a bike that probably only books for $8-9 k!! Any thoughts on that one guys?

Regards,

Paul Rakestraw
South Bend, In
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post #11 of 27 Old Oct 29th, 2006, 4:53 am
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Greetings Mike.

What a monumentally annoying situation....and the cost factor too. I truly feel for you.

Both the ABS sensors on my '99 LT failed simultaneously about 6 months ago. At around AU$250 each new, I hunted around and found two good ones from the boys at Beamerboneyard. Now I haven't had them "gapped" yet as that will be done on its next service when she reaches 45,000km. Yes, that's correct. Both sensors died at around the 30,000 kilometre mark. Pretty bloody ordinary I thought. In spite of the low mileage or kilometre-age, BMW didn't want anything to do with me.

I think the suggestion of checking out the Beamerboneyard is a great idea. Hey, they ship parts here to Australia, they can go anywhere. Don't loose all hope, check out their website and I'm sure they can help you get your ABS back running and make your bike great again.

Kindest regards

Paul Harrington
AU
[email protected]

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1983 base K100 "Bavarian Belle"
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post #12 of 27 Old Oct 29th, 2006, 3:26 pm
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same problem

I have the same problem with my 2000 LT, and it had just around 12000 miles when it started. The dealer was able to shut it off for awhile (2 X's actually) and suggested the next time a flush--which I have not done yet. I did add fluid to the brakes, but that didn't help. Like you, I am a bit miffed that a "quality" bike would have its ABS system go out so soon, and it does make me wonder. However, the brakes work fine (in fact i think the anti lock braking system is working sometimes) So I am going to put tape over the blinking lights and just ride the damn thing. I will try the flush first however. jrlakin
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post #13 of 27 Old Oct 30th, 2006, 12:21 pm
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The ABS unit went out on my '00 LT. My dealer went to bat for me with BMW. The deal was that there would be no charge for the unit, if I would pay for the labor. I will gladly take that deal and any more like it all day long.

Good Luck.

Darrel
'06 GT - Blue Honu
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post #14 of 27 Old Nov 4th, 2006, 2:50 pm Thread Starter
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Thumbs up ABS Modulater Fault Code Update!

Thanks for all your responses and support during these extremely difficult times ~<;^)

My LT is back home and road ready!

So... I informed my dealer there was no way I was going to pay $2,100 plus labor for a new unit, they got BMW on the horn and BMW instructed my dealer to remove and service the solenoid body and replace the check balls. This was done and it cleared the fault code.

Beaudry Motorsports rocks!

WTF are "check balls"?? "It's all ball bearings nowadays" - Fletch/ChevyChase!!

Riding around for about 60 miles this morning, I am noticing the distinct clunking sound on random starts from lights, etc., like it always does initially at start-up. So who knows how long this will last or what.. I'm just happy to have my bike back.

They only charged me $100 labor (1.5 hours) for this issue. Time will tell...

I love my LT again. Instead of wanting to dump it and get the new Adventure.. I now want to keep the LT AND get the new Adventure! <8^0

Thanks for your support!!

Breaking out my heated vest...

Mike
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post #15 of 27 Old Nov 4th, 2006, 6:16 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikek12ltc

WTF are "check balls"??
They are used as check valves, with a spring behind them to hold them closed against an orifice. You'll find lots of them in GM's automatic transmission valve bodies.
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post #16 of 27 Old Nov 4th, 2006, 8:48 pm
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Fellow riders.....I hate to admit it (because I loved my 2000 LTC and my 2005 LT) for so many things.....but the repair and maint costs on these machines is beyond belief. Then I sold the 2005 because I was so pissed off at the lack of support from the dealer and manufacturer over the "head shake" issue at 1000 miles. "Dont let go of the handlebars" is the solution to a head shake issue???? WTF???? NO WAY....I did'nt pay $20,000 plus for a bike to get a head shake that only affects a minority of the machines only to be told to not let go of the handlebars. Why should I have to pay for new tires at 1000 miles to "check if that takes care of it"???? Oh no....I had enough. They chased me away as a customer over this issue. I hate the thought of going to the Harley after having had two BMW KLT machines....but I feel better about getting parts accessibility, dealer support and higher resale, in addition to being able to do so much of the routine maintainance myself due to the information available. NO informatioin/manuals etc are available for the KLT machines other than this great site. I've been riding for years with the Harley owners and only had one of them break down due to an alternator/stator problem while on a long trip. And he got the parts on the spot and had it running the same day. Heck....my LT broke down on a trip due to a tensioner chain, and I know of two other guys who broke down due to final drive failures with the KLT's. So where is this great reliability etc etc that we were sold on by our dealers? And yes....I'm going to terribly miss cruising at 110 mph on the xway and being as comfortable as being in a car.....but I guess I'd rather cruise at 85 on a v-twin and have less headaches and expenses in the maintenance department and know that I can get parts at any small town in the south if I break down. I'm not bitter....its been a great ride with the KLT's ....but I see nothing positive about staying with them in the long run due to the final drive issues, tire issues, head shake issues, rear trunk latch issues, elecric centerstand issues etc. If they were cheap repairs it would be nothing...but were talking about big $$$$$$ stuff here in addition to the terrible resale value right off the block......BMW is missing the boat on the strong customer base they could build with these machines. I'll miss you all and all the wonderful questions I got from so many people in small towns about the beautiful machines we drove into their lives.....but as a working man I can no longer afford the depreciation and high maintenance costs of owning one. And the fear of losing a final drive while on a trip or after warranty takes all the fun out of using it.......

If its got tits or an engine you're gonna have trouble with it

05 Graphite K1200LT
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post #17 of 27 Old Nov 4th, 2006, 10:30 pm
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Clunking sounds from your abs unit...

...while pulling away from stop lights is not normal...and that's exactly what mine is doing also. Mine certainly didn't do that for my first five years of ownership, and after my abs fault this past August, I'm assuming it's only a matter of time before it faults again.

Good luck to you, Mike. I'll be curious to know which one our abs units fails permanently first! I wasn't aware these units were serviceable.

Regards,

Paul
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post #18 of 27 Old Nov 4th, 2006, 11:37 pm
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I can relate!

Hey Mike,

I have the same problem...and I have been highly pissed about it for over a year now. My LT is a 2000 and my ABS gave up the ghost at about 20K miles in late 04'.

I live far far away, in a land quite distant from any BMW dealer/service shop...El Paso Texas...so it's quite difficult for me to be running in for a reset. Back when Deming, NM was still selling and servicing BMWs they would reset the ABS and I'd ride a day or a week before the ABS would fault again. The last time they told me the fault code indicated a complete replacement of the unit. I've done everything to try to keep it working. I've changed the brake fluid regularly; I've gapped and regapped; I've cleaned sensors; I've filled and kept full the reservoirs. Nothing works and so I sit with a bike that has me mad at it and especially BMW. I still love the bike and ride it every day but wish I didn't own it any more. I'd love to get the new GT but not with the nearest BMW shop 4 hrs away and especially not with the way they do NOT stand up and treat right the guys who buy their bikes. Heck, I've got a 1995 GMC pickup with 130K miles with a perfect working ABS system on it!!!

Anyway...like jrlakin I just ride it without the ABS and curse BMW under my breath (sometimes I vent out loud too).

I hope you have better results with your "fix" than I have.

Tom


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post #19 of 27 Old Nov 5th, 2006, 12:00 am
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I know the hydraulic units are not exactly dealer serviceable, but do any of you get the old unit back? Has anyone cut one open to find out exactly just what is failing?

The bad diagnostics experience should be scaring all of us.
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post #20 of 27 Old Nov 5th, 2006, 6:35 am
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Exclamation Dielectric = Insulator

Quote:
Originally Posted by sanjaun2
First thing I would do is to take the connectors off the abs unit and put them back on a few times and then apply a little dialectric greese and reinstall then check to see if she is still faulted. A little corrosion or bad connection can cause a lot of problems. Best of all this check is free.
Good suggestion ,But Di electric grease is a insulator and can decrease conductivity!

Pete Murray
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1973 R75/5
2002 LT 171 K Gone
2008 FJR 36 K Gone
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post #21 of 27 Old Nov 5th, 2006, 3:33 pm
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Unhappy ABS fault again!

>>>Good luck to you, Mike. I'll be curious to know which one our abs units fails permanently first! <<<


Well Mike...looks like I've got my answer! Went on a fall ride this afternoon and listened to a few clunks from the abs unit while pulling away from stoplights. Later in the ride, I heard another loud clunk while pulling away from a stop...and there they were...those dreaded alternatively flashing abs lights indicating another fault.

I'd already paid $35 for a reset at Blue Moon Cycle near Atlanta while attending Curve Cowboy, so I doubt paying for another reset is going to do me any good. Guess I'll be exploring my options. In late September, I was quoted $1500 for the unit plus labor by BMW of Grand Rapids for my 2001 LT. At that time, the abs unit for 2002's and higher were listed at $1900 for the integrated power brakes. I've checked a couple of online parts fiches lately that seem to indicate the prices have gone up. I'll get another quote from my dealer (Grand Rapids) and try to decide what to do.

At least I have full brakes without the abs on my 2001 when the unit faults.

Regards,

Paul Rakestraw
South Bend, IN
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post #22 of 27 Old Nov 5th, 2006, 7:28 pm
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ABS faults

I know this won't help the major faults mentioned here. On my 2004 R1150Rt I had a problem with the ABS not setting one night when leaving work at 10pm. I tried tried removing the sensors and wiping the brake dust off them. I tried disconnecting the battery to see if this would reset it. No Luck.
Just as I was resigned to riding home with little braking ability and calling the dealer in the morning, I found the fault. The front brake light switch was sticking!! Just one to remember. You may be lucky.
My bike was just out of warranty (UK) at about 26 months and 47,000 miles.
I was almost regretting turning down the the extended warranty (£650 p.a.)
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post #23 of 27 Old Nov 5th, 2006, 10:12 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by murray
Good suggestion ,But Di electric grease is a insulator and can decrease conductivity!
Dielectric grease has been used for years on all types of automotive connectors. It does not stop the contacts in connectors from making connection, as the spring forces built into connectors press the surfaces together to form the connection, pushing any grease out of the way at the contact points. Dielectric grease serves the purpose of preventing moisture and oxygen in the air from causing corrosion of the contact parts. Works very well.

I work for a connector device and system company, with much of our work in the automotive field.

For years, Toyotas had most under hood connectors and any other connectors exposed to the environment outside the passenger compartment filled with grease.

I don't want to achieve immortality through my work...I want to achieve it through not dying.

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post #24 of 27 Old Nov 6th, 2006, 5:15 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dshealey
Dielectric grease has been used for years on all types of automotive connectors. It does not stop the contacts in connectors from making connection, as the spring forces built into connectors press the surfaces together to form the connection, pushing any grease out of the way at the contact points. Dielectric grease serves the purpose of preventing moisture and oxygen in the air from causing corrosion of the contact parts. Works very well.

I work for a connector device and system company, with much of our work in the automotive field.

For years, Toyotas had most under hood connectors and any other connectors exposed to the environment outside the passenger compartment filled with grease.
Agree but it can create resistance.Many folk have attributed faulty communication systems to the saturation of DEG in there plug connectors. This is fact not fiction.

Pete Murray
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post #25 of 27 Old Nov 6th, 2006, 7:40 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by murray
Agree but it can create resistance.Many folk have attributed faulty communication systems to the saturation of DEG in there plug connectors. This is fact not fiction.
I'm not an EE and don't own a Volvo, but found this in a Google search (along with a bazillion other hits!!). I been using di-electric grease pretty regular, cuz Grifster said to, and cuz he liked the taste. I just didn't know the real reason.
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post #26 of 27 Old Nov 6th, 2006, 10:16 am Thread Starter
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Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by pdrstraw
>>>Good luck to you, Mike. I'll be curious to know which one our abs units fails permanently first! <<<


Well Mike...looks like I've got my answer! Went on a fall ride this afternoon and listened to a few clunks from the abs unit while pulling away from stoplights. Later in the ride, I heard another loud clunk while pulling away from a stop...and there they were...those dreaded alternatively flashing abs lights indicating another fault.

Regards,

Paul Rakestraw
South Bend, IN
Paul,

Well, You've got my attention. So sorry to hear about your ongoing ABS fault problem. It is not a good feeling thinking about putting the beast into hibernation for the winter knowing you've got a potential $2,600 repair issue looming. I tend to ponder the same question previously mentioned: Is it worth it to plunk that kind of $$$ into a bike that's only worth $8-9K??? Not for me.

Question for you... did your bike always or even usually make that dreaded clunking sound leading to another fault, or was it random, and sometimes non-existent?

My first day back on mine was a 60 mile jaunt and heard the clunk maybe on 10% of my start-ups (5-6 times).

Went for a 110 mile fine fall ride yesterday and she ran perfectly.. no clunks.. like a new bike. That was varied riding out on open country roads and through downtown Spokane with lots of stops/starts, too.

I also wonder how many more miles till she gives it up again.

Please keep us all posted on how you handle your issue.

Regards,
Mike
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post #27 of 27 Old Nov 6th, 2006, 7:06 pm
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Clunking ABS unit

>>>Question for you... did your bike always or even usually make that dreaded clunking sound leading to another fault, or was it random, and sometimes non-existent?<<<<


Mike,

I rode my 2001 LT for 5 years and 55k miles with normal ABS function. No noises...no faults....no clunking abs units when pulling away from stoplights. My abs would set itself the first time after a startup and would be silent the rest of the time.

This summer I noticed an occasional clunk pulling away from stoplights. It didn't happen very often, and at first I thought it might even be loose items in my topbox or saddlebag. I rode to Vermont and back in July without hearing the clunking sound, so I thought things were fine.

After my return from Vermont (a 2500 mile trip), the clunking starting up again on occasion. Some rides it didn't do it at all. Other rides, it would clunk about 25% of the time while pulling away from stops. I still wasn't getting an abs fault, so I just kept riding. Then on my trip to Georgia in August, the clunking increased. It was sporadic. I could pull away from stops 10-15 times in a row without incident. Other times, the clunking was much more frequent.

Finally, while pulling away from a stop in Northern Kentucky, the abs lights came on. During the next two days over several hundred miles, I watched the alternating lights flash at me. No clunks at all while the lights were flashing.

I had the bike inspected at Blue Moon near Atlanta while at the Curve Cowboy reunion. The intitial fault code indicated a "piston failure" and recommended an abs unit replacement. They cycled the unit with the computer which cleared the fault. But on the same day, the clunking returned. I've ridden the last two months with no abs faults, but with the clunking occuring on anywhere from 10 to 40 percent of my pull-aways. Then yesterday it faulted again.

So now, I'm faced with your delemna. How much do I really want to spend on a 2001 LT with over 60k miles on the clock? I can't imagine the bike is worth more than 8-9 grand. I haven't gotten a firm price yet from my dealer. I could buy the abs unit from Chicago BMW for 20% off retail and have a private mechanic do the repair. He's good, and I trust him...but I'm sure BMW wouldn't warranty the part if a dealership didn't do the repair (even though my mechanic was bmw certified before BMW of South Bend closed). Still, I could probably save about $400 that way. Or, I can have Grand Rapids BMW do the job and pay full retail plus labor. For the extra money I'd get a year or two of warranty on the repair.

For the next couple of months, its a moot point...'cause with Christmas coming up and with some home improvement to pay for, I simply don't have the funds. Perhaps by next spring....

In the meantime, I'm glad my 2001 has full braking function even with the abs faulting. The newer integrated brakes don't have that benefit. In my 35 years of riding, this is my first BMW, and the only bike I've had that included abs. I'm sure I'll still enjoy the bike without it. I plan on keeping the LT. It runs like a top and I've kept it looking great. I still get the ooh's and aah's at rest stops from curious onlookers. It's the perfect two-up bike that Reggie and I have thoroughly enjoyed, set up with Ohlins and HID lighting and all of the farkles that I've collected.

Today...I'd be inclined to wait and put that $2500 toward a sportier bike (gt? rt? gs?) that I would use on solo rides, instead of putting the money toward a repair. We'll keep the LT for our two-up rides unless further breakdowns necessitate getting rid of it altogether.

But....I'm also the type that will always remember that things aren't perfect anymore on the LT. That will eat away at me and may make me eventually cave in. There's no question that I would prefer to have the safety feature of the abs. It's just hard to justify spending 25% of the bike's value on a repair item that could easily happen again!

Sorry for being so long-winded. I certainly wish you the best and hope you go months or even years without your abs fault returning. But....the clunking is not normal, and would seem to indicate a failure is looming sometime in your future. At least you'll know you're not alone! :>)

For now...enjoy the heck out of your LT. It's a joy to ride with or without the abs!

Regards,

Paul Rakestraw
South Bend, IN
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