The horn. Really? - BMW Luxury Touring Community
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post #1 of 34 Old May 14th, 2018, 3:18 pm Thread Starter
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The horn. Really?

Well, my LT is remaining true to tradition of not being able to get through a trip without a problem. I was checking out the bike getting ready for this weekend's departure and found the horn sounding like a hoarse toad. Anyone have horn trouble before? Anything fixable like dirt or a bug in the horn?

Anyone got a spare horn lying around? I am sure BMW will want $200 for a new one.

I am hoping it isn't the relay or something harder to get to.

2017 KLR650 "Mule"
2007 K1200LT "Starship Enterprise", VOICE II, Navigator V, Motorrad Communicator
1987 Kawasaki Voyager XII
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post #2 of 34 Old May 14th, 2018, 3:25 pm
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Re: The horn. Really?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Voyager View Post
Well, my LT is remaining true to tradition of not being able to get through a trip without a problem. I was checking out the bike getting ready for this weekend's departure and found the horn sounding like a hoarse toad. Anyone have horn trouble before? Anything fixable like dirt or a bug in the horn?

Anyone got a spare horn lying around? I am sure BMW will want $200 for a new one.

I am hoping it isn't the relay or something harder to get to.
Hope it doesn't hold you up in getting to Russelville. I would locate it and see if the local auto store has one that will work. It isn't a spare part I have acquired yet but now that I know they can fail, I will put it on my list

Gordon
Sugar Hill, GA
2001 K1200LTI – Champagne (current ride) Lazy Susan
1998 R1100RT – Never should have sold it
1974 Yamaha TX 750 Twin. Omni Phase Balanced


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post #3 of 34 Old May 14th, 2018, 3:44 pm
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Re: The horn. Really?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Voyager View Post
Well, my LT is remaining true to tradition of not being able to get through a trip without a problem. I was checking out the bike getting ready for this weekend's departure and found the horn sounding like a hoarse toad. Anyone have horn trouble before? Anything fixable like dirt or a bug in the horn?

Anyone got a spare horn lying around? I am sure BMW will want $200 for a new one.

I am hoping it isn't the relay or something harder to get to.
I have both horns. Send me a PM with shipping info and I can send them out Wed. I am out of town today and tomorrow for a customer visit. If you want the horns are yours.

2002 KT1200LT
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post #4 of 34 Old May 14th, 2018, 3:55 pm Thread Starter
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Re: The horn. Really?

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Originally Posted by bmwcoolk1200 View Post
Hope it doesn't hold you up in getting to Russelville. I would locate it and see if the local auto store has one that will work. It isn't a spare part I have acquired yet but now that I know they can fail, I will put it on my list
No, my state inspection is good until June, so this does not affect CCR.

It will affect my June Tail of the Dragon ride if I don't get it fixed by then.

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post #5 of 34 Old May 14th, 2018, 3:59 pm Thread Starter
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Re: The horn. Really?

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Originally Posted by oly223cal View Post
I have both horns. Send me a PM with shipping info and I can send them out Wed. I am out of town today and tomorrow for a customer visit. If you want the horns are yours.
Are you going to CCR perchance? I will send you a PM in case you aren't CCR bound this year.

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post #6 of 34 Old May 14th, 2018, 4:02 pm
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Re: The horn. Really?

I will not be heading to CCR.

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post #7 of 34 Old May 14th, 2018, 6:25 pm
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Re: The horn. Really?

You must just have bad luck Matt, this is the first horn failure I have seen in 14 years hanging around this web site. Must have a bug in one or both of them.

John
2009 K1300GT Red Rocket
2009 R1200GS (Gone)
2005 K1200LT Ocean Blue Blue Wizard 110 K and counting...
2006 Bushtec Turbo+2 Spell
2004 330 Ci Convertable
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post #8 of 34 Old May 14th, 2018, 6:47 pm
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Re: The horn. Really?

Just a thought but it might be worth checking to see if a mud wasp or some similar critter hasn't built a nest in there. That would probably cause the horn to sound a bit off.
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post #9 of 34 Old May 14th, 2018, 8:35 pm Thread Starter
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Re: The horn. Really?

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Originally Posted by jzeiler View Post
You must just have bad luck Matt, this is the first horn failure I have seen in 14 years hanging around this web site. Must have a bug in one or both of them.
It is weird. I haven't had a horn fail in 40 years and this year both horns on my Sonata failed and now the LT. I found one horn under the left cowl near the cruise actuator, as it still makes a feeble sound. The other must be completely dead as I hear nothing. Time to break out the CD and study a little to find the other one. Then the troubleshooting can begin...

This is part of the downside of living in a rural area. I can't remember the last time I used the horn. Generally check it this time of year with my annual inspection due in June as it is required to pass inspection in PA. I suspect horns die faster from lack of use than from wearing out.

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post #10 of 34 Old May 14th, 2018, 9:34 pm
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Re: The horn. Really?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Voyager View Post
I suspect horns die faster from lack of use than from wearing out.
Doesn't really apply here, but FEAR - false evidence appearing real.
Both still work on my '85 with only 20k on it, though they are the "pancake" (?) type.
The dual horns on the '91 (57k) are still nice and loud.
I rarely use the horn on any vehicle.
I'll second Wazza maybe a dirt dobber built a nest up in them over the winter.

_____________

Kim Thomson
Motorcycle Cigar Smoker
05 K1200LT - The Golden Rocket Ship
91 K100RS - The White Stallion
85 K100 Standard - Big Red
79 R65 - "The Bee" is a buzzin' again!
06 525i - Premium, Sport, Comfort, Xenons

Gone, but not forgotten...
02 K1200LTC - Big Blue (accident at 40k)
88 K100RT - Chocolate (it was brown, melted - fire)
85 K100RT - (wore out)
82 Yamaha Vision - (electrics)
72 Yamaha R5C 350 - (broke trans)

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post #11 of 34 Old May 15th, 2018, 8:23 am Thread Starter
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Re: The horn. Really?

Clymer manual has you remove the entire side and front end fairings to get to the horns. I sure hope I can reach in there blind and remove them without spending an hour removing plastic. The hard part may be disconnecting the wires as they likely don't have much excess wire to allow the horn to be pulled down where things are more visible.

Anyone ever replace an LT horn? Like John, I don't recall ever seeing horns discussed here.

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post #12 of 34 Old May 15th, 2018, 4:04 pm Thread Starter
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Re: The horn. Really?

Curiouser and curiouser.

Well, I tried to find the horns without disassembling the LT and that appears to be impossible. I can see the one on the left side of the bike (cylinder head side), but I can't see or feel a second horn anywhere.

I reviewed my trusty Clymer manual (M501 1st edition) and it shows one horn on each side of the nose of the bike (page 322, figure 113). I can't see or feel one on the right side (crank side) of the bike in the location shown in the Clymer manual. I am guessing that maybe the 99-04 bikes had the horns in these positions.

So, I loaded up my BMW REPRom and it shows both horns being on the left side, one stacked above the other (configuration for 05-09 models perhaps?). However, I can't find two on that side visually or by feel. The second one may be up in the fairing too far to reach with my size paws.

So, my first question is: can anyone confirm the physical location of the second horn on a late model LT (mine is 2007)?

I then decided to check the fuse. Since the horn makes some noise, I assume the fuse is good, but thought it might be corroded of such. The REPRom doesn't show the fuse locations. As I recall, BMW had a second CD just for the electrical schematic and the dealer never told me that when I bought the bike. The Clymer manual appears to be both inconsistent and wrong as to the horn fuse location. This isn't surprising as my manual was printed for only up to 2005 models and mine is later than that.

The fuse box diagram on page 311, figure 78, shows the two fuse boxes that look like those on my 07, but the #4 fuse in box 2 (right side of the bike - crank side) that is labeled as being for the Horn, brake light and alarm system isn't. I pulled that fuse and the horn still makes its feeble noise. I then checked the schematics and it shows only the older schematic for the models prior to 05 that had three fuse boxes with 4 fuses each rather than the two fuse boxes with 8 fuses each as on my 07.

So, my second question is: does anyone have a schematic for the later models that identifies which fuse is in the horn circuit?

I am hesitant to tear into this since I need to leave no later than Sunday morning for CCR. On the other hand, it seems unlikely that both horns would fail at the same time, so I am wondering if there is a common wiring issue such as a mouse having chewed wires of such during the winter (I am pretty sure the horns worked when I returned from my around the USA ride last September). If I have bare wires in the bike somewhere, I hate to head out for a long trip and have other things start going flakey or have the LT catch fire. Although, as long as I could get the bike pulled over and stopped in time, a good fire wouldn't be so bad!

If anyone has a picture of the naked nose of an 05 or later LT, I would much appreciate seeing that. Thanks!
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2017 KLR650 "Mule"
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1973 Kawasaki 100 G5
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post #13 of 34 Old May 15th, 2018, 9:11 pm
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Re: The horn. Really?

Sorry, my nose cone is on and the side panel is off but I couldn't get a good enough picture.

Yes, both on the left, not stacked like the pre-facelift, but front and back. The front one is just to the left of the high beam, the other to it's rear behind the turn signal. If you remove the turn signal lens you should be able to see the rear one through the rectangular opening behind the lens.

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Motorcycle Cigar Smoker
05 K1200LT - The Golden Rocket Ship
91 K100RS - The White Stallion
85 K100 Standard - Big Red
79 R65 - "The Bee" is a buzzin' again!
06 525i - Premium, Sport, Comfort, Xenons

Gone, but not forgotten...
02 K1200LTC - Big Blue (accident at 40k)
88 K100RT - Chocolate (it was brown, melted - fire)
85 K100RT - (wore out)
82 Yamaha Vision - (electrics)
72 Yamaha R5C 350 - (broke trans)
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post #14 of 34 Old May 15th, 2018, 9:25 pm
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Re: The horn. Really?

They are right here Matt, this is an 05.

Don't feel bad I didn't find the second one until I had the bike five years, I had always thought there was only the one I could see. Look directly above and forward of the OAT sensor and you will see the second bell.

Horns, Alarm and brake lights are all on the same fuse. F-12 15A

There is a horn relay but you know where that is.
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John
2009 K1300GT Red Rocket
2009 R1200GS (Gone)
2005 K1200LT Ocean Blue Blue Wizard 110 K and counting...
2006 Bushtec Turbo+2 Spell
2004 330 Ci Convertable
K4AN

Have ridden a Motorcycle in all 48
But lack DE, MA, RI and CT with the 2005 LT

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post #15 of 34 Old May 15th, 2018, 10:32 pm Thread Starter
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Re: The horn. Really?

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Originally Posted by jzeiler View Post
They are right here Matt, this is an 05.

Don't feel bad I didn't find the second one until I had the bike five years, I had always thought there was only the one I could see. Look directly above and forward of the OAT sensor and you will see the second bell.

Horns, Alarm and brake lights are all on the same fuse. F-12 15A

There is a horn relay but you know where that is.
Unfortunately, I do know where the relays are ... well protected from the weather.

This looks like a 4 hour job I would love to defer until winter, but I don't think I can get through inspection with the sound level currently being output, so this will likely be a July job. I can't believe both horns failed at once so I am expecting a wiring or relay issue. I suppose it could be a horn switch issue, but that seems a long shot.

I'm not sure how these relays would behave if the coil circuit had a high resistance horn switch and thus say only half the normal control current. If the relay switch is only being weakly pulled closed, I suppose there is a slim chance it could become a high resistance switch itself and lower the horn volume.

They do make noise. Well the lower horn at least as I can feel that one; can't be sure both are squawking as yet.

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post #16 of 34 Old May 15th, 2018, 10:39 pm
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Re: The horn. Really?

With 2 horns, I would more expect the relay to be at fault or wiring. I will throw a spare in the top case should you not dig into it before next week. They are all the same except for the blue wig wag light relay, at least on bikes with the wig wag lights so swapping to test is easy. If it is the relay, there is no better one to flake out

Gordon
Sugar Hill, GA
2001 K1200LTI – Champagne (current ride) Lazy Susan
1998 R1100RT – Never should have sold it
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post #17 of 34 Old May 16th, 2018, 2:39 pm
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Re: The horn. Really?

I guess you could remove the one horn you can see and get to and bench power it to see if it works OK off bike. That will tell you a lot.
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John
2009 K1300GT Red Rocket
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2005 K1200LT Ocean Blue Blue Wizard 110 K and counting...
2006 Bushtec Turbo+2 Spell
2004 330 Ci Convertable
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Have ridden a Motorcycle in all 48
But lack DE, MA, RI and CT with the 2005 LT

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post #18 of 34 Old May 16th, 2018, 3:03 pm Thread Starter
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Re: The horn. Really?

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Originally Posted by jzeiler View Post
I guess you could remove the one horn you can see and get to and bench power it to see if it works OK off bike. That will tell you a lot.
I can see the horn, but getting the bolt out looks tricky. I am going to pull the turn signal light, but not sure that opening is enough to help much. Otherwise, I will ride to CCR as is and deal with it later when the replacement horns arrive. That way I only have to have one Tupperware party.

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post #19 of 34 Old May 16th, 2018, 3:28 pm
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Re: The horn. Really?

subscribed, this seems like a very interesting thread
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post #20 of 34 Old May 16th, 2018, 7:15 pm Thread Starter
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Re: The horn. Really?

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subscribed, this seems like a very interesting thread
Interesting threads are the curse of the LT.

It will be a quiet thread for the next couple weeks until I return from CCR.
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post #21 of 34 Old May 16th, 2018, 7:27 pm
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Re: The horn. Really?

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Originally Posted by Voyager View Post
Interesting threads are the curse of the LT.

It will be a quiet thread for the next couple weeks until I return from CCR.
And that was his first post

Gordon
Sugar Hill, GA
2001 K1200LTI – Champagne (current ride) Lazy Susan
1998 R1100RT – Never should have sold it
1974 Yamaha TX 750 Twin. Omni Phase Balanced


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post #22 of 34 Old May 16th, 2018, 7:28 pm
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Re: The horn. Really?

Quote:
Originally Posted by nagami View Post
subscribed, this seems like a very interesting thread
Welcome to the forum nagami from Sugar Hill, GA.

Gordon
Sugar Hill, GA
2001 K1200LTI – Champagne (current ride) Lazy Susan
1998 R1100RT – Never should have sold it
1974 Yamaha TX 750 Twin. Omni Phase Balanced


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post #23 of 34 Old May 16th, 2018, 8:19 pm Thread Starter
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Re: The horn. Really?

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Originally Posted by bmwcoolk1200 View Post
And that was his first post
Got to break them in quickly!

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post #24 of 34 Old May 17th, 2018, 1:43 pm
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Re: The horn. Really?

on my 2000 lt I found the wire to left controls and headlight strapped under cone near headlight, it was so tight it shorted to group and caused all left controls to stop working. Look for something like that, it was not the first I have found.

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post #25 of 34 Old May 17th, 2018, 6:27 pm
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Re: The horn. Really?

Matt, do you have "dirt dauber" wasps in your area? Those and the ones that plug every horizontal hole with white concrete? Those are the bane of my existence.
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post #26 of 34 Old May 30th, 2018, 6:39 pm Thread Starter
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Investigated the horn issue today. Turns out the high pitch horn was totally dead and the low pitch horn was at half volume. I replaced the horns with those sent to me by Steven and I was back in business. Not sure what happened to the old ones, but probably bees or such.

Took about 3 hours and I was glad I didn't have to remove the stingray and tank to get to the relays, but I was prepared for that thanks to Gordon. I did find a small crack starting in the left side of the fairing near the mirror. Looks like fatigue induced.

I also learned that you install the hidden instrument cover screw first so that when you drop it behind the dash you don't have to remove 6 other screws in order to retrieve it.

Here are a couple videos before and after (drunken LT horn and sober horn) and one place the hidden screw will hide after you drop it.

Thanks again to Steven for the horns and Gordon for the relays.

Forgot I can’t upload videos so you can’t hear my drunken horn.
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2007 K1200LT "Starship Enterprise", VOICE II, Navigator V, Motorrad Communicator
1987 Kawasaki Voyager XII
1976 Kawasaki KH400
1973 Kawasaki 100 G5
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post #27 of 34 Old May 30th, 2018, 10:22 pm
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Re: The horn. Really?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Voyager View Post
Investigated the horn issue today. Turns out the high pitch horn was totally dead and the low pitch horn was at half volume. I replaced the horns with those sent to me by Steven and I was back in business. Not sure what happened to the old ones, but probably bees or such.

Took about 3 hours and I was glad I didn't have to remove the stingray and tank to get to the relays, but I was prepared for that thanks to Gordon. I did find a small crack starting in the left side of the fairing near the mirror. Looks like fatigue induced.

I also learned that you install the hidden instrument cover screw first so that when you drop it behind the dash you don't have to remove 6 other screws in order to retrieve it.

Here are a couple videos before and after (drunken LT horn and sober horn) and one place the hidden screw will hide after you drop it.

Thanks again to Steven for the horns and Gordon for the relays.

Forgot I can’t upload videos so you can’t hear my drunken horn.
I hate that hidden screw and the crack you have going is not what I have experienced yet but know it will plague me at some time in the future. I have other more important already failed cracks to deal with but it is nice to know what I am looking forward to

Gordon
Sugar Hill, GA
2001 K1200LTI – Champagne (current ride) Lazy Susan
1998 R1100RT – Never should have sold it
1974 Yamaha TX 750 Twin. Omni Phase Balanced


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post #28 of 34 Old May 31st, 2018, 8:26 am
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Re: The horn. Really?

Very happy to hear you are honking again!!
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2002 KT1200LT
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post #29 of 34 Old May 31st, 2018, 8:47 am Thread Starter
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Re: The horn. Really?

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Very happy to hear you are honking again!!
The weird thing is that I've owned vehicles with horns for 45 years and don't recall ever having a prior failure. Just this year I've had the horns fail on my 2006 Sonata and now my LT. They are both kept in my garage. I've seen no bees or other critters in the garage (it is a basement garage under my house so we are in it often), but it sure seems odd to have horns on two vehicles fail just months apart.

Oh well, probably just a strange coincidence. Now if the horns fail on my wife's Equinox, the only other vehicle in that garage, I will suspect the garage is haunted by a horn demon.
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2017 KLR650 "Mule"
2007 K1200LT "Starship Enterprise", VOICE II, Navigator V, Motorrad Communicator
1987 Kawasaki Voyager XII
1976 Kawasaki KH400
1973 Kawasaki 100 G5
1970 Rockford Chibi (the orange one)

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post #30 of 34 Old May 31st, 2018, 9:26 am
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Re: The horn. Really?

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The weird thing is that I've owned vehicles with horns for 45 years and don't recall ever having a prior failure. Just this year I've had the horns fail on my 2006 Sonata and now my LT. They are both kept in my garage. I've seen no bees or other critters in the garage (it is a basement garage under my house so we are in it often), but it sure seems odd to have horns on two vehicles fail just months apart.
The only horn problems I remember were horn going off in parked cars in sub-zero temps.

But, I rarely use any horn so they could be all bad and I wouldn't know it.

MarkF
2009 K1200LT

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post #31 of 34 Old May 31st, 2018, 12:04 pm
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Re: The horn. Really?

Funny I just checked my dash and I have the same cracks on both sides, just never noticed them before.

John
2009 K1300GT Red Rocket
2009 R1200GS (Gone)
2005 K1200LT Ocean Blue Blue Wizard 110 K and counting...
2006 Bushtec Turbo+2 Spell
2004 330 Ci Convertable
K4AN

Have ridden a Motorcycle in all 48
But lack DE, MA, RI and CT with the 2005 LT

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post #32 of 34 Old May 31st, 2018, 2:21 pm
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Re: The horn. Really?

Now you're going to make me go look at mine for cracks

Gordon
Sugar Hill, GA
2001 K1200LTI – Champagne (current ride) Lazy Susan
1998 R1100RT – Never should have sold it
1974 Yamaha TX 750 Twin. Omni Phase Balanced


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post #33 of 34 Old May 31st, 2018, 4:42 pm Thread Starter
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Re: The horn. Really?

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Funny I just checked my dash and I have the same cracks on both sides, just never noticed them before.
I only noticed when I had my eyeballs up close when removing the fin. My other side is fine, but likely will follow suit. This winter I may try to see what is behind there. I have a huge sheet of 1/8" ABS that I used to reinforce my broken mirror mount and broken lug on one handlebar cover. Might be able to reinforce the back side of this corner if there is clearance. Not sure this crack matters or how far and fast it will propagate.

2017 KLR650 "Mule"
2007 K1200LT "Starship Enterprise", VOICE II, Navigator V, Motorrad Communicator
1987 Kawasaki Voyager XII
1976 Kawasaki KH400
1973 Kawasaki 100 G5
1970 Rockford Chibi (the orange one)

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post #34 of 34 Old Nov 29th, 2018, 1:53 pm
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My horn and cruise died when the harness strapped to frame near headlight short from another tight german zip tie

2000 K1200LT & 86 K75 for fun again

Prev rides
1992 BMW K75
1994 Suzuki Intruder 1400
1985 Goldwing
1977 Yamaha RD400
1982 Honda MB5
1979 Yamaha XS 650

if it ain't fun, don't own it
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