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I had grayc03 over today because he had an ABS fault. Wig Wag lights from power on and NO ABS function. K1200LT 2000 ABS-II

Since I have a GS911, and he lives less than 20 miles away, I asked him over so I could reset it. The current version of code on the GS911 WiFi does do the reset.

At first I was expecting to see a failed wheel sensor until I learned it was alternating from key on so I knew it was a different fault. Once I got it connected up, I saw it was a piston fault so my heart sank and I thought the ABS module was probably toast.

I thought about it for awhile and figured that these ABS units probably have not seen any action in years, maybe 10 or 15 years as we don't go around trying to lock up our tires so the ABS system gets no exercise.

I went ahead and reset the fault and proceeded to see if the ABS system was working on a test ride. The ABS kicked in and immediately I got the wig wag lights again.

Not loosing hope for simple results of atrophy, I proceeded to reset it again and then to go out and exercise the ABS system. This time, the ABS system performed properly. gave no fault indication and I tested it again and again.

Here is a question to the gurus on the forum. Is it possible that some of these faults are simply caused by lack of use? Most drive not intending to lock up their brakes so the ABS simply sits and atrophys.

Time will tell if greyc03's issue comes back but I am going to ask, should we be intentionally exercising our ABS systems so they do not get sticky and cause faults from non use?

I regularly do both front and rear exercises both locking up the rear and forcing the ABS to work and also the front much more carefully usually on a wet road where I can apply the front brakes in short bursts to force activation without causing me to dump the bike.

Do any of you think there is any merit in a regular exercise of the ABS system to keep things free and properly lubricated inside?

Just wondering what other people think.
 

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I think you are right. It has to be good for the system to function occasionally
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I think you are right. It has to be good for the system to function occasionally
I think greyc03 triggered his ABS and it caused a fault because it hadn't activated in many years. After working it a bit, the fault disappeared. Yes, the fault came right back the first time but the second time after another reset, it did not surface again. It is worth looking into.
 

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I think it is a combination of dirty fluid and not exercising the abs.
 
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Do any of you think there is any merit in a regular exercise of the ABS system to keep things free and properly lubricated inside?

Just wondering what other people think.

My experience and testing is mainly for IABS later models 2002+ (with servos). On these IABS, there appears to be enough evidences collected over 15 years on 3 different forums (including R1150xx) that there is more failure on bike that sit for a long time (including long storage period) AND for bikes that have poor maintenance (no regular fluid change).

Based on these evidences and some logic when you have seen the inside of these units, for IABS models my suggestions are:
(1) bleed the wheel circuits every year (same as recommended by BMW manuals)

(2) bleed the control-circuits every 2 years (although a Service-Bulletin says you can stretch to 4 years)

(3) at least once every 3 months, exercise / force the ABS to kick in on both wheels. This is easy to do on a packed gravel road (do not attempt on deep gravel with a 800 lbs bike). Of course you have to be aware that in case of faults / malfunctions, your ABS may not kick in and this could create a skid and a fall. Do not call my lawyer as you have been warned ;-)


Hopefully JZEILER will post his experience for 1st generation having ABSII.
 

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I had grayc03 over today because he had an ABS fault. Wig Wag lights from power on and NO ABS function. K1200LT 2000 ABS-II

Since I have a GS911, and he lives less than 20 miles away, I asked him over so I could reset it. The current version of code on the GS911 WiFi does do the reset.

At first I was expecting to see a failed wheel sensor until I learned it was alternating from key on so I knew it was a different fault. Once I got it connected up, I saw it was a piston fault so my heart sank and I thought the ABS module was probably toast.

I thought about it for awhile and figured that these ABS units probably have not seen any action in years, maybe 10 or 15 years as we don't go around trying to lock up our tires so the ABS system gets no exercise.

I went ahead and reset the fault and proceeded to see if the ABS system was working on a test ride. The ABS kicked in and immediately I got the wig wag lights again.

Not loosing hope for simple results of atrophy, I proceeded to reset it again and then to go out and exercise the ABS system. This time, the ABS system performed properly. gave no fault indication and I tested it again and again.

Here is a question to the gurus on the forum. Is it possible that some of these faults are simply caused by lack of use? Most drive not intending to lock up their brakes so the ABS simply sits and atrophys.

Time will tell if greyc03's issue comes back but I am going to ask, should we be intentionally exercising our ABS systems so they do not get sticky and cause faults from non use?

I regularly do both front and rear exercises both locking up the rear and forcing the ABS to work and also the front much more carefully usually on a wet road where I can apply the front brakes in short bursts to force activation without causing me to dump the bike.

Do any of you think there is any merit in a regular exercise of the ABS system to keep things free and properly lubricated inside?

Just wondering what other people think.
I think that is entirely plausible. Most systems, including humans, will rust out before they wear out. I say this never having had the LT ABS system apart, so it is conjecture based on general experience, not based on any expertise with the LT system.

I try to activate mine every so often to ensure it is working, usually on a dirt road or on grass. And I use Valvoline synthetic brake fluid which seems to oxidize more slowly than the prior conventional DOT 4 I used. I confess to changing my fluid only every other year or so since it is such a PITA. After 10 years, my ABS is flawless.

Knock on wood!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
My experience and testing is mainly for IABS later models 2002+ (with servos). On these IABS, there appears to be enough evidences collected over 15 years on 3 different forums (including R1150xx) that there is more failure on bike that sit for a long time (including long storage period) AND for bikes that have poor maintenance (no regular fluid change).

Based on these evidences and some logic when you have seen the inside of these units, for IABS models my suggestions are:
(1) bleed the wheel circuits every year (same as recommended by BMW manuals)

(2) bleed the control-circuits every 2 years (although a Service-Bulletin says you can stretch to 4 years)

(3) at least once every 3 months, exercise / force the ABS to kick in on both wheels. This is easy to do on a packed gravel road (do not attempt on deep gravel with a 800 lbs bike). Of course you have to be aware that in case of faults / malfunctions, your ABS may not kick in and this could create a skid and a fall. Do not call my lawyer as you have been warned ;-)


Hopefully JZEILER will post his experience for 1st generation having ABSII.
It is good to see that some others also exercise their ABS systems. The rear skidding is not so much of an issue to a reasonably skilled rider but as you say, if the ABS goes into a fault when testing the front, it could be dangerous and testing should be done with great caution to prevent a fall and any resulting damage or injury.

My front process has been on wet roads going straight in first gear. I roll on the throttle some to transfer weight off the front and then ease on the front brake a little until it activates or skids then release quickly. I just make sure I am not in any turn or lean giving me the best chance of maintaining control should it start to skid unexpectedly. A gravel road is a good idea too and I may try and find a good location nearby to perform that maintenance.
 

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My ABS-II unit started to fail occasionally in 2010 which I could reset, then was failing all the time on high temperatures in 2011 and 2012 (> 30 deg C or 86 deg F) which I could still reset when cold and then regressed to permanent failure. I took the blinking lights out for the rest of that summer. I had to reset it so often without a GS-911 that I made myself a testing port connector with a LED ( 7 pulses= failed unit) and installed a permanent wire on pin 21 to reset to ground.
I sent my unit out to repair by Modulemaster in 2013, it failed after 2 months during the summer, and they repaired it again no charge saying they put stronger links (?) and it has run without fault ever since.
I had been doing regular oil changes and occasional road tests to the system and still do, but I am not sure that makes much difference. These units do a self test which includes a few revolutions of the ABS system on every start-up and then do it again when you leave a stop light if you have been driving on the highway for a certain period of time (> 10 minutes?) I hear the whining in my earphones every time which confirms it is still working.
I still have my reset kit ready but have not used it for 3 years. Hope I don't need it soon!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
My ABS-II unit started to fail occasionally in 2010 which I could reset, then was failing all the time on high temperatures in 2011 and 2012 (> 30 deg C or 86 deg F) which I could still reset when cold and then regressed to permanent failure. I took the blinking lights out for the rest of that summer. I had to reset it so often without a GS-911 that I made myself a testing port connector with a LED ( 7 pulses= failed unit) and installed a permanent wire on pin 21 to reset to ground.
I sent my unit out to repair by Modulemaster in 2013, it failed after 2 months during the summer, and they repaired it again no charge saying they put stronger links (?) and it has run without fault ever since.
I had been doing regular oil changes and occasional road tests to the system and still do, but I am not sure that makes much difference. These units do a self test which includes a few revolutions of the ABS system on every start-up and then do it again when you leave a stop light if you have been driving on the highway for a certain period of time (> 10 minutes?) I hear the whining in my earphones every time which confirms it is still working.
I still have my reset kit ready but have not used it for 3 years. Hope I don't need it soon!
JWA, where did you get your information on the self tests at start up and also after a certain period of highway driving? If it is true, it is good information to know. I don't have information yet on the self test or in use tests the ABS-II does. I don't think there is any test on the GS911 that exercises the unit but I will check next time i have it hooked up.

Do you exercise your ABS system at any time on purpose?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
A good surface to test your ABS is on a dusty polished cement or tiled floor.
Rear is always easy. Front requires a little care to not take a nap in the process.
 

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JWA, where did you get your information on the self tests at start up and also after a certain period of highway driving? If it is true, it is good information to know. I don't have information yet on the self test or in use tests the ABS-II does. I don't think there is any test on the GS911 that exercises the unit but I will check next time i have it hooked up.

Do you exercise your ABS system at any time on purpose?
When you start off on the bike just after it being turned on, the lights flash until the system sees a few low speed pulses off the abs sensors and then I hear a rotor whizzing under my seat and in my intercom earphones. That is when the system does it's first self test and turns the blinking lights off if ok. The synchronized pulses become alternating pulses if it fails. I hear the whizzing again after pulling from a stop if the bike has been on the highway for a while. When the system fails, it will sometimes make a louder noise on start up ("klunk") and then it will not reset. This has been mentioned by others and happened to me on my first rebuild.
I do test the ABS unit occasionally on gravel roads and also on asphalt. During my motorcycle refresher courses, the instructor had us test the abs function on asphalt (straight up and no dust on the road) so that we could learn how much pressure we can put on the brakes before the abs comes on, to get the feel of how much pressure to put to get the shortest braking distance. When the abs comes on, you maintain control if the tire starts slipping but the braking distance is longer because of the pulses on the brakes. The best use of the brakes comes from exerting high pressure but not having the abs come on and needs some practice. The maximum pressure is different depending if you are riding solo or two up and he had us practice both. I test both situations occasionally to refresh my braking pressure memory but I have to remember to warn the missus when I do it two up! 0:)
 

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I know for my K13s, S1000xx and water cooled R bikes in the GS-911 brake bleed section it operates the ABS and then you do a second fluid bleed to flush out any crud stirred up. I have not looked to see if it does the earlier K bikes. I'm curious too. (and when I think about it I lock up the brakes on my down hill gravel driveway)
 

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The advantage of testing, in my opinion, on a tiled floor is that only a very low speed, nearly walking speed, is needed.

If it cuts in then, surely it will cut in at higher ones .
 

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Discussion Starter #16
The advantage of testing, in my opinion, on a tiled floor is that only a very low speed, nearly walking speed, is needed.

If it cuts in then, surely it will cut in at higher ones .
The disadvantage of very low speed with the LT is her propensity to take naps. >:)
 

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I am "lucky" to have a down hill wash board section of roadway to get to the main highway, so my abs is tested each time I ride.
 
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