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Hello, My Dad feels that the braking system on his bike is way to touchy when coming to a stop. He feels like he is going to flip over his fairing. So my question is pretty simple, is there any solutions or tweaking of some kind or is getting rid of the power brakes the only way? We of course know this would be a downgrade on this motorcycle but my Dad feeling comfortable is more important to us. Thank you in advance for any useful solutions if there are any. If there is not I will be asking how to remove.
 

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There is a way to bypass the ABS servo. I know of a few who have done it.

However, I recently purchased a used bike and I noticed that it was a little more 'grabby' when I was using the rear brakes vs. when I used the front brakes to come to a stop. I guessed that there was a little bit of air in the brake circuit and upon investigation, I was able to remove 4-5 little bubbles of air from the rear ABS circuit. Now my stops with either control circuit are nice and smooth. I would do a little investigation into the ABS before I bypassed it.

If he's not going to use it, I'm sure someone on this forum would be willing to provide him with a little cash in exchange for it.
 

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2005 K1200LT
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Have him start using only the foot pedal for a while. It will operate both the front and rear brakes and is a bit easier to control until he gets used to the brake lever on the handle bars.
 
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Hello, My Dad feels that the braking system on his bike is way to touchy when coming to a stop. He feels like he is going to flip over his fairing. So my question is pretty simple, is there any solutions or tweaking of some kind or is getting rid of the power brakes the only way? We of course know this would be a downgrade on this motorcycle but my Dad feeling comfortable is more important to us. Thank you in advance for any useful solutions if there are any. If there is not I will be asking how to remove.
Well. Start off using the foot brake lightly since they're integral brakes. Then work in the hand lever. Or You could trade or sell the 2009. And look for a 1999- 2001 LT. These have an ABS unit but no servo motor assist. Alot better system IMO.
 
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I am an outlier here as I am one of the few who really like the servo assist. It took a while to get used to it, but once I did I really like it. It is kind of like hovering a helicopter though as you need a very light touch.

I know many here who say not to brake while turning at slow speed, but I do it all the time with no issue. It is all a matter of acclimation, unless you have a medical issue such as finger numbness. I have a little of that, but if you had it bad that would add to the challenge.

How long has he ridden his LT? If less than a thousand miles, I would recommend giving it more time and use rear brake as others have already suggested.

If he really wants to bypass the ABS, there are ways to do that, but keep in mind you lose not only the servo assist, but the more important ABS capability. Having had that now after several non-ABS bikes, I will never go back on a large street bike. I know of no way to eliminate the power assist and still have ABS functionality. Given the effectiveness of the LT's brakes, I almost guarantee that he will go down in a panic stop situation without the ABS.

Probably the cleanest way, and I believe easily reversible, was a module from a German company. I don't recall the name and could not find it in a search, but I suspect someone will remember and post it. Others have done the bypass with locally sourced lines and fittings, but that is more work albeit probably much cheaper.
 
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Discussion Starter #6
thank you very much, i will tell him to look to make sure all is good with abs. much appreciated
 

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to Voyager, he purchased new and has been riding since a kid he is in mid 70's now and is having some issues with his hands. so you hit the nail on the head. He wasn't having issues with it when he got the bike back in 2009 and just this past year it has really been annoying to him. I personally like a super strong or I call stiff braking system lets me get in and out of all that California traffic with confidence but hey I am not having wrist and hand problems. I am trying to get him to keep the system for I truly believe in abs on a huge bike like that. But if there is a module out there that we can use that would work especially since his hands might get better and we can than reverse it back. you have been a big help. I can't wait to find out the German companies name. thanks mahalo
 

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Discussion Starter #8
thank you very much james216, he should have thought of that before buying this bike brand new. We are always learning. mahalos
 

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...a module from a German company. I don't recall the name...
RH Electronics in Germany offers the "RH Second Life Kit".

https://rhelectronics.de/de/neu-und-gebrauchtgeraete/neue-steuergeraete/rh-second-life-kit-am0/

I ordered one for my 2004 R1200C Montauk, but it has not arrived yet. The Montauk signals a brake system sensor error when it is cold, so the ABS III is starting to rot.

The website says, "RH KIT second life, the conversion kit to replace the error-prone BMW ABS III, built in motorcycles built between 2000-2006." However, I believe the 2009 K1200LT has ABS III. I also have a 2009 LT, and I'm considering getting a kit for it, even though the brakes are working fine at this point.

My understanding from my mechanic (Alex Guth, master BMW motoraad specialist!) is that the lines from the hand brake lever and the brake pedal go into the ABS III, which then applies the brakes based on how much pressure is applied to the controls, the state of the sensors (7, IIRC) etc. It's basically braking by wire.

The replacement module has a circuit board that tells the bike that the brakes are fine. The brake hoses from the hand brake and brake pedal go into the unit and right back out, so you have "old fashioned" front and rear brakes that are directly connected to the controls. ABS and integral brakes are eliminated. I think this will be fine on the lighter Montauk, but I wonder about "old fashioned" dumb brakes on a heavy bike like the LT. "LT" is for "Light Truck", right? ;-)
 

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Many have done a bypass similar to what RH is offering turn key. No problem with stopping the big bike just no ABS to bail you out if you apply too much pressure and hit a slick spot.

It is not exactly brake by wire as there is still some mechanical pass through but not much. The pumps run open loop and the input pressure presses a ball into a bypass orifice that modulates the open loop pressure applied to the calipers in direct proportion to the input pressure. There are pressure transducers on both the input and the output sides to keep everything in order. Mine is still working fine after 13 years and 106,000 miles, but I regularly flush my system.
 

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I never had a problem with the Montauk brakes for 12 years and 60,000 miles. Flushed the system regularly according to the BMW maintenance schedule. Had both wheel circuits and the control circuit flushed two weeks ago, and that's when the warning light stayed on and the other light started blinking fast. The error code indicated that a sensor thought the pressure was too high, which seems ridiculous since the bike was cold and all three brake circuits had just been flushed.

Interestingly, after the bike warms up, the servo starts to work anyway, and if I turn it off and re-start it, the warning light turns off after a few seconds, the blinking light blinks slowly and turns off when I start moving, and the servo works. Normal behavior, in other words. I think there are seven sensors, but I don't know if they are replaceable, and I am not a wrencher.

My mechanic says that the brakes are just as strong or stronger when the servo and ABS are eliminated/bypassed. If I find that's true on the Montauk, I might look into doing the same thing on the LT. I think I'd like the brakes to have the same feel on both bikes, no servo and not integrated. I'd keep the ABS if I could, but I doubt that's possible.

I believe the Montauk speedometer doesn't work without the ABS sensor, and I assume the same is true on the 2009 LT. The RH kit takes care of that. How tricky is the DIY bypass surgery on the LT?
 

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A pressure too high is often a relief valve stuck. They are those big dome looking things on the ABS unit. Pull the one for that circuit and manually operate it a few times and then re-install. It has worked a few time for me on other bikes. You have to rotate the fitting behind it to clear a socket.

On the LT bypass, most do custom hoses to re-rout the fluid past the ABS while leaving the circuit card plugged in with the servo motors unplugged and the warning light wires cut. That keeps the speedo working. From what I understand you remove your circuit card and install it in the RH housing.
 

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RH responded to me. They won't do a second life kit on my LT basically it's too heavy. So I guess I will be doing a bypass.
 

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I would contact them. I no longer have the email. I believe they told me some crap like that.
 

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I’ve replaced the abs on my LT once.
I would NEVER ride such a heavy bike without ABS.
Learning to use the rear brake helps with the surgey nature of the low speed braking.


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