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BMW Motorcycles (aka Beemers) and the Competition
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Old 02-02-2013, 10:26 PM
MattP1540 MattP1540 is offline
Location: Oahu
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 3
Mein Auto: 2005 R1150RT
Exclamation Rear ABS Failure


I know this is absurd but before i fly off the handle, i want to see if anyone has heard of this, and what their recommendation might be.

Just bought a beautiful 2005 R1150 RT (I know, the 05 1150's weren't widely produced as BMW introduced the 1200 in the same year). Rides fine except for the rear brake. Pads were replaced about 200 miles ago by previous owner. I learned at the end of my 80 mile ride home that, if i brake firmly with the rear brake, the brake failure message flashes with the "caution" triangle, and i lose the rear brake.

I called the seller who informed me that the mechanic who installed the pads assured him that this was normal, that it would stop happening once the pads had worn down some and that the brakes would reengage if you turned the bike off (all the way) and restarted her. This process works but theres no way a bike "should" have a brake failure when you press too hard on the brakes.

More background info: when i engage the brake without the engine running, i hear the pump activate but it clicks at a regular interval, about one click every 0.5 seconds. Then if i press firmly enough on the pedal, then the pump just stops whirring.

Of course i'm taking this bike to the one BMW dealer on Oahu to get the brakes fixed but i would sure appreciate any background info u guys might have on this issue. One last piece of info: when i start the bike, the brake failure warning flashes but the brakes work and the message goes away as soon as i put it in gear and open the throttle. Dunno if that's normal but I'm still waitin on the owners manual i ordered from A&S to arrive.

Thanks for any info anyone might have.

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Old 02-03-2013, 05:13 AM
KarlB KarlB is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Crockett,tx
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 881
Mein Auto: 11 335d,08 K12GT,10 S1000
as to the brake lights flashing on start up, thats normal that should flash until you start rolling and then go out, sounds like it could be a problem with you ABS pump as in all the BMWs I have changed my own pads on none has ever given me an ABS fault till the pads were bedded in. granted in 2005 I was riding K bikes but the system should be the same
11 335d
2010 S1000RR
08 K1200GT
08 WR250R
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Old 02-03-2013, 01:10 PM
MattP1540 MattP1540 is offline
Location: Oahu
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 3
Mein Auto: 2005 R1150RT
More info

Thanks Karl. Doing more research and found this thread. Apparently the ABS modulator on mid-decade R bikes has a history of failure and expensive repair. Will keep the forum posted as this situation develops.

Not sure if this specific fault applies to my bike yet but not wanting to find out the hard way either. $2400 repair vs. possible complete brake failure...Best bike I've ever owned for 2 days...
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Old 02-20-2013, 04:36 PM
MattP1540 MattP1540 is offline
Location: Oahu
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 3
Mein Auto: 2005 R1150RT
ABS Failure resolved (?)

Have an update on ABS failure after bringing bike to real mechanics.

When the rear pads were replaced, the mechanic bled the system the conventional way, just by cracking the bleed valve and pumping the break pedal manually. Apparently these servo assisted ABS modulators need to be bled and serviced using a pump. Dunno the exact specifics of how the system works but i guess just pouring hydraulic fluid into the reservior and drawing it through the system by pumping the pedal left the ABS modulator without any fluid. As a result, it was running almost dry. Abrupt, full depression of the pedal demanded more than the pump could provide so it would cut out. The factory trained mechanic at South Seas Honda on Oahu reserviced the brakes properly and so far, the system is running smooth.

So the brakes are still on probation. Running dry may have caused damage to the pump which could lead to failure in the future and an eventual 2500-3000 dollar repair job. Moral of the story, don't skimp on paying for a factoryntrained mechanic. These beemers ain't kit bikes.
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1150, abs, anti-lock, brakes, r1150, r1150rt

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