[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

FW: Integral ABS module failure

-----Original Message-----
From: Clive Liddell [mailto:cliddell@xxxxxxxxxx] 
Sent: 21 August 2008 11:41
To: 'paul kalichman'
Subject: RE: Integral ABS module failure

Hi Paul,

Well, if I were in your position I would investigate Plan C, "converting" my
bike to non-boosted, non-ABS operation.  

I am not sure if the calliper pistons differ in diameter compared to the
non-boosted bikes but a quick look at realoem gives the handlebar "master
cylinder" diameter on your bike as 16mm.  

This is of course only a "control" cylinder driving the boosting arrangement
and I am sure you would have to replace the whole RH handlebar unit with a
standard brake lever and master cylinder (possibly 20mm dia but that's just
a guess).

The same careful investigation of the rear brake cylinder would need to be
made.  At the end of the day you would likely have to convert everything to
the R1100 non-ABS setup but I think you would still come out with
considerable savings.

I happen to have a recent quote for a handlebar master cylinder for an F650
and it is ~US$230 for example so the equivalent R price should be in the
same ball park...

I know of at least one person on the IBMWR lists that has converted an ABS
R1100 to non-ABS R1100 and he is happy with the result.

I hope you can resolve your problem!

Clive Liddell
South Africa


I have been lurking on the list for the last 2 years since I picked up an 02
R1150RS.  Not much to say or add all that time so I just keep quiet. I
really enjoy the bike, and I find it really refreshing after 23 years of
riding an R80RT.  That being said, I have some drama to share, and a query
to ask at the end.

This June I had a little encounter with a object lying in the middle of a 4
lane divided highway I happened to be riding.
In spite of my 30 years riding experience, (and the fact that I know better)
I still managed to fixate on the object, and consequently ran right over it,
at perhaps 120KPH!  The impact was quite severe, as the object in question
was the driveshaft that connects the two rear axles of a dump truck. Rather
solid and heavy. Amazingly the bike went right over it, but it did result in
an exciting tank slapper. I managed to keep the bike upright and aimed her
over to the shoulder.
Once I was able to pry my fingers off the grips and dismount the bike, I
noticed the side stand had grown longer as it couldn't be fully extended.
With difficulty, I hauled her up on the center stand, which had also grown
Slowly I regained my senses and it dawned on me that the stands were not
longer, but the bike was in fact lower as I now had two flat tires.  Indeed,
running over a driveshaft at highway speeds will result in badly bent rims,
flat tires, and at least one bent brake rotor and damaged caliper.
Fortunately this was all covered by my insurance, to the tune of $5700
Canadian dollars.

Now three weeks later I am in Montana heading to Glacier National park after
the MOA rally. I attempt to slow down for a RH turn at an intersection,
nothing happens!  No brakes!  I squeeze harder. Next thing I know, and I am
doing a stoppie and the rear wheel is off the ground. I see the warning lamp
on, and the ABS flashing at 4 hertz.
(At least one brake circuit in residual braking function mode)  I quickly
deduce this isn't looking too good.
Not one to let a minor inconvenience like intermittent malfunctioning brakes
to end a good trip, I continue for a few more days, until I have to head
home.  During the 2000 mile trip home to Toronto, I note the following
symptoms. Sometimes I have only residual braking in the rear, but power to
the front. Other times only residual braking in the front, but power to the
rear. Other times no power to either front or rear.
Last but not least, but most of the time, full power to both, but warning
light on and ABS lamp flashing.
In all cases the failure only happens when I use the brakes, never at start
up. (and never consistently) Eventually I do take the bike over to my local
BMW dealer. Fault codes suggest a faulty iABS modulator.
Repair estimate from BMW Canada, $500 labour and $3600 for the modulator!
(that's not a typo)
Needless to say, with a little googleling one soon finds the same part is
approximately $2000 in the US. Now I am quite sure BMW Canada has a very
good reason for charging $1500 more than their counterparts in the US.
Perhaps the Canadian version comes with a life time warranty? Maybe its gold
plated?  (I am positive if customer service ever returns the three calls I
made last week, I will find out!)

But until then I have been thinking of plan B.

Plan B: I order the modulator from the US and install it myself.
(I like plan B because I am one of those cheap BMW self maintainers)

So the question I have been unable to resolve even after searching and
reading every iABS related thread on the planet.

Is the ABS modulator a plug and play unit right out of the box? (of course
after filling and bleeding!) The current part number 34517685790, is listed
for the RS, GS and R models.
Is there some
special set up or adjustment that only a BMW dealer can perform with their
diagnostic computer?

I suspect the unit is in fact plug and play, and the computer is used only
to test and record results. But I have no way to verify this, and I do not
want to order a part I cannot install!  Does anyone on this list know the

Hope I haven't bored everyone with my long drivel.

regards, paul