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Old 03-26-2010, 06:22 AM   #1
Ceri JC OP
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Bluhduh F800GS - Baffling electrical fault

My '09 F800GS is coming up to 16K. I've had it 9 months, no problems till now.

Yesterday morning, I started the bike as usual, all was fine, till I parked up. I turned off the ignition, but the dash stayed lit and until I hit the kill switch, the engine wouldn't go off. A bit of experimentation revealed that it was even possible to start the bike without the key in the ignition!
I put the steering lock on and thankfully, after a couple of minutes when the CAN-BUS power was cut, the bike went 'off' and I thankfully couldn't start it without the key.

On the return journey home, exactly the same problem.

Today, it was even worse, in that even when power to the CAN-BUS connector was cut (GPS told me so) the rest stayed on. The only way to stop the bike from being started without the key (and to ensure the battery isn't flat, so I can get home tonight), was to disconnect the battery whilst it was parked up.

Non-standard electrics on the bike are:

1. Garmin Zumo 660 cradle connected via the spare CAN-BUS connector.
2. Gerbing heated kidney belt connected via Hella socket (not used for months now).
3. Gerbing direct to battery lead (left on bike), used to connect Gerbing Gloves in. Again, whilst on the bike, not used the past few months.
4. Twin 50W HID Headlights (from Adventure Spec) - Fitted by a local BMW specialist garage (ex-BMW staff, but not an official dealer) about 7K miles back. Always worked fine, no associated errors/glitches.

All these, bar the HID have been disconnected for the purposes of troubleshooting. I've disconnected and reconnected the battery, but the fault remains. At no stage have there been any error codes/warning lights etc. on. I've not changed anything recently, nor has anything relating to the electrical systems been changed for several thousand miles.

I've just spoken to the dealer who based on my description over the phone thinks it will be a faulty starter pack. If the HID is to blame, they won't fix it under warranty (fair enough). They're going to have a look at it late next week.

In the meantime, any ideas/suggestions?
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Old 03-27-2010, 07:44 AM   #2
JRWooden
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So with the key out of the ignition switch (and the ignition switch in the OFF position) the engine will still start and run????

Wow... a bike thief's dream come true ... confuse the crap out of the CANbus and steal BMWs all day long ...

Seriously.... WTF is our expensive mechanical ignition lock with EWS good for if it can be overridden by some kind of electrial fault ...

Starter pack? I'm not familar with that term....

Since you have had the battery disconnected for a long period of time I guess the ZFE / ECU has been reset ... I've got nuth'n else to add, but please keep us posted!
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Old 03-27-2010, 08:57 AM   #3
MCMXCIVRS
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Might just be the ignition switch that doing it.
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Old 03-27-2010, 10:31 AM   #4
itsforrest
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Since the aftermarket lights are still connected, I would look at them, or disconnect/remove them to eliminate as suspect. Disconnect them from the battery. If they are wired wrong or if the relay (you did use a relay, right?) was wired wrong or shorted you may get power circumventing the ignition switch.
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Old 03-27-2010, 10:34 AM   #5
itsatdm
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You will be surprised what the ECU controls on this bike. One of my software reinstalls caused the horn to continuosly sound and had to be reinstallled. Upgrade also revived my dead speedometer.
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Old 03-27-2010, 12:07 PM   #6
gr8ridn
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When things really get messed up with the CANBus I suspect either the twisted pair wiring being damaged or either of the terminating resistors. The front terminating resistor is incorporated in the instrument cluster. The rear is in the alarm or plug cap for the alarm in the tail section behind the seat. Either of these resisters will cause all sorts of problems and wonky behavior if disconnected. Horn and lights will operate randomly and the other CANBus connected devices will be erratic. If you have added any wiring around these two points this is where I would look first. All the switches on your handlebars do not go to any devices, but rather signal status change so the ZFE module(chassis computer) will carry out the command by powering the appropriate device/s.

As far as powering any accessories it would be wise to pick up power directly from the battery. For a switched power source use a either the accessory socket or GPS plug to trigger a parallel diode protected relay coil and source the supplied switched power from the battery. This type of relay is common because most newer cars have the same CANBus requirements. The diode will protect the CANBus from power back-feeding as the relay coil is de-energized (stored inductive release). Any time you tap into anything other than the battery to power added devices the results can become unpredictable if not done correctly.

I have to say the ability to start without a key is a new one for me. I would say most likely a faulty ignition switch or wiring related to that switch. The code required for the engine operation through your key is only used when first turned on. Once running the code is no longer read so if the ignition switch circuit remains on the bike could restart without having to read the key transponder. This would also explain the engine running on after turning off the key. If one tapped into the ignition switch wiring the CANBus or device could be holding the ignition circuit closed regardless of switch status. The ignition switch circuit is not part of the CANBus and shouldn't be mixed.

Sounds like the OP needs to take the bike for warranty work to correct the ignition switch problem.
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Old 03-27-2010, 03:17 PM   #7
Harry Swan
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I'll second checking out the alarm connector as said above. Mine, with OEM alarm installed, started doing weird things last summer in BC including draining one battery beyond charge. Two dealers have since suggested the plug or the alarm was the problem. Having your bike's lights suddenly start flashing in the middle of the night is not fun....
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Old 03-28-2010, 09:53 AM   #8
The Griz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by itsatdm
You will be surprised what the ECU controls on this bike. One of my software reinstalls caused the horn to continuosly sound and had to be reinstallled. Upgrade also revived my dead speedometer.
+1
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Old 03-28-2010, 10:26 AM   #9
Mr B
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IF i were troubleshooting this I would isolate the ignition switch, and key antenna. If I understand the system correctly, without the key inserted, the proper key, the bike will not start. I have heard of folks having issues with the antenna, perhaps it could be a short in the ignition switch and somehow tricking the antenna into thinking the key is still inserted, without proper wiring diagrams it is hard to speculate....good luck
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Old 03-28-2010, 05:15 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr B
... perhaps it could be a short in the ignition switch and somehow tricking the antenna into thinking the key is still inserted...
Some of these bikes are getting too smart for their own good.
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Old 03-28-2010, 06:05 PM   #11
Boon Booni
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ozart
Some of these bikes are getting too smart for their own good.
No shit. It's gone from a normal wiring and a couple of black boxes to the whole bike being a black box.
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Old 03-28-2010, 07:37 PM   #12
raider
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ceri JC
My '09 F800GS is coming up to 16K. I've had it 9 months, no problems till now.

(snip)

In the meantime, any ideas/suggestions?
It's still under warranty. Un-install your aftermarket stuff and return it to the shop.

There are three things in life mortal man should not fuck with: an angry wife, the IRS, and sealed black-box electrics on BMW motorcycles.
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Old 03-29-2010, 10:47 AM   #13
Ceri JC OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by itsforrest
Since the aftermarket lights are still connected, I would look at them, or disconnect/remove them to eliminate as suspect. Disconnect them from the battery. If they are wired wrong or if the relay (you did use a relay, right?) was wired wrong or shorted you may get power circumventing the ignition switch.
These were fitted by an ex-BMW mechanic at an independent BMW specialist (not a dealer). I trust these guys' competence more than the dealer's, so whilst I am rubbish at electronics and hence can't check/disconnect it, I'm fairly confident that they would have fitted them properly (they have fitted lot of these too; they were the ones who recommended the adventure spec kit to me).

As JR Wooden says, I'm mighty miffed that (assuming the HID is to blame) the EWS can be circumvented so easily. Just carry a spare headlight round and steal new bikes all day. :)

Bike is at the dealers waiting to be looked at, but thanks for the suggestions folks. I'll report back.
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Old 03-29-2010, 12:43 PM   #14
JoelWisman
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Wild guess, HID is causing this issue. Next guess, can buss termination problem. guess #3 ZEF has gone nuts, likely from interference from HID.

Do tell once the for sure fix is in :)
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Old 04-03-2010, 11:20 AM   #15
Ceri JC OP
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Have picked bike up from dealer. Working fine, all work done under warranty.

Mechanic advised that it was a relay in the ignition that had failed due to water ingress, tricking the bike into thinking the key was in the ignition. He said it wasn't a 'common' problem, but that had heard of it happening to other F800GS. Will report back if it happens a second time, otherwise assume the new one is working.

For info: I hadn't done any significant river crossing on my bike, but I had done a lot of riding for long periods of time in torrential rain.
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