R1200GS fuel strip calibration

Discussion in 'GS Boxers' started by GSQuester, Nov 18, 2010.

  1. Scratch33

    Scratch33 Fugawi?

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    Just picked up a used '07 GS last weekend - I specifically asked the seller if he'd experienced any problems with the fuel strip and he said no.

    On my inaugural 38 mile ride in to work this a.m., though, the fuel gauge mysteriously went from reading full to reading one bar above empty. I stopped to gas up and the tank took all of 3.2 gallons. :huh
    #21
  2. SCflyer

    SCflyer Long timer

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    Maybe new info. maybe not but FWIW, I asked the service guy about the fuel strip and new rumored change to a fuel float. He said BMW is supposed to be coming out with a fuel strip to fix the problem which he supported is with the ethonal in our fuel. Likely won't last long if they increase the %ages. Said if it sits, the strip above whatever fuel level is oxidizes at that point and obviously things get messed up.
    As far as the float, he said it will only be on bikes that do not have the OBC (on board computer). All others with the computer will still have the strip.

    Not trying to argue for or against any points/opinions brought up, just advising of what I don't recall reading about.
    #22
  3. genka

    genka SUV hater

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    The top half of the indicator is a single big bar. I also have a freshly bought 07, I find that the gauge shows full for about 120 miles after a fill-up, than it shows 1/2. Another bar goes out almost immediately, and the rest (2?) last another 50 or so miles until the countdown.
    So you gauge may be working as designed.
    #23
  4. Nitzo

    Nitzo Long timer

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    my 07 had three replaced, now my 09 is doing the same thing, im not messing with it this time...........the trip meter is your friend:deal.
    #24
  5. marchyman

    marchyman DR and GS

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    I wonder....

    I know that lots of folks blame the gas. That doesn't quite feel right to me given the gas we use in California and the lack of systematic failures among California BMW riders. At least not if the cause is specifically ethanol in the gas.

    Since several folks are on their second or third sensor I wonder if it is the bike and not the gas. Something like, I don't know, an under voltage or over voltage that is within the specified range but not liked by the sensor. :dunno
    #25
  6. deeve

    deeve Adventure Lite

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    I know this has been mentioned before, but my dealer and I were BSing with a BMW NA rep who was visiting. I mentioned the fuel strip thing and he told me what I had read here, that is was supposed to be a US only problem and related to the fuel. It just doesn't make sense. BMW is not selling some fuel cleaner process and over the counter additive from Chevron that is *supposed* to clear things up.

    Just sounds hokey to me too...The silly strip is just too fragile or something. We have some motors in our fleet that have had two or three. Others that are fine (for now.)
    #26
  7. marchyman

    marchyman DR and GS

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    Bike owners in Australia, for one, have reported the same issue so I don't know how much I believe that BMW NA rep.
    #27
  8. deeve

    deeve Adventure Lite

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    The rep actually was smartly silent and knowingly nodded his head a lot....the shop owner said it was a NA issue. I didn't push the fuel strip issue much, I was mostly talking to him about brake fade/release issues and trying to convince BMWNA to make a GSA-P
    #28
  9. redredred

    redredred Experienced n00b

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    43K on my '08 and my fuel strip just went out. you might have just jinxed yourself there buddy. btw, the 2010s went back to fuel-float because of all the problems we have been having. one dealer reported that one RT-P went through 3 fuel strips IN ONE DAY.
    #29
  10. GSQuester

    GSQuester not-quite-a-n00b

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    :confused

    Huh? Which 2010's have a fuel float? I started this thread because my 2010 GSA has a bad fuel strip...

    Anyway, coming full circle on my dilemma, the dealer ended up recalibrating it even though they would have preferred just replacing it since those are the standing orders from BMW on warranty work - recalibrate first, and if it still is faulty, then replace.

    I didn't end up riding much after the recalibration was done, with the onset of snow in these parts, so too soon to tell how long the recalibration will 'hold'. Guess I'll see in the spring...
    #30
  11. Long Gone

    Long Gone Objectivist

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    My nine month old GSA has just had it's first one replaced. At least it had better be replaced. I haven't picked it up from the dealer yet. The dealer said to write my congressman about the fuel formulation as that's what's causing the problem. I doubt that will change much until we kill the ethanol subsidy.
    #31
  12. Mr Bowler Hat

    Mr Bowler Hat Adventurer

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    3 month old GSA broken down twice now running out of fuel....strip replaced under warranty. Strangely enough the service staff couldnt look me in the eye when I asked if this was a common problem :wink:

    I no longer have any faith in the readouts and utilise the sat nav....
    #32
  13. SCflyer

    SCflyer Long timer

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    Per the service guy I spoke to last week...
    #33
  14. redredred

    redredred Experienced n00b

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    my bad, i was just repeating what i heard at the dealer. i didn't realize that only some, not all, of '010s were modified.
    #34
  15. SCflyer

    SCflyer Long timer

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    redredred,
    Hope I didn't seem like I was knocking your reply. I was doing the same thing (repeating what I heard at the dealer). Just advising of something I hadn't heard before.

    #35
  16. GSQuester

    GSQuester not-quite-a-n00b

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    Ditto. More just wanted some clarification, and am glad for the follow up replies so I understand what the deal is. I bought my 2010 with the on board computer, but obviously got more than I bargained for since that meant getting a fuel strip instead of a float. :doh
    #36
  17. onesaintsfan

    onesaintsfan BigJohnHart

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    As in a previous post, I will be taking mine in next month to have a third fuel strip put in ( Original +2) on my GSA-ADV ( 18.8K miles).

    1- If BMW keeps on having to install fuel strips in bikes, paying both parts and labor, you would think they are working on a different part to replace these or another system of measuring how much fuel is in the tank. They have got to be loosing money on these repairs and they will either one day have to just tell us to get lost, or come up with an improved strip

    2-I would like a concrete answer as to what can be done to either disable the fuel sensor and turn off that damn golden triangle and flashing fuel warning or if an older float system can be used and just forget about looking at the fuel level indicator. ( Mine has the OBC so I may just be out of luck.)

    BTW........This fuel strip has lasted about 8K miles and all that talk about using Chevron with Techtron, Non-Ethanol fuels, etc. is BS. I used techtron fuels almost exclusively on the last strip and even treated every 3-4 tanks with techtron additive and it still failed. And you know what? This bike is supposed to be an ADVENTURE BIKE ! I mean come on, if you ride this thing the way it is designed to be ridden you are not always going to be where you can get high-grade fuels.

    Other than this issue, I love my GS and have had no other problems. Love the bike more every time I ride it. I just will not accept that one day I will have to put black tape over the golden triange and the top of the fuel level indicator on the expensive a motorcycle that is supposed to be a premium marqee ! ! ! !

    And Finally ( maybe slightly off topic but ) I am sweating that new K1600GTL for me and the wife..........But if its got the same damn fuel strip........maybe not
    #37
  18. cpmodem

    cpmodem Orange Caveman

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    My wife's '09 GS12 is ready for its 3rd strip apparently. Fuel gauge reads empty and D&%#!! yellow triangle blinking with 4 1/2 gallons of fuel in tank. If it was me, I'd just disable the fuel gauge (don't know what to do to stop the yellow B!$%#@), but my wife isn't that forgiving and actually wants the fuel gauge (and everything else) on her $15,000 bike to work. Damn narrow view I say.:norton
    #38
  19. stockracer

    stockracer n00b

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    Well, you can add mine to the list...
    Riding my '09 GSA today, about 3/4 tank was indicated. A few minutes later, I looked down to see zero fuel, and then the dreaded yellow light and low fuel warning. It appears to be permanently in low fuel warning mode.
    Topped of my fuel and zeroed the trip meter. Guess I'll be heading to the shop... :pissed

    Anyone know if they've come out with an improved fuel strip yet?
    #39
  20. juvander

    juvander Adventurer

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    I just replaced today my fuel strip on my '09 GSA. I did this by just replacing the old with new. No need to do any calibration, it started showing correct amount right after riding few hundred meters.

    In my case GS-911 was showing error '41705 Fuel Level Indicator'.
    #40