Spare relays for long trip

Discussion in 'GS Boxers' started by 2uprtw, Feb 14, 2009.

  1. 2uprtw

    2uprtw Been here awhile

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    I am in the process of re-stocking our spares and was wondering which relays on an 1100gs can fail and cause a trip to come to a halt?
    #1
  2. space

    space a.k.a. Jake

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    Assuming it's the same as the 1150, all the relays are of the same type except for the ABS relay.

    I suggest bringing a spare of the common kind and not worrying about the ABS relay since it's not critical.
    #2
  3. GSbiker

    GSbiker new and un-improved

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    Has anybody had a relay fail? I don't think I have ever heard of that happening.
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  4. dlew

    dlew Daypass Adventurer

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    i've had two fail. they were triggering hid driving lights and they had water damage after either riding in rain or bike sitting in rain. it probably wasn't from washing because it's only washed once or twice a year and i don't soak it like it would be soaked from rain.

    the relay was under the seat and i re-oriented it so it's facing down and i haven't had a problem again but i'm sure moisture could do it.
    #4
  5. 2uprtw

    2uprtw Been here awhile

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    I read somewhere (but cannot remember where) that the starter relay can fail and that there is a relay for the fuel pump which may cause problems. But when I checked on realoem I only found a part number for the starter relay and there seems to be nothing specific for a fuel pump relay.
    #5
  6. GS Addict

    GS Addict Pepperfool

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    The load relief relay eventually becomes erratic on high mileage machines. I did an autopsy on my failed one and found the main contact eroded away (which i what I would expect for that application). It operates everytime the starter is called to run and carries a fair amount of current. Carry a spare and you will never have a problem - remember Murphy's law?
    #6
  7. 2uprtw

    2uprtw Been here awhile

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    Alright guys, thanks for the responses. I'll probably pick up a couple of spare relays just in case.
    #7
  8. Maineiac

    Maineiac Kennebago Express

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    Just had relay fail on my '04 GSA w/26K - happened after N.S. trip.... rain, rain, rain. FWIW, local dealer said it's not uncommon.
    #8
  9. PartTimeTravel

    PartTimeTravel Been here awhile

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    nothing failed yet after 322,000km. A long time ago had the drivelight relay stick on for a bit, but removed it, gave it a couple of taps and was good to go again - happens when was running 330W on high beam.

    Personally I wouldnt bother carrying a spare. If in the very unlikely event one failed, it may be due to some other problem causing it. Carry a compact digital multimeter (about the size of a packet of cigaretes). Relays can be got just about anywhere, and if not the correct fit, running some jumpers temporarilly will do the trick.

    Nic.
    #9
  10. space

    space a.k.a. Jake

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    :nod This happened to mine at 60k. The most notable symptom was that the headlight would occasionally stay on after I'd switched off the bike.

    Seeing that a relay weighs less than 10 g, you may as well bring one.
    #10
  11. bananaman

    bananaman transcontimental

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    +1

    I had a cheap radio shack relay on my fog lights. It worked fine for the entire ride to Ushuaia, and then back in Wisconsin a few weeks after I got back, we had torrential rains and it got waterlogged and quit. Otherwise, the jumper-cable trick would work for your starter.

    You, Brian, are becoming a master BMW mechanic. I have complete confidence that if you had a failed relay, you'd either do a field repair that MacGyver would envy, or you'd find some other bike/vehicle to canabalize.

    If I was you riding your bike by now I would probably not be sleeping at all, and for emergency, I'd probably have an entire spare bike in one of my side cases.
    #11
  12. GS Addict

    GS Addict Pepperfool

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    For a less than $20 you can buy the correct relay (about the size of an ice cube and easily packs in the fuse enclosure)
    Are you saying you are willing to dick around in the dark with jumpers & connectors after having to find something that might work in some nowhere town where nothing is open on Sundays..........I don't get the logic :huh
    My riding time is worth more than that.
    #12
  13. vintagerider

    vintagerider Long timer

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    Gs Addict said "
    For a less than $20 you can buy the correct relay (about the size of an ice cube and easily packs in the fuse enclosure)
    Are you saying you are willing to dick around in the dark with jumpers & connectors after having to find something that might work in some nowhere town where nothing is open on Sundays..........I don't get the logic"

    That's how you find adventure and local color.
    #13
  14. Hotspice

    Hotspice Satellites not acquired

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    Count me among the ones that have had relay's fail. Never a factory one though, just ones I've added.

    I always used to carry one spare. Then one night out at O-dark-thirty my HID's went out on me in the middle of BFE :eek1 . No biggie, I pull over, grab the flashlight and start troubleshooting. Sure enough it seems like the relay so I grab my spare and put it in.

    Nada, zilch, zippo.. :doh , some other part of my install must have failed and there's no way I'm fixing it where I'm at so I limp home with stock 1150GS lights.

    The next day I ripped things apart and couldn't get the lights working. I test & try the original relay and nothing, ditto with the spare relay. Just for kicks I grab a THIRD relay and things fire up fine :huh . Sure enough, my original one AND my backup were bad.

    Now I carry TWO spare relays, just in case.


    :norton
    #14
  15. PartTimeTravel

    PartTimeTravel Been here awhile

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    GS addict,

    if you wish to carry spares, good for you. How many other spares will you carry? How do you determine what spares?

    I carry all the basics that are likely to stop me, likely to fail, and can be done on the roadside - spare cables, plugs, alternator belt, fuel filter, clutch lever.

    I have tyre repair and crash repair items.

    Relays are very reliable these days - i dont bother carrying spares. You may even find that for example the ABS relay is the same as another, so you could pull the abs to get something else going! Even if you couldn't, a bit of jumper wire will bypass a relay to get the motor running if required, so long as the underlying cause of the failure is addressed first.

    Carrying all the spares you like may not help, unless you know what your doing and have the tools to do so.

    if it really goes bad, set up your tent, or join the locals for some fun... call your boss and say your stranded for a few days and let the adventure begin.

    Nic.
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  16. GS Addict

    GS Addict Pepperfool

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    I carry all the same spares u do including a sight glass & one of each type fuse and Lamp. Not always for myself but being in the trade I end up helping others that do not plan for breakdowns.
    The subject relay takes up little space so it is a no brainer.
    As far as relay reliability issue goes - I know first hand, it is my trade, I work with all types every day - mechanical & electronic. I can assure you of one thing, they DO fail, some models more than others.
    #16
  17. bananaman

    bananaman transcontimental

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    Brian and Marie just finished an epic ride from Canada to Argentina. They just spent a month on a ship sailing with their bike from Argentina to Europe. Now they're getting ready to ride from Europe to India.

    They started with an 1100GS, and they're riding an 1100GS now, but so many parts have been replaced that it's hardly the same bike!

    As for setting up a tent and waiting for parts, I think they've done that already... in Central America, Colombia, Mendoza, and Buenos Aires.
    #17
  18. higbyal

    higbyal n00b

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    Hi
    Back in 2011 you were looking into sources for ABS Motor Relays. Did you ever find a inexpensive source for these? I have a 1996 R1100GS in need of a ABS Motor relay. Got any leads??

    Thanks
    Big Al
    #18
  19. GS Addict

    GS Addict Pepperfool

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    Sent you an email
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  20. def

    def Ginger th wonder dog

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    So is my sanity.
    #20