Here We Go Again - Yet Another BMW R1150GS Adventure/Ural Sidecar Renovation

Discussion in 'Hacks' started by mikepa, Feb 5, 2020.

  1. mikepa

    mikepa SideCzarist Supporter

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    Regarding stuff I am able to make headway on . . . the first re-wiring success!

    It's almost too easy. The R1150GS/GSA is a perfect bike to mess with electrically, as it's good old' analog goodness, no CANbus, no digital, simple circuits, and best of all, one can "lose" that silly little side light/parking light, and re-purpose it as the ignition "ON" trigger for a load relay to power the fused power distribution block so that no circuits are "live" when the bike is switched off.

    A mix of farkle and wiring this weekend. Here is a pic of the mis-matched jerry can and carrier that was on the rig as delivered. The carrier was fastened with only two slotted head screws with a couple of zinc-plated fender washers and plain nuts inside the trunk. I think the strap (fastened with a washer and screw) was carrying most of the load. Not optimal:

    20200220_124518.jpg


    I'm old-school, and don't trust anything other than steel fuel cans, but my buddy (the rig's owner) asked if I could install a RotoPax, so I did. Used one RotoPax mounting plate for the locking Pack Mount on the outside ,and another as a backing plate on the inside, with thick rubber fender washers sandwiched between all metal surfaces. Tossed the Home Depot fasteners supplied with the install kit and replaced it all with stainless hardware and Nyloks. This is the 1.75gal RotoPax:

    20200227_181222.jpg


    Completed sleeving and re-wiring 100% on the left side of the tub:

    20200228_162007.jpg


    Instead of using weatherproof disconnects for the tub's auxiliary driving lights, I decided to install a small Blue Sea Systems terminal strip. Makes trouble-shooting, and repairs or replacement super easy. Takes up a lot less space than all the WeatherLok connectors that would otherwise be required. Perfectly safe to double-stack terminals at any station. From left to right: Switched Ignition Trigger Ground, Switched Ignition Trigger +12V, PIAA Lights Ground, PIAA Lights Switched +12V:

    20200228_140441.jpg

    20200229_103455.jpg


    Install of relay for bike's PIAA lights completed:

    20200228_162012.jpg


    PIAA Lights, RCU Designs Light Bar, LBS Leading Link Front End, the moment of truth:

    20200228_160909.jpg


    First time success!:

    20200228_160826.jpg


    Next, pre-wiring the ass-end of the tug so I can re-wire all the sidecar circuits. The dealer that did the install loved those fucking P-Taps, and Scotchloks, there were 11 of them alone stuffed into the tail light housing. Here's the damage they do:

    20200224_094411.jpg


    So, again, will just rip out all of the BMW OEM harnessing the former owners and dealers messed up, and build a new harness from scratch. Stay tuned!

    But for now, think I'll go riding with this guy:

    FB_IMG_1581100521872.jpg
    #81
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  2. PaulRS

    PaulRS Dutch fool

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    No iABS on a 2002 bike.
    And looking at some pic's above, I see the old ABS-II.

    I'd fit the front ring, see if the ABS works, and take it from there.
    If you run equal wheels front and back, the ABS can fault because both signals run out of phase, eventually.

    Paul.
    #82
  3. davebig

    davebig Another Angry Hun !

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    Ok I liked the power brakes when they work well, the ones on the k bike seem smoother.

    At this point you aren't certain how or if they work, one of their real issues was they hated low voltage and will shut down at 9.9 volts (very easily) or some such figure. Then you have very early Brit disc brakes they work badly and require allot of lever pressure.

    You may want to disable them permanently and remove the pump which opens up a nice hole in the under tank clutter. The minimum would be take the piping off and plumb the brakes conventionally (can be done with a short jumper line in the front and just attaching the rear braided line to the master cylinder.)
    The brake switches need to be from a non iabs model, (on gsa the brake lites start the pump when switch opens on conventional the switch closes and turns brake lite on) they may already be that way no telling what previous owner was trying to get away with.

    @4200 $ I wouldn't have any remorse about removing the pump and restoring order, they work well but are not really on the road serviceable if they fail on a trip.
    Removing the abs relay from the relay box usually shuts down the lights and disables warning lights. A consult with Ally or whatever that privateer BMW tech calls himself will probably be needed.

    BMW owners who seem to think they are a cut above the unwashed masses seem to have allot of used car sales men in their ranks :hmmmmm my last two K-bike purchases have been riddled with half measures :fpalm .

    From your descriptions you need to find out if stuff works or doesn't and make a decision. Good luck MIke as particular as you are you'll get it sorted.:-)
    #83
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  4. davebig

    davebig Another Angry Hun !

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    Oops Pauls correct I never spent allot of time looking at the images and thought it was a 2003 with a twin plug motor it's quite possibly worth saving I stand humiliated and corrected :-)

    It's an early gsa as one source (wiki) claims the iabs started in late 2002 perhaps just 03 models, I sort of thought you must have started it and moved it and would certainly be complaining about the iabs not functioning as when it's off the brakes are crap.
    If you want to remove it, it is easy replumb the brake remove the pump and pull the relay no switches etc.
    I just did my 110k 00 r1150gs hotrod.
    #84
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  5. mikepa

    mikepa SideCzarist Supporter

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    More on the ABS decision later, but thanks for the replies to date! As noted previously, got the front end of the bike rewired. Last night, finished rewiring the ass end. As these circuits are already fused, I just tucked a 20A terminal strip under the luggage rack, and now have stations prewired for all connections to the sidecar harness, which I'll build next

    20200301_115113.jpg


    BMW OEM harness re-built and re-sleeved:

    20200301_130630.jpg


    Tail light assembly and rear L/H turn signal hooked up, tug's wiring is now 100%:

    20200302_111846.jpg
    #85
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  6. mikepa

    mikepa SideCzarist Supporter

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    If any inquiring minds wanted to know, here's the logic of adding a switched accessory branch:

    load relay.jpg
    #86
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  7. BJMoose

    BJMoose that trick never works

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    Mike, I'm just gobsmacked by how damn beautiful that is. And how much room you have to work with. I cleaned up the wiring on both my bikes a while ago and now I feel like I should re-do the job - or better yet get you to do it. You have raised the bar regarding MC wiring. I bow to you.
    #87
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  8. brstar

    brstar Long timer

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    View attachment 2163093 View attachment 2163102 This level of workmanship is something to aspire to.
    And not trying to nitpick at all even if I am :D.
    But the thought that ran unasked through my distracted head was,
    If you blow the light fuse all the ancillaries go out?
    I suppose there's no obvious alternatives.
    But but carry on I will put up a pic of my recent rewire efforts to terrify the masses. 240 volt AC with no earth wire. Bottom pic is where it is now.
    #88
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  9. DRONE

    DRONE Dog Chauffeur

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    On most bikes yes you would be right since nobody would even notice the little parking light was not lit you'd probably spend many useless hours trying to find the problem. Only thing is that the parking light circuit on the R1150GS is NOT protected by a fuse to my knowledge. In fact, I think the headlights have no fuse either. Mike can correct me if I have this wrong. In any event, there are a number of alternative switched circuits on that bike that can be used to trigger your relay. On one of mine, I used the power to the carbon canister solenoid (the solenoid and canister having previously been removed) where the electrical connector was just sitting there begging to be used for SOMETHING!
    #89
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  10. mikepa

    mikepa SideCzarist Supporter

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    @brstar and @DRONE, on the R1150GS I'm rewiring, I chose the "sidelight" as the 12V ignition switch-enable supply for the accessory load relay. That branch circuit is an ignition switched circuit. The "sidelight" and the tail light are the two lights on that circuit, they are powered through a 4A fuse #F2 in the fusebox. So, it's true that if fuse F2 blows, the power to all accessory circuits would be disabled, as the load relay would not energize. None of the accessories are "mission critical", we're talking about auxiliary lights, and power for a GPS, USB outlets, heating clothing. With everything on, we're looking at a max current of 12A to 15A, not something you want connected directly to your battery unprotected!
    #90
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  11. mikepa

    mikepa SideCzarist Supporter

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    Thanks! This is what happens when I get angry. If some owner who doesn't really understand what they are doing does a poor job if installation, especially electrical, well, that's their business I guess. But when a dealership and/or sidecar builder does equally shoddy work, uses cheap materials, and compromises the safety and reliability of a customer's vehicle, while pocketing that owner's hard-earned cash, that pisses me off. So, I'll just go out of my way to prove it can be done better. Of course, to be fair, at the $140+/hour or local shops are now charging, this rewiring and refit is about a $7,000 job. Good thing I'm retired!
    #91
  12. mikepa

    mikepa SideCzarist Supporter

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    More leading link pics.

    LBS designed and built three sets of leading link forks for me, using my 2005 R1150GSA in Europe as the pattern. Turns out my tug has TOKICO calipers, the 2002 rig I'm refitting here at home has BREMBO's, and the caliper carriers I was sent didn't fit.

    LBS whipped up and painted a new set, and they were delivered from Holland yesterday. For the first time, I'm able to fully assemble the leading link kit (fender is still out for paint), and compared to kits I've seen for sale in the UK and USA, these are a thing of beauty.

    Properly designed, with calipers located high and in front of the fork tubes.. Good welds, radiused bends instead of cut/miter/weld corners, all stainless steel hardware with Nylok nuts except for two Grade 8 pivot bolts. Double-shear mounts for the upper shock bolts and arm. Formed stainless steel caliper torque arms.

    And all-metric tubing and hardware, just like the bike!

    20200303_154857.jpg

    20200303_154411.jpg

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    20200303_154705.jpg

    20200303_154717.jpg

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    20200303_154814.jpg

    20200303_154920.jpg
    #92
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  13. MGV8

    MGV8 Long timer Supporter

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    Drool
    #93
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  14. mikepa

    mikepa SideCzarist Supporter

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    Regarding the ABSerectomy . . .

    Given that this bike was delivered with both the front and rear tone rings removed (and, from obvious patterning on the hub adapters, they were installed at one time), and the ABS relay was missing, and the ABS warning lights on the idiot panel were taped over (guess the PO was too dumb to simply remove the bulbs?), and the simple fact that back in 2002, ABS was an option anyway, I've decided to simply yank the entire ABS system and plumbing, and revert the bike to a non-ABS version. I did a deep consult with two factory-trained, highly experienced, and now independent BMW techs, and they said I should just pull the ABS system, as it's not that great to begin with, and the front and rear master cylinders move plenty of fluid to have great brakes sans ABS. The magic BMW partner number is PN: 34327650965, called a Distribution Piece or Junction, Item No. 9 in the diagram below:

    Capture.JPG

    This allows the modulator and all the plumbing to be completely bypassed for a clean and simply install. I'll remove the modulator, and simply re-wire the brake and tail lights around. This is simple as on the 2002's, the brake level microswitch is normally open, and closes when the brake is engaged. On the later models, the switch type was reversed to a normally closed, so the bike could do it's ABS self-check thing.

    That said, thanks to those of you who offered alternatives, much appreciated, much learned!
    #94
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  15. DRONE

    DRONE Dog Chauffeur

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    If you're gonna do that, then for the front I have an even simpler (especially when bleeding) suggestion which is what I did with my 1100GS. (Alex approved.) Two completely separate brake lines from each of the front calipers directly to the master cylinder. Double banjo under the MC. No "T"'s, no "Y"'s. Done.

    I took some rubber tubing laying around the garage and used that to lay out the routing I wanted. Once I had it right, I measured the tubing then ordered the two brake lines from Spiegler. Spiegler was even able to provide the double banjo I needed as well as a handful of crush washers.
    #95
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  16. PaulRS

    PaulRS Dutch fool

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    Yep, you'll need #9-10-11 for the front.

    For the rear;

    NOT FOR VEHICLES WITH ANTI BLOCK SYSTEM (ABS) (CODE: X524A) :
    #06 p/n 34 32 2 338 183 BRAKE HOSE - L=350MM

    That line goes straight from the MC to the calliper.

    No need to rewire, on ABS-II there's no connection between the ABS unit and the brake light circuits, nor the tail lt.
    Just pull the relais and the 2 bulbs.

    Paul.
    #96
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  17. mikepa

    mikepa SideCzarist Supporter

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    Indeed, we think a lot alike. In fact, Alex was one of the two techs I talked with. LBS included a new twin line and "T" for the lower brake lines, so all I needed to order was the single line from the junction to the master cylinder, I prefer to just have a single line from the master cylinder.

    The rear was super simple, the existing line (which is not a "rubber" hose, but the braided stainless with a clear overcoat) was simply re-routed directly to the master cylinder. Alex suggested reversing the hose, as the bends in the banjo fitting were at a angle for connection direct to the master cylinder.
    #97
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  18. mikepa

    mikepa SideCzarist Supporter

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    Soooooo, dis-mounted vthe 13-year old Nankang tires off the bike today, and found this. Bet the cretin who was the former owner has been looking for his rim protectors for, say, the last 13 years?

    20200305_160100.jpg
    #98
  19. mikepa

    mikepa SideCzarist Supporter

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    Here are my four wiring hint slides to date.

    Switched power, fused distribution block with common ground bus. Load relay:

    R1150GS Fuse Block.jpg


    Terminal strip to branch out trigger circuit and tail lights, turn signals, etc. for both the bike and the sidecar:

    R1150GS Terminal Block.jpg


    Wiring an Ural running light/turn signal assembly:

    R1150GS  Ural Turn Signal.jpg


    Pre-wiring an Ural light assembly prior to fender mounting:

    R1150GS Ural Fender Lights.jpg
    #99
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  20. DRONE

    DRONE Dog Chauffeur

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    I think he put those rim protectors in there because he ran out of balancing beads. Too much! :lol2

    About your comment about a chassis ground being unreliable. My experience is more limited than yours, but I've never had a problem with a chassis ground. Maybe I'm just doing it right? LOL But really, in what situations would a chassis ground be not recommended?
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