HEX ezCAN Install on a 2017 BMW R1200GS Adventure Rig

Discussion in 'Hacks' started by mikepa, Jan 21, 2020.

  1. mikepa

    mikepa SideCzarist Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2001
    Oddometer:
    814
    Location:
    Seattle, WA in the Great Pacific NorthWET (USA)
    Fabricated a mounting block for an under-seat install of a new Gen II Hex ezCAN controller on my 2017 BMW R1200GS Adventure/EML S1 Roadster rig.

    ezCAN controls 12VDC accessory and USB 5VDC power outlets in tub, and also tub's turn signals, brake and forward clearance/marker light.

    Software is pretty straightforward once you grok the logic of it. Super well constructed hardware, great product!

    Plenty of space under the seat passenger area. Also, this location is just about perfect for the length of the power/ground wire harness provided for battery connection:

    20200121_084830.jpg

    Fabricated a mounting block to space the controller high enough to see it's indicator LED, and also made wire-routing a lot cleaner:

    20200121_084843.jpg

    20200121_084914.jpg
    #1
  2. Wolfgang55

    Wolfgang55 Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2006
    Oddometer:
    4,285
    Location:
    Only N flowin river emptying in an ocean
    Man, that is a great looking rig.

    Indeed very clean under the seat
    #2
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  3. mikepa

    mikepa SideCzarist Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2001
    Oddometer:
    814
    Location:
    Seattle, WA in the Great Pacific NorthWET (USA)
    Thanks for the kind words. I am a bit anal about all things electrical, electronic, and wiring. As for the rig, I wish I could take credit for it, but I'm just the (incredibly pleased) 2nd owner. Original work was done by a private owner, not a shop - that would be fellow hack inmate @We're Here, he deserves all the credit for the build, I'm just the steward!
    #3
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  4. Burbankalley

    Burbankalley ancient ski patrolle

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2014
    Oddometer:
    176
    Location:
    Ellensburg, Wa
    Thunderstruck..... and feeling inadequate beyond words with my KLR/Sputnik....
    As an engineer/technician/mechanic, I make a pretty good ski patroller....
    #4
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  5. mikepa

    mikepa SideCzarist Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2001
    Oddometer:
    814
    Location:
    Seattle, WA in the Great Pacific NorthWET (USA)
    Hey Brother, they're all good! I may get there a bit faster, your's can go places mine can't. Heck, we had a couple of KLR's on a couple of the long-haul international tours I guided for GlobeRiders, in a pack of GS'es!
    #5
  6. Burbankalley

    Burbankalley ancient ski patrolle

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2014
    Oddometer:
    176
    Location:
    Ellensburg, Wa

    Thank you..... I'm too unskilled to build up a first rate machine similar to yours, and too damn poor to buy one.... I'm gonna have to rely on economical frankenhacks, and replace them as they fall apart. I keep looking for that impossible option: a bullet proof rig under 10K USD, but I'm learning that they just don't exist. But, as they taught me in Army NCO schools, "adapt and overcome... adapt and overcome!" And perhaps I can rack my mind around and believe you in that "doing what you can with what you have where you are" is just part of the charm, part of the adventure. Worked in Alaska.... maybe it will work in Argentina! How many KLRs does it take to RTW? Let's find out....
    #6
  7. mikepa

    mikepa SideCzarist Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2001
    Oddometer:
    814
    Location:
    Seattle, WA in the Great Pacific NorthWET (USA)
    That attitude will overcome any obstacle, I like it! Problem is, great used bikes are affordable, through it's getting a bit long in the tooth, one of my favorites for hauling around a tub, the venerable BMW R1150GSA, can be had for under $5K (though, of course, the cost of service and repair parts may kill your bank account, at least if purchased new from a dealer!). The problem is finding a good quality, used tub. Rarely available separately, they rigging them is way beyond the tools/skills of most, as metal cut-off, tube bending, welding is usually required. But, "adapt and overcome", you'll get there one of the days!
    #7
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  8. DRONE

    DRONE Dog Chauffeur

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2007
    Oddometer:
    8,995
    Location:
    Tacoma - ish, WA
    I'm not ready to pull out all the aux wiring under the seat of my 2008 R1200GSA rig just so I can install a Hex EZ Can, but until this thread I really didn't know how it worked. Like, for instance, I didn't know you could tap into the turn signals and the brake lights using the Hex EZ Can without actually tapping into any wires on the bike. Pretty cool device.

    My rig was originally built by DMC in 2012 and at that time DMC was using 3M T-taps to tap into the brake wire and turn signal wire. Guillotine-style like this --

    T-TAP CONNECTORS.jpg


    On my bike, the OEM brake and turn is a tiny wire--I'm thinking maybe 22 gauge? 24 gauge? Delicate enough that I will never remove those connectors for fear of damaging the harness. DMC used heavier gauge wiring (I'm guessing 18) for their side of the brake and turn signal taps, so when I wanted to add a pair of aux brake lights I decided to tap into the DMC wires, not the tiny BMW wires. I used Posi-taps to accomplish this. This kind --

    positap.jpg


    Worked great but, apropos to this thread, I noticed the other day that one of my two aux brake lights had failed. Investigated, starting at the lamp unit and moving forward and, you guessed it, the continuity failure was at the Posi-tap! First time I've had a Posi fail on me, but mostly I use posi inline connectors not the taps. Anyway, when I discovered the failure, my first thought was "I gotta tell MikePa how right he is." :lol2

    Not ready yet for the Hex, I fixed my brake light with a proper (well, kinda proper) t-splice using high quality German tape and a cable tie providing stress relief (though there is no stress on this splice.) Not my pics, but similar --

    tsplice1.jpg tsplice2.jpg

    I put my cable tie above the splice around the two wires, not how the picture shows. I'm using 16-gauge, marine quality, fine strand, pre-tinned yadayadayada so I feel good about that part anyway. If I ever decide to do the complete strip out and re-wire, I'll definitely want to use the Hex EZ Can and will borrow heavily from Mike's DIY threads.
    #8
  9. mikepa

    mikepa SideCzarist Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2001
    Oddometer:
    814
    Location:
    Seattle, WA in the Great Pacific NorthWET (USA)
    The HEX ezCAN is a great solution it two specific cases:

    (1). You want to be able to trigger/energize a power relay (to provide 12VDC to a power buss or high-current device or circuit) when the ignition key is turned on, or . . .

    (2). You want to be able to install auxiliary lights, or an accessory horn, that can be controlled using AN EXISTING SWITCH on the bike.

    In both cases, it is an IFTT (IF This, Then That) interface that can intercept or piggy-back on existing switch or sensor state changes on the CANbus network to energize two high-current and/or two low-current devices without touching the bike's existing harness, wiring, or switches and sensors. It's not cheap, and most owners and dealers really don't understand the why or how of it, so the cut or use the horrid insulation-displacing T-taps, or Scotchlok connectors because they're cheap, quick, and is some cases, "the custom hasn't a clue, or will never know".

    HOWEVER, if you have devices or accessories to install that required they own switch or sensor anyway, you don't necessarily need a HEX ezCAN or other CANBus bridge, you can simply wire directly to the battery, insure you have an inline fuse, and wire it directly. The major downside to doing this (and most owners and dealers direct wire anyway) is worth considering. Let's say you direct wire a nice set of driving lights and install a handlebar or cockpit switch. There may come a day when you forget to turn them off, turn off your ignition (but of course, the lights are still on), walk away, and have a dead battery in a few hours at most. or, your bike is parked and you're sightseeing or shopping, and some kids do some otherwise harmless twisting of the throttle and blip a few switches, and turn something on that will rain the batter for you.

    As you've all seen I have rules, and never having any "hot" device or circuit is one of them.
    #9
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