Discussion in 'GS Boxers' started by tagesk, Mar 28, 2008.

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  1. tagesk

    tagesk Tuscan rider

    Jun 23, 2007
    Tuscany, Italy
    [Moderator's note: this thread by Tagesk is a massive index to Oilheads and the early Hexheads. It's not currently maintained, but is left stickied as a benefit to the forum. ]

    GSpot Frequently Asked Questions

    Welcome to the GSpot FAQ!

    Some questions have been asked, and answered, more than once in GSpot. We have collected quite a few of them, together with the answer that will (or should) be given. You might find you favorite question already answered.

    This GSpot FAQ has seven parts. The parts are:
    • Part 1: Introduction, global Table of Content, and Trivia (this post)
    • Part 2: Terminology here.
    • Part 3: Mechanical here.
    • Part 4: Brakes and ABS here.
    • Part 5: Oil here.
    • Part 6: Modifications here.
    • Part 7: Miscellaneous here.
    A valid first question is: Why is it split over seven posts? The answer is that there are so many FAQ that the original post exceeded the maximum allowed in the system.

    Now, on to the Real Stuff:

    Whether the bike has ABS or not is in fact indicated in the model. Thus we have
    • GS (bare bone)
    • GSA (GS with ABS)
    • GS Adventure
    • GSA Adventure (a GS Adventure with ABS)
    However, here in GSpot barely anyone pays attention to the official names of the models. Here, GSA almost universally means "GS Adventure". The GSpor FAQ advice is "si fueris Romae, Romano vivito more; si fueris alibi, vivito sicut ibi" (info here).

    However, whenever you ask about brakes, always make it clear in one way or another, if you have ABS or not.

    Table of content

    Part 1: Trivia (at the bottom of this post)
    1.1 Why is it called GSpot
    1.2 Units of measurements
    1.3 Legal Notice

    Part 2: Words and Terminology
    2.1 Acronyms
    2.2 Wisdom
    2.3 n00b
    2.4 Who is GB
    2.5 Who is JJ
    2.6 ADV sticker (decal)
    2.7 Hexhead
    2.8 Oilhead
    2.9 Airhead
    2.10 Camhead
    2.11 Wethead

    Part 3: Mechanical

    3.1 Part numbers
    3.2 FD failure (with repair)
    3.3 Spark plugs
    3.4 Mileage
    3.5 Cruise control
    3.6 Service plan
    3.7 Can I do maintenance / service myself?
    3.8 Warranty
    3.9 Charcoal-canister
    3.10 Replace alternator belt
    3.11 Replace front fork seal
    3.12 Change tyre
    3.13 Tires
    3.14 Tires
    3.15 HID lights
    3.16 Horn
    3.17 My 1150 stops
    3.18 Warming up the engine
    3.19 Fuel filter hose clamps
    3.20 Oil in the airbox
    3.21 Pushed rubber plug from timing hole into engine
    3.22 Lights on left- vs. right-hand models
    3.23 CANbus
    3.24 Doesn't start / no spark
    3.25 EWS Failure
    3.26 Smoke from exhaust
    3.27 Running rough after (unrelated) repair
    3.28 Bypass the fuel pump controller
    3.29 Torque value bar riser bolt
    3.30 Throttle cable
    3.31 Surging
    3.32 Over tighten bolts (wheel bolts in particular)
    3.33 Replacing the front fork seal
    3.34 Fixing the fuel gauge on the 1150
    3.35 Replacing the clutch slave cylinder
    3.36 Flushing oil in the the clutch
    3.37 Engine running; Noise on left side (chain tensioner)
    3.38 Display says bulb broken, but it works
    3.39 Part number for center stand lowered 12GS
    3.40 Are the 11xx rear wheels interchangeable
    3.41 What are the valve settings, in INCHES
    3.42 Which parts to bring along when riding
    3.43 My fuel indicator does not work, or does not work correctly
    3.44 Can't I get crush washers for my 12GS any longer?
    3.45 Will heated grips from F800 fit the 12GS?
    3.46 Turnsignal (cancel) button (switch) not working
    3.47 I need more light, can I use a stronger bulb
    3.48 Fuel pump problems
    3.49 Replace air filter on 2011-model
    3.50 Can the battery in the TPMS be replaced

    Part 4: Brakes and ABS

    4.1 Description of ABS and bikes
    4.2 "Clank" upon starting
    4.3 Is ABS on?
    4.4 Reset ABS
    4.5 ABS, ABS-2, I-ABS-1, I-ABS-2
    4.6 Turn off ABS
    4.7 Flashing ABS lights
    4.8 Bleeding breaks
    4.9 EVO and ABS
    4.10 Is ABS good?
    4.11 Removal of ABS
    4.12 Changing pads, front
    4.13 Other ABS problems
    4.14 Grub screw
    4.15 Servo issues
    4.16 Servo pump continues to run
    4.17 Repairing the ABS-pump

    Part 5: Oil

    5.1 How much oil in the engine
    5.2 Part number of oil filter
    5.3 Washer
    5.4 What oil in the engine
    5.5 How much oil in the transmission
    5.6 How much oil in the FD
    5.8 What kind of oil in the FD?
    5.9 Can I use 75W140 in my FD?
    5.10 Change oil in the FD
    5.11 Overfilled engine
    5.12 Dino
    5.13 Oil consumption
    5.14 How much oil is in the engine
    5.15 How hot is the oil
    5.17 Oil in the air box.

    Part 6: Modifications

    6.1 More fuel into the tank
    6.2 LED turn signals
    6.3 Can I replace the Adventure fogs with new LED-ones from BMW?
    6.4 How to raise the seat on the 12GS
    6.X Well documented modifications

    Part 7: Miscellaneous

    7.1 BMW roadside
    7.2 Other resources
    7.3 I'm buying a used bike, what to look out for?
    7.4 How to rekey the Vario panniers (hard luggage)
    7.5 How to trailer and tie down a GS
    7.6 I have another question!



    1.1 Why is it called Gspot?

    Because GS is the name of the bike, and this is the spot where it is
    discussed. No other connotations have been considered.

    1.2 Measurements
    Beacuse BMW is based in Europe, measurements in the GSpot FAQ are metric: bar, gram, meter (distance and volume) and liter. However, we will try to remember to convert to psi, unces, feet and gallon.
    Of the three gallons in use, we will use what is called a US Gallon (and thus not Imperial Gallon) This is 3.785411784 (exactly) liters.

    If you wonder why BMW uses metric, watch this.

    1.3 Legal Notice

    This FAQ has been put together by a professor in computer science with no formal training in mechanics. It is offered here solely for entertainment purposes. As this FAQ includes forward-looking statements such as “believe,” “estimate,” “anticipate,” “plan,” “predict,” “may,” “hope,” “can,” “will,” “should,” “expect,” “intend,” “is designed to,” “with the intent,” “potential,” the negative of these words and such other variations thereon, and also comparable terminology, you are advised to obtain legal and mechanical council before basing any actions or decisions on this FAQ.
    ChipTz and brokesville like this.
  2. tagesk

    tagesk Tuscan rider

    Jun 23, 2007
    Tuscany, Italy
    This is Part 2 (of seven) of the GSpot FAQ. In Part 1 (here) you will find the Table of Content.

    PART 2: Words and Terminology

    2.1 Acronyms

    ASC : Automatic Stability Control. Stops your rear wheel from spinning.
    Uses the same mechanisms to detect spinning as ABS uses to detect
    blocking. Becuase it can prevent you from a experience a low-side it is deemed
    a safety item. 1200GS only.

    ATGATT: All The Gear, All The Time = Never ride your bike without your protective gear (hemlet, gloves, etc.)

    : Diebstahl Warn Anlage = Theft warning system

    EWS : Elektronische Wegfahr Sperre = Electronic immobilizer lock

    FD : Final Drive. Where the drive shaft arrives at the hub.

    GS (As in R1150GS): It's short for Gelände / Straße, also written Gelaende / Strasse if you don't have the proper set of fonts.
    GS thus seans “Overland / Street” or perhaps "Terrain / Street" depends on how you interperet the word Gelände, which can mean area, land, and other
    not-quite-right-for-the-mission meanings.
    Another, equally likely, meaning is Geländesport
    which means something along the lines of enduro in German. This view is supported by this article.

    Pronounciation is like G'- lehn-deh Strahss-eh. Please don't say the last "e" in the words with an "uh" sound! It goes "eh," which almost, but not quite, sounds like the "a" in "say." Saying "Strah-say" is much better than "Strass-uh."

    HES : Hall Effect Sensor. It signals th
    e Motronic computer when the crankshaft is at TDC and BDC. It's located behind the lower pulley of the alternator belt.

    OVAD : Oilhead Valve Adjustment for Dummies.
    Valve adjustment is part of routine maintenance of BMW boxers. This document can be found here, and is part of Wisdom (see XX).

    Reifen Druck Control (Tyre Pressure Control). The system used to warn you about falling tyre pressure.

    :Read the Fine manual. In most cases this implies that the answer to your question is written in large and friendly letters in the Fine Owners Manual.
    For a suitable definition of Fine.

    STFU : Shut your Terribly Foul mouth Up

    TBS : Throttle Body Synchronizing. See TBSD.

    TBSD : Oilhead Throttle Body Synching for Dummies.
    This is a document available in Wisdom.

    TT : The company Touratec.

    ZFE : Zentrale FahrzeugElektronik = Central Vehicle Computer

    2.2 Translation from German to English?
    Many terms in the GS-world is in German. A translation of many of them to English can be found in Wisdom in a document
    named BMW Tech Terms. Wisdom? Check the question below. In any case, link here.

    2.3 What is Wisdom and where can I find it?
    At the very bottom of every page on ADVrider, there is a (too) small
    banner of links. One of them is Wisdom. The link is here.

    2.3 What is n00b (november-zero-zero-bravo)

    Wikipedia says: Newbie" can be used as a term to identify
    newcomers to a game, place, or organization. The variant spellings
    of "newbie" are also used, especially in online games, as a
    catch-all insult regardless of the recipient's actual skill or
    experience. Someone who acts like a "newbie," but isn't one would be
    referred to as one of the variant spellings. The variant "noob" has
    become common in spoken English by juveniles. Alternate spellings
    include "newb", "n00b", "noob", "nooblet", "nub", and the recently
    popular "nublet." These alternate spellings of the term, other than
    "newb," inherit the definition of "newbie" but are generally used in
    a derogatory manner to indicate uselessness because of the ignorance
    associated with being a newcomer.

    As most inmates here are grown-up's, n00bs are generally treated
    very well. Be polite, ask quetions and be prudent about making
    statements (that is, try "is it not true that X" rather than "It is X!"), and you'll be fine.

    2.4 Who is GB?
    GB is short for Gadget Boy, which is the user name of one of the
    moderators in GSpot.

    2.6 How can I get one of those cool ADV stickers on my bike?
    Those cool decals (as they are called here) are made by GB. The
    first post in this thread contains
    pictures and order information. That first post is edited to keep
    it up-to-date. Ignore all other posts in the thread.

    2.7 What is a hexhead?
    The R1200-series engine has cylinder heads that, when viewed from
    the side, are somewhat hexagonal.

    2.8 What is an oilhead?
    The R1100- and R1150-series of engine is partly cooled by oil, as
    opposed the earlier versions which where only cooled by air. Thus
    they are called Oil-heads.

    2.9 What is an airhead?
    Older, air-cooled BMW boxers.

    2.10 What is a camhead
    The 2010 model 12GS saw a new engine design. With cams "in" the head. Not surprisingly, they are called camheads.

    2.11 What is a wethead?
    The 2013 model 12GS saw a new engine design. With water cooling. Not surprisingly, they are universally referred to as wetheads.
    Boxerbreath and brokesville like this.
  3. tagesk

    tagesk Tuscan rider

    Jun 23, 2007
    Tuscany, Italy
    This is Part 3 (out of seven) of the GSpot FAQ. In Part 1 (here) you will find the Table of Content, and links to all the relevant sections.

    PART 3: Mechanical

    3.1 Where can I find part numbers?

    From Hammersley Cycles here.
    From MAX BMW here.
    From RealOEM here.
    A&S BMW Motorcycles here.

    Sometimes you will need to know the production month of your bike, when changes were made mid-production. You can find this on your VIN sticker or, in most cases, plug the last seven characters of your VIN (something like ZB12345) into the website to get the same info.

    Parts within the B
    MW system are organized by Main Group (11 is engine, 23 is transmission, 46 is frame, etc) although you might not see the numbers themselves. Keep in mind that what you're looking for might not be in the group you think it should be in. For instance impact protection stuff might be under engine (skid plates, valve cover protectors) or frame (crash bars). Likewise the flywheel on a pre-81 bike is in Engine, but the equivalent on a newer bike is in Clutch.

    In addition, you will find the torque values here.

    Regarding this list of places to obtain part numbers, the following important reminder was received from a fellow traveler:
    Question: How can I consistently determine correct current part numbers for single replacement items or groups of related items for my BMW bike?

    Answer: Without the help of an adequately skilled BMW dealer parts guy with current access to dealer-only web-based and phone-based information systems, you will eventually encounter situations where no consumer-accessible online info source gets the job done. Real-OEM is about as good as it gets, and usually contains what you need.
    Caveat Emptor!

    3.2 What is FD Failure?

    The design of the FD has a weakness that it makes is prone to failure. It seems that the design requires exceptionally careful assembly which might or might not be adhered do. Quite a few FDs have failed, although we do not know how many. Some say 4% and some say 10%, some quote much higher numbers.

    First the good news: If your FD fails, you will almost always notice in advance. That is, it is not a sudden failure where something "breaks". It is almost always proceeded by changes in the colour of the oil in the FD (which should be changed every time you change the oil in the engine), and with increased play (horizontal and vertical) in the wheel.

    Every BMW with a driveshaft will have a failure if the tell tale signs of worn bearings aren't observed and rectified. Failure at low mileage is unacceptable. Part of the problem is not having a manufacturer's recommendation on when to replace the FD bearings, so folks ride and ride and ride till the bearing / bearings fail and voilà, an FD failure. There is such a thing as preventative maintenance but since one cannot visually inspect the splines or the bearings, worn bearings tend to go unnoticed till they fail.

    That being said, the issue of FD failure often stir up very heated discussions. Owners of BMWs simply expect them not to fail, and many are disappointed. Only BMW knows how many have failed.

    On the other hand, it should also be noted that the nature of discussion forums such as ADVrider inflates problems because they are discussed over and over.

    How to fix a failed FD yourself is here.

    3.3 Which spark plugs can I use?

    XXX: Shall we list only what the documentation says, or also what is deemed "equivalent"?

    1100 :
    1150 : BMW, the designer and manufacturer, specifies NGK BKR 7 EKC.
    1200 : BMW, the designer and manufacturer, specifies NGK: DCPR8EKC, DCPR8EIX or Bosch YR5LDE.

    That being said, here is a list of spark plugs that are believed to work equally well (or better) on the 1150 at least:
    Bosch FR5DTC
    Bosch FR6DDC
    Bosch FR6LDC
    Bosch YR6LDE (and of twin spark models)
    Bosch FR6DP1
    Bosch FR6DS (silver)
    Bosch 4417
    Bosch 4418
    NGK BCR6EIX-11 (iridium)
    NGK IZFR6 B (iridium use at your own risk, very long protrusion, does NOT touch piston, sleep well)
    Autolite 3923
    Champion RC7YC(C)
    Champion RC8YCC
    Champion RC9YC (-4)
    Spark plugs for REAL EMERGENCY ONLY on the road: CHAMPION RC12YC
    Denso iridium IQ20 hot
    Denso iridium IQ22 cold
    Denso iridium IK20 hot
    Denso iridium IK22 cold
    Brisk DR15ZC hot
    Brisk DR14ZC cold
    Brisk DOR14LGS
    Brisk DOR12LGS very cold
    3.4 What mileage are you getting?

    Obviously this varies wildly depending on temperature, tyres, riding style, and so on. The numbers are meant to indicate what the inmates here regard as normal. That is, if your mileage is more or less identical to these numbers, you need not ask if yours are normal.

    1150 one-spark: 17 km/l - 40 miles per gallon
    1150 Adventure: 16.5 - 17.5 km/l - 39-42 miles per gallon
    1150 two-spark:
    1200: - 18 km/l - 42 miles per gallon

    3.5 Can I have cruise control?

    Yes you can http://www.mccruise.com/

    3.6 What does the dealer do to the bike when it is in for service?

    R1200GS service sheets can be found here.

    R1200GS 6.000 miles (10.000 km) service can be found here.

    For the R1150GS, here are some videos that might be helpful. They show 600 mile (1.000 KM) service, ignition timing/Hall sensors, Throttle Body Synch and V-belt adjustment.

    3.7 Can I do the maintenance / service myself?
    Consensus is that it is not very difficult to do your own service and many, if not most inmates here, do it themselves.

    3.8 Will doing my own maintenance void the vehicle warranty?
    In the US, the vehicle manufacturer (BMW motorcycles in this case) can not demand (by linking it to the warranty) that you use a specific shop for your maintenance, without also paying for the cost of service. Thus, in the US, you can do your own BMW motorcycle maintenance without affecting warranty. You should probably keep meticulous records of what you do, how you do it, which oils, and so on. Verify the legal situation in your own country. And pay attention to the "LEGAL NOTICE" at the end of this post.

    3.9 My bike has a charcoal-canister; can I remove it?

    Yes. In the US, doing so might not be legal. Description of how to do it can be found here for the 1200 and here for the 1150.

    There is, however, at least one compelling reason to keep i t. When the content in the tank expands--due to heat, for example---air and vapour is forced out (though the canister). The purpose of the canister is to trap fuel-vapour so it doesn't escape and harm the environment. When the content in the tank contracts--due to cooling, for example--air from the outside is deawn into the tank. This also happens when the content of the tank is consumed (as happens in normal operation). Since the purpose of the canister is to trap vapours, and it is highly efficient, it also hinders humidity from getting into the tank when air
    is drawn in. Or, in other words: The canister is an efficient way to prevent the tank from rusting.

    3.10 How do I replace the alternator belt?

    For the R1150GS it is described here.

    3.11 How do I replace the front fork seal?

    For the R1150GS it is described here.

    3.12 Is it possible to change a tyre yourself?

    It is indeed; look here and here for a pictorial.

    3.13 What tires can I use?

    Comparison of many tires can be found here. Anton Largiader offers BMW approved tire list. The latest version is here.
    If youalso want to see the tires, then this thread is for you.

    3.14 I have another question about tires

    Then this thread is for you.

    3.15 Can I install HID lights on my GS?

    Yes you can; pictorial here. Notice that there are legal implications when changing the lighting equipment on any vehicle. In particular, upgrading from halogen to HID without further ado is not legal in many countries.

    3.16 My horn is too weak, can I have another?

    Yes you can, see here. If you are on the R1200GS pay attention to where you obtain the power.

    3.17 When I turn the handlebar the engine stops

    The wires that emerge from below the key can become worn over time. In particular at the first strap. If they break the engine will stop. If you can't solder you need: 61322306103; ignition switch & harness.

    3.18 Warm up the engine?

    No! The owners manual says: Do not run engine warm by idling. Ride off immediately after starting. The GS is air cooled and might overheat quicker
    that you would imagine if there is no air-flow over the engine. Never leave the bike unattended while it idles. If you do not believe that a GS will overheat
    if left to idle, check out this picture. This R1150GS was left to idle for ten minutes.

    3.19 Fuel filter hose clamps

    Or, When I change my fuel filter, can I reuse the clamps?
    Or, When I change my fuel filter, can I use any clamps?

    The crimp-on clamps are once-only and you should not reuse them even it is known that with creative use with pliers you can get them back on. Here are the part numbers:

    16121176918 non-reusable crimp-type clamps (originally fitted)
    13311460928 perfect fit to replace the originals. Reusable.

    Also you might want to consider replacing the large gage-plate o-ring. The part number is 16141341008

    3.20 Valve adjustment: Can I damage the bike?

    In general, the answer is no. If set so tight that the vales might be damaged from overheating, you will have a hard time getting the bike to run as it will poor compression. If set too loose, it will not start at all.

    3.21 Pushed the rubber plug covering the timing hole into engine

    Consensus is that you can leave it in the engine. It will fall to the bottom and remain there. No damage to the engine due to this has been reported. Many have substituted the plug with the one that came with the 1100 engine. That plug has a different design, and is virtually impossible to push into the engine. The part number for that plug is 11111744327.

    Furthermore: No damage is known to occur even if you ride (for a while) without the plug. The opening isn't into the engine itself.

    3.22 Is there any difference in the headlight for the GS sold in Left hand and Right hand drive countries?
    Yes. The the low-beam throw the light far along the shoulder of the road, and the sholder in question is, as you can imagine, not on the same side in left- and right-hand side drive. The lens takes this into consideration. Thus they are different. This has been confirmed by the part numbers explicitly stating RHD and LHD.

    3.23 CAN BUS
    Regardless of what you might hear from old-time mechanics, CAN bus is a technology the tremendously simplifies the design and maintenance of vehicles. The problem is that when you add more and more electronics to the bike, the numbers of wires, relays, switches, fuses and so on go up dramatically. CAN stands for Controller Area Network, the the network is a bus. Thus names CANBUS.
    The CAN BUS is just a wire, and the design of the protocol running on the wire is robust and reliable. You can not, however, dig into it's inner working with a wrench. But you can't fix your trip computer with a wrench either, so electronics on bikes are not a new thing. When you hear "The CAN BUS" failed and...." it is almost never correct.

    A good introduction to the technology, and why it is needed, can be found here.

    3.24 Bike cranks but doesn't start - no spark

    If your bike has power and the engine turns, but it refuses to start, and if you ground a spark plug and see that there is no spark, a common cause is a HES failure (see Acronyms above). There is a document in Wisdom (see above) on how to change the HES. For your convinience, the document is here.

    3.25 EWS failure

    1200GS only.
    The key has a code in it. The
    main computer on the bike only allows original keys to start the
    engine (in other words, it is not sufficient to be able to turn the
    key in the lock). The key contains a small radio antenna. The
    bike has a ring-formed antenna which is situated on the lock. That
    ring-antenna is used by the bike to communicate with the key.

    If the ring-antenna fails (mechanical or electrical) the bike is
    unable to verify an original key is used, and will not start. This
    is signaled on the display as EWS failure. The ring antenna must
    be replaced. There is no way to start the bike without having a
    working antenna so the bike can communicate with the key.
    Or, in other words, if your ring antenna fails you can install a
    temporary ring antenna, disconnect the original one, store a spare
    key in the temporary ring antenna, and start the bike. A photo of a
    bike with a failed ring antenna, where a spare ring antenna has been connected can be seen here.

    The part number most frequently used are 61357714207 and 61357717136-01. However, one inmate
    has recently reported that BMW now labelles this part as 61357705247.
    When ordering a spare antenna for your bike, BMW (seems!) to make sure you get the latest version.
    What the differences might be between these parts are unknown (to us).

    3.26 Smoke from exhaust pipe

    If you leave your bike on the side stand, it is normal that some smoke comes out of the exhaust when you start it. The smoke is oil that accumulate in the left cylinder.

    3.27 Running rough after (unrelated) repair

    Here is a real question

    In almost all cases where the bike doesn't run properly after having being worked on, in particular if the tank has been removed, the reason is that
    one of the throttle cable isn't properly seated in the throttle body. Before checking that there is fuel in the cylinder, that there is spark and so on,
    check both throttle cables where they end in the throttle body.

    3.28 Bypass the fuel pump controller

    1200GS / GSA only.

    If the fuel pump controller fails for some reason (water inside, for exampl), the fule pump will not run and the bike fail to start. The controller can be bypassed to get the bike moving again. Links here and here (both are posts at ADVrider.com).

    3.29 Torque values Bar Risers bolts

    I just received the torque specifications from my dealer for the 2008 12GS Bar Riser bolts, for those interested in flipping the risers/bar position "on the fly":

    10mm Bolts (Positioned Forward in "Normal" mode): 36 N-m
    8mm Bolts: 16 N-m

    3.30 Throttle doesn't snap back

    When new, the throttle will snap back if you release it. After a while, it doesn't. If it really stuck, you will have to deal with it. The job, however, is not easy. The Bowden box is hidden below the ABS unit, there is very little space, and the assemblies at both handlebars must be taken apart.

    Do not try to grease the wire. The cable has teflon on the inside, and any grease will quickly clog the wire. If one of the three cables cable are the culprit, they must be changed.

    3.31 Surging

    Surging is when the bike will not keep a steady speed, but surge up and down. It can be very, very annoying.

    Because it has two independent throttles, the boxer is very prone to surging. It is mostly felt the the engine is running almost without load, at medium speed (that is, at 50 km/h in 3rd).

    First observation: If everything is OK, the bike should not surge (or only marginally).

    Here is a list of well known prime suspects (all these should be checked before you even consider taking the bike to a dealer):
    • The end-rocker and valves must be adjusted.
    • The two sides must be balanced (provide the same amount of air). Check out Wisdom on how to do the balance.
    • The coils must be checked. In particular if you have four sparks.
    • The throttle bodies must not leak air. You check this by spraying WD-40 or equivalent on the TBs while the bike is running.
      If some is sucked in you'll hear the idle change.
    • Replace the plugs (set the opening to 0.8 mm). Notice that the gap is curved; the gap should not be less that 0.8 mm at any point (and not larger).
    • Replace the oxygen sensor. It is a Bosch Universal Oxygen Sensor 15729 (~$65 at auto parts store)
    For the 1100 here are two additional tips:
    • single electrode spark plugs had the biggest effect to reduce it. I used Bosch FR6DC and FR6DC+ (more durable).
      Bosch FR5DC is one grade colder and gave me the impression of slightly reducing pinging.
    • New lambda sensor almost completely removed surging (I would dare say 99%), in conjunction with single electrode spark plugs. I used Bosch 0258986506-36Y generic lambda sensor. The package contains a connector to use with the old harness.
    3.32 What happens if I over-torque a bolt

    Some bolts, the wheel bolts in particular, are prone to being over torqued. It is easy to think "I'll pull them real hard, for safety".
    That, however, is not at all safe. The values have been set with great care.
    Check out this post for details of the danger.
    Note with great care that the torque value (110Nm) assumes dry threads. If some lubricant has been added, and the lugs are torqued to 110Nm, the bolts are over-torqued and might stretch as shown in the picture referenced above.

    3.33 How to replace the front fork seals

    First, do recall that the front forks are empty. There are no springs inside. The GS has telelver the the
    spring is attached to the shock underneath the tank. Or, in other words: Replacing a leaking seal is simple.
    Detailed instructions can be found here.

    3.34 Fixing the fuel gauge on the 1150

    You fill the tank, but the fuel gauge doesn't show all bars?
    The low-fuel light doesn't come on, even though there are no bars left on the display.
    Probably the contacts inside the pump is corroding. Everything you need is here.

    3.35 Replacing the clutch slave cylinder

    Detailed procedure here.

    3.36 Flushing the clutch hydraulic oil

    1150 only
    The oil in the clutch should be replaced (flushed) as part of regular service.
    A detailed description of how to do it, with a Mityvac, can be found here.
    The thread has very good photos.

    Notice that many, maybe most, replace the grub screw and place a standard nipple there instead (see question 4.14 about the grub screw).

    If you don't have a Mityvac, you bleed as you bleed the brakes (that is: carefully apply pressure on the lever, open nipple to let the fluid out,
    close nipple while NOT letting out the lever, repeat).

    3.37 Engine running: noise on left side (timing chain slapping)

    On the 1150 the chain that drives the cams is dampened by oil in a cylinder.
    If your engine starts to get noisy on teh left side, in particular when hot, it is probably time for
    a chain tensioner upgrade.
    Very detailed description, from a sickening clean bike, here.
    The new part is rather expensive, and there has been some success with only changing the
    spring. A new spring seems to be about 5 mm longer than the old one, and this seems to help a lot.
    You need
    Spring:T99V00F 11-31-1-341-015
    Gasket Ring:0785 07-11-9-963-308
    Long discussion about the parts in question, here.

    3.38 Yellow triangle lights up on display, but bulb work

    (1200, and 1150 from 2002 and onwards)
    BMW performed some electronic magic. If the tail light filament fails, the brake light filament will be illuminated at a reduced
    output to make up for the loss until the bulb is replaced. This makes it appear that the bulb is okay.

    3.39 Part number for center stand lowered 12GS

    Low stand to fit lowered 2007 R12GS non-Adv is: 46527712774.
    Note: BMW's parts catalog incorrectly depicts both this stand and the non-low 46527684948 stand as horseshoe-shaped, rather than H-shaped.

    3.40 Are the rear wheels interchangeable?

    11xx only:
    All rear wheels are the same. Very late wheels have a different ABS sensor ring, which can be fitted to the earlier wheels.

    3.41 What are the valve settings, in INCHES?

    As we know, the valves need to be 0.3mm on exhaust and 0.15 mm on the intake.
    If you live Over There you might not have metric gauges, but if you have .006 and .012 in
    inches that is WAY close enough.

    3.42: Which parts to bring along?

    If you are about to set out on a very long ride, it can be tempting to haul along some spare parts.
    Which ones?

    In general everything can break. Thus, to be absolutely safe, you must bring along everything. And all the tools you can imagine.
    Most find that bringing along spare parts is a slippery slope; if I bring this, why not that?

    The GSes are very reliable bikes. Make sure your bike is well maintained before you depart.
    In particular, make sure the cables are good, fluids aren't getting dirty too quickly, etc. Check the pivot bearings or just
    replace them. Replace the alternator belt. Make sure all of the scheduled maintenance items are fresh.
    Shocks not leaking. Fork seals dry and not rusty under the dust caps. New brake pads. Lube the centerstand and sidestand.

    Then, just ride away.

    You could, however, bring along one part: a final drive bearing. The issue with this part
    is that it is easy to replace, but hard to get hold off, and no alternate part exists.

    You will need a kit with tire-plugs. Practice on how to use them before you need to know!
    How are you going to inflate the tire?

    Make sure you have a spare keys installed on the bike somewhere. Ignition and panniers. Make sure
    you can get to the key without tools (which are in your locket panniers).

    3.43 My fuel indicator does not work, or does not work correctly

    or: What is the Fuel Strip problem?

    In 2007 (thus on the 12GS) the mechanical float mechanism inside the tank was replaced by a strip.
    The problem is that it can (and do) fail. Can not be repaired and must be replaced.
    We (as in the GSpot readership) do not know how many have failed, but it seems to be fairly common.
    When it fail it does not effect the bike in any way (except, obviously, that you can not rely on your
    fuel gauge any longer).

    Replacing the fuel strip seems to be simple. It is described here. In that thread you will find that the
    part number is 16 14 7 675 547.

    3.44 Can't I get crush washers for my 12GS any longer?

    If you go to a dealer to get new crush washers for the trans and final drive, it is very likely that
    you will be told they are not sold any longer.
    You are advised to buy a new non-replaceable nut with non-replaceable washer.
    These are OK, but they are expensive.

    Option one: Ask for

    07 11 9 963 200 - washer for trans drain plugs
    07 11 9 963 300 - washer for trans fill plugs

    They have them (because the 11xx series uses them). But you need to know the part number.

    Option two:
    Get the new plug(s). Then, later, you can simply cut off the washer that is attached to them (and use the part numbers above).

    3.45 Will heated grips from F800 fit the 12GS?

    Yes. See this thread.

    3.46 Turnsignal (cancel) button (switch) not working

    Inside the handlebar fittings, there are several small switches.
    No alternative source of them are known.
    They can be serviced. See this post.

    3.47 I need more light, can I use a stronger bulb

    No. The problem is that there is not enough cooling to disspasiate the extra heat.
    At least one user has reported a melted plug with a 80W bulb.
    More light is obtained wither with Xenon (HID) or auxellary lights.
    Note that installing Xenon in teh low beam is not legal.

    3.48 Fuel pump

    Twice as much as you ever need to know about the fuel pump can be found here.

    3.49 Replace air filter on 2011-model

    On the cam-head, the air-filter is no longer under the seat.
    Detailed descriptions are here.

    3.50 Can the battery in the TPMS be replaced

    Yes; see this thread.
    <!-- / message -->
    Mala Suerte and brokesville like this.
  4. tagesk

    tagesk Tuscan rider

    Jun 23, 2007
    Tuscany, Italy
    This is Part 4 (out of seven) of the GSpot FAQ. In Part 1 (here) you'll find the Table of Content with link to all the other parts.

    PART 4: Brakes and ABS

    Before reading any of the answers below, it would be an advantage if you know which type (yes, there are several) of ABS
    you have on your bike. If you do not know if your bike has ABS, check out the question "Does my bike have ABS?".

    ABS-II: The non-servo ABS installed on the 1100/1150 models.

    I-ABS (Integral ABS):
    - This is the ABS with linked servo brakes
    - 'i' for integrated. BMW term for linked brakes.
    - The brakes are linked on the street models. The front brake lever operates the rear brake too. And the rear brake lever operates the front brake too.
    - The GS brakes are only 1/2 linked. The front brake lever operates the rear brake too. The rear brake lever only operates the rear brake.
    - Not sure, I think it was first installed on the RT in 2002
    - The GS, and I think also every other model, had the iABS servo brakes by 2003

    - Same linking function as iABS except no servos. Fitted on the 1200 from 2007.
    <!-- / message --><!-- sig -->

    4.1 Does my bike have ABS?

    If your bike has ABS there will be a ring with small studs attached to your front wheel inside (smaller diameter) the brake disc
    (called rotor by some). In addition there will be a button on your handlebar (1100/1150: Right-hand side, 1200 left-hand side) labelled ABS.

    in addition, on the 1100 and 1150, you have two red lamps labeled ABS.
    The red ABS lights should blink (as a pair) when you start the
    bike. As you start riding, they will go out.

    4.2 I hear one or two 'clank' when I start riding

    1100/1150 non-servo ABS:
    This is part of the ABS-unit self-test. Furthermore, if you ride
    for more than seven minutes and come to a complete halt, when you
    start up again the ABS will self-test again with the same 'clank'.

    4.3 How do I know if ABS is turned on?

    If you have ABS, it is turned on unless there are red warning lights
    blinking. That is, the ABS is always on, unless you explicit turn
    it off.

    4.4 How can I reset the ABS?

    • Locate round adapter on top of air box.
    • Ground out the brown/blue wire at pin #2. You can stick a wire in it and put it to a GOOD GROUND.
    • NOW turn key on.
    • NOW hold ABS button down for 10 seconds, count slowly.
    • NOW release button.
    • Only NOW turn off key.
    • Only NOW remove ground wire you added.
    Write this down in your handbook. Don't have a handbook? Get one!

    4.5 What is I-ABS, and what is the difference between I-ABS I and I-ABS II?

    I-ABS is the servo assisted ABS brakes (power assist) which has been
    controversial and a source of endless discussions here.

    BMW has now done away with it and replaced it with what feels like
    regular brakes with ABS and the semi integral (linked function) and
    this comes on '07s.

    4.6 Can I turn off the ABS?

    Yes, you can. And if you are riding downhill on gravel, you probably should turn it off. Notice that ABS is considered a safety
    feature. Thus, when you turn it iff, you will be warned (the light does not go out). This is by design.

    1100, 1150
    Turn off the bike. Turn the key to on (but do not start the engine). Press and hold the ABS button for a few seconds. The red
    ABS light will come on. Start the bike. The red light will not go out in order to warn you that the ABS is not engaged.
    To re-engage ABS, turn off your bike and start as normal.

    You can also remove the ABS relay in the fuse box. It is relay number XXX

    If you have servo:
    Push the ABS button, THEN turn the key (while you hold the button), and start the bike. Let up the button and the light
    stays on letting you know it has disabled the ABS. To re-engage ABS, turn off your bike and start as normal.

    If you do not have servo (2007 and newer): Come to a complete stop, push and hold the ABS button until the ABS light ignites.
    The light will be your reminder the ABS has been turned off. To re-engage, draw to a complete stop and press and hold the ABS
    butten. The light will go out and self-test will occur as normal.

    4.7 Both my ABS lights are flashing after having started the engine.

    First, the two lights will always flash together (not alternating) after the engine
    has been started. When the bike reaches a speed of 5 km/h you can hear a "clank"
    and the light go out. The "clank" is the ABS system's self-test.

    The lights are flashing (alternating):
    The ABS is a very sensitive system, and it does not take much for it so fail. In particular, if
    your battery is slightly weak it will not be able to maintain voltage as the starter is engaged.
    When the voltage drops too low, the ABS fails. In other words, the source of this problem is more
    often than not related to the battery.

    To verify that the battery, and not something else, is at fault, do as follows:
    - Ride a short trip to heat up the engine (carefully - remember your ABS is not working)
    - In a down hill, pull in clutch and turn off the bike (with the key). DO NOT WITHDRAW THE KEY AS THIS WILL LOCK THE STEERING!
    - Turn bike back on, and CAREFULLY let out the clutch to jump-start the engine again.
    - Your ABS-lights will now blink in parallel (not alternating). They blink because the self-test has failed.
    The test failed because the bike was rolling when the ABS system was powered up.
    - Pull to a full stop.
    - Ride on.
    The ABS will now self-test as normal, you'll hear the 'clank', and the lights will go out.
    You now know the battery, and not the ABS, is at fault.

    A number of problems can arise if the handguard touches the brake lever. Among those things known to happen are
    "Front wheel lock-up" and "Brake Warning light stay on". If you have have a 1200 and experience problems with your
    brakes, please read the following very, very carefully: The handguard can easily get in a position to touch (not as press
    fully in, but touch as in caress) your brake lever. The ABS (and relates systems) are very, very delicate, and if your brake
    lever is not fully released (as in air in front of it), all sorts of odd problems seems to occur.
    So, before asking, check very carefully (look carefully!) that your brake lever is not touching the hand guard. Notice: Touching
    is not enough to turn on the brake light. You need to inspect the lever and verify it does'n not touch.
    Failing to check this carefully seems to be behind the majority of brake-related issues at GSpot.

    4.8 How do I bleed the brakes?

    That depends on the model of your bike, and its configuration:

    1100 and 1150: Conventional wisdom says that even if you have ABS, bleeding at the end-points
    (that is, the nipples front and rear) is sufficient. This will also
    replace the fluid inside the ABS.
    However, there are strong indication that bleeding at the end-points do not replace all fluid int he ABS. Check out
    this image. The brakes were bled very, very carefully two weeks prior. When the ABS was bled, the tar was found.

    XXX The following two links will be incorporated as soon as the overview of ABS, ABS-2, ABS-3, I-ABS-I, I-ABS-II etc, etc, is ready.
    1200 I-ABS-I:
    1200 I-ABS-II:

    4.9 What is EVO and is it part of the ABS system?

    EVO is a brake hardware change. EVO isn't related to ABS. During 2001-2002 all bikes received the new EVO hardware, whether or not they had ABS.
    External: EVO is a brake caliper 'appearance' change. The name "Brembo" is replaced with the initials "BMW" on the outside of the caliper casting.
    External: The front pads can be changed without removing the calipers. The pads slide out from the back side of the caliper.
    Internal: Unchanged. The hydraulic piston diameters in the master cylinders and calipers stay the same, pre-EVO and post-EVO.
    EVO includes larger diameter rotors on the cast wheels, but not the spoked wheels

    The EVO brakes have BMW on them, the pre-EVo has Bremo.

    4.10 Is ABS a Good Thing or a Bad Thing?

    Many will tell tales of how ABS has saved their life (or at least, saved them from crashing); for those it concerns it is a very
    convincing argument (to say the least).
    Equally many will tell tales of how it destroys their joy of motorcycle riding; what is the purpose of riding if it is no fun?

    Some will say it is an expensive and overly complex solution to a non-existing problem. Some will say it does not work.
    And so on, and so on, Ad Nauseam.
    Regardless of your point of view, you should have read this article Motorcycle Consumer News. It is a classic point of reference.
    For the more technically inclined, read here is a detailed description of ABS-II (see above what ABS-II is).

    As GSpot FAQ editor I am at liberty to say the following: Unless your name happens to be Hayden or Rossi, you should have ABS on your bike.

    4.11 Can I completely remove ABS from my bike?

    Yes, you can remove the ABS from your bike. If you have servo assistance together with your ABS you can remove that as well. You can not remove only the servo.

    Basically, you want to convert your bike from a GSA to a GS (check the second paragraph in this FAQ for the meaning of GS and GSA).
    You do that by bypassing the ABS/servo unit. That is, the brake line from the front handle should go directly to the calipers (without going into the ABS/servo) and likewise for the rear.

    Up front you have two alternatives. The simplest is to contact a supplier of brake lines, Spiegler for example, and tell them
    you have a non-ABS model and that you want to renew everything. This has been done in 2008 and the cost was about USD 200.
    In particular, make sure you obtain a new T where the brake line is to be split into two for both calipers up front.

    The other alternative is to purchase 34 32 7 650965 - Distribution piece. This part then attaches as shown in this image (which is a
    demonstration not an actual drawing) . This approach has not been demonstrated but is believed to work.
    For you rear brake lines you purchases a new line that bypass the ABS/servo unit. You need one of these two lines
    34 32 7 677201 - steel flex brake hose (L=345MM)
    or 34 32 7 684408 - steel flex brake hose (L=370MM).
    We do not know which one.

    When the ABS/Servo is removed, all the hardware to operate the tail light and brake light remain. They just need to be connected.
    Everything needed is there, switched power, tail light, brake light, and brake light switches.
    As you can imagine, the front and rear brake levers operate electrical switches. The wiring to those switches terminate in the large ABS connector you mention.
    The tail light and brake light filaments are also wired to that connector.
    There is a switched voltage wire at that connector as well. BUT it is a special switched voltage, it is 'hot' both when the key is on, and when the key is in the park position.
    Once that 'special' switched voltage is found, pull and replace the fuses one by one to determine which fuse supplies that wire.
    Check your Owner's Manual, maybe the brake and tail light fuses are listed.

    The brake light: The switches seems to be different than normal ones (conducting when the level is not pressed). Several suggestions has been made.
    To replace them with ordinary switches (from a non-ABS model) is probably simplest.

    Then, finally, you can remove the large and heavy ABS/servo unit from the bike, together with the break lines that no longer is in use.
    You would probably also want to remove the bulbs in the now flashing ABS lights on your dash.

    More information here and here.

    4.12 How do I change the brake pads, front

    If you have the EVO brakes (see the question on what EVO is, and how to determine if your bike has it), then the calipers for the servo brakes are
    the same as 1150 non-servo and non-abs. The pads pop out of the back of the caliper without removing the caliper.

    The significant difference is the brake fluid reservoir is part of the Servo ABS unit, as you know I'm sure. So watch that reservoir instead of the reservoir on the handlebar.

    If you have 1150/1100 without EVO, remove the pin, remove the caliper, lift out the pad, press back the pistons with a c-clamp while watching the reservoir on the handlebar.

    4.13 Other ABS problems

    The Honorable rideLD has, based on years of following GSpot, compiled the following list; his experience is that almost all failures are one of these six.

    6 things to cause ABS failure.

    1- Lever or pedal failing to travel fully back to the correct position. This is usually caused by the hand guard preventing the front brake lever from fully extending or a pebble or twig preventing the brake pedal from returning to its up most position. An easy way to tell that this is your problem is if your brake light is always be on. Notice, however, that it is possible to pull the lever sufficent for the ABS system to detect it, but not enough for the light to come on. This can be a confusing situation.

    2- Sensors. If either of your brake sensors fail the brake light will stay on. Severed wires, dirty sensors or melted sensors can cause this failure. If your speedo works then your rear sensor is definitely OK. Make sure your front sensor is clean and wire is not severed.

    3- Fluid levels. Tip overs can cause fluid to leak out of the ABS pump under the gas tank. Pull off the gas tank and top off each of the circuits. This will fix a fluid level related failure.

    4 - Microswitch problems. There is a little tiny switch under the front brake lever and next to the rear brake pedal. You should hear an audible click when you activate either. This switch can fail although it is rare. If your problem is not 1,2 or 3 then this is probably your problem. If the switch is bad your brake light will not activate from the bad switch.

    5- Low battery voltage. This is a the common cause of ABS failure on the 11xx versions of ABS. Usually the ABS will start working normally when the alternator gets the charge back up to normal. The ABS versions on the R1200GS are not as senstive to low voltage issues and voltage related failures are very rare.

    6- Bad pump unit. Very rare. In fact I have not heard of one failing on the R1200GS yet. There have been a few replaced but these were diagnoses errors and real problem was one of the four items above.

    4.14 Grub screw

    If you look carefully at the two calipers on your bike, you will notice that where you would suppose you could bleed the brakes, on the right side, there isn't a nipple but a much bigger black thing. That black thing is called a grub screw. Also, if you want to bleed your clutch, and locate the end of the clutch line underneath the luggage rack on the right-hand side, you will find a grub screw also there.

    First, what does it do?
    If you unscrew the small hex on the top of the grub screw, you will find threads into which you can screw a standard nipple. Inside the grub there is a small ball, and below the ball is the brake (or clutch) fluid. If you carefully screw a nipple into the grub, the end of the nipple will push down the ball, and you will be able to bleed the system.

    Second, what is it for?
    We believe BMW fills both the clutch and the brakes "bottom up". That is, the initial filling isn't done at the reservoir, but the flud is forced in from the "bottom". For that to work, you need a valve to hold the fluid, and that is what the little ball does.
    For you, during maintenance, the grub offers absolutely no functionality.

    Third: Can you remove both of them (brake and clutch)?
    Almost all do.

    The nice thing is that the bottom of the grub is identical to a nipple. That is, the caliper and end of the clutch line
    was designed to hold a nipple, but BMW inserted a grub instead.
    What most do is to remove the grub with a pair of pliers, and insert a standard nipple. The nipple that fits has
    P.No 34212330310. It is a standard M10 nipple. In 2008 it cost 6 euro from BMW (and comes with a rubber cap).

    However: The grub has been set with LockTite, and should be heated when unscrewed. There has been reports of grub
    screws breaking when unscrewed cold. Not many, but sufficient to warrant heating.

    Details in this photo.

    4.15 Servo brakes issues
    You might want to check the filters in your servo. Details in this thread.

    4.16 Servo pump continues to run....

    ....even after ignition has been turned off.
    Can happen on the late 1150 and early 12GS (with ABS and servo, the ABS-II). You need to pull
    the tank and disconnect the battery (to save the pump).
    Your ABS relay is most probably stuck. It can be (temporaryly) fixed by cleaning the contact points.
    The realay must be replaced. ALternatively, you can convert your bike to a non-abs, not-servo layout.
    It is not possible to retain the ABS without the servo.

    4.17 Can the ABS-pump be repaired?
    It seems so; check this thread or directly here.
    RichardD and brokesville like this.
  5. tagesk

    tagesk Tuscan rider

    Jun 23, 2007
    Tuscany, Italy
    5.1 How much oil goes into the engine?

    Without changing the filter: 3.5 liter (0.92 US gallons)
    With change of filter: 3.75 liter (0.99 US gallons)

    R1200GS: With change of filter: 4.0 liter

    From lower edge of the glass to the high edge is 0.5 liters of oil.
    From lower edge of the glass to the high edge is 1 liter of oil.

    5.2 What is the part number for the oil filter?

    1200: BMW part # 11427673541 Filter

    Here is an alternative list of filters:
    Oil filters:
    FRAM is the correct FRAM but hard to find at WallyWorld. PH6063
    FRAM is readily available and works PH3614
    AC DELCO PF-53
    NAPA 1348
    Mobil-1 M1-102
    BMW 11.42-1 460 843 or 845
    Mahle/knecht/microstar/tecafiltre (original part) OC91
    Champion (of motorcycle range) C301
    Purflux LS188B
    Tech9 (France only, made by Mahle in fact) n°16
    Hiflofiltro (from Thailand) HF-163
    Mann-Hummel MW712
    Detlev Louis (Germany) 10050195
    Toyota 08922-02004 or 90915-YZZB9
    Perf-form (on www.perf-form.com) BMW-1
    UFI makes one too (italian)
    Donit (www-motobins.co.uk) 43 10 133
    For After May, '97, 1100RT
    Purolator P/N11421460845
    Bosch 3330
    WalMart ST3614
    Purolator L00241
    AC PF53

    The author of this table, the Honorable JVB, writes:
    Keep in mind that that list was originally compiled for the R1100/1150 bikes.
    But they will fit and work on an R1200. I will not personally attest to their suitability
    in either application. I only know that countless people have successfully used them
    on the R1100/1150, and more and more are using them on the R1200. I am aware of no
    reports of any issues with their use.

    5.3 Can I reuse the washer when changing the oil?

    Yes you can, if you must, but preferably not. It is a so called crush washer that deforms to seal perfectly.
    Thus the bolt and case are designed with the assumption that a new washer every time. They are inexpensive!

    BMW part # 07119963252 Crush washer

    5.4 What type of oil can I use in the engine?

    For every bike, there are two, not one, answer to this question. The first answer deals with the quality
    (chemical properties) of the oil. That is answered here.
    The second answer deals with the viscosity (how thick is it). These two are NOT related.
    You need to get both correct for your bike.

    Here is a real question which started Yet Another Oil Thread in GSpot, and the Politically Correct answer:

    Too many questions at once.

    First, it is true that BMW, the designer and manufacturer of your HP2, clearly states that the engine has been designed to run on
    plain mineral oil. They do so by stating the requirements for the oil. Plain, traditional mineral oil meets these requirements.
    You are free to value the opinion of BMW, the designer and manufacturer or your HP2, lower or higher than opinions aired on the Internet.

    Second, it is not true that an old-style mineral oil has as high (and stable) quality as an expensive, fully synthetic oil.
    It is also not true that an old-style mineral oil lubricates as well as an expensive, fully synthetic oil after even the shortest use.

    Now, based on these three observations (one true and two false), you must decide with great care which of them you believe answered the question you wanted to ask.

    You see, I believe you wanted to ask the first question. On the Internet most answers will be to one or both of the second two questions.
    In particular, you can expect most replies to answer your first question with false BECAUSE the two second questions have false as their answer.

    Here is from the manual:

    11xx: "HD Oil classified as API SF, SG or SH, or HD oil classified as CCMC G4 or G5."
    Hexhead: "Engine oils API SF/ACEA A2, or better. BMW Motorrad recommends not using synthetic oils for the first 10,000 km (6.000 miles)."
    Camhead: "Oil of quality API SF/ACEA A2, or better" (assuming above freezing)
    Wethead: "API SL JASO MA2". Note that the wethead has, as a first, a wet clutch. Do not use JASO MB or "normal" car or truck oil.

    What does this mean? Oil is classified based on how "good" it is. The S-series spesifies the quality of oil. In general, the later
    specifications improves on the old ones. So SG is a better oil than SF, ans SH is better that SG.

    When an engine is designed, the oil filter, the interval of oil-changes, and so on is all based on the MINIMUM quality of the oil.
    That is, the engine will be designed to run well and without harm on the worst oil meeting the required specification (given that you replace it
    as expected). For the GS (assuming above freezing) the minimum quality that is required is SF. You will be hard pressed to find an
    oil that does not meet the SF quality criteria.

    Notice that the quality of the oil does not depend on whether it is syth or dino!

    This concludes the answer of the first of two questions about oil. See 5.14 Which viscosity or the second answer.

    5.5 How much oil goes in the transmission?

    You fill until it is full. That will be circa 800 ml (0.8 liters).

    1200: 800 ml (0.8 liters). Actually, the number seems to be somewhat less.

    5.6 What kind of oil goes in the transmission?

    BMW, the designer and manufacturer, specifies: Oil for hiopdial
    gears class API GL5. Above 5 degrees C SAE 90. Below 5C SAE 80.
    Or as alternative SAE 80 W 90".

    In other words: Any modern hypoid oil with API GL5 and SAE 90 on it is fine.

    5.7 How much oil goes in the FD?

    Fill it until it is full at the bottom of the threads. It will be circa 250 ml.

    200 ml on initial fill and 180 ml on oil change (notice: it is not a spelling error - 200 and 180).
    On the 1200 there might, or might not, be proper holes to drain and
    fill the FD. See the document R12GS Final Drive Oil Change.
    In the document, the author writes you should fill 250 ml of oil in the FD. That is not correct.

    The wethead also uses 180 ml.

    5.8 What kind of oil goes in the FD?

    BMW, the designer and manufacturer, specifies "Oil for hiopdial
    gears class API GL5. Above 5 centigrades SAE 90. Below 5
    centigrades SAE 80. Or as alternative SAE 80 W 90".
    In other words: Any modern oil with API GL5 and SAE80W90 on it should be fine.

    5.9 Can I use 75W140 in my FD?

    Yes you can, and many do.
    However you might consider that BMW has specified 75W90, probably becuase if your rear drive gets
    hot enough to require the 140 chances are you already have final drive problems. Otherwise the 75W90
    will lubricate better with less fluid drag, the slightly lighter fluid is better for the bearings.
    Heavier fluids with higher temp. ratings (140) work well for extreme temperature's (hotter than your final
    drive gets) and higher shock loads, otherwise the lighter fluid is a better lubricant overall.

    5.10 How often should I change the oil in the FD?

    The consensus among the majority, and now the dealers, is that you should change the oil in the FD at 600 miles (1.000 km),
    and then every 12.000 miles (20.000 km).
    On the 1100 and 1150 changing the oil is simple.
    For the 1200 there is a document in Wisdom (see http://advwisdom.hogranch.com/Wisdom...%20Change.html).

    5.11 I overfilled the FD or my engine - what do I do?

    If you overfill, consensus is that you should drain and then
    fill in the proper amount. There is a real chance of destroying
    seals inside due to the pressure becoming too high.

    That being said: The most common error (at least in Europe) is to fill 4 liters (and not 3.75) in the engine.
    Consensus seems to be that it is not a crucial amount, and that you can choose to ignore it.

    5.12 What is "dino oil"?

    Dino is short for dinosaurus. Dinosaurus lived on Earth at more or less the same time as the deposits were made
    that we now extract as mineral oil. Oils are either dino, part dino and part synthetic (called synth), or pure synth.

    5.13 Oil consumption

    As per the manual, it is normal for oil to be consumed at a rate of 1 liter / 1.000 km (1/4 gallon 600 miles).
    There is no reason to worry, or to take action, if your bike uses oil at this rate.
    It is, however, not at all common.

    5.14 Which viscosity can I use

    First, please note that this is the second of two answers to the question "which oil can I use?".
    Also, the words CAN and SHOULD have very different meaning.

    The primary oil is 10w-40. That is, you should use 10w-40.
    Assuming you don't ride below freezing (0°C or 32F) you can use:
    15w-40, 10w-50, 10w-40, , 5w-40 and 5w-50
    Assuming you do start the bike, and ride, down to -10°C (14F):
    10w-40 (not 15W- and not -50).

    Primary oil is 20w-50. That is, you should use 20w-50.
    In addition you can use (but take careful note the temperature ranges below):
    5w- >=30
    15w- >=40
    20w- >=40
    5w- >=50 Synthetic
    10w- >=50 Synthetic

    Below 20C (68F): All the above.
    In the 20C - 30C range (68-86F): all the above, except 5w dino.
    Above 30C (86F): All the above, except 5w dino and 10w-40 dino.

    Notice that 10w-40 synth does not meet the demands of the engine when the ambient temperature is above 30C (86F).
    In this range the oil must be either 15w-40 dino, 20w-40 dino or 10w-50 synthetic.

    5w-40 synthetic (all temperature ranges).

    5.15 How hot is the oil?

    For oil temperature LCD readout, there are 10 BARS, with no bars showing to be taken as zero bars:

    0 33.5° C ..... 92° F
    1 40° C..... 104° F
    2 65° C..... 149° F
    3 80° C..... 176° F
    4 90° C..... 194° F
    5 105° C..... 221° F
    6 130° C..... 266° F
    7 150° C..... 302° F
    8 160° C..... 320° F
    9 170° C..... 338° F
    10 175° C..... 347° F

    Modern oils are designed to work best in the range of 110° C...130° C (230° F-266° F).
    This means about 5 or 6 BARS. Above 150° C (302° F), oil breakdown increases exponentially,
    and by about 160° C (320° F), degradation is quite rapid. Petroleum oils will cease to lubricate
    with any effect, at about 170° C (338° F)...synthetics at about 190 C (374° F).
    A reading of 8 BARS would be the absolute maximum normal operating temperature.

    5.16 How much oil is there in the engine

    On both the 12GS (hexhead and camhead) and the 11xx, there is an "oil sight glass" on the left side of the engine.

    To obtain a correct, and repeatable, measurement of how much oil there is inside, ride
    the bike until the engine is warm (at least three bars).
    Then, on the 11xx, let the bike sit some minutes on the side stand.
    Quite a few bikes needs this to drain the oil cooler.
    Then, up on the main stand.
    At this point you will see the level in the sight glass.
    Obviously, the longer you wait, the more oil will slowly seep down, and the level will rise (a tiny bit).

    If you can not see the level because it had been over filled, get some help and lean the
    bike towards the right side.
    If this enables you to see the level, then, even though you technically speaking have too
    much oil, you can safely ride the bike. No need to drain the oil.
    If you can't see even when leaning, you have severely overfilled and you should drain.

    As long as you see oil in the glass, you have enough oil. I repeat: If you see oil in the glass,
    there is no need to fill oil.

    Finally: When the bike is on the side stand, the level will be above the top of the glass.
    However, this also means that when level, it will be above the bottom of the glass.
    Or in other words: If you park your bike on the side stand when warm, and you see that the
    glass is completely covered in oil, you have enough oil. No need to establish precisely how much.

    Regarding the wethead: The difference between low-and and high-end of the glass is now 1 liter (not 50 cl as older models).

    5.17 Oil in the airbox

    It is normal to find a little oil in your airbox. The crankcase pressure will almost inevitable blow some oil into the air box. It does not always implies the engine was over-filled.
    The harder you run the bike, the more oil you will find in the air box.
    brokesville and klockworks like this.
  6. tagesk

    tagesk Tuscan rider

    Jun 23, 2007
    Tuscany, Italy
    This is Part 6 (out of seven) of the GSpot FAQ. Part 1 (here) contains the Table of Content and links to all the other parts.

    PART 6: Modifying the bike

    6.1 How can I get more fuel into the tank

    This question can be phrased also as follows:
    • What is this fuel neck mod' people keep talking about?
    • How do I do the fuel filler mod?
    • I can't fill my tank up all the way. What can I do?
    The neck into the tank is to ensure that you don't fill the tank all the way to the top. The reason is that a completely full tank will overflow if you put the bike on the side stand. If you make (by drilling, for example) one or more holes in the neck there will be room for another two to three liters of fuel (1/2 to 3/4 gallon)

    There is a rubber neck inserted into the steel neck in the tank. It's purpose is not clear. You can remove it. Another two liters (1/2 gallon) will fit in the tank.

    6.2 LED Turn Signal

    If you want LED turn signals on yoru 1200GS (as shown here) you should order

    LED Front turn signal (you need two): 63 13 7 708 048
    LED Rear turn signal left: 63 23 7 710 575
    LED Rear turn signal right: 63 23 7 710 576

    These have been designed to work the bike and they will not trigger a "lamp failure".

    6.3 New LED fogs on "old" 12GS Adventure

    Yes, you can replace the old halogen fogs (55W) on the Adventure with the new LED (14).
    Part numbers et cetera here.

    6.4 How to get an (even) higher seat on the 12GS

    All you need to know is in this thread.

    6.X Other well documented modifications
    • Handlebar risers here.
    • Replacing heated grip rubbers here.
    • Installing 1200ADV winglets on a standard 12gs here.
    • Aeroflow install and review.
    • Alternate skid plates here.
    • Alternate footpegs here.
    • Install ADV tank in standard 12GS here.
    brokesville likes this.
  7. tagesk

    tagesk Tuscan rider

    Jun 23, 2007
    Tuscany, Italy
    This is Part 7 (out of seven) of the GSpot FAQ. In Part 1 (here) you will find the Table of Content and links to the other parts.

    PART 7: Miscellaneous

    7.1 What is the toll-free phone number for BMW Roadside Assistance?
    In the US, call 1-877-680-2176

    7.2 Other resources on the Net?

    If you don't find your answer here in this FAQ, it does neither imply that it has not been asked and answered here at ADVrider before (just that your question isn't frequent), nor that the ADVrider community doesn't know the answer. Try to use Google like this: "Your Question site:advrider.com". Google is very good at these things!
    Now, if that isn't enough, here is a list of other well-know resources that populate the surroundings:
    Manufacturers of Hard Luggage

    1) ALPOS: http://www.bykebitz.co.uk/acatalog/Available_Sizes_.html
    2) BMW Adventure: http://www.bmwmotorcycles.com/
    3) BMW System Cases: http://www.bmwmotorcycles.com/
    4) BMW Vario: http://www.bmwmotorcycles.com/
    5) Caja Sahel: http://www.cajasahel.com/panniers.html
    6) Caribou: http://cariboucases.com/
    7) Coocase: http://www.twistedthrottle.com/
    8) Givi: http://www.giviusa.com/ and http://www.adventuremotogear.com/
    9) Happy Trails: http://www.happy-trail.com/
    10) Hattech: http://www.hattech.de/
    11) Hepco & Becker: http://www.hepco-becker.de/ and http://www.adventuremotogear.com/
    12) Jesse: http://www.xplorermoto.com and http://www.jesseluggage.com/
    13) Kappa: http://www.kappaluggage.co.uk/
    14) Krauser: http://www.krauser.de/
    15) Metal Mule: http://www.bestrestproducts.com/ and http://www.metalmule.com/
    16) Micatech: http://shop.micatech.net/
    17) Moto-Sport: http://moto-sportpanniers.com/
    18) Pelican: http://cariboucases.com/
    19) Shad: http://www.binetto.com/
    20) Stahl Koffer: http://www.stahlkoffer.com/
    21) Studebaker: http://www.whitehorsepress.com/
    22) Touratech Zega: http://www.touratech-usa.com/
    23) Touratech Zega Pro: Coming In April 2009?
    24) TraX: http://www.mo-tech.de/trax/ and http://www.twistedthrottle.com/
    25) WorldBeater: http://www.projectvnd.com

    Manufacturers of Seats

    1) Air Hawk: http://www.therohostore.com/ and http://airhawkguy.com.au/
    2) Alaska Leather: http://www.alaskaleather.com/
    3) Australian Cumfy Motorcycle Seats: http://www.australiancumfymotorcycleseats.com.au/
    4) Bead Rider: http://www.beadrider.com/
    5) Bill Mayer Saddles: http://billmayersaddles.com/
    6) Carolina Butt Buffer: http://www.carolinabuttbuffer.com/
    7) Corbin: http://www.corbin.com/
    8) Custom Motorcycle Seats: http://www.motorbike-seats.co.uk/
    9) Diamond Custom Seats: http://www.diamondseats.com/
    10) Hartco International: http://www.hartcoseats.com/
    11) Kon Tour: http://kontourseat.com/
    12) McRoadrunner: http://custommotorcycleseats.com.au/
    13) Moretti Ltd: http://motorcycleseats.co.uk/
    14) Rich’s Custom Seats: http://www.richscustomseats.com/
    15) Roberti Customs: http://www.roberticustoms.com/
    16) Russell Cycle Products: http://www.day-long.com/
    17) Saddlemen: http://saddlemen.com/
    18) Sargent: http://www.sargentcycle.com/

    Various Vendors and Resources

    1) A&S BMW Motorcycles: http://www.ascycles.com/default.aspx/
    2) Adventure Designs: http://www.advdesigns.net
    3) Adventure Workshop: http://www.adventurersworkshop.com/
    4) Adventuremotogear: http://www.adventuremotogear.com/
    5) AeroFlow: http://www.aeroflowscreens.com/index.html
    6) AeroStich: http://www.aerostich.com/catalog/US/index.html
    7) Beemer Boneyard: http://www.beemerboneyard.com/index.html
    8) Best Rest Products: http://www.bestrestproducts.com/default.aspx
    9) Cee Bailey's Aircraft Plastics: http://www.ceebaileys.com/bmw/1200gsgrd.htm
    10) Cycle Gadgets: http://www.cyclegadgets.com/
    11) Cycle Nuts: http://www.cyclenutz.com/
    12) DDM Tuning: http://ddmtuning.com/index.html
    13) Doran MFG LLC: http://www.doranmfg.com/index.html
    14) Dual Sport Touring: http://www.dualsporttouring.com/
    15) Eastern Beaver Company: http://easternbeaver.com/index.html
    16) Euro Motoelectrics: http://www.euromotoelectrics.com/
    17) Excel Cycle & Macine Werkes: http://www.excelcyclewerkes.com
    18) Fuze Blocks: http://www.fuzeblocks.com/
    19) HID 50 Hard Core Lighting: http://hid50.com/
    20) Hyper Lite LED Products: http://hyperlites.com
    21) Identi Tape Inc.: http://www.identi-tape.com/
    22) JVB Productions: http://www.jimvonbaden.com/
    23) Kisan Technologies Inc.: http://www.kisantech.com/
    24) LD Comfort: https://ldcomfort.com/store/home.php
    25) Machine Art Moto: http://machineartmoto.com/shopsite_sc/index.html
    26) Marc Parnes Products for Motorcycles: http://www.marcparnes.com/
    27) Motoport: http://motoport.com
    28) Motorcycle Cruise Control: http://www.mccruise.com/index.html
    29) MV Motorrad: http://www.mv-motorrad.de/
    30) New Enough: http://www.newenoughhp.com/
    31) P3 Lights: http://www.p3lights.com
    32) Pro-Moto Billet: http://www.promotobillet.com/index.html
    33) Sierra BMW: http://www.sierrabmwonline.com/
    34) Southwest Moto Tires: http://arizonamoto.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?
    35) Super Bright LEDs Inc.: http://www.superbrightleds.com/led_prods.htm
    36) SW-Motech: http://sw-motech.de/
    37) Ted Porter’s BeemerShop: http://www.beemershop.com/
    38) Tires Unlimited: http://www.tiresunlimited.com/default.htm
    39) Touratech: http://www.touratech-usa.com/
    40) Twisted Throttle: http://www.twistedthrottle.com/
    41) VVME HID Lights: http://vvme.com/
    42) World Vintage Motorcycle Sales Co.: http://www.hippohands.com/index.htm
    43) Wunderlich: http://www.wunderlich.de/ or http://www.wunderlichamerica.com/index.html44) Xenon Rider: http://www.xenonrider.com/

    7.3 I'm buying a used bike - what to look out for?

    99-02 1150GS: here.

    7.4 How to rekey the Vario hard luggage
    Look no further, it is here.

    7.5 How to trailer a GS
    Not that is needed, but just in case, it is here.

    7.6 I have another question
    If you have a question you think should be included here, please feel free to send me (tagesk) a PM and we'll discuss it.
  8. Dirt Devil

    Dirt Devil Adventurer

    Jan 1, 2006
    I have a new '09 GS with ESA. The rear shock has an existing protective partial cover yet I am wondering whether any or rather which of the rear splash guards would give the best protection to the shock from mud, spray, and general road crap etc. Excluding Carbon Fiber, there still is a wide price difference between the various mud guards with only some poorly visualized differences that I can determine from the site pics. Unfortunately for us with the ESA feature the shock is not rebuildable nor even covered by extended warrantees.
    Thanks, Dirt Devil
    tjschul likes this.
  9. smithlanger

    smithlanger n00b

    Feb 15, 2010
    How much the price difference in different splash guards.?
  10. Raineman

    Raineman Adventurer

    Jan 3, 2010
    Perth Western Australia
    Thanks for all the hard work in producing this brilliant information.
    I am new to 1200GS land, and have some brake problems, which I will work through using your advice.
    I also got worried about tales of final drive failures, etc. and was starting to think I made a boo boo buying the GS, but your info put things into perspective.
    Thanks again, it is much appreciated
  11. milehigh

    milehigh n00b

    Oct 10, 2007
    For the early 11xx GS's, Rubber Chicken Racing offers an upgraded tensioner. It's a lot cheaper than the one in the write-up (nice job there!...). MCN (U.S.) liked it a lot.

    Does it do the job? Is it the same as the BMW-numbered upgrade?


  12. stephen.stallebrass

    stephen.stallebrass Been here awhile

    Aug 19, 2009
    Peterborough, UK
    Globeriders do a dvd on BMW R1200 GS, including maintenance, you should check it out. They also do the 650 & 800. I don't know if they're any good though.

    <object width="640" height="385"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/d9Dg_-VDeU4?fs=1&amp;hl=en_GB"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/d9Dg_-VDeU4?fs=1&amp;hl=en_GB" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="640" height="385"></embed></object>
  13. Ricardo Kuhn

    Ricardo Kuhn a.k.a. Mr Rico Suave

    Sep 20, 2001
    Minneapolis (don't even ask how i end up here.
    Tagesk what a great compendium you have made, Very impressive work (Specially if English is not your first language)

    Thanks again for all the effort

  14. Hollow Road Rider

    Hollow Road Rider Some say Curmudgeon

    Aug 29, 2010
    Chicago Area & The Driftless Area
    This a great section on this site. I wish I had discovered it sooner. It should be required reading.

    That said, I now have to ask where one might find a list of torque values for a 2010 GS Adv?

    I have searched unsuccessfully.

    Thank you.
  15. johnjen

    johnjen Now, even more NOW!…

    Nov 28, 2001
    gas103 likes this.
  16. Hollow Road Rider

    Hollow Road Rider Some say Curmudgeon

    Aug 29, 2010
    Chicago Area & The Driftless Area
  17. johnjen

    johnjen Now, even more NOW!…

    Nov 28, 2001
    The torque values are the same, except for the parts that are unique for the button head subassemblies. And even then I'd bet that they are very similar to the 1200 engine.

    Start another thread in GSpot asking about the button head torque specs and perhaps someone will have a link or a list.

  18. McFuryMcNugget

    McFuryMcNugget me specie in dea ist

    Feb 15, 2011
    The frosted tundra of Island aka Iceland
    This has been the best link i have ever read on Cycles Thank you.

    Here are a series of R1200 specifications and component locations.

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  19. McFuryMcNugget

    McFuryMcNugget me specie in dea ist

    Feb 15, 2011
    The frosted tundra of Island aka Iceland
    More R1200GS information

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  20. McFuryMcNugget

    McFuryMcNugget me specie in dea ist

    Feb 15, 2011
    The frosted tundra of Island aka Iceland
    Turning headlights off, and some wiring schematics for R1200GS

    Attached Files:

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