Servos Suck

Discussion in 'GS Boxers' started by SCQTT, Sep 24, 2008.

  1. HTSRocker

    HTSRocker Long timer

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    Just sell the 04 and save your pennies for the bike with the brake you want.

    Or hold out until say, 2012 and complain about the 08 braking system.
    #21
  2. Avocet

    Avocet Been here awhile Supporter

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    I have an '07 GS without servos and had the opportunity to ride an '04 R1200R with servo's for a couple of days. Aside from the noise that the servos make I didn't feel there was much difference between the two of them as long as the engine is running. I did notice a big difference when the engine is off, when I was backing out of a parking space on a hill. It took alot more pressure to hold the bike stationary then I expected, so I started the engine.

    When I got back on my GS I certainly didn't notice anything that made me wish it had servos. If anything, it puzzled me why BMW ever used them since it seems to be possible to get nearly identical results without them. I suppose it may be that it required new technology that wasn't available before, as somebody mentioned.
    #22
  3. Grunt58

    Grunt58 Been here awhile

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    Well I had servo assisted brakes fail THREE times. Twice on my R1150RT and once on my K1200GT. Brake lever all the way back....zero brakes..SLOWLY building up braking power. I promptly left BMW and did not return untill the servo's were gone.
    #23
  4. levain

    levain STILL Jim Williams Supporter

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    You can. I can't:D. That is, unless you want to work on my bike:evil:evil
    #24
  5. RussL

    RussL Been here awhile

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    I don't mind the servo system except when its time to change the fluid. :D
    #25
  6. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid! Supporter

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    No problem Jim, bring it down to DC and I'll do it for you!:deal

    Of course you will have to ride 500 miles with residuals only in the worst traffic in the country! :lol3

    Jim :brow
    #26
  7. MarkV

    MarkV Been here awhile

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    i agree. one of my gripes was that initially the R1200's came with them from the factory only. i felt i was fortunate to find a GS '05 without 'em and bought it the next day. it was the one feature i really disliked on the 1150 and later the 1200 when i was shopping for something different. it's good to see that it's now an option for those of us that don't drink the kool-aid, especially after now seeing the additional cost of service incurred or warranty inconveniences. not everyone that pays for service necessarily does so because they are incapable, some folks occasionally have better uses for their time.

    i know everyone who loves their abs will disagree as already evidenced but i can stop just as effectively without it. my "near death" experiences are from other vehicles not seeing me rather than me not seeing them; abs would have not changed the outcome more than luck and observation.

    the suggestions that the servo's can be removed when it's time to be replaced are just ridiculous. it's unnecessary in the first place and just yet another electro gizmo to go no workie when i'm relying on it the most.


    #27
  8. onesaintsfan

    onesaintsfan BigJohnHart

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    Had them on my 04. as well as my 02 LT. Would never buy another bike them. Glad my 08 does not have them. YUK No feedback. More to wrong, and just too much complexity for not much more braking power. Great for rich nubies. but exp. riders don.t need them
    #28
  9. biggziff

    biggziff Funk Soul Bruvah

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    I did ride an 08. The dealer addressed my concerns about the servos by having me ride both bikes down a pretty large hill...engine/key off. Other than the hydraulic advantage on the 08 caused by a larger piston in the master cylinder(s), the two felt very close in comparison, especially riding them back to back on the exact same path.

    Like most technical/mechanical forums, there are certain failures that, if researched a little, will show as nothing more than a statistical blip caused mainly by folks who really don't know anything more than what they read on that forum. This forum is no different. You get a handful of folks slamming servos, some of whom have never ridden a bike with them, but the great majority of folks with servos bikes are quite happy. I fall into the latter group.
    #29
  10. AirForceDirt

    AirForceDirt "Give me back my face!!"

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    That over engineering is the reason why bmw's last nigh-on forever. Sure, things brake, and need to be fixed/replaced, but that goes for anything. Look at the K75. How many have had failures preventing them from going well over 100,000 miles?
    #30
  11. garandman

    garandman Wandering Minstrel

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    Three engineers - one English, one French, and one German - are out in the bush when they are captured by the local tribe. The Chief dictates that they will be beheaded by guillotine.

    The Britisher is first. Asked if he has any last words, he says, "God save the Queen." But the guillotine malfunctions and he is set free.

    The Frenchman is second. Asked for his last words, he says, "Vive La France!" But the guillotine malfunctions again and he is also set free.

    Last comes the German. Once again, he is asked for his last words:








    "I think I see the problem."





    ....
    #31
  12. STROH80

    STROH80 Emerald backroads

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    I have an 08GSA and there is a pulsation in the braks at low speeds with light breaking......Anyone have that?

    Weather they suck or not.......I dont khave expierence with any others then on the K1200LTi and my new 08GSA

    I so wish I could be at the roadhouse:freaky this weekend.....whimper...:cry
    #32
  13. bikecat

    bikecat Long timer

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    Just sharing my experience:

    My ride had servos; yes, had, cos' the servos died in its 7th year. It costs US$2,500 to get a new hydro unit for a bike that now has a value of about US$7,500, one third of its value.

    Do I like them? Yes and no; they are great for an emergency, but for my riding skills (or lack of :rofl ), it sucks for everyday slow moves. Plus I had worries at the back of my mind of what to do if the unit fail while on a long ride. Well, now I have done the hydro disabling and fixed braided lines to maximise braking. Cheaper and I hope just as effective in braking.

    Do I wish for ABS? yes, But it comes at the price of an expensive and (to me) twitchy servo system.

    Ps: I'm keeping the bike :1drink
    #33
  14. Pugnacious

    Pugnacious Life is good at 4,200'

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    In my opinion, servo’s suck! My 1996 R110RSL and 2002 R1150GS didn’t have them and they both had great brakes. My 2005 1200GS had servo’s and I never did like the brakes. I didn’t like the modulation as well and they didn’t stop any better and they drew so much power from the electrical system that my headlights would dim at slow speed when I used the brakes; German over-engineering at its finest. I didn’t like the brakes on the 2005 and considered another brand of motorcycle. I was about to buy a KTM when I found a 2008 R1200GS without the stupid servo and no ABS which meant no more linked braking system. I am now a happy BMW camper again. If the servo system was so great, why did BMW drop it?
    #34
  15. GB

    GB . Administrator Super Moderator Super Supporter

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    It is obvious that servos were a failed concept. They were introduced with great fanfare, then tweeked on the 1200, then dropped all together as reported problems mounted. They were a solution looking for a problem and ended creating more problems than they solved.

    So.. they were abondoned and for a somewhat simpler ABS system which has no servo assist. The effort at the lever is the same whether the ABS is operative or not.

    Everyone who loves their servos loves them till they fail. Mine failed far away from home and I rode it home with residual braking only, no rear brake and no brake light for 1700 miles. Three months into owning it and 2 more servo failures, I traded it in for one with regular hydraulic brakes.
    Funny thing, I was at a US based BMW dealer getting my oil changed when a customer who returned to be told his servo unit was finished and needed to be replaced, that customer ends up trading in his bike.
    #35
  16. Disco Dean

    Disco Dean Long timer

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    Jim - how is that? Can you explain the conversion? I like my brakes but I have to admit - the noise just drives me crazy. I use ear plugs for big rides but the whine just reminds me of all that extra stuff working away. Petty for sure but how do you do the conversion and do you get dash warning etc. lights that stay on...?

    Thanks in advance,

    D
    #36
  17. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid! Supporter

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    There is a recent thread here from a guy who just did it on his R1200, the R1150 is different but still removable.

    Do a search, but as soon as I get all the info I am adding it to my web site for anyone who wants to try it.

    Personally I wouldn't remove it until it breaks, but that is just me. Lots of opinions here.:deal

    Jim :brow
    #37
  18. levain

    levain STILL Jim Williams Supporter

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    I'll let you know when I need to do it:evil:deal:D

    Seriously, I have no problems with the servos on my 1150ADV, but, I have to say that they are on my mind often. I was one of the few and proud that was left with zero brakes several times on my 05 1200 and got rid of it, because of that. Coasting through a red light in the rain, while frantically pulling the lever as hard as you can will definitely get your heart pumping!
    #38
  19. Davy F

    Davy F Pro Goolie Fiddler

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    That's my train of thought. I had the bike at my mechanics for its 18k service and this came up in conversation. He showed me at least four duff servo units that he had removed from 04/05 bikes. He explained how simple it is to remove the servo and plumb the brakes back to 'normal' brakes. But he did reccommend just to leave things alone as he knows of several bikes with servos that have covered many many miles without a problem. Yes, if it dies, it leaves you with poor residual brakes and that will suck big time.
    But it's not the end of the world.
    #39
  20. bemiiten

    bemiiten League of Adventures

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    And for the record, Servo equipped bikes do not stop any shorter then conventional systems. In fact , BMW's braking distances from 60mph are 15-20 feet longer then many other sportbikes, cruisers & Goldwings.
    #40