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Thread: If you drop your LC GS in deep sand…

  1. #1
    Registered User GTRider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Nibley, UT USA

    If you drop your LC GS in deep sand…

    …there’s a tool you might want in your kit.

    Long story short: Last week I dropped my 2018 GS at speed in very fine deep, deep sand—the bike slid on its right side for close to 40ft and stopped with the handgrip buried in the sand. Once righted, the bike (now not running) would not turn off via the ignition switch and the starter/cutoff switch would not move far enough to either attempt a start nor move to the cutoff position. The battery was then disconnected and the bike trailered home.

    Examination at home pointed to a switch assembly and throttle packed full of sand, so both needed removal and cleaning. (Replacements are spendy, around $300 for the switch and $400 for the throttle assembly)

    The switch assembly must be removed first, the screw heads are deeply buried out of sight in a plastic tunnel, and the service DVD doesn’t call out the type nor size of bit required for removal. After much trial and error I discovered they are T-9 Torx, which is why this kit is now a permanent addition to my GS toolkit. Useful for glasses and electronics as well, I guess. The switches are sealed microswitches so no giant ziplock bags for catching springs or balls needed—just clean everything so the rocker and push buttons can move freely.

    Next, the throttle. Easily removed via one screw, since it’s cable already had to be disconnected to remove the switchgear. It’s a one-piece unit with a cover that looks snapped in, but memories of yanking off the steering wheel of the ‘56 Chev I had in high school, and the subsequent introduction to the concept of “clock spring” and “RTFM before proceeding” made me shy away from popping out the end cover. There is a large weep hole on the bottom of the throttle drum and repeated tapping and shaking resulted in an almond-size pile of grit coming out, and a throttle drum that was smooth and silent in operation. Assembly, as they say, is the reverse order of disassembly tho I note there was no lube on the handlebar and it was left that way.

    Connected battery, used GS-911 to reset date and time on the bike and clear adaptations, and the bike fired right up and runs normally. All that’s left is replacing a couple of plastic pieces that BMW uses in some surprising structural ways (like mounting the rear luggage rack to the subframe) and the GS will be back on desert roads.

    But, I’d bet a cold one that most folks don’t have a T-9 Torx in their tool roll. That tool, and knowing where it fit, could have effected a roadside clean out and restart…

    Guess it ended up not being a short version, sorry!

    1983 R80ST — 1984 R80 G/S-PD — 2010 K1300GT — 2018 R1200GS
    BMWMOA#52184, AMA#271542, IBA#138

  2. #2
    Registered User captainmarko's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Las Vegas, NV
    Good to know. Thanks!
    Sleep in the trees and keep your knees in the breeze.

  3. #3
    Old Rider - OK Mechanic 105258's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Teulon Manitoba Canada


    I too have had switches stop working because we're dirty or dry. I too take them apart and clean them. I always lubricated with silicone o-ring grease. On the road often a switch can be fixed with a good spray of silicone spray lube. Thanks for the post, can do a simple road repair if emissary. Thanks
    David Nicholls
    Teulon Manitoba - Canada

    2015 R1200GSA-LC

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