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Thread: ABS Brake Failure Warning Light

  1. #1
    professor
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    Question ABS Brake Failure Warning Light

    About three months ago, the brake failure warning light did not go out like it usually does. After about a 70 mile ride, it was still on. I shut the bike down, had breakfast, fired it up again and it was back to normal - flashed when the bike started up, but went out as soon as I started rolling.

    Yesterday same thing except it isn't going away. I've stopped, shut down, re-started, etc. several times and it just stays on - not flashing and no general warning - just the brake failure warning light on steady. I'm not sure whether the ABS is working or not so it may be just the light that's malfunctioning or maybe the ABS.

    A search didn't get me any good answers. Should I take it to the dealer or is there something I can do myself.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Servo brakes? If so check the fluid level in the under-tank reservoirs. I think that can generate an error.

    // marc

  3. #3
    professor
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    Thanks, but it's an '07 R1200RT - no servos.

  4. #4
    A bozo on the bus deilenberger's Avatar
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    Since it's under warranty - and has now failed non-intermittently, it would seem a job for a dealer. If it was me - I'd assume the ABS is NOT working, and ride accordingly.
    Don Eilenberger http://www.eilenberger.net
    Spring Lk Heights NJ NJ Shore BMW Riders
    '12 R1200R - I love this bike!

  5. #5
    professor
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    I don't know if this has anything to do with it, but the battery was disconnected for a few minutes during installation of an air horn - which works perfectly.

    I was wondering if the computer needs re-setting after the battery has been disconnected. Could that result in the ABS warning?

    Thanks again.

  6. #6
    A bozo on the bus deilenberger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Professor View Post
    I don't know if this has anything to do with it, but the battery was disconnected for a few minutes during installation of an air horn - which works perfectly.

    I was wondering if the computer needs re-setting after the battery has been disconnected. Could that result in the ABS warning?

    Thanks again.
    Short answer - no. Take it to the dealer and have them sort it out. Brakes are a rather important safety feature.. you at a minimum need to determine if it's just the ABS, or something else with the brake circuits.
    Don Eilenberger http://www.eilenberger.net
    Spring Lk Heights NJ NJ Shore BMW Riders
    '12 R1200R - I love this bike!

  7. #7
    professor
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    Thanks. The brakes are working fine, but you are correct - it's nothing to mess around with. I'll take it to the dealer.

    One thing I noticed this morning is that usually after the computer goes through its start-up checks, the Brake Failure light flashes until you start out. Now in never flashes. It just comes on and stays on.

    I'll let you know what the dealer says. I'll probably get it in there on Wednesday.

  8. #8
    ndjimbo
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    I had the "brake failure" light issue a little over a year ago on my R12R (w/ about 1500 total miles). It was a bad ABS pump. Good for a couple of days in the shop. Hopefully, your problem is simpler.

    Jim

  9. #9
    Registered User glurkus's Avatar
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    I had the same thing happen to my '07 RT earlier this summer. My battery was dead and after I charged it the "Brake Failure" light stayed on. Also my tail brake light stayed on steady. Took it to the dealer and the ABS pump computer had a fault that made it think that front brake was applied, even though it wasn't. After a new battery and a couple of resets and re-installing the software didn't fix the problem, they replaced the ABS pump, and it has been fine for the last 6000 miles.
    It took my dealer a few days of trying to find the cure and another week to get the pump, so I my bike was down for almost two weeks.
    "There is no exception to the rule that every rule has an exception."
    James Thurber

  10. #10

    GS simple solution...

    Quote Originally Posted by Professor View Post
    About three months ago, the brake failure warning light did not go out like it usually does. After about a 70 mile ride, it was still on. I shut the bike down, had breakfast, fired it up again and it was back to normal - flashed when the bike started up, but went out as soon as I started rolling.

    Yesterday same thing except it isn't going away. I've stopped, shut down, re-started, etc. several times and it just stays on - not flashing and no general warning - just the brake failure warning light on steady. I'm not sure whether the ABS is working or not so it may be just the light that's malfunctioning or maybe the ABS.

    A search didn't get me any good answers. Should I take it to the dealer or is there something I can do myself.

    Thanks.
    If this is a GS, check that your brush guards are not rubbing up against the brake handle. This will cause a fault, and rapid blinking failure light.

  11. #11
    professor
    Guest

    Thumbs up

    The mystery has been solved.

    While installing an air horn, the connector from the front wheel ABS sensor inadvertantly got disconnected and we just didn't see it. When putting the fuel tank back on, the wire got tucked underneath it. After removing all the tupperware for access, the dealer mechanic (technician, wrench, or whatever the correct term is) spotted the wire and was able to get it out without removing the tank. Once it was reconnected, things were back to normal.

    Thank goodness for the intellegent CANBUS system that told me something was wrong or I would have never known the ABS wasn't working until I might have needed it.

    And thank goodness for the intellegent, knowledgeable mechanic who found the source of the problem rather quickly.

  12. #12
    Registered User soffiler's Avatar
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    "Technician" is politically correct these days.
    Steve O. - MOA #122171
    '05 R12GS, '76 CB200 (wife's)
    '91 K100RS, '87 Honda CBR1000 Hurricane, '84 Yamaha FJ1100, '85 Honda VF500F, '76 Yamaha RD400, '82 Honda XL500... and more

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