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Thread: Opinions on three button signals?

  1. #16
    Coffee is 99% water CoffeeGuy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    St. Louis, MO
    Three Button- Thumbs up

    One Button- Thumbs Down

    I own a 99 R1100S with the proper three button arrangement, it's not my first bike (93 yamaha Seca II) but like Paul said, it took less than five minutes for me to get used to the BMW system.

    Recently, I had the opportunity to test ride a 08' (or 09'?) K1300GT for seven days with the newer one button signal arrangement. Although I don't really see it as a deal breaker, the one button arrangement really just seems cheap feeling. I can't help but think that the change is cost related for BMW, meaning they're saving money by adopting the conventional arrangement. Less plastic, fewer parts. It's my opinion, of course.

    The three button arrangement just seems more substantial to me. And I'd be more interested in looking for a 1200GT partly because of the signal switches and urine cup looking fluid reservoir. I suppose the switches are a dealbreaker?

    Maybe I've finally lost my mind?
    '99 r1100s

  2. #17
    Back in the Saddle mcmxcivrs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Having had my R1100RS for many years. I've become very comfortable with the three button system. Its almost intuitive to use once you get accustomed to it; almost like the infamous "countersteering" - to turn right, you push right, to turn left, you push left.

    I had my 03 F650GS for not quite two years, and just never got used to the single button. Switching from the RS to the GS was a guaranteed mess for the first several turns until I got my head straight on which switch gear I had at hand. Thus I can understand the confusion the media finds with the three button system given the common use of the single switch by so many brands and models. Though it was never something that was a deal breaker on a bike for me, having to replace the thumper with my new F800GS made me a bit more happy knowing it would have the more familiar (to me) three button system.
    Ed Miller, Calgary, AB
    2008 K1200GT, 2009 F800GS
    I can't wait to retire and have a fixed income. The one I have now is always broke.

  3. #18
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    In the state of Misery for now.
    I love the 3 button setup. Seems intuitive to me.

    Now the horn button, for some reason, I just do not get.

    There have been several occasions when I "left blinkered" someone in anger.

    I try to practice when I can, I just do not think it is going to happen


  4. #19
    Registered User dadayama's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Oklahoma City
    This is my third bike... first BMW... I like the 3 button set up...
    It is completely an extension of my body, don't even think about it...
    Some one else posted about how easy it is to turn on the hazard flashers...
    I agree 100%... the first time i did, on a rainy day coming upon a wreck in the road... it was natural and intuitive even though i had never done it... have use the feature several times...

    Peter OKC,OK

  5. #20
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Dartmouth, Massachusetts
    If you add a KISAN Signal Minder to your BMW you will end up with a "Two Button" system. Push left button to start flash, push it again to cancel, same for the right.

    Push and hold the button a 1/2 second longer and the left or right signal will flash very rapidly for lane change.

    The Signal Minder has three quantity of "flash" before it cancels. I believe it is 8, 30 and 45 seconds.........but if you hook up an aux wire that comes with the kit to your brake light, the signal will flash continuously until the brake is released and then start its predetermined flash count.

    You also get the advantage of "running lights" where the turn signals are always on at a settable dim mode. Makes you more conspicuous.

    Retail Price: $109.95

    SM-5 unit is designed as a plug-in replacement for most BMW "R" Bikes and some "K" series bikes with dual handlebar mounted turn signal switches. This unit has a matching 12-pin connector and replaces the original Delphi turn signal relay.

    SM-5 operates all four turn signal lamps at reduced intensity to enhance your visibility in the traffic. This conversion is all done internally without any modifications to the wiring. This optional feature can be enabled or disabled on the fly.

    SM-5 has soft touch configuration. Soft touch configuration allows the timeouts and running light options to be changed on the fly.

    SM-5 has (3) selectable timouts: 8 seconds, 30 seconds, and 45 seconds.

    NEW FEATURE (xx930BF2 code)

    Built-in RUN-TURN-BRAKE functions
    No need to buy other turn signal conversion product. You get all the features of RUN-TURN-BRAKE and automatic signal canelling!

    If you hook-up the 12 volt supply from the brakes, to the signalMinder brake input:

    BRAKE FLASH OPTION will flash the turn signal lamps every time you apply brakes. A short 2 second flash pattern begins with quick flashes then slows down to stay on solid.

    BRAKE OVERRIDE OPTION suspends the time-out feature until the brakes are released. This allows continued flashing for those times when you are waiting at the signals to make a turn and do not want the time-out to cancel the flashing.


    FAST FLASH Lane Change
    If you hold down the turn signal switch, turn signals will flash twice as fast for the first (4) times. This is an excellent feature to get immediate attention while changing lanes.

    Instead of using your right thumb in that awkward motion to push up the Cancel button, simply push the Same-side button to stop flashing.

    4-Way Emergency Flash Push both right and left buttons simultaneously to begin 4-Way flash. To stop, use the right side Cancel button.

    The last thing you need is to worry about canceling the turn signals! Use all of the built-in options of the signalMinder and enjoy the ride.

    signalMinder has an add-on product known as vectraLIGHT. These LED arrays simply plug into the signalMinder and inherit all of it's features. They are designed to mount under the turn signal mirrors.
    2007 BMW K1200R Sport (abs),2007 Suzuki dl650 V Strom (abs),2004 Honda VFR (abs),1972 Honda Trail 90,
    2001 Moto Guzzi V-11 Rosso Mandello

  6. #21
    I like the BMW 3 button arrangement. I do find the horn a bit difficult though.

    You can cancel by pressing both buttons too. I built a fairly complicated cancelling unit that counts wheel revolutions, so it never times out at a light. It runs about 7 flashes on the highway.
    Mike Marr
    1978 Yamaha XS750 (Needs rings), 1996 BMW R1100RS, 2004 Honda CRF230F

  7. #22
    Cage Rattler wezul's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Glen Ellyn, IL
    I have not played with the newer two button so I really cannot opine. The three button system took some time (like what, maybe an hour on road?) for me to get accustomed but now it's good. Like any other machine one needs time to get to know layout, functions, etc.
    Is one better than other? Does it matter?

  8. #23
    Registered User stkmkt1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Tremont, IL
    I love the three button setup on my GSA. When I ride my other bikes now, I fumble with the turn signals. The three button just seems natural to me. And I have only been riding the Beemer since May of this year.
    '09 BMW 1200 GSA, 2013 BMW 700GS, 2000 Goldwing SE, '09' V Star 950, '09 Honda Rebel,
    '77 Honda 750A. Holding at six til I get new garage built - need more room for more bikes!

  9. #24
    Vern 12907's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Somewhere In The Swamps of Jersey
    I have no experience with the 3 button switch. That being said, I love the single switch on my '83 RS. Never cared for the Japanese style, not very ergonomic IMO. And as far as self canceling, I think it's over rated. Just pay attention and cancel your signals. Yep, I love the old style switches. Riding a BMW is a down right, up lefting experience.
    Have fun & Ride safe, Anthony
    '83 R100RS
    '03 GL1800A
    '99 KLR 250

  10. #25
    I like the three button system also. The Kisan product sounds good but I am pretty good at canceling after a turn or lane change.

    On the other hand, I have on occasion used the horn when attempting to signal left ...

  11. #26
    IMO the three-button arrangement got a lot of bad press because of people who own more than one bike, and more than one brand. No-one else has a three-switch setup and it's not easy to remember which you have when you switch bikes. I still have a '99 R1100S and have to think twice about what I'm doing when riding it vs one of the Ducs.

  12. #27
    I like the 3 button system. I have small hands and find that I can actuate them easily with a very small thumb movement compared to the single button type which I found awkward (like the horn button).

  13. #28
    Alps Adventurer GlobalRider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Canada and the Alps
    Quote Originally Posted by Osm3um View Post
    I find it interesting that I have read that a lot of people don't like it.
    If it is due to some coordination problem, we can be thankful those people aren't airline pilots; at least we hope they're not.

    I have motorcycles with both systems and don't have issues with either; but I prefer BMW's cancel button system.

  14. #29
    What, me worry? GILLY's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Evansville, WI
    Quote Originally Posted by GSfornow View Post
    I like HD turn signals the best of any I have tried.

    My experience also. I owned an HD for a few months last year, and the signal switches really impressed me, very logical. Left/Right are like BMW, but you can cancel by just pressing the switch a second time, BUT the nice thing is they self-cancel based on a lean angle sensor, works excellent. SOMEtimes does not pick up on a lane change. They will time-out eventually as well if you do not notice they didn't self-cancel. Very well thought out. Hazard flasher, push both like BMW 3-button, then press either left or right to cancel hazard flasher.

    87 K75S, bought new, now sold
    07 K1200GT Bought new, now traded in
    13 C650GT
    MOA 44606

  15. #30
    Old man in the mountains osbornk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Marion VA-In the middle of some of the best riding in the country.
    I have one button on my 86 R80RT and three buttons on my 03 R1200CLC. I don't even think of it as I switch from one to the other. I've had about a dozen bikes with one button and three with three buttons and after you've ridden for a while, whatever system you have is automatic. I have more trouble remembering that my car has a floor shift while my SUY and truck have column shifts. My arm grabs at empty air.

    'You can say what you want about the South, but I almost never hear of anyone wanting to retire to the North.

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