View Poll Results: Have you had at least ONE fuel strip fail?

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  • YES - 2005 model year

    55 6.73%
  • YES - 2006 model year

    40 4.90%
  • YES - 2007 model year

    95 11.63%
  • YES - 2008 model year

    117 14.32%
  • YES - 2009 model year

    156 19.09%
  • YES - 2010 model year

    63 7.71%
  • YES - 2011 model year (R1200R only I think..)

    23 2.82%
  • YES - Multiple fuel strip failures - please note model/year in a comment

    73 8.94%
  • NO - fuel strip failure. Please note year/model in a comment

    249 30.48%
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Thread: Fuel strip poll

  1. #541
    Registered User indiana_jones_i's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    North Central Indiana

    Another one:

    It was a beautiful ride this morning in spite of the new chip sealed road with loose piles of chips, two dogs running loose on the road, two deer out of the cornfield and across the road and another fuel strip quit functioning. Nothing unusual, including the fuel strip. Made it home safely though and enjoyed the ride. Will navigate thru the NHTSA site to share my thoughts.

  2. #542
    Registered User TGA57589's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Washington, hour from Zion, 2 hrs to the North Rim
    Quote Originally Posted by deilenberger View Post
    When was your bike put into service? On a 2007 it's possible you're out of the 12 year extended warranty from BMW.

    FWIW - there is only one relay on your bike - the starter relay. If it goes bad you won't start. There certainly have been instances where a brand new strip failed - happened to one of mine. My bike got 2 strips in a day that time. If the strip is an issue - it's covered by BMW's 2 year parts warranty. If you're lucky (or clever) you'll never have a fuel strip last longer than 23 months once you bought one.

    Good luck with it..

    BTW - you might want to fill out a vehicle complaint form on the NHTSA website for a vehicle failure that could cause death or injury (if you ran out of fuel in the wrong place..) There are instructions back a bunch of pages in this thread on how to do it and make it effective. If enough of those accumulate maybe BMW can be goaded into making right on these and coming up with a design that works. There is one private owner who came up with a circuit for it allowing for the use of the old fashioned mechanical float mechanism. I'm sure Seimens or Bosch has some clever engineers - they just need incentive $$$$ from BMW.
    I bought a fuel strip only to find out I couldn't set it up without the BMW controller so I had to take it to the dealer where they set it up only to have it fail 2x in their shop. They warranted the strip even though I bought it from another dealer. I still had to pay them labor but I took the machine to them with no plastic on it so I saved some labor. I guess my way of thanking the dealer for the help is when I go there in two days to trade the machine on a 2109 I guess I won't have a fuel strip problem again.
    I have to admit I really enjoyed My 2007 RT having moved it across the country with me on it and rode it to the Grand Canyon a few times a year just to sit and stare at the canyon drinking my coffee. I was looking at a 2016 but the wife asked me how many more motorcycles I will buy? I said I figure I'll go at least another 12 years so she told me to get a new one. And yes she is a keeper!

  3. #543
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Buford GA

    fuel strip failure

    2005 r1200 gs

  4. #544
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Danville, IN USA

    2008 R1200RT friends bike

    A friend asked me to take a look at his fuel indication problem. I did the zapper "fix" with no change. Have previously done this on my 2005 RT with good results and no failure in 10k miles. I attempted an Ebay used strip replacement and it would not pass the calibration check with the GS911 tool. I was able to find out that my friends bike has had the strip replaced 4 times in the past 9 years. Resistance check between pins 1& 4 showed in excess of 6M ohms. Check between pins 2 & 3 showed 4.5K ohms.
    So I decided to take one of the strips completely apart to really see how they are put together and if anything is obviously damaged. Upon take the plastic covers apart and removing the film strip, nothing was visually noted. Breaking off the epoxy potting and splitting the fiberglass tabs that hold the wires in position and making contact with the strip, I noted obvious burn marks at the #4 connection. The remaining connections appeared to have marginal to poor contact. It is possible that I created the burn mark using my zapper, but this also indicates an open in the wiring connection. In my mind this is an obvious production issue in assembling the film strip wiring to the actual hard wire connections. The film strip is fairly durable on its own and when contained in it's plastic housing is pretty stout. It would have to be severely manhandled to be damaged during removal or installation. It seems that BMW is cognizant of the production issue and therefore the 12 year warranty.
    In my opinion the production issue needs to be addressed, with either a better build or a completely different design. This problem will not go away on its own after 12 years of constantly replacing fuel strips, and buying a new bike with a different fuel metering system is not an acceptable solution.

  5. #545
    Why should I have any confidence this is even a remotely reliable technology when compared to a simple float system? I am sure this technology is used in other applications, but where? And why? I remember it failed BMW in 1983-1985. And it has failed them here again.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell

  6. #546
    A bozo on the bus deilenberger's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Spring Lake NJ, USA
    Quote Originally Posted by PGlaves View Post
    Why should I have any confidence this is even a remotely reliable technology when compared to a simple float system? I am sure this technology is used in other applications, but where? And why? I remember it failed BMW in 1983-1985. And it has failed them here again.
    Paul - it is used (or was) in some 4 wheel vehicles (Volvo comes to mind, not a paragon or reliability for a while now..) The strip design uses a similar theory but an entirely different physical design to the K bike series fuel sensors of 83-85. I suspect they thought it was better. That's what a loss of corporate memory does to a company. Everyone who remembered how bad the 83-85 design was - was either retired, bumped upstairs or dead. There was no one around to say "NO! Oh NO!"

    Someone has come up with a float-based replacement design using a small interface to the bike's electronics. I recall reading about it about 2-3 years ago. It seemed to work well but it was not ready for mass production. If a private individual could do it - I'm sure BMW could pressure whoever made the current disaster to do it too, and have a real solution to the problem. I have to 2024 on my '12 R12R that I'm still under the 12 year warranty.

    Given the general stubborness of BMW to ever admit fault (the Tom Cutter theory is - they can't admit fault while the original engineer is still around.. it would be insulting to him..) I doubt if they'll ever do anything substantive to actually fix the issue. I'm sure the fuel strip vendor is eating the costs of replacing the defective ones under warranty, so no financial skin off BMW's nose. About all that might work would be an NHTSA campaign (which I've outlined in this thread several times) to have a recall issued (Harley got one for the same sort of defective sensor) - but I think NHTSA has become a toothless tiger now, and it's unlikely they'd actually do anything.. The people I developed a relationship there (involving a recall by Porsche for exploding engines) - are no longer answering emails.

    Either they're not there any more, or know not to poke big manufacturers. I seem to becoming more like an "airhead" - only in this case it's an "oilhead" sort of bent. Nothing they currently make would make me walk into the show room and ask to sit on anything. Must be me.
    Don Eilenberger
    Spring Lk Heights NJ NJ Shore BMW Riders
    '12 R1200R - I love this bike!

  7. #547
    Thanks, Don.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell

  8. #548

    Angry Fuel Strip Poll

    The replacement of the original strip (bike had ~17,000 miles at failure) on my 2009 BMW 1200RT lasted 500 miles. Now at dealers for two months: they have installed 3 new so far with instant failures. Maybe the solution is to accept blinking lights and use trip meter to determine gas level (works on my '97 Honda Valkyrie just fine). Other solution is to sell the thing. I expect more from BMW, especially for a bike that cost $18,500 new in 2009.

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