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Thread: Odd Temporary Failure of "Keyless Ride"

  1. #1
    Registered User ExGMan's Avatar
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    Odd Temporary Failure of "Keyless Ride"

    I was wandering around the Boston area yesterday for about 45 miles, and stopped to get some wine for dinner. Returning to the bike, I got the little blinking red light in the panel display, and, of course, the RT would not fire up. I had replaced the remote battery two months ago, and the battery of the bike is maintained by an Optimate-6. I had stopped for a couple of times before my last one, and all had worked fine.

    Of course, since I was on a local ride, my "emergency key" was at home. I turned off my cellphone to insure no stray RF or Bluetooth was messing with the system, and insured I did not have any remotes for family cars to confuse the system.

    I was just about to take an UBER home to get the emergency key, but decided to make sure the CR2032 battery was well-seated in the remote. I squeezed the case hard, walked over to the bike, and all was back to normal. It started up normally. I had not received any "low-battery" indication regarding the remote.

    I've got no explanation for this, and wonder if anyone else has had this kind of problem? I do know from now on the emergency key will be with me.
    John Gamel
    2015 Ebony Metallic R1200RT
    BMW CCA 2006 - Present; BMW MOA 2009-Present
    Walt Kelly: "We have met the enemy, and he is us."

  2. #2
    Well, obviously, you did not read the manual. The keyless fob comes equipped with a wine/alcohol detector. When activated, it will disable the start function in the motorcycle. It is intended to give the rider a few minutes to reconsider the use of the motorcycle to transport alcohol. Here in CO it is fine tuned to also include the aroma of marijuana. To quote Bill Gates, "it is a feature not a bug".

    There are a couple of quick work arounds. One option involves the rapid consumption of the alcohol. Once consumed, the key fob will not deactivate the motorcycle and you are free to go on your merry way. The other option requires the user/rider to press hard on the key fob where the battery is located. Kind of a way of saying "let me use my bike or I will wring your neck" in electronic lingo.

    Hope you find the posting humorous if not useful.

  3. #3
    Registered User ExGMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dsimon9 View Post
    Well, obviously, you did not read the manual. The keyless fob comes equipped with a wine/alcohol detector. When activated, it will disable the start function in the motorcycle. It is intended to give the rider a few minutes to reconsider the use of the motorcycle to transport alcohol. Here in CO it is fine tuned to also include the aroma of marijuana. To quote Bill Gates, "it is a feature not a bug".

    There are a couple of quick work arounds. One option involves the rapid consumption of the alcohol. Once consumed, the key fob will not deactivate the motorcycle and you are free to go on your merry way. The other option requires the user/rider to press hard on the key fob where the battery is located. Kind of a way of saying "let me use my bike or I will wring your neck" in electronic lingo.

    Hope you find the posting humorous if not useful.
    Well dsimon9, I did find your post both humorous, and useful. I did RTFM once I got home again, but did not see that bit about the wine/alcohol detector. Perhaps that arrived in a firmware update. However, in my narrative, I did leave out one essential fact: I removed the wine from the RH pannier in which it was residing (along with some porcini/ricotta ravioli for Mrs. ExGMan) and some broccoli. Once that was done and the possibly-offending alcohol was 20 feet away, the engine started.

    What a conundrum! Was it the alcohol, the ravioli or the broccoli which caused the problem? Here in Massachusetts we've just legalized recreational MJ so perhaps the latest firmware update told the bike to shut down in the presence of any densely-leafed green stuff?

    As we used to say in my former life: "Investigation continues."

    Thank you for your post. I do have some Colorado in my past. My late mother grew up in Colorado a loonng time ago, but came to Massachusetts when my late father (from Texas) got employment back here.
    John Gamel
    2015 Ebony Metallic R1200RT
    BMW CCA 2006 - Present; BMW MOA 2009-Present
    Walt Kelly: "We have met the enemy, and he is us."

  4. #4
    Debbie's Servant Lee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ExGMan View Post
    I did RTFM once I got home again,
    Don't forget there's a spot on your RT where you can hold the fob even with a dead battery and start the bike.
    Lee
    2016 R1200RS
    MOA # 30878
    Past BMW Bikes: 2011 K1300S, 2003 K1200RS, 1991 K75S, 1987 K75T, 1984 R100RT

  5. #5
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    My failures of keyless have always been at MOBILE stations, seems to be RF interference between the stations FAST PASS system and my bike
    My emergency key lives near the back of my bike, hidden away, so only my know where it is, I hope
    Also keep a couple spare batteries for fob
    Hope your only issue was loose fob cover

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by ExGMan View Post
    I was wandering around the Boston area yesterday for about 45 miles, and stopped to get some wine for dinner. Returning to the bike, I got the little blinking red light in the panel display, and, of course, the RT would not fire up. I had replaced the remote battery two months ago, and the battery of the bike is maintained by an Optimate-6. I had stopped for a couple of times before my last one, and all had worked fine.

    Of course, since I was on a local ride, my "emergency key" was at home. I turned off my cellphone to insure no stray RF or Bluetooth was messing with the system, and insured I did not have any remotes for family cars to confuse the system.

    I was just about to take an UBER home to get the emergency key, but decided to make sure the CR2032 battery was well-seated in the remote. I squeezed the case hard, walked over to the bike, and all was back to normal. It started up normally. I had not received any "low-battery" indication regarding the remote.

    I've got no explanation for this, and wonder if anyone else has had this kind of problem? I do know from now on the emergency key will be with me.
    I wrote a post about something similar on the R1200R forum last year. My 2015 would do this but only at a certain fuel island in my neighborhood. Let the arrows fly, but I swear it's true and a couple of others eventually mentioned similar incidents. My bike would not start and the key warning flashed. If I rolled the Nike away from the pump, I was trying to get out of their people's way, it would start right up. Only happened at that one island and I could reliably repeat it. Months later they had that pump in pieces for what reason I cannot say, but the bike no longer displayed that problem at that pump. I didn't mess with the fob though so the squeezing thing is different. True story!

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by t6pilot View Post
    My failures of keyless have always been at MOBILE stations, seems to be RF interference between the stations FAST PASS system and my bike
    My emergency key lives near the back of my bike, hidden away, so only my know where it is, I hope
    Also keep a couple spare batteries for fob
    Hope your only issue was loose fob cover
    HEY, I was writing about my problem just as you were posting this! Mine was at a Mobil Station as well in Dana Point CA.

  8. #8
    Registered User ExGMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lee View Post
    Don't forget there's a spot on your RT where you can hold the fob even with a dead battery and start the bike.
    Thank you Lee. Perhaps the ease of holding the fob in the spot on an RS is different than an RT. My manual devotes three pages (50-52) to the disassembly of much of the right-hand side of the fairing, speaker system and related items to find that spot.

    It's clear that every ride I make from now on will include my emergency key. That said, after reading a couple of posts subsequent to yours, maybe there's enough stray RF around to totally subvert the system, and the first step is to roll the bike as far away from potential RF sources as possible.
    John Gamel
    2015 Ebony Metallic R1200RT
    BMW CCA 2006 - Present; BMW MOA 2009-Present
    Walt Kelly: "We have met the enemy, and he is us."

  9. #9
    Debbie's Servant Lee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ExGMan View Post
    the first step is to roll the bike as far away from potential RF sources as possible.
    I agree. I have seen several posts where the rider had to roll the bike away from a gas pump before it would start.
    Lee
    2016 R1200RS
    MOA # 30878
    Past BMW Bikes: 2011 K1300S, 2003 K1200RS, 1991 K75S, 1987 K75T, 1984 R100RT

  10. #10
    Registered User ExGMan's Avatar
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    Lee, et al - I just looked at page 49 of my RT manual. In one of the paragraphs the manual uses the word "irritate" in regard to the electronics, "in which case the the enabling signal for starting is not issued." This was said in regard to another vehicle key, but could also conceivably apply to any other strong source of RF.
    John Gamel
    2015 Ebony Metallic R1200RT
    BMW CCA 2006 - Present; BMW MOA 2009-Present
    Walt Kelly: "We have met the enemy, and he is us."

  11. #11
    Registered User beemermyke's Avatar
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    Someone on here had mentioned about putting the spare key inside your helmet, since you always have that with you on a ride (at least... I hope so). I adopted that idea by peeling back the cloth liner in my Shoei and duck taped it to the Styrofoam off to one side. No interference with my noggin, and if the tape fails, the liner would keep it from falling out anyway.
    Motorcycling is my passion because golf is far too dangerous!
    2016 R1200GSW

  12. #12
    Registered User ExGMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by beemermyke View Post
    Someone on here had mentioned about putting the spare key inside your helmet, since you always have that with you on a ride (at least... I hope so). I adopted that idea by peeling back the cloth liner in my Shoei and duck taped it to the Styrofoam off to one side. No interference with my noggin, and if the tape fails, the liner would keep it from falling out anyway.
    I like that idea. Thanks for posting!
    John Gamel
    2015 Ebony Metallic R1200RT
    BMW CCA 2006 - Present; BMW MOA 2009-Present
    Walt Kelly: "We have met the enemy, and he is us."

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by ExGMan View Post
    I was wandering around the Boston area yesterday for about 45 miles, and stopped to get some wine for dinner. Returning to the bike, I got the little blinking red light in the panel display, and, of course, the RT would not fire up. I had replaced the remote battery two months ago, and the battery of the bike is maintained by an Optimate-6. I had stopped for a couple of times before my last one, and all had worked fine.

    Of course, since I was on a local ride, my "emergency key" was at home. I turned off my cellphone to insure no stray RF or Bluetooth was messing with the system, and insured I did not have any remotes for family cars to confuse the system.

    I was just about to take an UBER home to get the emergency key, but decided to make sure the CR2032 battery was well-seated in the remote. I squeezed the case hard, walked over to the bike, and all was back to normal. It started up normally. I had not received any "low-battery" indication regarding the remote.

    I've got no explanation for this, and wonder if anyone else has had this kind of problem? I do know from now on the emergency key will be with me.




    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

  14. #14
    Thanks for the heads up, good to know. I keep my spare taped in my wallet. You may have got humidity in the battery compartment somehow..I recommend take the battery out and spray the little compartment with electric contact spray, it cleans and evaporates after.


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