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Thread: BMWs and On-Board Diagnostics (OBD)

  1. #1
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    BMWs and On-Board Diagnostics (OBD)

    The following is the text of a letter to the editor I just sent to the MOA. It expands on the use of automotive diagnostics on BMW motorcycles.

    "Wes Fleming’s Torque of the Matter column in the December 2018 Owners News is a bit dated. Near the end of the article he states that ”more motorcycle makers are anticipating the day when all bikes have to have OBD-style connectors and their ECUs will need to speak a common dialect.” That day is already here. European Union (EU) Regulation 168/2013 requires standardized on-board diagnostics for all motorcycles sold in the EU. Specific requirements include use of the 16-pin automotive OBD connector (later amended to allow a smaller 6-pin motorcycle-specific connector), use of any of the standard automotive data communication protocols, and use of standard automotive diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs). Phase-in dates were January 1, 2016, for new motorcycle types, and January 1, 2017, for existing types. This is the reason all new BMW motorcycles have 16-pin diagnostic connectors.

    BMW’s use of automotive OBD technology on their motorcycles goes back even further. In a February 2013 posting on the S1000RRforum.com forum, one individual described connecting an UltraGauge OBD-II data reader to his bike. He jumpered wires from the 10-pin round diagnostic connector on his bike to an automotive 16-pin connector to mate with the UltraGauge. He was able to read several additional data types available from the ECU. His S1000RR uses the KWP 2000 automotive OBD protocol. This past week I was able to do the same thing on my 2007 R1200ST. I used a GS911 female adapter cable to interface between the bike’s connector and the UltraGauge. I too was able to view several items of data, again using the KWP 2000 protocol. I was also able to connect my Actron CP9695 scan tool using the same adapter cable and read data and trouble codes. Unfortunately, all my testing was done engine off since my bike is in storage for the winter. I’ll do more testing when the spring thaw comes here in western New York."
    Karl
    2007 R1200ST

  2. #2
    Fortis Fortuna Adiuvat Omega Man's Avatar
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    It would be interesting to hear more about all this......Including the possible years this method will work on
    OM
    "You can do good or you can do well. Sooner or later they make you choose." MI5
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    2009 F800GS 1994 TW200

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    Quote Originally Posted by Omega Man View Post
    It would be interesting to hear more about all this......Including the possible years this method will work on
    OM
    I suspect the data readout function using the UltraGauge or an OBD-II scan tool would work on any bike with a round 10-pin diagnostic connector or a 16-pin automotive-style connector; in other words, any bike compatible with the GS911 tool. There may be some items reported by one device but not by the others, however.

    Fault codes may be another matter. The UltraGauge and scan tools, being designed for automotive use, expect fault codes formatted as a single letter (U, P, B or C) followed by 4 digits. I have only seen GS911 fault codes reported in pure numerical format. Exactly how BMW sends them over the diagnostic line is unknown. Currently my UltraGauge and scan tool report no faults present. To verify the fault code reporting and clearing functions I will need to trigger a reportable fault. Any suggestions?
    Karl
    2007 R1200ST

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    Fortis Fortuna Adiuvat Omega Man's Avatar
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    The least invasive code I can think of would be ABS- perhaps removal o a sensor from a wheel and, after safely securing it, have a ride around the block.
    That said, I’m not one for messing with things that are not broken Perhaps someone in your area will see this and let you take a peek.
    I wonder if this setup would let a service reminder to be reset?
    OM
    "You can do good or you can do well. Sooner or later they make you choose." MI5
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    2009 F800GS 1994 TW200

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    Quote Originally Posted by Omega Man View Post
    I wonder if this setup would let a service reminder to be reset?
    OM
    I expect not, since that's not a typical automotive function.
    Karl
    2007 R1200ST

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    Fortis Fortuna Adiuvat Omega Man's Avatar
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    It seems that this is progress anyway. For me, a GS911 really doesn’t make sense cost wise.......and Apple wise
    I hope to hear of continued progress
    OM
    "You can do good or you can do well. Sooner or later they make you choose." MI5
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    2009 F800GS 1994 TW200

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    Quote Originally Posted by Omega Man View Post
    It seems that this is progress anyway. For me, a GS911 really doesn’t make sense cost wise.......and Apple wise
    OM
    I'm able to run the GS911 software, as well as the BMW REPROM and wiring diagram DVDs, on my Mac desktop and Linux laptop by running Windows 10 in a VirtualBox virtual machine. They all work as advertised.
    Karl
    2007 R1200ST

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    Registered User k12lts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kthutchinson View Post
    I'm able to run the GS911 software, as well as the BMW REPROM and wiring diagram DVDs, on my Mac desktop and Linux laptop by running Windows 10 in a VirtualBox virtual machine. They all work as advertised.
    I've used the GS911 since 2012 on an old Mac laptop with Virtual Box. Works great. The original ones will not Bluetooth with an iPhone but the newer ones will.

    I don't think it will be long until motorcycle manufacturers are required to start using OBD. Probably be required by the EU soon.
    2010 R1200RT, 2011 Ural Patrol, 1981 R100, 1975 R90S

    BMW MOA 37304

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    Quote Originally Posted by k12lts View Post
    I don't think it will be long until motorcycle manufacturers are required to start using OBD. Probably be required by the EU soon.
    As I stated in my original post, automotive-style diagnostics have been required in the EU since January 1, 2016.
    Karl
    2007 R1200ST

  10. #10
    Registered User lkchris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Omega Man View Post
    The least invasive code I can think of would be ABS- perhaps removal o a sensor from a wheel and, after safely securing it, have a ride around the block.
    OBD relates to engine performance and emissions. Codes for other systems are not standardized between manufacturers.
    Kent Christensen
    21482
    '12 R1200RT, '02 R1100S, '84 R80G/S

  11. #11
    Registered User lkchris's Avatar
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    For European Mercedes you can attach a "Mercedes-me" adapter to your OBD connector that will bluetooth to your smartphone and ...

    The Mercedes me Adapter lets you experience the dialogue with your vehicle in a totally new way. You can automatically record the routes you drove or the refueling stops you made on your smartphone, quickly and easily locate your parked vehicle and always keep an eye on current vehicle data such as odometer reading and tank fill level. At any time and conveniently with the Mercedes me Adapter app. Benefit from our individual Maintenance Management and receive suitable offers for your service appointment from your Mercedes-Benz Service partner. In the case of a breakdown or accident, prompt and effective help is provided by the appropriate checklists, direct contact with customer support and the relaying of the vehicle data as well as (depending on your smartphone settings) your current position. At the same time, you have access to a host of offers, services and information from the world of Mercedes me.
    Wait for it ...

    https://www.mercedes-benz.com/en/mer...ivity/adapter/
    Kent Christensen
    21482
    '12 R1200RT, '02 R1100S, '84 R80G/S

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by lkchris View Post
    For European Mercedes you can attach a "Mercedes-me" adapter to your OBD connector that will bluetooth to your smartphone and ...



    Wait for it ...

    https://www.mercedes-benz.com/en/mer...ivity/adapter/
    dang... and that actually works for my old Sprinter... according to the specs. However, like you say, it looks like it is not available in the USA. Maybe I could buy one when I am in Germany this spring....

  13. #13
    Registered User lkchris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Visian View Post
    dang... and that actually works for my old Sprinter... according to the specs. However, like you say, it looks like it is not available in the USA. Maybe I could buy one when I am in Germany this spring....
    Better download the app while you're over there, too. I frequently run into cool Mercedes apps that won't download in the USA.
    Kent Christensen
    21482
    '12 R1200RT, '02 R1100S, '84 R80G/S

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