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."