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Thread: Firmware Update

  1. #1
    Registered User cap's Avatar
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    Firmware Update

    I'm sure that most of you know that our bikes have many computer-controlled functions. What some of you might be surprised to discover is that we can update our firmware. Your bike received current BMW firmware when it was manufactured. Firmware receives periodic updates, but unless you specifically request it from your dealer, you won't get the updates. I was curious, so I scheduled an appointment with my local dealer (not the one from which I purchased) and asked for an update.

    This service cost $130; I was billed for 1 hour of labor plus tax. Actually, their first invoice charged me for shop materials and battery "disposal fee," but they decided to delete those charges. I did not receive any explanation of changes made to the bike -- just handed an invoice, told the process was successful, and handed my key. I've had interactions with this dealer for 20 years spanning multiple owners and multiple locations in town. This level of interaction is fairly typical.

    The bike ran fine. I was expecting to need to reset a lot of the instrument panel defaults, but most of them were unchanged. For example, it remembered my bluetooth pairing to my helmet, and the time and date. It switched me from "Road" mode to "Rain." It switched my default units to metric. No big deal.

    I ran GS-911 when I got home. I have attached the autoscan file to this post. There are 9 firmware dates listed. Four of them are updated to today's date. Three others are listed as 99/99/99. I am not sure what this means. And two other firmwares were not updated: the ABS system and the ESA suspension system.

    Cap
    Attached Files Attached Files

  2. #2
    Fortis Fortuna Adiuvat Omega Man's Avatar
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    Usually referred to as “the latest and greatest”, it’s nice to see the printout of the actual process
    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

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by cap View Post
    Firmware receives periodic updates, but unless you specifically request it from your dealer, you won't get the updates.
    My BMW Service Agent in South Australia applies the software updates whenever my bike is in for a service, without a specific request.

  4. #4
    Registered User lkraus's Avatar
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    The updates presumably correct deficiencies in the original firmware. So, I'd expect any cost to be covered under the warranty. Why would the customer have to pay?
    Larry
    2006 R1200RT

  5. #5
    New_AlaBeemer HSVPhil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lkraus View Post
    The updates presumably correct deficiencies in the original firmware. So, I'd expect any cost to be covered under the warranty. Why would the customer have to pay?
    Apparently, because the Customer requested this specific Intervention... The Big Question Is: WTF are the independent dealers selling us? Our Phones & Computers get updates all the time; so do our cars! Why NOT our Spensive BMW motorcycles???

    Ugh?
    HSV-Phil & HSV-Karen

  6. #6
    Registered User cap's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lkraus View Post
    The updates presumably correct deficiencies in the original firmware. So, I'd expect any cost to be covered under the warranty. Why would the customer have to pay?
    I have heard it both ways, and had some hope that this dealer would do it for free. But they were quite clear that they would charge for the service. Actually, they acted suspicious about my request, repeatedly asking me how I had heard that updates were even possible, and why I thought that any updates were available for my 2017 bike. Some dealers are better than others. I just happen to live near one of the “others.”

  7. #7
    Registered User cap's Avatar
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    I have a couple of requests to those members who have a GS-911:

    1. Do any of you have firmware dated 99/99/99?
    2. Anyone with a newer bike: what firmware date do you have for ABS and ESA?


    Thanks, cap

  8. #8
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    I believe the dealer I go to does firmware updates for no charge if requested and IF the bike is being serviced and already connected to the BMW computer anyway. If I just drive in and ask them to just connect my bike up and update the firmware they charge for that, maybe it is an hour, I know after they have it connected and logged in the update starts and may take another 15 minutes or more.
    16 R1200RS, 93 R100R, 17 Versys x300, 16 Africa Twin DCT, 15 Road King, 16 V7 Stone No car is as fun to drive as any motorcycle is to ride.

  9. #9
    John. jstrube's Avatar
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    Interestingly, my Ducati tech told me that they cannot hook the computer up and do anything without updating firmware. I had some recalls done, firmware updated...
    John.
    Atwater, CA
    2015 R1200RT

  10. #10
    Registered User Blacque Jacque Shellacque's Avatar
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    Firmware should most certainly be covered under warranty. And you shouldn't have to ask for it if your bike is in the shop. Firmware is software that controls how the hardware functions.
    Its probably too much to expect BMW to list the problems resolved, or enhancements added for any particular update.

    One more thing. If the update was released before your bikes warranty expired, I think a case could be made that it should be covered retroactively.

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