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'05 R1200 ST rear brake bleeding


I need help related to bleeding the rear brakes.

I’ve recently moved from GA to Honduras. A non-BMW shop in northern GA has hooked up a Hannigan s/c to my bike. He claims he doesn’t have the special tools to link the hydraulic s/c brake to the bike’s system. I would like to get him whatever he needs to finish the rig that’s been there for 18 months.

In the Dec. ’23 Owners’ News issue, Wes Fleming writes about a related procedure. I’m not exactly clear on a few items.
  • Does my bike have a Gen 1 or Gen 2 ABS system?
  • Does the rear caliper take an 8 mm or 7 mm fitting?
  • Does the front calipers take the same as the rear?
  • A related thread notes that the Speed Bleeder’s site has incorrect or misleading information. I’m not sure what parts to order, especially since my bike isn’t listed.
  • Where can I get the bent wrench (7 mm?) and funnel setup?
If I attended to this before I moved to GA from NY, I could have just brought it to Claude’s where I bought the sidecar from. If I can’t convince the GA guy to complete the work, I will need to figure out some other co$tly plan. I’m not even brave enough to contemplate how to get the rig to Roatan.

Any and all help mucho apreciado.

phil, #09135
‘05 should still have iABS (“whizzy”) brakes, which incorporate a boost pump, and which were fitted up through 08/2006 production. As you noted, a funnel greatly helps with the brake bleeding procedure. Funnel is available from Beemer Boneyard and some Google searching should lead you to a guide to the bleeding procedure, which must be done in specific steps and sequence to get correct results. Can’t help you on the Speed Bleeders but suggest you call them directly to get their recommendation. As for the bent wrench, most of us just buy a decent wrench in the correct size, heat it with a torch, and bend it in a vise. Not hi-tech or difficult to do. However, IIRC the ST uses an ABS unit similar to the R1150 bikes and not like the K1200RS/GT/LT bikes so I'm not sure you need the bent wrench.

I had a sidecar attached to a 2004 K12GT, which also had iABS brakes. The brake tie-in was done right at the rear caliper with a two-connection banjo bolt and a braided line that terminated in a special quick-disconnect fitting, so the car could be easily split off for service. With the sidecar attached the bleeding procedure was as normal with the exception that when doing the rear circuit the sidecar caliper had to be bled immediately after the bike’s rear caliper.


EDIT: Some possibly useful files attached.


  • service_abs3.pdf
    1.3 MB · Views: 5
  • abs3_filling_adapter.pdf
    656 KB · Views: 5
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The shop where it's been for 18 months is not able to do the work because they say they need special BMW tools.
Hannigan just gave me a number of their dealers to check with. I got the same message: you need special BMW tools to bleed the brakes. I'm wondering if this is because of the way the s/c brake hooks up.

Am I getting correct information? If so, does anyone know a shop that has the requisite tools and maybe I could get them to do the work?
All I can tell you is that I bled the brakes on my ’04 K1200GT w/Hannigan Sidecar many times using the simple tools specified in the docs I posted above—the funnel and bent wrench. My only addition was using a GS-911 to perform a brake bleed test after I was done with the bleeding. That step is just to assure that the job has been done completely and correctly and the pumps are building and holding pressure. But, there were times I did the bleed procedure and did not do the GS-911 test. And, I think the job is actually easier on the ST as the reservoirs on the ABS unit are easier to access.

At this point I’d suggest you contact the nearest BMW Motorrad shop, or an independent shop that focuses on BMW motorcycles, and have the rig transported there so the bleed job can be done by someone who is up to speed on the iABS systems. You haven’t mentioned exactly which city the bike is in and if you specify that there may be someone on the forum who can recommend a shop in the area.

You haven’t mentioned exactly which city the bike is in and if you specify that there may be someone on the forum who can recommend a shop in the area.

His earlier post said the shop was a non-BMW shop in northern Georgia.
His earlier post said the shop was a non-BMW shop in northern Georgia.
Yes, and that covers a lot of territory, from Atlanta to Greer, and could even be close to Asheville or Hendersonville in NC. Lots of options in those areas that could be recommended by locals if they just knew they were local.

Thanks, all.
So the shop is in Milledgeville.

The other part of the job is the wiring which comes without instructions. Not sure if I should punt on that or have the shop that will do the bleeding tackle that, too. I haven't gotten involved in Canbus additions. If it's trivial maybe I should just have the brakes taken care of.

Thanks again. Hoping to get somewhere soon before my rig gets pushed to the curb with a free sign on it.

I’d suggest giving Boxerworks or Wooly’s a call then, as the closest BMW-familiar shops.

The Hannigan harness should have a quick-disconnect coupler for the electrical, On my ‘04GT wiring that in didn’t look too complicated- the most difficult area being getting the handlebar switch for the camber adjustment option mounted and wired. Pretty easy to figure wiring with a battery, test lamp, and wiring diagram. But, that bike did not use canbus communications for lighting and I’m not sure the status of that on your bike.

good luck,
Thanks, again. I hadn't considered Boxerworks because I know they're mainly airheads - not being derogatory here - but Nathan said he's willing to take a look at it. I sure hope he's good with the brake hook-up.
Maybe I'll update this thread for the needs of others down the road.