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Old 11-18-2010, 01:16 PM   #1
GSQuester OP
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R1200GS fuel strip calibration

I've got a 2010 R1200GS Adventure with 8500km which I bought new and have been having a great time riding. Last night the fuel gauge (and range reading from the onboard computer) suddenly started giving really erratic readings - over a 20km ride with less than a quarter of a tank giving readings of over 3/4 to less than 1/8th and back up before finally settling to what I *think* may be close to correct. Up to this point it seemed very accurate and reliable.

Contacted my dealer and they weren't overly suprised and said they would "recalibrate" the fuel strip.

I've read through several threads here about this issue and in general it seems that recalibration is a temporary fix at best and in many cases doesn't help so they end up replacing the strip...

So my main question is this: is recalibrating the strip just a waste of time - ie: should I just push the dealer to replace it now (since it's on warranty anyway) in the hopes of saving myself the hassle of having take it in several times? Anybody out there had this issue, got the strip recalibrated, and that solved the problem permanently?

Secondary question: anybody know (not interested in speculation) what would cause these things to go out of calibration in the first place? FWIW, I avoid ethanol blended gas...

Oh, and please don't tell me to just use the trip odometer - that's as helpful as telling someone with a defective seat to just stand on the pegs.

Anyway, I've lurked and learned a lot on this site in the past, and am hoping for some good guidance on this, so thanks in advance!
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Old 11-18-2010, 01:21 PM   #2
GeorgeinVA
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Recalibration is a waste of time. Have them replace the strip.
Have you been south of the border, in the US that is? Lots of talk about bad US gas and how they don't fail in other countries as often.
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Old 11-18-2010, 02:14 PM   #3
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Thanks George.

I've put on most of my mileage in Canada - just a couple short rides in the US.
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Old 11-18-2010, 05:36 PM   #4
hammick
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GSQuester
I've got a 2010 R1200GS Adventure with 8500km which I bought new and have been having a great time riding. Last night the fuel gauge (and range reading from the onboard computer) suddenly started giving really erratic readings - over a 20km ride with less than a quarter of a tank giving readings of over 3/4 to less than 1/8th and back up before finally settling to what I *think* may be close to correct. Up to this point it seemed very accurate and reliable.

Contacted my dealer and they weren't overly suprised and said they would "recalibrate" the fuel strip.

I've read through several threads here about this issue and in general it seems that recalibration is a temporary fix at best and in many cases doesn't help so they end up replacing the strip...

So my main question is this: is recalibrating the strip just a waste of time - ie: should I just push the dealer to replace it now (since it's on warranty anyway) in the hopes of saving myself the hassle of having take it in several times? Anybody out there had this issue, got the strip recalibrated, and that solved the problem permanently?

Secondary question: anybody know (not interested in speculation) what would cause these things to go out of calibration in the first place? FWIW, I avoid ethanol blended gas...

Oh, and please don't tell me to just use the trip odometer - that's as helpful as telling someone with a defective seat to just stand on the pegs.

Anyway, I've lurked and learned a lot on this site in the past, and am hoping for some good guidance on this, so thanks in advance!
Welcome to fuel strip hell. I had six or more failures on my '07 GSA and had one failure already on my '09 GSA. Last week when I was riding the '09 it started making gas which means it is getting ready to fail again. My buddy just had his fail on his '09 RT.

A class action needs to be brought against BMW on this issue. That is the only way they will address this. These strips will continue to fail post warranty and the fix is $400 plus dollars.

I'm going to start looking around for a class action lawyer that might be interested.
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Old 11-18-2010, 07:02 PM   #5
mrt10x
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I agree...my third one failed last week.. I was thinking class action as well.. should be a no brainer.
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Old 11-19-2010, 03:43 AM   #6
ausfahrt
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Mine starts getting erratic after it gets below about half a tank but I am not going to sweat it. I have used my tripmeter to track fuel for decades and so it is second nature for me.
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Old 11-19-2010, 03:50 AM   #7
Rudley
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A Pain, But....

I'm on my 3rd strip. Initial was covered under 3 year, 36K original warranty. Latest covered under BMW 2 year parts and labor warranty. One failure left daughter and I stranded on the Trans-Canada when I thought I had 50 mikes left to empty and was a safety issue because of where it quit.

Keep me posted on the legal end, please; the down time for new strip install is a pain.

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Old 11-19-2010, 05:56 AM   #8
PARIAH
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I was hoping that somehow the 2010's were going to be immune from the fuel strip blues. 8000 miles on mine with no troubles yet. Never, to my knowledge, had anything but pure premium fuel in it.
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Old 11-19-2010, 06:47 AM   #9
Lottahops
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Fuel Strip

I agree, recal is a waste of time. My 07 Adv had issues that were tolerable. I mentioned the fuel bars were not so accurate and while in for 6k cks it was re-calibrated. I had to get used to it all over again, much worse. Finally, a strip change and now it is mostly accurate. It is just a matter of retuning the brain for strip representation. They may dip lower than actual and rise again for a mostly accurate finish. One has to get used to the mileage at each bar...
Yes, US gas stinks... I noticed it going to hell in a handbag late 2003 early 2004. Everything I had began getting crappy mileage, we may be the only country that tries to make gas with no volatile gas in it, another tolerance thing!
Happy riding and know the mileage approximation for your tank, that is best!
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Old 11-19-2010, 03:18 PM   #10
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Pissed Count me in

I'm not real big on class action lawsuits, but if this would have been fixed under warranty the first time, or the second time, or the third time properly I wouldn't be writing this. It still doesn't work and now its 11 mos. out of warranty. I don't want to pay to have it fixed/not fixed.
It pisses me off on principle. I'd rather this was fixed instead of the gas tank mounts that were recalled...............

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Old 11-19-2010, 03:33 PM   #11
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At least... >>

Since no fix seems possible for the sensor strip problem...

I just wish BMW would enable a firmware fix that would turn the f*cking warning light off. Or that the GS-911 guys could do it. I have no problem using the trip odometer as a fuel gauge.

My 09 is under warranty until 2013, and each successive replacement of the strip adds a couple years to the warranty on the strip itself. I have long suspected the culprit in all this isn't the strip, but the tenuous signal interpretation engineered into the ZFE/strip interface. That said, if they could retrofit the retro-new float sensor into the older bikes, that'd be cool too.
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Old 11-19-2010, 04:46 PM   #12
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I have an 07 GS and the fuel strip has been replaced SEVEN times. Good news is after replacement the warranty starts over from that date for that particular part.
Seems to be part of life on these bikes. I have made a habit of always resetting the trip OD. Good luck.
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Old 11-19-2010, 05:47 PM   #13
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I recall reading a post on the fuel strip where the individual called BMW of NA. He was told by them, it’s a motorcycle you do not need a fuel gage.

My 05 is 6 years old and the fuel gage still works perfectly. WTF, why did they change a perfectly working system?
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Old 11-19-2010, 09:22 PM   #14
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43k on my '08 and no problem yet..
















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Old 11-21-2010, 03:38 AM   #15
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Thumbs down 2008 one replacement and another on the way

My fuel strip was replaced a few months ago, and has started acting up again. I have 17K +/- on my GSA-ADV. I am sure its about to fail.

I have been running non-ethanol fuel and add techtron everyother tank.
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