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Old 10-15-2008, 08:39 AM   #3061
NJ Moto
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Call your dealer and give them your VIN nubmer, they'll let you know if your bike is affected. But since you had a failure most likely it is. I had my antenna ring replaced yesterday by the dealer. Mine is a 2007 model, never did have a failure though.
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Old 10-21-2008, 11:27 PM   #3062
Deuce
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Globe Riders Report

Day 21 - Luang Prabang, Laos - Helge Pedersen


EWS Ring Antenna Kaput
Shame on You BMW!

Most GlobeRiders clients ride BMW’s, not because we ask them to do so - that is their own choice.
On this trip, we have three models of the latest BMW 1200 series GS-style bikes. Great bikes, voted the best by motorcycle magazines worldwide. Traveling to the far corners of the globe, we all feel that the $20,000.00 or so that we spent on our bikes is worth it. After all, cutting corners and not having the right equipment when you ride the back roads of Northern Vietnam would be a sad story if you broke down. Not many dealers in this part of the world to give you a helping hand.

Through experience we have learned to prepare for our journeys and try to take the right spares along for a potential breakdown. A common spare part for the BMW GS bikes is the rear shock absorber. We carry one on this journey, after all Chris broke his on our IndoChina scouting trip last year, and on our Silk Road Adventure in 2007, we had two rear R1200GS Adventure shocks fail. For this reason many people replace the original shock absorber with an aftermarket shock before any big adventure [Editor’s Note: though to be fair, we’ve seen more than anyone’s fair share of after-market shocks fail as well.]

Another known issue that is much more severe than the mechanical failure of a shock is an issue with BMW’s newer generation GS bikes that are equipped with a anti-theft system (known as the Engine Immobilizer). The part that is known to fail is called a “Ring Antenna”. As I understand it, the technology has migrated from a system used in the BMW automobiles, and the idea is that any tampering with the ignition key system will result in a vehicle that is impossible to start.

Without going too deep into the details of the issue, reports from around the world tell about “Ring Antennas” that fail for no particular reason. This has left the innocent motorcyclist stranded with a bike that is not possible to start. Personally, I have received several emails from people seeking advice after having their vacations ruined when their BMW did not start for any particular reason due to a Ring Antenna failure.

We had one incident of this on our Silk Road Adventure in 2007, but fortunately reports had warned us, and a spare “Ring Antenna” was brought along - this literally saved the journey for Robin, one of our clients from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

One should think that the problem had been corrected by BMW – it’s now several years later. Unfortunately not, and actually to the contrary, this has gotten worse.

Two weeks ago in Vietnam, Vincent’s bike would not start and on the Rider Information Display, the dreaded EWS Warning flashed, indicating that the “Ring Antenna” had failed. Fortunately Vincent’s dealer had, on his request, removed the tamper-proof bolts that hold the antenna in place over the ignition key switch, so a spare could fairly easy be replaced.

Vincent was very relived that he could fix the issue, but now Joe and I started to worry now that we were without any spare antenna should this happen to our bikes. Vincent’s bike is a 2008 BMW R1200GS Adventure. Joe has a similar model, and mine is the HP2 derivative of the new R1200GS series.

Immediately we contacted Mike Paull, who arrange to have a new “Ring Antenna” shipped express DHL from South Sound BMW in Fife, Washington, USA, to Hanoi, Vietnam. The part did not make it in time for our departure from Hanoi, but we could not wait and asked to have it forwarded to Sapa in Northern Vietnam.

On our second day in Sapa, we all get ready to go and wash our bikes – incredibly, Vincent’s bike would not start. The same EWS fault indicated that his newly replaced “Ring Antenna” has failed -again. Two days later, as we are to leave Sapa, the replacement antenna miraculously arrives by train from Hanoi at 7am in the morning. By this time Vincent has been in contact with his local dealer, Island BMW in Victoria, BC, Canada. The dealer explains that the two first “Ring Antennas” came from a bad batch produced in September 2007. The new “Ring Antenna” that we received from Mike Paull is of a different production.

I am writing you this story from the capital of Laos, Vientiane, and so far we have had no more problems. We also today received 2 new “Ring Antennas” from Bangkok, Thailand, ordered by Island BMW, who has gone out of their way to help us in this bad situation - thanks so much!

The bottom line is that BMW now is changing the “Ring Antenna” on bikes with specific serial numbers that are likely to have this issue. My problems with BMW, and the reason for naming this story “Shame on BMW”, is that they have not made a recall and changed ALL of the “Ring Antennas”. The change is done only when certain bikes are in for service.

What about all of the people that have had their vacations ruined because of this problem?

What about all of the riders that will have the problem occur before next service at a BMW dealership?

What about all the riders who have purchased one of the newer BMWs with the same Engine Immobilizer system, first introduced in 2005?

I can promises you that I will demand that my dealer change my “Ring Antenna” immediately after this trip, and I suggest that you do the same before you head out for your next ride. For a bike that I paid over $20,000.00 for, I should not have to worry of when the “Ring Antenna” will fail.

Another question is why do we need this technology on a bike that is made to travel on roads few dare to ride, where dealer are virtually non-existent? At the very least we should have been given a choice – what good is an “anti-theft” system that totally prevents the owner from starting his or her vehicle?

Enough Said - Ride Safe,

Helge Pedersen
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Old 10-22-2008, 06:33 AM   #3063
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I kinda thought this thread would die with the 247 part, but see it hasn't. I just read about the new K1300GT and see that an "immobilizer" is an option and not standard. Woo Hoo, can that be right? Unfortunately, it also says it has a new fangled "maintenance free" rear drive . Fancy that. Anyone heard of that before

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Old 10-22-2008, 08:03 AM   #3064
Wallowa
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Were They -247s?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jdpower
I kinda thought this thread would die with the 247 part, but see it hasn't. I just read about the new K1300GT and see that an "immobilizer" is an option and not standard. Woo Hoo, can that be right? Unfortunately, it also says it has a new fangled "maintenance free" rear drive . Fancy that. Anyone heard of that before

JDP
Helge never said if the antenna purchased or the ones failed were -247s..

WERE THEY?
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Old 10-22-2008, 08:59 AM   #3065
marty hill
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Doubt it, if so they would be the first I've heard about. Hope he will chime back in. Or someone could send him a pm.
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Old 10-22-2008, 12:59 PM   #3066
GB
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If Helge and the deep pockets riding with him were hanging out in GSpot, they would have learned about part 247 long before they embarked on their epic adventure
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Old 10-22-2008, 02:00 PM   #3067
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deuce
Day 21 - Luang Prabang, Laos - Helge Pedersen

EWS Ring Antenna Kaput
Shame on You BMW!

One should think that the problem had been corrected by BMW – it’s now several years later. Unfortunately not, and actually to the contrary, this has gotten worse.

My problems with BMW, and the reason for naming this story “Shame on BMW”, is that they have not made a recall and changed ALL of the “Ring Antennas”. The change is done only when certain bikes are in for service.

What about all of the people that have had their vacations ruined because of this problem?
What about all of the riders that will have the problem occur before next service at a BMW dealership?
What about all the riders who have purchased one of the newer BMWs with the same Engine Immobilizer system, first introduced in 2005?

Another question is why do we need this technology on a bike that is made to travel on roads few dare to ride, where dealer are virtually non-existent? At the very least we should have been given a choice – what good is an “anti-theft” system that totally prevents the owner from starting his or her vehicle?

Helge Pedersen
Quote:
If Helge and the deep pockets riding with him were hanging out in GSpot, they would have learned about part 247 long before they embarked on their epic adventure
The context of Helge's post is independent of the antenna number, GB.

And, the EWS Immobilizer on vehicles can be bypassed, the manufacturers do not openly disclose the procedure.


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Old 10-22-2008, 02:15 PM   #3068
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Well, BMW must be listening because on the K1300, the immobilizer is optional! Let's hope it trickles down to their other models.

Ya, bmw should have recalled all the affected bikes, not just those who happen to ride in for service... but.. ADVrider inmates who are on here regularly had their antennae replaced, thanks to the timely info that appears here!
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Old 10-22-2008, 02:15 PM   #3069
Wallowa
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Big Assumption..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gadget Boy
If Helge and the deep pockets riding with him were hanging out in GSpot, they would have learned about part 247 long before they embarked on their epic adventure
GB...oddly I hope you are correct..even though that would blow the shit out of the -247 being the answer to whatever the hell was the question..

BUT other dealers have sold old stocks of other than -247s...and perhaps his sponsor, SS BMW also did...odd if someone on the trip did know about the -247 that it was not mentioned in the post..

PoolBoy! Still trying to convince the world that there is a work around...deactivation method that nobody has discovered? Strange that after all this time it has not been revealed...strange brew indeed.
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Old 10-22-2008, 02:21 PM   #3070
Poolside
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wallowa
...deactivation method that nobody has discovered...
You must need an entitlement program or something, Phil. You know, to think and act for you, heh heh.


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Old 10-22-2008, 02:23 PM   #3071
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gadget Boy
Well, BMW must be listening because on the K1300, the immobilizer is optional! Let's hope it trickles down to their other models.

Ya, bmw should have recalled all the affected bikes, not just those who happen to ride in for service... but.. ADVrider inmates who are on here regularly had their antennae replaced, thanks to the timely info that appears here!
True enough, Rick!


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Old 10-22-2008, 02:25 PM   #3072
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Helge doesn't give part numbers, but I know he carries a spare ring for his HP2, so he must have lent it to the affected rider. It sounds like they had gotten old stock with the previous part number ending in 207, which was prone to be DOA out of the box.

Now... let's see if the immobilizer will become an added cost option on future models.. here's to hoping..
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Old 10-22-2008, 02:33 PM   #3073
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gadget Boy
Now... let's see if the immobilizer will become an added cost option on future models.. here's to hoping..

...BMW must be listening because on the K1300, the immobilizer is optional!
Nice. If the EWS is optional then the dealer diagnostic equipment can set the ECU to work with or without an EWS, as has always been the case. You know, similar to how the ECU can be set to operate with ABS or non-ABS, or Active Stability Control or non-Active Stability Control.

And, I'm with you on the EWS feature as optional across the board.


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Old 10-22-2008, 02:43 PM   #3074
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Just today...

I got a phone call from my dealer ( Hermes in central PA ) Telling me that my 07 GS had 4 recalls on it. and one was the Antenna ring. ( others were the brake lines, and two software updates )

So is the antenna recall now? Or is this just initiative on the dealers part? if so, I have to applaud the dealer for being proactive and calling me to have this work done.

It all gets done in two weeks. Never had a problem, but hey, free parts...
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Old 10-22-2008, 02:58 PM   #3075
DaneelOlivaw
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When the -247 antenna first came out, around 29Apr08, all BMW dealers were sent a direct message telling them to return immediately all non-247 antennas. The return offer would not be counted against the dealer's annual accrued-obsolescence return privelage.

There was immediate and ample supply of the -247'S from that same day. No dealer should have held any non-247's after the -247 launch date. It was and is unneccessary and wrong for any dealer to sell any client any non-247 antenna since 29Apr08.

We have sold 213 -247's. Zero have come back to us as failed.
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