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Old 11-04-2007, 03:31 PM   #571
Pup66
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Joined: Nov 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NBeener
Forgive me. I got about 10 pages into this thread and had to stop reading. I've got some serious eye issues that affect my ability to read for long periods of time (I should just be out on the bike!).

Has anybody gotten to the notion of why this EWS antenna thing seems to fail on NEWER bikes ONLY? Makes very little sense to me. Do we understand the mode of failure -- what actually goes wrong? You'd think that time, vibration, dust, grime, etc., would only INCREASE the likelihood of failure over time.

I'm not particularly excited about another $155 of insurance, and not just slightly LESS excited about a remote-location showstopper.

Has anybody heard of a replacement antenna failing? I'm trying to figure out if the production piece had a defect that was THEN fixed for replacement parts. If so, maybe I can talk my dealer into a swap (at BMW's expense) on the next scheduled....

Thanks much!
NBeener
I've had two atennas replaced (4225 miles).Right now my GS is awaiting a tow truck again as all I can get on the display is EWS.
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Old 11-04-2007, 06:55 PM   #572
* SHAG *
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimVonBaden
I have never waited for the diagnostics to do their thing before starting my bike. In nearly 40K miles this has not proven to be an issue.

Jim
I never wait either. If it won't crank immediately, I let the clutch out & pull it back in (while still holding the starter button down) & away she goes. The bike is always in first gear. My fault.....
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Old 11-06-2007, 10:07 PM   #573
KDeline
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Location: Gurnee IL, Davenport FL
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From my EWS again, the follow up report.

Bought a $120.00 antenne ring to carry on the bike at all times and tools to change it out. Faulted the bike in the saftey of the garage, simply removed the plug cover, unplugged the failed one and plugged in the spare, inserted the spare key (that every body carrys with them, right?) into the spare ring, put main key into the ignition and it fired right up. At this point you can wire tie the ring and extra key assembly to the handlebar and away you go, until you can get it to a dealer for the permanent repair, which includes removing most of the front end and drilling out the old unit.

Thanks BMW for making it necessary, for me at least to go to these extremes for a reliable bike. Of course I have now gaurenteed that it will never fail again by doing this!
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Old 11-15-2007, 07:41 AM   #574
gpothoven
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New kind of EWS failure. A bit more rider induced this time...

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=284764

If anyone can offer help and knowledgeable advice, please chime in there...
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Old 11-15-2007, 05:50 PM   #575
willyt
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Been following this thread as best I can, so maybe someone already asked this... is there some way to just get rid of / bypass the immobilizer crap.. didn't want it on my bike, but it came with it.. Going from my ol trusty 92 PD to an 07 GSA makes me want to simplify it if possible. I've always held that when I win the lottery and can travel at will, it will be on the 92. Bought the GSA for long road trips, and fear that the same complexity that makes it such a great riding bike dooms it for real adventure touring...
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Old 11-15-2007, 07:38 PM   #576
gpothoven
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willyt
Been following this thread as best I can, so maybe someone already asked this... is there some way to just get rid of / bypass the immobilizer crap.. didn't want it on my bike, but it came with it.. Going from my ol trusty 92 PD to an 07 GSA makes me want to simplify it if possible. I've always held that when I win the lottery and can travel at will, it will be on the 92. Bought the GSA for long road trips, and fear that the same complexity that makes it such a great riding bike dooms it for real adventure touring...
Been asked and answered. Cannot be done without some serious reprogaramming of the bike´s CPU or Motronic. We haven´t heard of anyone doing this yet, as it would involve messing with an expensive unit by someone with some serious expertise.
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Old 11-15-2007, 11:16 PM   #577
SocalRob
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Just as an example, my 08 Ducati lets the owner input a numeric code (using a simple switch like setting a digital watch) into the bike should the key not be recognized by the ring antennae, said code allowing the bike to start.

Bike is still hard to steal without the code, and bike still runs with broken antennae. Best of all worlds.

I guess I am amazed that Ducati actually seems to have an edge on electronics, of course my trip meter reads in reverse miles, so all is not perfect.
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Old 11-16-2007, 06:21 AM   #578
motoreiter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SocalRob
Just as an example, my 08 Ducati lets the owner input a numeric code (using a simple switch like setting a digital watch) into the bike should the key not be recognized by the ring antennae, said code allowing the bike to start.
Hard to believe BMW couldn't/wouldn't implement this via firmware upgrade rather than leaving people stranded.
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Old 11-16-2007, 09:29 PM   #579
hankgs
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Quote:
Originally Posted by motoreiter
Hard to believe BMW couldn't/wouldn't implement this via firmware upgrade rather than leaving people stranded.
I would suggest that EVERYONE who has had an issue with the antenna ring or is simply a concerned 1200GS owner to call or email BMW-NA. State that this is an unreliable system to have on what is marketed as an "Adventure Motorcycle" and BMW should order a RECALL to get all antenna rings replaced...
I have to say that I was fortunate in that my bike FAILED while still in my garage. I was able to borrow a "Harley guys" motorcycle trailer on my next day off, and drive the 120 miles one way to Ventura County BMW.
I notified them prior to my arrival of the situation and it was addressed immediately. Four hours later I was on my way with a replacement antenna ring. Kudos to VCBMW for their great service...Shame on BMW North America for not ordering a recall on a faulty product carrying the BMW mark.
Again, this is NOT a problem with the BMW dealers, they too are victims of this faulty antenna ring; WE as consumers need to let BMW-NA know that this needs to be addressed...
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Old 11-17-2007, 03:23 PM   #580
Blue Sweeper
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bwallis42
I thought this wasn't necessary for an antenna replacement. AFIK (and that's not much ) the antenna is not the part that supplies the id code, your key is. The antenna just lets the EWS read the code from the key. It should essentially be a dumb component, at least I hope so! There doesn't seem to be any need for it to do more than this and it would be needlessly complex if it does.

You *should* be able to just plug in the new antenna, put your spare key next to it and start the bike using the other key in the ignition. Would be nice to hear from someone who has tried this.
I was in Morocco this October and had a failure where the bike (an 07 1200GS) would not start. The display read EWS! and there was no way it would start dispite repeated attempts. Had to get a new antenna ring shipped out with DHL from BMW UK which arrived after a four day wait. I just unclipped the wiring connector from the old antenna block, inserted the spare key into the new antenna and taped the whole lot to the headstock. Then used the original key in the ignition lock to start the bike.

I would really like an option to get rid of this security "feature"
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Old 11-17-2007, 03:34 PM   #581
Blue Sweeper
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I was in Morocco this October and had a failure where the bike (an 07 1200GS) would not start. The display read EWS! and there was no way it would start dispite repeated attempts. Had to get a new antenna ring shipped out with DHL from BMW UK which arrived after a four day wait. I just unclipped the wiring connector from the old antenna block, inserted the spare key into the new antenna and taped the whole lot to the headstock. Then used the original key in the ignition lock to start the bike.

I would really like an option to get rid of this security "feature"
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Old 11-17-2007, 04:46 PM   #582
Lone Rider
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hankgs
.....State that this is an unreliable system to have on what is marketed as an "Adventure Motorcycle"........
This is a good post, really.

The bike has been BMWed...meaning over complicated and unfit for true long distance travel. Why? Ask BMW....

Does BMW think that people will not pay the high price for their bikes unless have some trip-stopping, unreliable gadgets connected to them?

Over Lunch:
Marketing Guy says, "We need this on the bike. Nobody else has it. We can ask a premium price because of it."
Engineering Guy responds, " Yes, of course we can do this, but there's no guarantee how well it will work. We just don't know."
Marketing Guy waves hand as if a bug wants to land on his smart brains and says, "That's not your problem. The customer will think it's a good thing. Most buyers don't really ride their bikes that much. We can always confuse them and deny warranty claims if they become too high. How soon can you do it?"
Engineering Guy looks off into the distance and mumbles, "Right away, we can do it."
Marketing Guy smiles, sips his beer and exclaims, "Good, people will buy this sht. I know they will. They always do. Now, please excuse me as I have a meeting with the ad agency."
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Old 11-17-2007, 06:25 PM   #583
Lone Rider
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue Sweeper
I was in Morocco this October and had a failure where the bike (an 07 1200GS) would not start. The display read EWS! and there was no way it would start dispite repeated attempts. Had to get a new antenna ring shipped out with DHL from BMW UK which arrived after a four day wait. I just unclipped the wiring connector from the old antenna block, inserted the spare key into the new antenna and taped the whole lot to the headstock. Then used the original key in the ignition lock to start the bike.

I would really like an option to get rid of this security "feature"
Tell BMW that you want a reliable adventure bike, as they advertise.
They've not heard the call to-date, or they've decidied to ignore the problems.
A decrease in sales is what they've left open as an answer, and this is bad for us all.
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Old 11-17-2007, 06:31 PM   #584
bwallis42
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Location: Melbourne, Australia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue Sweeper
I just unclipped the wiring connector from the old antenna block, inserted the spare key into the new antenna and taped the whole lot to the headstock. Then used the original key in the ignition lock to start the bike
That's what I wanted to hear.

I suspect the "antenna" is just a coil of wire. I'll see if I can get hold of an old one and dismantle it. It might be possible to make up an emergency replacement part that doesn't cost so much. The key/antenna system would most likely be an RFID device where the antenna generates a small magnetic field that powers the chip in the key which then transmits it's ID that is picked up by the antenna and given back to the EWS. (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RFID#Automotive).
It is likely that this antenna is the same as used on the steering column of most modern cars, probably a Texas Instruments device. See also http://tinyurl.com/2hbpsz for some info on how it can be bypassed (not much use to us though).
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bwallis42 screwed with this post 11-17-2007 at 06:37 PM
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Old 11-17-2007, 06:34 PM   #585
TomTom63
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Joined: Jul 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue Sweeper
... just unclipped the wiring connector from the old antenna block, inserted the spare key into the new antenna and taped the whole lot to the headstock. Then used the original key in the ignition lock to start the bike.
Great info ! At least we know THAT works! Until some other magic trick comes up, it's worth while considering a spare on trips to remote areas, next to a final drive and fuel pump contoller !
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