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Old 03-26-2013, 02:13 PM   #1
surferdude OP
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ABS Question

I have a new (to me) 2011 800GS with ABS from a fellow inmate. I thought that I had heard that every time I start the bike I would need to switch off the ABS when going off road. But ever since I have taken delivery of the bike when I start it up the ABS light is on (red) and I have not switched it off. When I asked the previous owner he said it would stay like that with the ACC turned on. I don't know what that means - I assume when I take out the key it shuts down all power. Any help to a BMW neebie is greatly appreciated. I love the bike so far and came with lots of cool farkles. Pretty much turnkey except needed suspension upgrades...my Shivers are on the way for swap and revalve.
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Old 03-26-2013, 02:15 PM   #2
epicxcrider
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Have you driven it at all? The wheels have to be moving to initialize the system.
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Old 03-26-2013, 02:27 PM   #3
surferdude OP
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yeah I have been on a couple 100 mile+ rides and back and forth to work a few times. I prefer not to have ABS so I am not complaining - I ride more than 50% off road where I don't want the darn ABS. Would have preferred a bike without it so if it stays off forever I am happy. I am assuming red ABS light lit up means system is turned off (at least that is what the manual says). Just trying to figure out if the previous owner did something to bypass the ABS system and when I take it to the dealer for 6k service if I need to tell him to leave it alone.
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Old 03-26-2013, 02:30 PM   #4
shelion
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I'm not exactly sure what your question is but yes, when you turn on the bike, the ABS light comes on and stays on until you move a few feet. ABS light on means ABS is not on. ABS light off means ABS is on.

Are you asking whether the ABS stays off if you switch it off and then turn off the engine but leave the key in the ACC position? That I don't know but it's easy enough for you to check. Run the bike so that the ABS is turned on, turn off the ABS, turn the key to ACC, then turn the key back to run and see what the light does.
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Old 03-26-2013, 04:41 PM   #5
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The ABS light stays on all the time even after riding the bike and not hitting the switch. Which to me is a good thing and the way I would prefer it to work. Is there a mod to hard wire the ABS to stay in the off position or do I have a failure in my ABS system?

I will try to recap:

- Bought the bike (used) 2 months ago
- From first ride the ABS light has always been on (never goes off)
- If I hit the ABS button the light goes off (ABS on)
- Turn off bike, remove key
- Turn on bike and ABS light stays on even after riding unless I hit the ABS button

Hopefully this is making sense. Like I said it is the ideal situation since ABS off seems to be the default setting but from everything I have read thsi sounds backwards from the way the bike should work.
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Old 03-26-2013, 06:23 PM   #6
Bayner
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There have been a few reports of similar ABS weirdness but no ones knows why. It will likely just spontaneously go back to normal operation if the others have been any indication.
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Old 03-26-2013, 07:21 PM   #7
Beairmo
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Damn ABS

Not going to comment on how to turn the ABS on or off but if you want me to compare your to how mine works I would be happy to check it out.

One thing I did want to comment on is the "integral" brakes. It is my understanding that with the ABS enabled, the front brake lever will actually apply both front and rear brakes giving you the best use of your brakes. Since I have this on two of my bikes I have really gotten used to not using my rear brake at all..... With that being said, if I get on anything non-paved the first thing I will do is turn off the ABS as it is common knowledge as ABS will kill you if you have it on while on a loose surface.

I am sure somebody with exceptional knowledge will comment on this subject and I look forward to clarifying how this works for my benefit.
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Old 03-26-2013, 09:33 PM   #8
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Thanks for all the help and advice - I will consider myself lucky and treat my bike like the non-ABS 2009 I was looking at buying (but it was not as farkled). Since I am a long time dirt biker and all of my plated bikes have been converted dirt bikes I am still of the old school variety and like to have separate control of my front/rear brakes. I find with the dual disks I have not used my rear brake much because they are so strong and unless I am brake sliding (technique I have yet to perfect on the 500lb monster) or on a steep downhill that is my technique on my dirt bike. Interesting fact - I am 51 years young and have been riding 40 years and this is the first bike I have ever owned that is street legal from the factory. My first dual sport was a converted '94 KTM 400 EXC (LC4) and I have converted to DRZ's, 1 XR400, and 1 KTM 625 SXC since that first dual sport. I am really liking a bike that is road worthy and can put 200 miles on it in a day without having monkey butt. By the way I raced MX and Hare Scrambles in Austin with the inventor of Monkey Butt powder. I guess I should have invested in his business when I had the chance. I see that stuff at every dirt bike shop I go to. He is buddies and a riding partner of Lyle Lovett.
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Old 03-26-2013, 11:41 PM   #9
KTM250rm
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On my 2011 F800 GS, the abs light starts blinking when I start the bike and stays blinking until the wheels turn.
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Old 03-27-2013, 05:23 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by surferdude View Post
Thanks for all the help and advice - I will consider myself lucky and treat my bike like the non-ABS 2009 I was looking at buying (but it was not as farkled). Since I am a long time dirt biker and all of my plated bikes have been converted dirt bikes I am still of the old school variety and like to have separate control of my front/rear brakes. I find with the dual disks I have not used my rear brake much because they are so strong and unless I am brake sliding (technique I have yet to perfect on the 500lb monster) or on a steep downhill that is my technique on my dirt bike. Interesting fact - I am 51 years young and have been riding 40 years and this is the first bike I have ever owned that is street legal from the factory. My first dual sport was a converted '94 KTM 400 EXC (LC4) and I have converted to DRZ's, 1 XR400, and 1 KTM 625 SXC since that first dual sport. I am really liking a bike that is road worthy and can put 200 miles on it in a day without having monkey butt. By the way I raced MX and Hare Scrambles in Austin with the inventor of Monkey Butt powder. I guess I should have invested in his business when I had the chance. I see that stuff at every dirt bike shop I go to. He is buddies and a riding partner of Lyle Lovett.

Suferdude: as an MXer and HS racer, you will love the F8 braking more by eliminating the front right disk and caliper. It weighs 6 lbs, and IMO provides better front brake feel.
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Old 03-27-2013, 05:25 AM   #11
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Surferdude, the front and rear brakes are definitely not linked. There is one abs pump but the actuation of each brake is independent. Give the abs a try on the pavement, it really isn't bad and if you hate it, the switch is right there. Sucks in the dirt, that's for sure.

You may just have a bad sensor.
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Old 03-27-2013, 05:46 AM   #12
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The Horse's Mouth

ABS self-diagnosis with BMW Motorrad ABS OE BMW Motorrad ABS performs self-diagnosis to ensure its operability. Self-diagnosis is performed automatically when you switch on the ignition. The motorcycle has to move forward a few metres for the wheel sensors to be tested.
Phase 1
Test of the diagnosis-compatible system components with the motorcycle at a standstill. ABS warning light flashes.
Phase 2
Test of the wheel sensors as the motorcycle pulls away from rest. ABS warning light flashes.
ABS self-diagnosis completed
The ABS warning light goes out.
If an indicator showing an ABS fault appears when ABS self-diagnosis completes:
You can continue to ride. Bear in mind that the ABS function is not available.
Have the fault rectified as quickly as possible by a specialist workshop, preferably an authorised BMW Motorrad dealer.


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Old 03-27-2013, 05:54 AM   #13
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What is the design baseline for BMW Motorrad ABS?
Within the limits imposed by physics, BMW Motorrad ABS ensures directional stability on any surface. The system is not optimised for special requirements
that apply under extreme competitive situations off-road or on the track.
Special situations
The speeds of the front and rear wheels are compared as one means of detecting a wheel's incipient tendency to lock. If the system registers implausible values
for a lengthy period the ABS function is deactivated for safety reasons and an ABS fault message is issued. Self-diagnosis has to complete before fault messages can be issued.
In addition to problems with the BMW Motorrad ABS, exceptional riding conditions can lead to a fault message being issued.
Exceptional riding
conditions:
Riding for a lengthy period with the front wheel lifted off the ground (wheelie).
Rear wheel rotating with the motorcycle held stationary by applying the front brake (burnout).
Heating up with the motorcycle on the centre stand or an auxiliary stand, engine idling or with a gear engaged.
Rear wheel locked for a lengthy period, for example while descending off-road.

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Old 03-27-2013, 06:14 AM   #14
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Get your free owner's manual in PDF HERE.
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Old 03-27-2013, 05:29 PM   #15
TowPro
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I bought my F800 for "stone road touring". Having raced dirt bikes for 30 some years I said "I'm going to turn the ABS off when I'm riding stone/dirt/mud roads". After doing 2 years of this style riding, I now leave the ABS on. It has saved me a couple times. Even when the ABS kicks in, you can still control the brakes by applying the lever/pedal harder. Now I don't ever turn it off (and it activates often).

I know this don't answer your question, But.....
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