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Thread: 'Brake failure' warning light on.... Causes?

  1. #1
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    'Brake failure' warning light on.... Causes?

    Project bike again.... 2007. 57 plate 1200GS.
    "Brake failure" warning light is on on the dash. It's the one that normally goes out after travelling a few yards( at least it used to only 2005 RT, I assume it does on the GS but never had one of this age before to know any better).

    It's on all the time, the brakes are fine from a normal braking point of view. I haven't tried triggering the ABS to determine if its affected.

    PO said it's passed MOT like this for the last few years.

    Can anyone advise what might give this warning please?

    BMW specialist serviced it 3k miles ago and suggested it may be a wheel sensor but I thought I would ask on here before swapping bits for the sake of it.

    I would RTFM but I don't have the FM to refer to..

    Thanks.

  2. #2
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    Could be a number of things

    GS911 will tell you whats causing the lamp to light

    In no particular order

    ABS sensors

    ABS servo unit

    Wiring fault

    Airgap on sensors


    If its the pump, your looking at £1200 or so to have a dealer replace it


    i think the unit is £800 and the rest labour..

    A servoectomy would prolly be your best bet

  3. #3
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    If it was manufactured after sept '06 it should have the newer ABS and can be repaired much cheaper , maybe £300 ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by younger06 View Post
    If it was manufactured after sept '06 it should have the newer ABS and can be repaired much cheaper , maybe £300 ?
    Oops yes missed that thought it was an earlier bike

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Santa-2512 View Post
    Oops yes missed that thought it was an earlier bike
    Yep, non-servo from the factory.

  6. #6
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    Mine has the same (2007 57 plate gs) and the cause of mine is the abs motor not working (confirmed by gs911).
    I've ignored this for about 4 years now and never even had it mentioned at MOT

  7. #7
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    I had the same problem, same year of bike, take a look at this thread:
    http://ukgser.com/forums/showthread....tent-ABS-Fault

    Post No7 is where I describe how I put it right.

    As the others say, it'll pass its MOT with the light flashing as the tester won't normally ride it far enough for it to calibrate and go out anyway.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Watty100 View Post
    I had the same problem, same year of bike, take a look at this thread:
    http://ukgser.com/forums/showthread....tent-ABS-Fault

    Post No7 is where I describe how I put it right.

    As the others say, it'll pass its MOT with the light flashing as the tester won't normally ride it far enough for it to calibrate and go out anyway.
    The test is done on a brake roller, i cant recall ever seeing a tester going out with a taplow meter to check brake efficiency on a bike, in my car it's the norm

  9. #9
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    It's the abs motor brushes, they've got stuck in their holders.

    Fairly common problem on the early 2007 bikes with the then new ABS only modulator.
    All your BMW servicing needs at the .gsshop.biz, including 1200 models

    Recommended as an "excellent independant" in Ride magazine 2009.

  10. #10
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    Thanks Steptoe.
    Is it a stripdown job or can I just tap it gently with a calibrated hammer..?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Watty100 View Post
    I had the same problem, same year of bike, take a look at this thread:
    http://ukgser.com/forums/showthread....tent-ABS-Fault

    Post No7 is where I describe how I put it right.

    As the others say, it'll pass its MOT with the light flashing as the tester won't normally ride it far enough for it to calibrate and go out anyway.
    Thanks for the link watty-- very informative, cheers.
    I'll put my calibrated hammer away for now.. I haven't got round to it yet, just doing my homework before dealing with it next week hopefully.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Watty100 View Post
    I had the same problem, same year of bike, take a look at this thread:
    http://ukgser.com/forums/showthread....tent-ABS-Fault

    Post No7 is where I describe how I put it right.

    As the others say, it'll pass its MOT with the light flashing as the tester won't normally ride it far enough for it to calibrate and go out anyway.
    The `brake failure` warning is on all the time, not flashing. Anybody know if the warning had a dual purpose whereby flashing perhaps means it could be a sensor, and permanently on points to the abs motor brushes?.
    Not sure as I only have experience of an RT with servo brakes. It flashed for a few yards then went out.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by steadysteve View Post
    The `brake failure` warning is on all the time, not flashing. Anybody know if the warning had a dual purpose whereby flashing perhaps means it could be a sensor, and permanently on points to the abs motor brushes?.
    Not sure as I only have experience of an RT with servo brakes. It flashed for a few yards then went out.
    I believe flashing is when its not yet calibrated itself before you ride off, on permanently means a fault is detected. I really would suggest you find someone with a GS911 to read the fault codes. It will save money in the long run as the bike's ECU will be telling you what it thinks is wrong, and unless you fix that, the warning light will not be going out.
    Mine showed up something like " Fault on ABS pump. Power supply interupted to ABS pump-fault not now present", as the fault was intermittent.
    Good luck in fixing it, it can be done and needn't cost a fortune.

  14. #14
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    Had the same problem with my 2007 gs couple of weeks ago. Took abs unit out and had motor replaced with a refurbed unit. £185+vat. 5 year guarantee. Used www.controlunits.co.uk. Now works a treat.

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