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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 2012 BMW R1200 R. I recently tok it out of winter storage. It had a full fuel tank when I dropped it off and the gas gauge reads completely empty and the low fuel warning light is on. I dropped it off at the BMW dealer and the service manager theorizes that the high ethanol Illinois gas (required by law here) damages the strips the gas gauge uses. Has anyone else run into this problem? Any sugestions?
 

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A common problem across the R1200 line. You likely have a bad fuel sender. Unambiguous warranty job, whose parts/labor are covered two years from replacement date.

My sense is the ethanol explanation your dealer mentioned is a red herring. There are many reports of fuel strip failures, across R models and model years, by rider's whose fuel contains no ethanol. Apparently, it's poor hardware design by BMW, with no apparent fix in sight. You just have to keep replacing them.

If you're out of warranty and have a good relationship with your dealer, make a case for a good faith repair, where you cover the labor, and BMW covers parts. They might be silent but are well aware of the fuel strip issue with our bikes.
 

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I live in Illinois and have a 2012 Classic. No inaccuracy issues with the gauge. It's not the gas, it's some BMW thing that they should have fixed by now. Really doesn't fit with the bikes otherwise bulletproof design.
 

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Welcome ,tmlunde, to the Forum; you won't need to search very far through the posts here to learn that failed fuel strips are a common problem with R12R's. Some dealers attribute the failures to ethanol; however, because some strips never fail while using ethanol laden gas, and others fail before the first tank of gas is exhausted, this theory is nothing more than the dealers' Bunk. I had my first strip failure recently(almost 18,000 miles) and the tech who changed my strip responded to my inquiry as to whether he sees a lot of these with the statement. "I probably wouldn't have a job here if it wasn't for failed fuel strips." Take heart, however, the fix is easy, and fast. My dealer keeps new strips in stock. I suspect other dealers do as well. Also, sometimes all that is needed is a re calibration. Since your problem arose after a lay over for the winter, that may be all that you need. 20 minutes or so). In any case, you are probably still under warranty- so no biggie either way.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for advice

Thanks for all the advice everybody. The bike is still under warranty and has only about 3,000 miles on it. To answer a question, the motorcycle storage place I used did put Sta-Bil in the tank, although the gauge was very inaccurate before I put it into storage. I guess the dealer is replacing the strips in the tank and re-calibrating it. In any event, I need to get into the habit of setting the tripodometer every time I fill it up and gas up when it hits 200 miles or so.

Thanks again!
 

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I left the dealer a few months back with a new 2013 r1200r and the gas gauge had the same problem. The dealer stocks the parts to fix this.
 

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I left the dealer a few months back with a new 2013 r1200r and the gas gauge had the same problem. The dealer stocks the parts to fix this.
Left the dealer today with a 2013 90th model with a gas gauge problem. They told me before i left it would go away when i fill it up. Well that did'nt happen.
 

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For what it's worth, I put a bit of Star-Tron in the gas every fill-up. The strip hasn't failed yet, so I'm going for continuing what may be superstitious behavior, even if it's like the guy wearing the Anti Elephant-Stampede charm in the middle of Manhattan, and when his friend ask him if it works, he replies "When was the last time you were almost trampled by an elephant. . .?"
 

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Left the dealer today with a 2013 90th model with a gas gauge problem. They told me before i left it would go away when i fill it up. Well that did'nt happen.
Two questions: What do you mean by problem, and does the instrument gauge on your 90th anniversary model look like this?



Apparently, on bikes with build dates on or after 02/13, BMW has changed the Wall-E/ShortCircuit™ instrument display, removing the LCD bars showing fuel level (on the clutch side of the "N" gear indicator) and the engine-temperature bars (on the throttle side). The image above is from a new 2013 90th anniversary for sale at Max BMW. On the bikes with the new less-is-more display, when you reach the reserve fuel level (3 liters), an amber warning light comes on and your mileage since last fill-up appears. It's like an automatic tripmeter.

What's not clear is what, if any, changes Motorrad made to the fuel-level strip inside the tank on the 02/13 or newer bikes.
 

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Gas Gauge

Thanks Websterize. I would certainly miss my TEMP bars if they disappeared. Peace of mind. Although I have 34000 KMs without any issues on my original fuel strip, I could live without the gas gauge if forced to choose.
Less-is-more display is sad to see. Maybe BMW added some anti-rust coating and an ABDECKRING to the 2013s just to make things right.

Read drDave's post this morning and just about had a heart attack. Looked out the window of the building to see ELEPHANTS parading down the street. WOW!! Thought my fuel strip would surely fail today.
Luckily, it was just the circus come to town. :D
 

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Dammit! My late-012 (sold to me in February as an 013 model) is already outdated and superseded. I feel a need for a new bike coming on!

L of S
 

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Dammit! My late-012 (sold to me in February as an 013 model) is already outdated and superseded. I feel a need for a new bike coming on!

L of S
Yep the 2013 I bought late last year still has the bars on each side. This is probably BMW's way of "fixing" the fuel strip problem :2cents:
 

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Two questions: What do you mean by problem, and does the instrument gauge on your 90th anniversary model look like this?



.
My 2013 90th an. has the bars on both side for Gas and temperature.
I tried their demo bike which also was a 2013 90th an. and it had the same issue. No change when i filled it up.
 

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Just bought a 2013 R from GoAZ in Scottsdale (manufacture date 09/12). The fuel strip failed after the first tankful! At about 250 miles. Did a warranty replacement. I'm at 800 miles now with no probs. Dealer says it's a recurring prob. Got the same BS about the ethanol. 2 years warranty.
 

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Just bought a 2013 R from GoAZ in Scottsdale (manufacture date 09/12). The fuel strip failed after the first tankful! At about 250 miles. Did a warranty replacement. I'm at 800 miles now with no probs. Dealer says it's a recurring prob. Got the same BS about the ethanol. 2 years warranty.
report it to the NHTSA. Many have reported it. There could be a recall to remedy this recurring problem, but if we do nothing, certainly nothing will be done. It's very easy to report and there are many threads around the net on doing this.
I'm on my third and it seems to be working, mostly, and I have 6500+ miles on this one.

John
 

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freakin' weird, but worth trying. Kind of like doing ECT on your bike's "brain".
 

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Yep the 2013 I bought late last year still has the bars on each side. This is probably BMW's way of "fixing" the fuel strip problem
so on the new ones there is ONLY the odometer? Is there a low fuel light? That's going to be a problem, because no information is NOT better than information taken with a grain of salt.

On page 144 of your owner's manual is the procedure, and a recommendation, for reporting to NHTSA any safety defect you find. Some claim a non functioning fuel gauge is not a safety issue, while many think it is. Many members on this and other fora have reported it. Doing nothing assures us all nothing will be done other than replacing one with another.

The ECT thing.
It is reported over on ADVrider and Sporttouring. Word around the campfire is that it works for the false empty failure, but not for the false lots of fuel failure.

If it is to be done, and some have serious misgivings about doing it at all, there is a specific protocol to be followed.
 

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Left the dealer today with a 2013 90th model with a gas gauge problem. They told me before i left it would go away when i fill it up. Well that did'nt happen.
My second fuel strip fails on a regular basis. I can fill up an drive 20 miles and show empty, then my level indication comes back. This second strip is 6 months old and the bike only has 5k miles.
 
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