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Discussion Starter #1
I had realized a couple months ago that my heated grips weren't working all the time, however thought it might have been due to a weak battery.

Now I have replaced the battery, went for a ride today and (call me a whimp) when I left at 59 degrees sunny weather I wanted to switch the heated grips on, since I was only wearing my mesh gloves. After filling up and pulling out of the gas station grips were not working, ambient temperature was 62 degrees at that time.

Could it be that grips work only below a certain ambient temperature? BTW, they either both work or don't work, so I don't think it's a grip element that's failing. Or maybe a Canbus, ZFE issue?? Thanks for any input!
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Could it be that grips work only below a certain ambient temperature?
Ok, I can answer this myself with "no", just went to the garage and at 65 F inside the garage the heated grips are working. I rather have something fail completely as to "sometimes" :crying:
 

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Isn't your bike still under factory warranty? Let the dealer figure it out.

Sounds to me that you may have a bad switch, which at times may short out and not provide the proper connection.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
No, 6 months out of warranty.

Bad switch would be an explanation, since they always both fail at the same time. I guess I will take that switch apart and take a look.
 

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Sorry to hear that you are now out of warranty.

Hope the switch will solve your problem.
 

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JochenWoern the handbook, page 78 in mine, says, "If you are riding at low engine speeds and the battery charge level is low, the handlebar heated grips are switched off to ensure the battery's starting capability" Just a thought, good luck. :) NPS.
 

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anotherBMW, the handbook, page 78 in mine, says, "If you are riding at low engine speeds and the battery charge level is low, the handlebar heated grips are switched off to ensure the battery's starting capability" Also my handbook says that " the selected heating will be saved if you allow a certain length of time to pass without making further changes" didn't quite understand that bit but maybe has something to do with your problem. Maybe worth a trip to the Dealer and ask them to take a quick look free gratis with one of their "plug in whizz machines" ? Good luck in any event. :)
 

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JochenWoern the handbook, page 78 in mine, says, "If you are riding at low engine speeds and the battery charge level is low, the handlebar heated grips are switched off to ensure the battery's starting capability" Just a thought, good luck. :) NPS.
If you read post #1, you will see that Olaf as well originall thought the issue was due to a weak battery.
However, the Battery was changed and the issue still exists. I therefore think a bad switch could be the culprit.

Olaf,
Do you only notice this at LOW engine speeds?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Do you only notice this at LOW engine speeds?
I had read that too, thanks Jochen, but I noticed it at all engine speeds. Often times when I ride the bike and they don't work, I shut off the engine, start again and voila, they work.
 

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Sounds like a CANBUS issue, if the CANBUS detects a "short" in the circuit it shuts the circuit down. When you restart it resets the circuit, hence the intermittent nature of the problem. I would check the wiring for obvious signs of wear or bare spots, starting at the grip end and were the wires exit the bars.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Sounds like a CANBUS issue, if the CANBUS detects a "short" in the circuit it shuts the circuit down. When you restart it resets the circuit, hence the intermittent nature of the problem. I would check the wiring for obvious signs of wear or bare spots, starting at the grip end and were the wires exit the bars.
That's what I am thinking now too. Someone on another forum told me that it could also be that the resistance of the grips became to low, due to damage, and then the ZFE things it's a "short".
 

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Hi. Something you could try from a grip problem I had on a 1200GS, couple of bikes ago. Told to me by the tech at dealers after a similar issue.
When the grips seem to be not working switch to position 2, do they get hot? if not then definitely a problem. Position 1 is linked to the air temp sensor via canbus/ECU so they will switch on and off dependant on air temp, bit like a thermostat. I kept an eye on then for a couple of weeks and sure enough that seemed to be what was happening.
A dealer can also run a system check that includes a function/resistance test on the heated grip set up, switch grips etc. via the bikes diagnostic plug and BMW tester, not sure what its called but sort of topspec GS911 tool.
Hope that helps
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks BoxserT, I think I always tried on the high setting, but I am not entirely sure. I will check again on my next ride.
 

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Pay attention to when you start the bike. I've had the same issue on my '13. Some mornings, the grips just wouldn't turn on. I'd have to turn the ignition off completely, let it reset, then fire it back up. There seems to be a problem with the CANBUS. If the grips are on when starting (or you turn them on before diagnostic check), the CANBUS seems to think there's a short. The solution is to turn the ignition to on, let it cycle for 30 seconds, then fire up the engine. Once the engine is running, then turn the grip heaters on. Sounds wonky, but didn't have any issues after but I only got to check it out for a short time before putting the bike in storage for overseas move. The dealership tested it out under various conditions to figure that one out. They didn't really have a solution other than that. There were no failures with any of the tests they ran.
 

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Hi. Something you could try from a grip problem I had on a 1200GS, couple of bikes ago. Told to me by the tech at dealers after a similar issue.
When the grips seem to be not working switch to position 2, do they get hot? if not then definitely a problem. Position 1 is linked to the air temp sensor via canbus/ECU so they will switch on and off dependant on air temp, bit like a thermostat. I kept an eye on then for a couple of weeks and sure enough that seemed to be what was happening.
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Hope that helps
Interesting, thanks for the info...

I thought my '11 R1200R had an intermittent problem on the low heat setting but now I'm sure it was the thermostat effect.

Paul
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Very interesting Wink41, thanks for the info. That could really be the explanation. What I realized that when the grips were not working, it helped sometimes to shut off the engine and restart. But I don't remember whether I also switched off the grips at the same time. I will take a mental note of the procedure you described and try it next time!
 

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Hi. Something you could try from a grip problem I had on a 1200GS, couple of bikes ago. Told to me by the tech at dealers after a similar issue.
When the grips seem to be not working switch to position 2, do they get hot? if not then definitely a problem. Position 1 is linked to the air temp sensor via canbus/ECU so they will switch on and off dependant on air temp, bit like a thermostat. I kept an eye on then for a couple of weeks and sure enough that seemed to be what was happening.
A dealer can also run a system check that includes a function/resistance test on the heated grip set up, switch grips etc. via the bikes diagnostic plug and BMW tester, not sure what its called but sort of topspec GS911 tool.
Hope that helps
Possibly this is slightly irrelevant but a side factor I thought of after reading this very interesting thread - if a booster plug or accelerator module is fitted between the air temp sensor and the ecu the bike will 'think' the ambient temp is 20deg cooler, so would this mean the grips while on the number 1 setting will be turning on when the air is 20deg warmer than it should be for them to turn on?
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Possibly this is slightly irrelevant but a side factor I thought of after reading this very interesting thread - if a booster plug or accelerator module is fitted between the air temp sensor and the ecu the bike will 'think' the ambient temp is 20deg cooler, so would this mean the grips while on the number 1 setting will be turning on when the air is 20deg warmer than it should be for them to turn on?
Good point! I have a booster plug and I can say that my grips work at 65 degrees Fahrenheit (if they work!).
 

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Possibly this is slightly irrelevant but a side factor I thought of after reading this very interesting thread - if a booster plug or accelerator module is fitted between the air temp sensor and the ecu the bike will 'think' the ambient temp is 20deg cooler, so would this mean the grips while on the number 1 setting will be turning on when the air is 20deg warmer than it should be for them to turn on?
Think the grips/control unit take a reading from the outside (ambient) air sender used for onboard computer. Accelerator module interrupts the intake air sensor in air filter housing so shouldn't be a problem.
 

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Think the grips/control unit take a reading from the outside (ambient) air sender used for onboard computer. Accelerator module interrupts the intake air sensor in air filter housing so shouldn't be a problem.
ahhh yep of course, although I mounted my accelerator module sensor on the frame near the steering head the R apparently has a separate ambient air temp sensor as you say. From what I could find out it's mounted behind the headlight on the earlier R's. Interesting that the acc modules makers insist on their sensor being outside the intake
And now back to handgrips.....:|
 
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