Who uses the BMW CAN Bus battery charger here?

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Who uses the BMW CAN Bus battery charger here?

Postby Lotus99 on Thu Dec 17, 2009 2:26 pm

Part # 71607688865. Luckily my dad already had one for his bike, so I'm using his on mine. I've had it on for a few days already, but the light at the top hasn't moved past the first position, which just indicates it's charging. It's solid red, so theoretically it should be charging, and is not in an error state, as otherwise it would be flashing, or the red light at the bottom right would be (see attached picture). But I would think by now it should have at least moved to the 1/3 full or 2/3 full state?

Can anyone tell me what might be going on? I've followed the instructions here http://www.r1200gs.info/misc/BMW-charger.html, where I plugged it into the bike, then turned the bike onto the Accessory mode ignition so it would recognize the charger, then shut the bike off.

Help!
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Re: Who uses the BMW CAN Bus battery charger here?

Postby klink1313 on Thu Dec 17, 2009 8:59 pm

I used this charger on my 2007 GS 1200. At the time of purchase I also read the instructions contained in your link but I think that those instructions only apply to earlier models because I never had to turn my ignition on to get it to get the bike to recognise the charger, just plug in and away it went.

When I got Oscar (my K1300s) I continued to use this charger for a while. It stopped working when Oscar had cruise control put on and I can’t really complain to BMW as the wiring harness was tapped into at the accessories plug to power the cruise. The plug still has power coming out it, it is just that the charger does not recognise the bike anymore. I now use a CTEK charger wired direct to the battery.

I also noted that when the charger was working it turned the CAN Bus system on eg my zumo powered up and my intercom system was working. When it went to float the CAN Bus turned off (just like what happens when you turn the ignition off). When the next charging cycle commenced CAN Bus turned back on etc etc.

Also the charger tends to cycle. The handbook says that it is trying to simulate a riding cycle so whenever I went into the garage the light could be on red yellow or green at any time. Also there was no fixed cycle either, sometimes it would be 3 minutes on red and next cycle would be 15 seconds on red and the same for the other colours as well.

Something really strange was that initially I used the charged in the horizontal position (charger on its back with the lights pointing up at the ceiling) and later hung it up in the vertical position as recommended. In the latter position I noticed that charger tended to stay on the float cycle for longer before recommencing another cycle.....go figure :scratch: .

As to the light not moving my initial reaction is that maybe your batter is on the way out?
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Re: Who uses the BMW CAN Bus battery charger here?

Postby Lotus99 on Fri Dec 18, 2009 5:02 pm

klink1313 wrote:Also the charger tends to cycle. The handbook says that it is trying to simulate a riding cycle so whenever I went into the garage the light could be on red yellow or green at any time. Also there was no fixed cycle either, sometimes it would be 3 minutes on red and next cycle would be 15 seconds on red and the same for the other colours as well.

As to the light not moving my initial reaction is that maybe your batter is on the way out?


This is so odd though for BMW to have designed it this way, as one will never know if the thing's working / the battery's charged unless by fluke you happen to look at the charger when the green light is showing? I'd have expected it to at least show green over 95% of the time once the battery's full, for example.

I saw it for a few minutes up to the 2/3 mark, so maybe it is working after all, and is doing this silly cycling business every time I've seen it, though 9 out of 10 times it's been on the first light, solid red...

Hope it's not the battery considering it's less than 6 months old!

If this keeps up, I might try to charge it separately out of the bike... :evil:
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Re: Who uses the BMW CAN Bus battery charger here?

Postby klink1313 on Fri Dec 18, 2009 10:20 pm

Like you I expected to see it on green most of the time as per normal battery chargers and initially worried that it was overcharging the battery. But the charger was connected to the bike and battery for 2 years (exept when being ridden) and no harm seemed to be done. In hindsight i wouldn't buy the BMW charger again, just didn't like the cycling
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Re: Who uses the BMW CAN Bus battery charger here?

Postby Lotus99 on Sat Dec 19, 2009 3:47 am

So if you were to tell me roughly, how much of the time when the battery was charged would you say when you looked at the charger it was showing green? Is it that rare a sighting for me to see it once so at least I can be sure it's fully charged?

I talked to the service dept. today and he thought that after a couple of days, it should be enough time to see green light most of the time. If not, he suggested I may have a faulty battery, as apparently the earlier K1300S's had bad batteries. I've never had a problem startin the bike though, and it started fine today when I tried it. So it seems to be having a problem accepting the charge in my opinion.

I know the charger's fine because my dad's got a K1300S too, and on his, the light turned green after just a day when I looked at the charger.

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Re: Who uses the BMW CAN Bus battery charger here?

Postby klink1313 on Sat Dec 19, 2009 4:16 am

When coming back from a ride and when things had cooled down I would attach the charger and it would take less than 10 minutes for the green light to show. If you had time to stand in front of it (no more than 15 minutes) you would see it cycle through. This is assuming that the battery is well charged to begin with. I vaguely remember that it took a long time (a day) for the red light to change when i first got the charger.
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Re: Who uses the BMW CAN Bus battery charger here?

Postby klink1313 on Sat Dec 19, 2009 4:18 am

Oops forgot to say that i reckon the green light was on for around 50% of the time, a lot less than normal maintenance chargers. My CTEK charger is realy off green
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Re: Who uses the BMW CAN Bus battery charger here?

Postby Speed King on Sun Dec 27, 2009 7:29 pm

My battery is 1,5 years old and the charger has been on 2 months now. The green light (3/3) is on about 90% of time. The cycle from red to green takes about 15-30 mins. My guess is that charger is broken or your bike has a sowtware/canbus problem. If your bike is running well, the problem seems to be the charger. By the way.... i tried to charge dead battery with that bmw Canbus charger. It didn't stick at the red... still the cycle from red to green took more time (couple hours).
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Re: Who uses the BMW CAN Bus battery charger here?

Postby kerch57 on Sun Dec 27, 2009 11:14 pm

I've never used a charger and I'm at 29k miles almost three years old. Is this because it is riden almost every day and doesn't sit for more then two days without being riden. Just wondering cause everytime I've put a volt meter on it just to see where it's at I get reading's of 13.8 then start bike and get 15.8 volts. Are the chargers needed since you guy's have radar detector's and gps's. Or is it just bad batteries, knock on wood never had a battery issue on any of my 30 plus bike's.
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Re: Who uses the BMW CAN Bus battery charger here?

Postby Frisky on Mon Dec 28, 2009 7:23 am

I bought one for my R1200RT and use it on my K1200S now
This winter I have used it, turn ignition on ,plug it in then leave ignition on at least 10 seconds (according to dealer!)
The red light comes on as per your pic then after about 30 minutes the error light comes on.
The dealer has asked me to pop it in for testing, if its not the charger it could be a battery fault.
Bike starts every week so I hope it ain't the battery.
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Re: Who uses the BMW CAN Bus battery charger here?

Postby Lotus99 on Mon Dec 28, 2009 2:53 pm

kerch57 wrote:I've never used a charger and I'm at 29k miles almost three years old. Is this because it is riden almost every day and doesn't sit for more then two days without being riden. Just wondering cause everytime I've put a volt meter on it just to see where it's at I get reading's of 13.8 then start bike and get 15.8 volts. Are the chargers needed since you guy's have radar detector's and gps's. Or is it just bad batteries, knock on wood never had a battery issue on any of my 30 plus bike's.


I don't ride my bike for almost 6 months in the late fall / winter. That's why. Luckily, from what I read, these bikes' batteries (AGM) are supposed to only lose a few percent per month of their charge, so they're pretty good. I'm not planning on leaving it without a charger though for 6 months.
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Re: Who uses the BMW CAN Bus battery charger here?

Postby kerch57 on Tue Dec 29, 2009 10:19 am

Ouch 4 to 6 months of no riding that's no fun. Well today it's 42 here but nothing but sunny skie's so think I'll do a few hundred highway miles so I can charge my battery. Too bad for those that live in the GREAT WHITE NORTH. :)
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Re: Who uses the BMW CAN Bus battery charger here?

Postby scrannel on Tue Dec 29, 2009 11:24 am

If both you and your dad have K1300s bikes, and it works on his but "maybe not" on yours... then I can't see how the charger is defective. I have a K1200R with the exact same charger and I do have to plug it in using the BMW instructions or it will not function UNLESS I plug it in right after riding as there is a short period of time after you turn off your bike, when the CANBUS remains "active".
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Re: Who uses the BMW CAN Bus battery charger here?

Postby mmcc on Tue Dec 29, 2009 11:50 am

The best solution is to move to a warmer climate where you can ride all year round. That way no charger is needed at all. 6 months without riding is just not on. One of the up sides of global warming could be that everybody can ride all year round, now that can't be all doom and gloom.
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Re: Who uses the BMW CAN Bus battery charger here?

Postby kerch57 on Tue Dec 29, 2009 11:35 pm

Global warming lol guess you didn't see that this summer was the coolest summer in over 60 years. Can't Al Gore just goaway. :lol:
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Re: Who uses the BMW CAN Bus battery charger here?

Postby scrannel on Wed Dec 30, 2009 12:39 am

klink1313 wrote:I used this charger on my 2007 GS 1200. At the time of purchase I also read the instructions contained in your link but I think that those instructions only apply to earlier models because I never had to turn my ignition on to get it to get the bike to recognise the charger, just plug in and away it went.


Klink, got to ask you... There have been reports on various forums of some Canbus BMWs having their batteries drained very quickly when not left on a charger. In other words, way faster than would normally be expected. One rider finally reported that his dealer discovered that the ABS system was -- I can't remember how -- not allowing the Canbus to shut down after the prescribed time. So, staying active drained the battery. There is a certain amount of time that the Canbus remains active after bike shut-down. And, as I said, if I plug my BMW charger into the bike right after shut down, I don't have to re-activate the Canbus using the key. Now, it sounds like -- maybe -- your Canbus was always active. Did you ever experience any drain issues? (Assuming you left it w/o attaching the charger). Thanks
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Re: Who uses the BMW CAN Bus battery charger here?

Postby klink1313 on Fri Jan 01, 2010 6:08 am

scrannel wrote:
klink1313 wrote:I used this charger on my 2007 GS 1200. At the time of purchase I also read the instructions contained in your link but I think that those instructions only apply to earlier models because I never had to turn my ignition on to get it to get the bike to recognise the charger, just plug in and away it went.


Klink, got to ask you... There have been reports on various forums of some Canbus BMWs having their batteries drained very quickly when not left on a charger. In other words, way faster than would normally be expected. One rider finally reported that his dealer discovered that the ABS system was -- I can't remember how -- not allowing the Canbus to shut down after the prescribed time. So, staying active drained the battery. There is a certain amount of time that the Canbus remains active after bike shut-down. And, as I said, if I plug my BMW charger into the bike right after shut down, I don't have to re-activate the Canbus using the key. Now, it sounds like -- maybe -- your Canbus was always active. Did you ever experience any drain issues? (Assuming you left it w/o attaching the charger). Thanks


Never had any drain issues. The canbus always turned itself off after the x seconds when i turned off the bike using the key (I could verify this by zumo turning off and intercom turning off). However everytime the charger commenced a new charging cycle, the canbus turned on again (verified by Zumo turning on and intercom working) and then after x seconds turned itself off...mimicing turning the ignition key on and off. Ok?
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Re: Who uses the BMW CAN Bus battery charger here?

Postby scrannel on Fri Jan 01, 2010 11:31 am

Thanks for the info, Klink -- Happy New Year.
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Re: Who uses the BMW CAN Bus battery charger here?

Postby Frisky on Sat Jan 02, 2010 4:55 pm

I dropped my charger off at the dealers today for testing and it appears to work OK on one of the bikes in the shop.
The dealer told me that the BMW Canbus charger is now discontinued and no longer listed on the parts PC
Have you heard this over the pond??
The dealer asked me to test the accessory socket to see if it was supplying power, it is, However when I plugged the charger in the red light came on , steady after about three minutes the 1/3 light came on briefly, then the red light came and started flashing,after 60 minutes the error light came on,
Anyone got any ideas??
I guess when the snow dissapears I will have a trip to the dealers.The bike does start first time once a week.
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Re: Who uses the BMW CAN Bus battery charger here?

Postby scrannel on Sun Jan 03, 2010 11:08 am

Frisky wrote:The dealer told me that the BMW Canbus charger is now discontinued and no longer listed on the parts PC
Have you heard this over the pond??
The dealer asked me to test the accessory socket to see if it was supplying power, it is, However when I plugged the charger in the red light came on , steady after about three minutes the 1/3 light came on briefly, then the red light came and started flashing,after 60 minutes the error light came on,
Anyone got any ideas??
I guess when the snow dissapears I will have a trip to the dealers.The bike does start first time once a week.


Max BMW currently lists two chargers: parts #71607688864 & 71607688865 Not sure what the difference is. Maybe the K1200X series being phased out for a K1300X series? As far as the error light goes, are you sure your batter is ok? viewtopic.php?f=3&t=13023
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Re: Who uses the BMW CAN Bus battery charger here?

Postby kerch57 on Sun Jan 03, 2010 10:41 pm

My new warranty free replacement battery is great. Think my battery whole time from new was not all there. Pre start pumps finish faster and starts with just a light touch on start button. And my bucking has dissappeared. :D :D :D :D
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Re: Who uses the BMW CAN Bus battery charger here?

Postby Lotus99 on Sat Jul 17, 2010 2:19 am

Update: So I went to the dealer, as after having it on for months, it never went higher than 2/3 to green, no matter how many times I checked, whereas the same charger on my dad's K1300S after less than a day goes to green and stays there, so I knew there's something wrong with my bike and not the charger.

There was a recent recall for software, which the dealer did, and was hoping would solve this problem, but it didn't, so they ended up giving me a new battery, which after just an hour on the charger, went green!

So problem solved! I had heard last year some of the earlier batches of batteries had some problems, but mine is a June 2009 build or so, and I didn't think would be affected, but who knows.
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Re: Who uses the BMW CAN Bus battery charger here?

Postby ZR1000A1 on Tue Dec 21, 2010 8:26 pm

I have the same charger. Could somebody, please, explain to me how this highly "sophisticated", ridiculously overpriced POS (I mean BMW canbus charger) suppose to work?
After going through all charging stages, the green (3/3) light comes on. Then funny things start happening. After a couple of minute, green light goes off for approximately 3 – 5 sec. and the red one comes on. Then the charger starts its dancing with the lights. The sequence is something like this:
Red->Yellow(1/3)->Red->Yellow(2/3)->Red->Yellow(2/3)->Yellow(1/3)->Yellow(2/3)->Green
The whole sequence takes about 15 – 20 min. It spends most of its time on Yellow(2/3). Then the charger stays Green for a minute or so and starts dancing all over again!
Should it be doing this? If yes, how would you know when the battery is fully charged, unless you’d be lucky enough to catch it on green light on?

Here’s my theory: There is a problem with communication between the charger and CANBUS/ZFE. When the charger goes to GREEN (fully charged) state, ZFE closes ACC port after some predefined (about a minute) delay. That causes the charger to lose the connection to the battery. When it happens, the charger sends a command to ZFE to activate ACC port. ZFE activates the ACC port, the charger finds the battery and starts charging sequence from the very beginning.
If my theory is correct, isn't it potentially dangerous to use this charger, because instead of staying in maintains mode with a fully charged battery, it always restarts a complete charging sequence?

The other possibility (according to this thread) is a bad battery. But it worked perfectly fine last time I started the bike before winterizing it.
And, btw, my bike is K1200S late 2008 build.
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Re: Who uses the BMW CAN Bus battery charger here?

Postby Drifter1 on Tue Dec 21, 2010 8:45 pm

WOW! that BMW CANBUS charger sounds way too painfull to use, I thought battery tenders were sold world wide. http://batterytender.com/motorcycle.html
And my bike came with a quick connect cable already conected to the battery for one that is routed up near the left gripp inside the front fairing
Maybe if your battery terminals are full of other stuff (GPS, Radar detector, etc.) this would be your only solution
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Re: Who uses the BMW CAN Bus battery charger here?

Postby ZR1000A1 on Tue Dec 21, 2010 9:54 pm

I will remove the battery from the bike and put it on a regular tender for the rest of the winter.
Here's the reason while I decided to buy BMW charger:
I do a lot of commuting in traffic. Because of low RPM the bike's charging system can't keep the battery fully charged and from time to time I need to charge the battery manually. I don't like the idea of attaching the charger directly to the battery while it's still connected to the bike. God knows what can happen to the tender, and I don't want to fry bike's electronics. I can disconnect the battery terminals from the bike, but then there is another issue. If you have the battery disconnected for a couple of hours or so, the bike's computer loses the current date setting. Then you start getting an annoying message about your "service date" overdue. Luckily, I have GS-911 that can set the current date to the comuter. It's ok if you need to do it only once a year, but doing it every 2-3 weeks gets really annoying.
In hope of avoiding all this hassle, I bought BMW charger. BIG MISTAKE! This, almost $200 value device (should've probably been made of pure gold!) is a GARBAGE and complete waste of money. Another BMW over engineered POS. Why complicate such a simple task as a battery charging????
On the over note, I still don't understand, why the bike can't keep the battery charged? Is it some BMW specific user friendly feature? I had several Japanese bikes and I never had to manually charge their batteries (except for winter time). And my riding style did not change since then.
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