2004 R1100S

I purchased this bike May 28, 2005. The photo does not show the BMW System cases that I also have. This bike is really sweet. The handling is superb and the power is a big improvement from the R1100R.

Horsepower 98
Torque 70 lb-ft
Bore/Stroke 99/70mm
Compression Ratio 11.3:1
Displacement 1085cc
Partially Integrated Anti-lock Brakes (EVO) with dual disks up front,
single disk in the rear (see note below about bleeding this system)
Paralever rear suspension (to reduce the shaft effect)
Telelever front suspension
BMW bags (not shown above)
Heated hand grips
4 valves/cylinder
fuel injected
catalytic converter
air/oil cooled
center stand
higher handlebars/wind screen

Accessories, modifications, and other stuff:

I like to be visable, especially from the back. I had a Back-off license plate holder. I added a Kisan tailBlazer brake light modulator. For the EVO braking system, I needed a 100HD-M so the brake light/tail light sensor circuit would not be compromised.

To protect the headlight, I bought an Aeroflow headlight protector.

I also purchased a “Fender Extender” to keep the mung from the front of the engine as well as a screen to protect the oil cooler.

The riding position is fine, but my right carpal tunnel does not like it. As such, I purchased a set of Rapid Dog barbacks. Here are a few shots of the installed product:

I installed a Stainless Steel screw set from DesmoParts

EVO Brakes:

BMW’s technical description of the braking system. The following is an excerpt from that page:

“For the first time and only in motorcycle construction, the state of the art BMW Motorrad Integral ABS also makes use of a brake booster. An electrically operated hydraulic pump supports the brake pressure generated via the brake lever and cylinder. With the part integral brake system, the rider simultaneously activates the brakes of both wheels, with the footbrake lever only taking effect on the rear wheel brake. The fully integral brake system always decelerates both wheels, no matter whether only the hand or foot brake levers are being operated. Both systems provide a clear safety benefit when compared to conventional braking systems, that has been frequently demonstrated in motorcycle tests. In the flat twin Enduros, the partially integral function remains in place even when the ABS is deactivated.”

Some people love it, some people hate it. I fall somewhere towards the “love” side. The technical description is nice, but does not give you a feel for maintenance.

The hydraulic circuit that connects to to the hand lever/foot lever, is separate from the circuit that drive the calipers. What this means is bleeding the brake fluid, which is recommended annually, is a whole new ballgame. In order to bleed the brakes, you must access the ABS modulators, which are located under the gas tank. This means removal of the fairing, air intake scoop. You must also move the gas tank, which means removal or moving it out of the way and supporting it during the procedure. Have a look. The stacked spackle buckets are ‘da bom.

A fellow Mac-Pac club member, Dana Hager developed two documents related to bleeding the ‘EVO’ braking system. Many thanks to Dana for his effort!

  • BMW Integral ABS System Wheel Circuit Reservoir Filling Adapter
  • BMW Integral ABS System Flushing and Bleeding 101

Since I dove into this without knowing the details, I allowed air into the caliper circuit 🙁
I obtained Dana’s articles and attempted to construct the Wheel Circuit Reservoir Filling Adapter, but I didn’t want to wait to obtain the modulator cap, so I visited my local Pep Boys and created my own solution. The BMW tool is ~ $200, the tool in Dana’s procedure is ~$50. Mine came to under $10. I used a micrometer to measure the modulator opening and it was ~0.70″. I bought a 3/4 – 7/8 rubber expansion plug and removed the expansion bolt. I inserted a funnel where the bolt was and viola’, the solution. Have a look:

In the Fall of 2005, I installed PIAA 1100X driving lights. These babies ROCK! I had no idea how poor the stock headlight is. I mounted the PIAA’s with Martin Fabrication mounting brackets. Here are some photos.

photo taken with the flash photo taken without the flash photo of the mounting brackets

Oh and another thing … I happened to look at the owners manual regarding the location and value of the fuses, my owners manual indicated I had two fuse boxes, each with four fuses. The fuse boxes were located on the left and right inside of the fairings. The right side contained the fuse for the accessories (heated handgrips). Upon examination of my bike I discovered I had ONE fuse box with two rows of four fuses. The fuse values were different than what was in my manual. I dug this out of my Haynes manual.

Now the bike’s just over a year and heading towards 6K. I’ve found the following problems:

  • The Oil filler cap does not seal (never has)
  • I have a leak at the rubber seal between the drive shaft and the rear drive
  • There’s a recall for ABS wiring

August 2006: 6K checkup. The Final Drive seal had to be replaced. Good thing it was under warranty! I also added clear turn signal covers and a clear brake light lens. No photos yet.

I also added an iJet remote so I can control my iPod while riding. This is a nice setup.

Fall 2006: I decided to clean up the wiring for the lighting and heated clothing. Have a look at the page I developed to show the design rationale and implementation details.

September 2006: I added an auxiliary fuse box to clean up the wiring. Have a look.

October, 2006:Running Lights

After researching running lights to death, I finally decided to go with a very elegant solution – the Kisan signalMinder, model SM-5. I looked into various configurations of LED lighting, but this was, by far, the easiest to install.

The signalMinder is a replacement for your turn signal relay who’s primary function is to provide self-canceling functionality. Self-cancelling turn signals are a standard feature on R1100S’s, but the Kisan relay greatly improves the functionality. It offers programmable timeout of the following durations: 8 flashes, 30 seconds, or 45 seconds. You now say: “Yea, so what?”. The Kisan relay allows you to feed your brake light signal into the relay and is suspends to self-cancelling feature until you release the brake. Very handy in situations where you might spend time waiting at a traffic light. For me, the suspending while the brake is applied is a valuable feature. With the stock configuration, I found myself hitting the turn signal several times while waiting at a particularly long light. No longer a problem for me.

One of the other features is it runs the turn signals at lower intensity as running lights. You can choose off, low, or high. I took a series of night-time photos showing the front and rear of the bike with the lights off and at low/high intensity. I threw in a set of shots with the PIAA’s on as well.

No running lights Running lights on low Running lights on high
Front View, no PIAA’s
Front View, PIAA’s on
Rear View

November 2006:

I purchased a Garmin Quest GPS and here are some shots of the mountings. I included the RAM part numbers if you are interested.

I drilled and tapped the barbacks for the RAM ball mount. Note, this shows the RAM ball in the right bar back. I later moved it to the left side.

Here is the back of the Quest cradle showing the ball mount. The cradle is a Garmin product that has a cable to supply power and a mini-jack for audio.

Here’s the whole setup. I chose the 1.75″ RAM arm to connect the cradle to the barbacks.

Here’s a side shot.

Here’s a shot from the other side.

Here’s a shot from the rider’s perspective.

December 2006:

I decided to put a powerlet outlet on the handlebars for the Quest (and anything else I might decide to use). The student with the keen eye will note the mounting bracket I created in earlier photos. I purchased the parts from Eastern Beaver beacuse Jim gives excellent assembly instructions and he can gets parts here from Japan pretty quickly!

Here’s a closer shot from a different angle.

Here’s a shot from underneath the upper triple clamp. I found an unused threaded hole and mounted the bracket using a cap head screw and a little blue loctite. There is a threaded hole on both sides of the triple clamp. Sorry, I didn’t write down the size, but it is a common thread and cap head screws are available in standard metric sizes from the home supply store.

Here’s a side view of the bracket. I made it out of 1″ aluminum flat stock obtained at the local home supply place. I bent it in a vice and included a long ‘leg’ on the opposite side so I can keep my velcro’d garage door opener handy.
I wired the outlet with 12 gauge wire and I enclosed the wire in a plastic sheath to avoid the possibility of friction wearing through the wire insulation and I ran the sheath inside the rubber boot for additional protection. The outlet is wired to the fuse box I installed earlier.
It is currently fused at 2A for the Quest (which is only intended to protect the wire from the male powerlet to the GPS cradle), but if I need to supply more current for a different device, I can easily replace the fuse with a higher value 🙂

Top view of said bracket. Cut at the angle of the triple clamp.

Here’s a side view of the completed socket with the rubber boot.

A rider’s view.

A shot with the Quest in place, plugged in. Nice and neat.

Late December 2006/January 2007: Over the holidays, I installed Suburban Machinery per lowering kit. This is a very nice, high quality product. While installing them, I noticed two problems. Two of the three bolts holding the swingarm bearing cover were missing and an oil leak from the shaft/transmission boot. As it turns out, the leak was the rear transmission seal. Fortunately, this was covered under warranty, but not comforting considering the OTHER drive shaft seal was replaced at the 6K servicing in August.

Since the battery is *so* easy to get to, I also installed a Jump Start post.

Jan ’08:
I have a few things brewing for a winter project. I started with a brake bleed, one of my most favorite projects. While doing this, I decided that I was going to install Quick Disconnects on the fuel lines to make removing the tank easier. I purchased some from Omega . Note that you need 2 of each part. The approximate total cost is ~$70 (including shipping). The part numbers are:

  • FT-LCD170-05 Brass Coupling Bodies (inline)
  • FT-LCD220-05 Brass Coupling Insert (straight)

Note that there are 2 hoses coming from the pump; a supply and a return. It’s important not to cross the two, so I installed the QD’s are installed opposing each other so the two can’t be confused. Here’s a couple of shots of the install:

I decided that I really don’t like the Catalytic converter, so I’m going to replace it and possibly the mufflers. While deciding the exact replacement parts, I pulled the headers and set them to be Jet Hot coated. Here’s a before and after shot. The cost was ~$150. In the after shot, the keen eye will notice that the Catalytic Converter is no longer with us. I purchased a Laser BC-1 system (2 into 1 into 2), but sold the mufflers. They sounded nice, but I was having problems hearing my music, so I sold them. Next winter, I’ll probably jet-hot coat the Laser ‘Y’ pipe.

Spring/Summer ’08: The bike has been running poorly of late. Very rough idle. Poor get off from a stop. The bike almost stalls unless the throttle is cranked. It seemed OK at higher RPM’s. The bike has 16K, so I changed the fuel filter, no help. I performed a 0=0, no help. I pulled the air filter and discovered oil in the air box (a common problem, when the crankcase is overfilled). I am very careful about filling the oil, so I suspect it was overfilled when the dealer change the oil at 12K. I cleaned up the mess and replaced the air filter. It did not appear to be impacted, but I had a filter, so I changed it. It seemed to be running a bit better, but it was hard to tell based on a short ride. I had some spare time (ha), so I changed the spark plugs. The old ones looked good, but I had the plugs. What a difference! It’s like a new bike, BUT, it’s still running roug at idle and has poor acceleration from a stop.

I decided to fabricate a fixture to allow me to test the spark plugs individually, shown below. The red wire has a clamp from a battery charger attached to it so the fixture can easily be grounded to the bike, to protect the ignition system AND YOU!!

One by one, I connected the plugs to the fixture and started the bike. As it turns out, the main plug on the right cylinder was not firing properly. With that plug connected to the bike ignition and the secondary plug connected to the fixture, the bike was difficult to start and would stall very quickly.

Since I had already replaced the plug, I swapped ignition coils between the left and right cylinder, and repeated the test on the left cylinder. Same results, so I concluded that the ignition coil was faulty. I replaced it an viola’ she running like a top 🙂

Fast forward to Spring 2009. I decided to purchase a new cam tensioner from the Rubber Chicken Racing Garage . A few weeks later, I noticed running rough again, this time, worse. When I troubleshot the coil last time, I swapped them, putting the new coil on the left side and the original coil on the right side. Well guess what, the original coil on the right went south. This one had zero spark. The other bad one delivered a noticeably weak spark and I saved it for troubleshooting purposes. I replaced the coil and it’s running better, but not perfect.

I ‘discovered’ another troubleshooting technique this time around. If you press on the throttle cable, near where you adjust the synchronization, you can cause one throttle body to accelerate. By doing this on each side, I determined that the right side was not firing properly, because when I pushed the cable, the bike stumbled, while the other side, it attempted to accelerate.