Maintenance on the R1200GS LC

So it’s time for servicing on the BMW R1200GS wethead again. As I’m preparing for a major trip in December, thought it would be prudent to get this out of the way. This round, it’s air filter, spark plugs, and final drive gear oil on top of the usual engine oil replacement.

Removing the ignition coil to access the spark plug.
Spark plug removal.

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2D1N Impromptu Ride

It was an impromptu ride. I had taken the Thursday and Friday off work, and had only decided to go for a ride on Wednesday evening. Even in the morning of Thursday when we met at 5am at GP Petronas, the ride plan was still sketchy. And we just made up the plan as we went along!

First stop – Tasik Biru (Blue Lake) of Muadzam Shah!

Facing the blue, blue, VERY blue lake!
The 4 men who were free to ride on a Thursday’s moment’s notice.
We were friendly. They were friendly. We were all friendly. =)

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Saturday Morning Ride to Endau Rompin

The weather was beautiful on this Saturday morning, and what better way to spend it than to take a ride? It was only the 2 of us on today’s ride, and we could afford to, well, go a little faster on the road. =)

Eddy and his Street Triple.
Me and my red GS.

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Hex ezCAN Installation on my R1200GS LC

The Hex ezCAN has quite a reputation in the BMW R1200GS world. It’s a (relatively) inexpensive accessories manager for the BMW R1200LC, R1200, K1600 & F800 that hooks up directly to the CAN bus of the bike and does quite a number of neat tricks – all WITHOUT having to splice any wires on the bike, and thus (as Hex claims) maintains your warranty.

Personally, I wasn’t too concerned with the warranty part as my 2014 GS is already way past its warranty stage. But the neat tricks that the little device has up its sleeves was what attracted me to purchase it.

Here’s Hex own commercial on what it does for the bike:

I placed an online order and received it in my mail within a week or so. It comes in a cute little package that somewhat resembles a pack of army rations.

The cute package that arrived in my mail.

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Brake Fluid Flush on my BMW R1200GS LC

The BMW maintenance schedule calls for a brake fluid replacement every 2 years on the BMW R1200GS wethead. The last brake fluid replacement on my GS was in Dec16. And since I was planning for a long’ish trip later this year, I thought it was a good idea to get this done earlier.

The front brakes were a little easier for a one-man bleed operation – I could reach for the brake lever and the bleed screw simultaneously, applying pressure on the brake lever while I released the bleed screw for the brake fluid to eject. But the rear wasn’t as simple – the rear brake pedal was on the right hand side of the bike, while the brake caliper (and thus the bleed screw) was on the left. If I were to attempt to do it without an assistant, I’ll need to create some negative pressure for suction – that’s where the brake bleeding pump kit comes in handy!

My brake servicing kit
The brake bleed pump assembled.

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Eliminating Brake Squeal on my BMW R1200GS Wethead

Sintered (metal-infused) brake pads generally provide awesome braking power and have great brake life. But the biggest drawback is that it tends to squeal. Shortly after replacing my set of front Brembo pads on my BMW R1200GS LC, my brakes started squealing like a pig being sent to the slaughterhouse every time just before the bike comes to a complete halt. This typically happens when the brakes are cold, and sometimes (only sometimes), it goes away after warming up the pads. And since I’ve got a self-admitted OCD for these kind of things, I decided to do something about it.

Front pads removal.
Front pads removed. Do NOT hit the brake levers and over extend the calliper pistons!

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Difficulty Finding Neutral on BMW R1200GS LC? It Could be This!

I purchased my 2014 BMW R1200GS Wethead pre-owned, and I’ve always accepted the clunkiness of the gearbox. In fact, some owners have described the gearbox of the R1200GS as “very industrial”. Also, from Day-1, I experienced difficulty finding neutral on the bike. When the bike is at complete rest, it would typically take cycling between gears 1 and 2 several times before settling on neutral. Very often, I would have to blip the throttle a little while applying a slight pressure on the gear lever, just to get it to slip into Neutral.

Not cool.

In my recent road trip, I experienced occasional difficulty in changing gears – especially at low’ish speeds. When clutched in, the gear lever would sometimes refuse to shift – seemingly “stuck”. The feeling’s exactly like trying to shift down in gear 1, or trying to shift up in gear 6. It’s only with a slight blip of the throttle would the gear lever then move into the intended gear.

Not cool at all.

And then this – at 55,000km on the odometer, my clutch started exhibiting signs of slippage. I’m very conscious of using only JASO MA / MA2 spec’ed engine oil – so it couldn’t be the oil causing the clutch to slip.  Continue reading “Difficulty Finding Neutral on BMW R1200GS LC? It Could be This!”

R1200GS Wethead Front Brake Pads Replacement

Shortly after my rear brake pads replacement, I noticed that my front brake pads were wearing thin too. Worse, there was one particular pad (the RHS inboard pad) that was wearing out way faster than the rest and is almost worn down to metal! So, it’s time to replace them as a set!

I got myself a set of Brembo SA sintered pads for the front (PN: 07BB38SA). This is supposedly an upgrade to the BMW OEM pads, which, incidentally, are also manufactured by Brembo.

The 4-step procedure to removing brake pads – easy peasy!

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