Technical Q and A for classic motorcycle maintenance and repair.
Editor’s note: If you’re having trouble with that old Suzuki, BSA or BMW, Keith Fellenstein is your guy. From motorcycle tuning tips to detailed motorcycle engine repair, he can draw from a wealth of experience to help guide you to success. Send questions to: Keith’s Garage, 1503 SW 42nd St., Topeka, KS 66609, or send an e-mail with “Keith’s Garage” as the subject.
Q: I have just bought a BMW K1200RS, but I’m having a problem with the ABS lights. There are two ABS lights on the dash, and they keep flashing. I have tried to clean the sensors on the front and back wheel, but the lights keep flashing. Do you have any suggestions that I might try? — Allan/via email
A: When you start your BMW, the ABS computer initializes itself and does some internal testing. It can’t complete the final test until you move the bike. That test involves counting pulses from the sensors attached to each wheel that check to see that the wheel is still rotating when you apply the brakes. If there is no problem with the ABS system, the flashing lights should go out the first time you apply both front and rear brakes. If the warning lights stay on after that, there is a more serious problem and you’ll have to take the bike to a BMW shop that has the proper diagnostic equipment. To my knowledge, nobody has created any sort of diagnostic shortcut for the ABS on these bikes.