Wednesday, February 2, 2011

R1150GS Electrical Cleanup–Part 1

As mentioned in my previous post, there are a lot of things to clean up on my new-to-me 2001 BMW R1150GS.

First up was removing the ugly, unstable lightbar and dead light to make room for my new LED lights. I was hoping to use the lightbar for the LEDs, but it doesn’t look feasible.

Commercial bars are $120-250, so I’m thinking of making my own. I just need to sort out the mounting of the bar. I’m guessing $20 for metal and 2-4 hours of work.

Here is a pic of the one working light. I will hopefully reuse this on the Ural.

Other driving light

Broken lights removed, now for the bar.

Lights removed from ugly bar

The goofy, unstable mounting of the bar. If you look carefully you can see the wires coated in liquid tape. messy.

Ugly light bar mount. The screw is loose...

Bar removed. I was planning on re-using the wires. After inspecting them, they appear to have rubbed on the bar (they slipped inside) and cut through the insulation on one of the wires. Not good, time for new ones. The liquid tape is not friendly to work with either. It looks like I can re-use the switch wiring. yay!

Ugly light bar removed

If you remember, when I bought the bike it had a GPS mount on it. It turned out to be for a Zumo 550 which is a very nice $600 GPS. I don’t own one, and at that price, probably won’t.

removing gps mount

I finally removed the power cable, so I can re-sell the mount.

Zumo 550 power cable removed

Being able to get the seat off, meant I could get the gas tank up too and look at the rat’s nest of wires. This doesn’t look so bad. The bike main, aux power, battery tender, and heated gear. Not ideal, but workable.

Too many wires!

This disaster is impressive. It’s not clear, but a number of the wires are scorched and some are also frayed/corroded.

Scary wiring under the seat of my r1150gs

I didn’t even know they made splitters for spade connectors?!

Another example of the awful wiring i get to clean up on my used r1150gs 

From the battery it looks like fuse, relay, fuse, fuse, relay, fuse?! They seem to power the gps, horn, aux lights, maybe heated grips?, and? I need to get the tank all the way off and chase some wires. I want to be sure of all of the fuses before I start taking trips.

I really want to replace the above mess with a fuse block, but I need to document what I actually need and draw it out. Then I can choose what size block to use and where to mount it.

More to come!


  1. kind of looks like a clean start is needed. Sort of... anything not in the factory loom, rip it out... good luck.

  2. Stacy: Wow is right! yay for winter bike projects... The SV will have to wait it's turn.

    682202: Yes, slightly more work than I had planned, but will be better in the long run.

  3. What 682302 said. Time for a fresh start. I think you'd be better off in the long run. I guess after seeing the electrical work I would be looking carefully at other maintenance items to see what was skipped.

  4. RichardM: That is the plan -- replace all the added electrical. I was also going to replace all the consumables. The fluids are done, but the valves, alt belt, plugs, etc. the air filter is scary looking. just waiting for more little brown boxes ;)