Yesterday’s post mentioned the potentiometer that I was working with.

So, the problem started on Monday night when I was heading home from my friend’s house. My normal procedure when starting the bike goes like this:

  1. Get geared up inside
  2. Flip the bike into neutral with my right foot
  3. Turn on the ignition and let the engine idle while I take care of the next steps
  4. Put in ear plugs
  5. Put on my helmet
  6. Put on the gloves
  7. Mount the bike
  8. Retract the side stand and drive off

This time around I got up to step three when the problems started. Or, rather, stopped.

The engine was at tick-over and then it just stopped. That’s weird. I started it and it fired up to an idle right away, but a few seconds later it did it again.

Well, poop.

Then I saw the neutral light flicker off.

Ahh… the side-stand interlock. If the bike is (or at least thinks it is) in gear with the side stand down it kills the engine as a safety feature. No problem. I waited until step eight to start her up.

On my drive to work the next morning I noticed the same thing. Starting was a problem… then on the drive to work I saw the gear indicator flicker and even indicate the wrong gear.

At this point I know it’s the sender for gear position.

This can be three likely problems. (There are other ones, but very rare)

  1. Dirty connector
  2. Dirty potentiometer
  3. Broken potentiometer

This is about in order of likeliness. Of course if I go to the dealer they’d replace the part for around $300. ($160 + profit + labor)

So… I decided to tear in myself…

I had to look at the manual for find the right connector…

All I did was unplug it, jam a bit of dielectric grease in it and plug it back in and it was solved!

Thankfully, from what I can tell the device can be taken apart and cleaned, though BMW doesn’t say you can. If worse came to worse I could just buy a new one and install it myself. It is a tight squeeze with the swing arm, but it’s doable. (And the manual doesn’t say to remove it anyway, so if the conservative manual doesn’t need it, you’re good!)

Yaay for not being afraid to into things. And I saved all the cash and solved it with nothing more than clean plug!