BMW R 1200 GS Electrical system and electronics







Published by Gerald Ferreira Date: October 4, 2012
Categories: BMW, BMW Motorcycles, Motorcycles

Main headlight with optimised light efficiency and LED daytime running light as an ex works option.

BMW R 1200 GS 2012 Electical

Seeing and being seen as well as possible - these are crucial factors on which the safety and therefore fun of motorcycling depend. This is why BMW Motorrad also dedicated intense efforts to the development of a new lighting unit for the R 1200 GS.

The new standard halogen headlight is not only considerably smaller than the previous one. In terms of road illumination, too, it offers top-level lighting technology for both low and high beam. Intensive tests in the BMW Group lighting tunnel have generated light levels which - given the same light emission area - achieve significantly better results in terms of perceptibility and vision for night riding as compared to the competition.

BMW Motorrad offers an additional daytime running light with LED technology as an ex works option. The unit consists of four LED modules and is integrated underneath the main halogen headlight. The daytime running light allows other road users to differentiate the motorcycle much more clearly, thereby offering a huge safety benefit. What is more, the use of
LED technology means a lower level of energy consumption and an extended lifetime. The daytime running light is switched on either automatically via a light sensor or manually instead of the main headlight using the
“Daytime running light” switch. When darkness falls or when entering a tunnel, there is an automatic switchover to the halogen main headlight,
providing optimum road illumination to ensure excellent visibility.

The first motorcycle in the world with main headlight featuring
full-LED technology including integrated daytime running light for even greater safety when riding during the day and at night.

For decades now, BMW Motorrad has been regarded as a frontrunner when it comes to issues of safety in connection with motorcycling. With its innovative strength, BMW Motorrad established itself as a trendsetter very early on and will continue to offer additional safety benefits for motorcycling.

The latest example of the innovative power of BMW Motorrad in this area is the first ever full LED headlight with integrated daytime running light to be used in serial motorcycle production, available as an option for the R 1200 GS. Globally unique, this LED main headlight with daytime running function illuminates the road with a level of brilliant clarity not previously known.
The headlight’s LEDs are strikingly distinctive and powerful with their double glass lenses. The option also includes a rear light with two light bands, making for an even more high-quality rear view.

The switchover between daytime running light and low beam can be set to automatic in the instrument cluster menu.

With daytime running switched on, the motorcyclist benefits from significantly increased perceptibility in the daytime and therefore increased safety. In addition, there is the striking look of the horizontal “U” which - like the light rings in the K 1600 models - will soon become an unmistakable trademark of the new GS.

LED technology with sophisticated cooling and decondensation concept.

The light unit consists of two LED units each for low and high beam, as well as four additional LED units for daytime running light and side light. These are mounted on a central heat sink made of die-cast aluminium.

Behind the heat sink there is an axial fan. An additional air ducting element directs the warm air onto the glass panel, thereby generating air circulation inside the headlight. This air circulation ensures decondensation of the headlight, also contributing actively to de-icing of the lens in winter.

Operating concept with Multi-Controller for the
BMW Motorrad Navigator IV.
If the vehicle is to be fitted with a navigation device, it is advisable to order the option “Preparation for navigation device”. It then automatically features the so-called Multi-Controller which can be used for convenient control of the BMW Motorrad Navigator IV. This is positioned on the inner side of the left-hand handlebar grip and is therefore always within optimum reach. The advantage of the Multi-Controller is that the rider’s hands can stay on the handlebars during operation: it is not necessary to look for buttons.

Operation is carried out by turning up and down as well as toggling to the left/right. This means that the most important functions, such as zoom or speech output repeat, are convenient to operate. If the rider is using a helmet with the BMW Motorrad communication system and this is connected to the Navigator IV, the speech output volume in the helmet can also be controlled using the Multi-Controller. By toggling the Multi-Controller to the right or left it is possible to change between map view, trip computer and media player, for example. Rotation of the Multi-Controller allows the volume of the
BMW Motorrad communication system to be adjusted. Within the menu, any turning or pressing of the Multi-Controller causes the cursor to move and a menu point to be selected.

The BMW Motorrad Navigator IV, available as a special accessory, is integrated in the vehicle electrical system. Data is exchanged between the navigation system and the vehicle electrical system. For example, the navigation system automatically relays the date and time to the instrument cluster or suggests the nearest filling station when a certain residual range has been reached. It is also possible to enlarge/reduce map sections by keeping the Multi-Controller pushed to the right/left for longer.

This connection to the vehicle electrical system also provides other benefits. The chassis number is transmitted so as to automatically release the Navigator IV. There is no longer any need for a four-digit PIN to be entered for anti-theft protection purposes when the Navigator IV is used in conjunction with a motorcycle which is already stored on the device and therefore known. Up to five different vehicles can be stored.

A lock cylinder with a single key locking system enables the Navigator IV to be locked into its holder for anti-theft protection, making the device impossible to remove.

Instrument clusters with customisable functions and on-board computer PRO as ex works option.

The instrument cluster of the new R 1200 GS has a speedometer and rev counter - each controlled by an electric motor - and an LC information display. The lighting of the instrument unit automatically adapts to the level of ambient brightness.

As a further development of the existing display philosophy, the instrument cluster of the new R 1200 GS has two areas at the top and bottom right to which the rider can assign information displays according to preference. These two information displays are controlled ergonomically using the rocker switch on the left-hand unit of the handlebars - the upper display with the top switch, the lower display with the bottom switch.

The on-board computer has been included as standard in the new GS. Even in the standard version, it offers access to a whole range of useful information. Meanwhile, the so-called “on-board computer PRO” is available as an ex works option featuring significantly expanded functions geared specifically to the needs of enduro riders.

The set-up menu can be used to configure settings specific to both rider and vehicle. For example, different languages and automatic activation of the daytime running light are incorporated here.

New vehicle electrical system with partitioning of functions.

The new R 1200 GS is now the second BMW motorcycle after the

BMW K 1600 GT/GTL to be fitted with the innovative vehicle electrical system. It is based on the previous system but features an altered partitioning of functions.

The use of CAN bus (Controller Area Network) and LIN bus technology
(Local Interconnect Network) enables significantly reduced wiring as compared to a conventional system. This also reduces potential error sources as may occur in conventional vehicle electrical systems due to the quantity of wiring and numerous plug connectors - a key factor in ensuring all-round reliability.

As part of the further development process, the existing central vehicle electronics was divided into two separate control units. One control unit - the so-called Body Controller - performs all the basic functions to be found in every BMW motorcycle. The second control unit is responsible for all suspension functions of the Dynamic ESA.

Communication network and central diagnosis.

Up to seven control units (instrument cluster, ABS, engine control, Body Controller (formerly central vehicle electronics), tyre pressure control RDC, Dynamic ESA (suspension settings), alarm system form a communication network with the capacity to mutually exchange data. This means a simple, comprehensive diagnosis of the entire system can be carried out centrally. The electronic system filters out unimportant data and interference signals within a defined tolerance and makes the system largely impervious to disruption such as electromagnetic interference. The digital engine management unit (BMS-X) is not only responsible for engine control, it also relays all data to the diagnosis device.

Extended tyre pressure control with gradient monitoring.

The tyre pressure control function (RDC), available for the new R 1200 GS as an ex work option, has been fitted with a new, lighter and more compact receiver control unit and new wheel sensors. In addition to the existing warning threshold for tyre air pressure, the new control unit also enables gradient monitoring. The gradient monitoring function detects a sudden loss of pressure during travel (e.g. when running over a nail) and is able to provide an even earlier warning for potentially dangerous situations. Loss of pressure over a certain period of time - for instance, when the motorcycle is left to stand for lengthier periods - triggers a warning too, thereby offering a higher level of safety in this area.

Electronic immobiliser (EWS) for top-level anti-theft security.

The R 1200 GS is fitted as standard with an electronic immobiliser (EWS). Controlled by a transponder integrated in the key, thiefproofing is activated at the same level as that of BMW automobiles. When the ignition key is inserted in the ignition lock and the ignition is switched on, a ring aerial integrated in the ignition lock allows a chip in the key to communicate with the digital engine management system where the EWS algorithms are stored. By means of a so-called “Challenge Response Procedure” (the engine control unit issues a randomly generated password - the “challenge” - and the ring aerial and key answer with the required match - the “response”  - to authenticate identity), there is an exchange between the coded chip data and the EWS data which is subject to continuous change. If the response of the ring aerial corresponds to the questions asked, the engine control unit releases the ignition and fuel injection and the vehicle can be started.

Alarm system.

Additional safety over and above the standard immobiliser is provided by the alarm system , available as an ex works option. The alarm system detects movements of the vehicle and if necessary generates a loud alarm sound.

Extended electric switch units.

The new generation of switches and hand controls is used in the R 1200 GS, as already introduced with the K 1300 series - though here with an extended range of functions. The function for the left and right turn indicators are clustered in a function on the left-hand side of the handlebars. The hazard warning flashers are activated via a separate switch integrated clearly visibly at the top of the left-hand handlebar panel. The functions for low beam, high beam and headlamp flasher are combined in a switch which is located near the left index finger for convenient access. The horn is activated with the thumb.

The switch for activating the daytime running light and the rocker switches for trip/info and ABS/ASC/ESA are still placed at the left-hand end of the handlebars.

Activation of the heated grips is integrated compactly and within convenient reach in the right-hand control unit. The position of the heated grip is displayed by means of symbols in the LCD display in the instrument cluster.

The functions for starter and kill switch are conveniently combined in a rocker switch at the right-hand end of the handlebars. This guarantees that when the start button is activated, the kill switch is not left on by mistake, ensuring that the vehicle can be reliably started.

The switch for pre-selecting the riding mode is also on the right.

About the BMW R1200 GS