2005 GS1200 - issues after firmware upgrade


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UKGSer Subscriber
Jun 6, 2005
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Jersey, Channel Islands
Not sure if anyone else who has a 2005 1200GS has had a firmware upgrade recently, but I'm looking for ideas!

I had my GS serviced by my local Motorrad dealer in July '22, and was told that as part of the service the firmware was updated. Although the bike seems to ride more smoothly at mid-high revs now, I've noticed that it's much more liable to stall when pulling away at low revs, especially when cold. The bike even stalled once while I was approaching a roundabout which was a bit disconcerting to say the least.

The dealer has had another look at it and said they adjusted the 'balance' and it should be OK... but it still doesn't seem quite right.

Has anyone else had a similar issue after a similar firmware upgrade?

very very strange they would update the bikes software - its a good idea but they hate to do this - on these the whole job is around 17 mins work - not sure about early bikes they certainly had different ABS, so I'm unsure if the engine ECU is the same - ones sold up to Dec 2007 did have a later map update from mid 2008

other strange foibles in the alarm, the TPMS and side stand logic where updated too

when the dealer correctly does an update that has updated the engine ECU (the most common reason they would ever update a bike's software), they are supposed to wipe of the stored junk of how the bike had a adapted to its old life - what they rather stupidly forget to say to the poor bloke riding it up the road out of the workshop is - it might run a bit funny and stall a bit as it re finds its new feet... do 200 mile on good quality petrol (aka esso 99 ethanol free) and let it adapt to the new world without thrashing it - as this way it'll build a more optimal set of new adaptions rather then default to safety first and try to recover back to normal performance

the other thing they ought to do is reset the throttle body idle stepper motors - but that's best done after setting the valve clearances and re-balancing the throttle bodies
Yes, I was surprised that an update was done so late on - especially the bike has been serviced by BMW Motorrad dealers from new.

I didn't realise that the bike 'adapted' as it got used... so I'll give a few hundred miles and then re-assess. If it's still not right I'll take it back to the dealer and ask them to do some of the things you suggest!

Thanks for the advice...
I had loads of fun when I asked they put the update on my 2007 bike in 2018 - it ran worse

they forgot to clear the adaptions - BUT when they had it back it and did that - it still wasn't right - somehow the little sensor you kick with your left shin - the TPS seemed to go wrong when they had it ! Replacing that years later allowed me to sort through the later maps other foibles using a PowerCommander (before then it wouldn't behave correctly after the later map went on the bike)

I now know the TPS is really a service item that lasts about 10 years 28k miles and an aftermarket spare worth having in your toolbox

the main fixes on mine I had wanted were the engine updates

Improve engine knock sensitivity
Improve idle stability
Improve cold starting

other stuff
side stand / starting logic
TPMS bugs ironed out
Trip computer bugs ironed out
Few issues on the cluster got a tiny tweak

BUT dealers NEVER install updates they want your bike wrong - to they sell new ones
An update:

I took my bike to the dealer just before Christmas because it was still stalling / and idling like a tractor. I mentioned the things which you thought might need doing....

When I picked it up last week they told me they had spent a long time working on it, including cleaning sediment out of the tank, fixing a small fuel leak near the fuel pump etc., etc. They couldn't tell me any one specific thing that sorted out the problem, but it now seems to be running smoothly just as it did before the July service.

I'm really glad to get it back to a condition where it 'sparks joy' - and I wasn't charged anything for the work (which seems fair).
my bike has had cold weather running issues since updated in 2018 - where its horribly rich

after swapping the TPS last summer and things being a bit better and making sense around 20C, I then refitted the PC3 and went about tidying up hot weather running

then reflecting on 5 years of strangeness (2 years much worse and the last few mostly running at times better then the original software) I eventually worked out it was never in a place where it could rebuild real cold weather adaptions.... so in the last cold snap I thought wouldn't it be interesting to see if I went for a ride with the bike stock, would it get back in whack - and thus maybe overall would the bike be happier

so with it dry enough to brave 5C last week, I put it to standard and fired it up - where it ran like an utter dog, clearly desperately rich (like its been in the cold since they did the map in feb 2018). Fortunately, purely because I had connected my GS911 to check if a new update brought anything to the party, I thought I see what is was saying...

No faults aside from TPMS module forgotten... ( a bug in the new release I suspect as it has the pressures on the dash......) but then the running got even worse and stalled, so I though for heavens sake, (if I can find where they hit it - in the later interface) I'll check what the ECU adaptions are saying...

and then I got a big surprise on its short term adaptions

left bank 2% right bank 15% .... then noticed the right pot CAT sensor voltages were garbage and the left pot was trying to compensate as the right was locked at 15%
struggling to understand I can have a dead CAT sensor but no faults - I thought well I have no spare to hand and anyway I don't think it broken... so that just leaves a connection, wiring or ECU fault...

So switched it off pulled the right CAT connector apart and saw maybe 2 of the 4 pins were not sparkling clean and bright silver.... cleaned it up plugged in and out a few times and fired it up....watching the CAT voltages and adaption values after a few mins it started to wind back the right pot to 7% and the left picked up to 9%

on off a few times and idle was stable and richness gone... done a coupe of rides since and it far happier with life...

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