S1000aRRgh: I have a riddle for you…Posted: October 14, 2010
Another update, this one given to me second hand by Mr. Slow. Apparently, after the new master cylinder locked up the brakes and the diagnostic logs didn’t show anything wrong whatsoever, the BMW rep spent three hours going over my S1000RR personally like a CSI goes over the crime scene of a murder-suicide in a retirement home. It all basically ended with everybody scratching their heads, letting out a long collective “Uhhhh….”
I’m getting nervous now. My first official LSR race is in 16 days, and here we are with the experts saying that this all doesn’t make sense, they’ve never seen such a thing before and this is the first time this ever happened. So, back to looking at the ABS pump. That’s a $2500 part right there. I think I’ll trade this sucker in when the warranty runs out and get a new one. I would be so AOL if it wasn’t for BMW’s 3-year/36000-mile warranty with roadside assistance. Screwed. Hard. No lubrication.
A few conversations with the service department later, the scoop is this: The main computer checks out fine. No faults. Every electronically linked part essential to the operation of the ABS and DTC system has a chip integrated that communicates the status of its host to the brain. In essence, if the ABS pump was defective and slowly getting worse (which it was, see “Rear Brake Roulette“) until total failure happened and by coincidence its signal chip was a dud from the factory also, the main processing unit would have no way of knowing that the part failed. In essence, this basically translates into never having had a working ABS system to begin with. Of course, that could be a distinct possibility since it has never come on for me as far as I am aware of. I have been making it a point to ride like I always have: I pretend I don’t have any of this geeky awesomeness and continue to develop my skill set as I should be doing in the first place. I have a problem with relying on tech to save my ass. Now I know for sure that I was not wrong by taking this approach to my riding. Case in point.
This of course is not what I have been told verbatim. This is my conjecture using the information that I have been given. Of course, in the back of my head the thought is nibbling on my riding confidence and trust in machine: What if this had happened to the front brakes? But that is part of the inherent risk, isn’t it? Every time we get on the bike, in the car, on an airplane or a ship… there is, to varying degrees, the risk of injury or death. We have relied on tech a lot longer that we care to admit. Redundancy. That is what it all comes down to. ABS has redundancy built in: If the system fails, for whatever reason, it is supposed to revert to hydraulic brakes, which is the underlying base technology anyway. “Revert”, by definition, isn’t the right term then; it’s more akin to losing Windows and just doing crap in DOS. Everything still works, but damn it ain’t pretty. And if you’ve never had a GUI you don’t know what you’re missing out on when playing “root” on the command line. (Now I’ve made two geeky-ass half-funny, or is that half-assed funny geek, jokes… one Microsoft, one *nix. I’m not leaving you Mac peeps out, since MacOS is based on BSD, so there. ;))
Where was I? Oh, yeah: They are overnighting the part from Germany. Obviously it’s the weekend over there already, the shop is closed on Monday, so in their best estimation (customs able and hopefully willing) they’ll know whether the new pump does the trick or not about two hours after the package has been delivered. My dealership has assured me that my bike is their top priority. It better damn well be, I paid almost $19K OTD for the thing with all the options and extras I had put in. Now, while you are holding my baby hostage on the behest of BMW Motorrad Deutschland, would you be so kind and give her an oil change and drill me some safety wire holes, because I’m lazy and am running short on time!
*sends heartfelt prayer to the God of Speed* “I better not miss this friggen race, you basturd!”