compiled & edited by Kristian #562
Please read the Disclaimer before attempting any work in this FAQ.
by Flash #412
Has one of your Dashlights stopped working.? First check the Fuses under the seat. If they are O.K. then:
What you need to do is remove the faring. This is a simple
job and can be done with two of the tools in the tool kit. Remove the black
plastic engine covers from either side. There is a screw facing DOWN that
attaches them to the plastic piece at the radiator. Remove the screws between
the tank and the fairing on each side. Put a jacket or heavy towel on the front
fender to protect it in case you drop the fairing. Remove the four screws
holding the windshield. Remove the windshield and the black plastic piece under
it. Don't lose the rubber nuts, which are a press fit. There were four screws
exposed when you removed the black cover piece. Only the two facing directly
left and right are holding the fairing at this point. You leave the other two in
place. When you have the fairing lose, pull forward a bit and wiggle it to get
it loose from the tank. Unplug the connector from the back of the headlight bulb
and pull the parking light rubber out of its socket in the headlight. Unhook the
turn signals and set the fairing aside.
Now take a look at the bottom of the Speedo. You're looking for a bulb holder with a grey/yellow wire and brown wire. Either it fell out or it is still plugged in. Probably it is still plugged in and the bulb is bad. Replace the bulb and/or just plug the thing back in the Speedo.
To reassemble is slightly more time consuming than disassembly. Be sure to plug all the lights back in before you start replacing any screws. Pay careful attention that you have all the tabs and slots happily mated between the tank and fairing before you start with the myriad of screws. Those two screws at the top which you removed last should go in first. They'll support the mess while you dink with the tabs.
Now... the trick... before you insert a screw, stick the Allen wrench in the hole and make sure every thing is aligned. Work slowly and patiently. Insert ALL of the tank screws a couple of turns and THEN tighten them down. Do not over-tighten. The rest is simple after that.
BTW... here is the wiring diagram, which shows the three fuses on the bike. There are only three fuses and they under the seat.
Oil Light not working ?
Fede & Hombre sin Nombre
The problem often lies with the pressure sensor located over the main body of the engine, rear of the cylinder. This sensor, and in the same manner the rear brake sensor, are a sheet bronze type sensor that sometimes is easily partially broken (a little porous is enough) and makes the oil dashboard light or the rear stop light, respectively, not light up.
To test this, when your oil light doesn't light, disconnect the electrical cable in the sensor and with the main key in the on position, touch the cable with the same engine (making contact) and the oil light must light. If it does not, you must replace the sensor. Tips to access it are here.
Make sure you have cancelled out the possibility that it's just the lamp that went bad, rather than the sensor. The oil sensor is easy to find to ground the wire, above and behind the oil filter housing.
Oil pressure comes from the oil pump operating when the engine is running. When you hit the kill switch the engine (and oil pump) stops running. That's why your (low) oil pressure light comes on. The oil pressure is a function of the pump and not the amount of oil, except if the oil level gets really low. The low oil pressure light will stay on when the engine isn't running until you turn off the ignition.
Neutral Light staying ON all the time.?
by Flash #412
Typical Question "Well I just noticed something. I
had a local dealer install new tires on my bike and do an oil change. On the way
home I noticed that when shifting the machine shifts fine but the neutral light
never goes off. It WAS fine this a.m. but now it is not. What would cause this
and is there an easy remedy or should I bring it back to him and have him look
at it ?"
Answer: On a classic, the neutral wire runs right by the oil filter cover. I bet he pinched the wire in the cover, permanently shorting it to ground, lighting up the neutral light, until the bulb burns out. If you have a classic, pull the small cover held by two screws that is to the right of the oil filter cover as you face the bike. This means it is toward the front. That will enable you to more clearly see what is going on. If he REALLY screwed it up, you may want to pull the countershaft sprocket cover, too. The neutral wire snakes down in there and slips over a little post. You'll probably have to pull the oil filter cover to get the wire loose, puking your brand new oil all over the side of your bike. You'll probably need to replace what oil gets lost, unless of course the guy you paid over filled it because he has no clue and didn't check it HOT.
Neutral Light Not Working
by Flash #412
Typical Symptoms: My wife's 97' F650's neutral light doesn't always work. 90% of the time it doesn't work if I jiggle the lever it will come on sometimes. Anyone know what all that entails to fix?
Pull off the countershaft sprocket cover. There is a wire that snakes around the oil cover and down to a little brass "pin" sticking out of the case there. If you ground that wire with the ignition on and the neutral light works, then your problem is not in the wiring, but in the switch. If you check the pin (wire disconnected) with a continuity tester, it should be at ground when the bike is in neutral, and floating all other times.
If the switch is bad, which would be EXTREMELY difficult to occur, you will have to split the cases to repair it. The switch is just a metal ball in a plastic ring on the shift drum that touches a brass contact, connected to the pin going through the case. There aren't really any parts to fail.
I would wager that your neutral wire has been pinched during an oil filter change. This should be an easy fix. Just splice in a new bit of wire a few inches back, up behind the cylinder.
The neutral switch is not in the bottom of the transmission. The shafts (input, output, shift drum, shift lever) ALL rotate parallel to the crank. The "switch" doesn't come out the "bottom" of the trans unless you call the right side crankcase the "bottom" of the trans. I believe that it would go INTO the case if you need to change the contact part. The other half of the "switch" is part of the shift selector drum itself. There really isn't anything much at all to break in the switch as it consists of a way to get the wire outside to the inside of the cases, and then a ball bearing stuck into a piece of Teflon stuck on the bottom of the shift drum, to make contact in neutral.
Cracked Dash ?
Is this common? Well a few Classic owners have reported it. Please respond if the clear portion over the idiot lights on your classic's dash has cracked.
Several people have mentioned it in the past, and some have speculated that it was from fuel or brake fluid. I don't believe it's either. I think it's a compression fit piece and that perhaps the black plastic expands and contracts in the heat causing cracking in the clear portion. Mine has several cracks. at the corners, they run even into the black dash. the first crack I ever had looks quite a bit like it was done by an impact, but it wasn't. It started tiny, in the middle, and grew. Over time, others appeared around the edges. Since the clear portion cannot be replaced, my whole dash is being replaced by the dealer, presumably under warranty (will know for sure tomorrow). If it's installed when I pick it up, it's under warranty. My dash has been replaced and is being covered by warranty. I think the part is $100, not sure about the labor involved. Mark #403
Mine has the same thing: little cracks that run across both the clear part and the black plastic surrounding it. And the thing is, I've never spilled gas on it. Bob#550
Yup - mine is cracked as well...across the clear and into the black. It looks like the result of an impact but I've examined the bike closely after each and every trip to the earth and the dash has most assuredly cracked on its own. Mine's a 99 - will BMW replace it. Dirty Petey - Chicago
I only have a spot on mine, where some brake fluid squirted out of the master cylinder when I was bleeding it. I stuck a thermometer over the spot. No cracks in sight. Richard #230, Pacifica, CA
Mine's cracked too. '99 F. George#384
'97 F650 at 26,000 miles, in Arizona, no cracks. Brian 1025 Phoenix
Mine cracked good and deep. '99 F. Made a BIG fuss about it since the cracking occurred at the dealership. They replaced it. I was amazed. Shank NYC USA
Mine cracked as though it had been hit by a hammer. The crack has also extended to the black plastic. The bike is an immaculate 99F Classic with 7,000 kms. Not all replies mention the model year, but I see a few 99F's have been affected. If most are 99's then I guess we have a faulty supplier batch (perhaps we should post our VIN's to get a better idea). I informed my local BMW dealer in the Czech Republic of similar occurrences and he is trying to find out a little more about it before coming back to me. Hotzas
A recent post to my "cracked dash survey post" noted that it seems like most of the bikes are '99's. flash's bike, I believe, is a '98, and he too had a cracked dash. the point was, perhaps there was a bad batch. I notice none of the cracked ones (of folks who replied) are '97s. I got my bike back today with the new dash and noticed a slight difference. the window is now clear and the "frame" between the individual lights is white. Now I can't remember exactly how my old one looked, but it seems like the whole thing was a little darker, or tinted or something. I don't remember seeing the white frame so clearly. Either they left something out, or something has changed in the part. If it's the latter, I wonder if they made the change because so many were cracking. Mark #403.
If your CLOCK is not working or going crazy see this FAQ:
I can reach up and remove most of the bulbs under there, but not the clock bulb. To get it back in I have to remove much of the fairing. Be gentle as it's one of those plastic sockets that rotates and pulls out and it's easy to break the socket re-installing it. Todd #389
Light not Working? Want to know how to Check it?
by Flash #412 et al.
Q. Is there anyway to check that the temperature light on a
A. It's either the Sensor or the Bulb
Here's how to check the light bulb (BOTH bikes). Pull the single wire off the sensor and ground it with the ignition on. If it doesn't come on, de bulb is dead. If it does, then there is nothing wrong with the wiring that is supposed to make it light up if your engine overheats.
The sensor on both bikes is right side of the cylinder head. Make sure that connection is tight and dry.
That, or you have a blown bulb.
This is unrelated to the bulb/sensor, but you should also Check:
There is some debate about whether to WAIT for the Temp light to go out or not before starting the F650GS. The Classic doesn't have this Problem. ONLY the Oil "Pressure" light comes on at start up on the Classic.