BMW has issued an urgent instruction to all owners of 2014 BMW R1200RT owners fitted with the Dynamic ESA electronic suspension system to stop riding their motorcycles with immediate effect.

The problem concerns the rear suspension system and the potential failure of the plunger rod assembly inside. The instruction to stop riding motorcycles only relates to the 2014 model of the RT; the bike with the updated water-cooled boxer engine that was launched just a few months ago and only those models with the Dynamic ESA suspension option fitted.

A statement from BMW reads: “We regret to inform you that with immediate effect all 2014 R 1200 RT with Dynamic ESA must not be ridden. At this moment, we cannot guarantee that the plunger rod assembly for the rear suspension unit will not fail.
“Customers of affected machines will be contacted by their dealer immediately and asked not to ride their motorcycle. Whilst this is extremely disappointing for our customers their safety is BMW Motorrad’s priority.”

To date there have been no injuries related to this issue. Approximately 8,000 vehicles are affected by this measure worldwide.

A technical campaign is in preparation to replace the part in question.

Sources: MCN , UMC

Shorai Batteries are among the lightest, and most reliable Lithium batteries on the market. However, replacing your standard lead acid batteries with a Lithium battery requires you to change your thought process when trying to start the bike in cold weather.

Lithium Batteries by design offer better performance as the battery warms up. So, if the bike doesn’t start on the first attempt in colder temperatures, you will have the confidence knowing each subsequent attempt will get better. Lab tests typically measure higher delivered voltages even after 10 or more start simulations!

The key to cold starting is to use the bikes headlight and/or the starter motor current to warm the battery. In cold weather it helps to turn the headlight on for 1-2 minutes and then cycle the key off for 30-60 before trying to start the bike, up to 5 attempts. If it doesn’t start, repeat the headlight process until the battery warms enough to start the bike. If it is below 40F you may need to leave the headlight on for longer, but not more than 4-5 minutes at a time. And be sure to turn the key off to let the battery recover for 30-60 seconds before trying to start the bike.

Also, turning on accessories that draw high current like heated grips or electric riding gear can be used to speed up the battery warming process substantially. If you use the accessories to speed up the battery heating process, be sure to limit it to 2 minutes or less at a time between starter attempts. And also be sure to turn off the key for 30-60 seconds and leave the accessories off to reduce the load before attempting a start.

Sena has announced the release of the firmware version 4.3 beta of the SMH10 with new features such as music sharing and speed dial function. These new functions will also be reflected in their other products like the SMH10R, SPH10 lines, SMH5 lines and more in the near future. To read the quick guide for the new functions, please click here.

You can upgrade your firmware using the new Device Manager software. The firmware upgrade service is provided only to the registered users so please be sure to register your products online and read the beta software disclaimer before you download the firmware.

To use the functions of beta firmware, please take the following steps to update it.

1. Download the beta firmware v4.3.
2. Download the new Sena Device Manager (v1.4.2 for Windows, v1.9.2 for Mac).
3. Update the beta firmware by using Sena Device Manager.
4. After the firmware update, please try to follow the “SMH10 v4.3 Beta Firmware Notes” to use the new functions.

– Product Registration:Register Now
– Beta Software Disclaimer: Go to Details

Recently one of our customers asked us if they could do a conference call with their Sena SMH10 so that he and his wife could talk to their kid while on a ride.

This is of course one of the great features of the SMH10 once you’ve got your bluetooth phone synched up with your headset.

It’s a very simple process and Sena has provided an instructional video that walks you through how to enable, and disable, the conference call feature on the SMH10’s.

One question we get asked about the Powerlet Wireless Temperature Controllers , is how to synch the controller to the receiver when the unit is new or when the batteries are replaced.

The process is pretty straightforward and we’ve listed the process step by step below.

Once the batteries are installed, and with the receiver unplugged from the power supply, simply perform the following steps and you’ll be ready to use your new wireless controller.

  • Turn the red knob on and then off quickly 3 times (6 clicks) until the LED’s on the remote start double blinking
  • You then have 10 seconds to plug the receiver in to the power supply on the bike.
    • Make sure that when you plug the receiver in that the power supply is active.
    • On switched ports this usually just means having your ignition turned to the “On” position. If you don’t have power to the plug, the receiver will not synch up.
  • That’s it, you’re done!

The controller is now paired with the receiver and you should not have to perform this procedure again.

Every two years, on the off years of the Ironbutt rally, the Ironbutt Association holds an international meet to help bring together long distance riding veterans and those just entering into the sport.

Curt Gran, creator of the Fuzeblock and all around Farkle Master, had the great idea of having a bike build during the event to help show participants what it takes to transform a bike from a bone-stock bike to a mile eating machine. We were honored when Curt asked us to help out on the build and the planning began. Maura Gatensby, well known long distance rider, kindly volunteered her Suzuki 650 V-Strom for the project.

Tragically, Curt was killed in a motorcycle accident prior to the meet so the build was put on hold. Lisa Landry of the Ironbutt, myself, and Curt’s wife all wanted to see the build happen because Curt was so passionate about helping other riders, and educating anyone in the sport, but we didn’t know how to still make this huge undertaking happen.

Thankfully, IBA members Brian Roberts (V-Strom guru), and John Harrison (everything under the sun guru) felt the same way about the build and stepped up to the plate and volunteered spend their time at the meet working on the bike. Thankfully, once again the wheels were spinning.

When meet time came there were other mechanical issues that developed with the bike that added to our “To-Do” list. These issues were paramount because the bike had to be trucked in and we wanted to make sure Maura had a running bike to get her home.

The reason I mention these “other issues” is because, while I’ve mentioned a few names, the community pulled together and there were a LOT of folks helping out behind the scenes. They stepped up and did whatever it took to make sure this thing happened. Everything from holding flashlights as fuel pumps got disassembled in the box truck at night, to sourcing and picking up parts, and even siphoning gas from their own bikes to fire up the Strom. Without them, there’s no way this would have happened and my hat is off to them.

The project list was long and we did end up dropping some items from the list but they were things that Maura was comfortable doing on her own once she returned home. For two days we worked on the bike in the atrium of the hotel as meet attendees watched, asked questions, and offered suggestions.

Here’s the final list of what we were able to accomplish prior to firing up the bike and Maura riding it home.


  • Replace rusted stock tank with locally sourced salvage tank (coolest 2-tone Strom out there)
  • R&R fuel pump (clogged fuel pump pickup screen, damaged O-ring)

LD Farkling:

  • Fabricate & install custom brackets for the HID ballasts
  • Replace Stock head lamps with HID H-4 replacement lights, wiring harness, relays, and ballasts
  • Install light bar for the driving lights
  • Install HID aux driving lights, wiring harness, relays, and ballasts, and switch
  • Install Fuzeblock FZ-1 with aux wiring harness for forward power ports, battery tender connection, electrified tankbag power connection, 2-GPS’s, and extra circuits for future needs
  • Some re-routing of stock wiring and drilling of access ports in top of rear fender
  • Install handlebar unit for tire pressure monitoring system
  • Install Volt Meter
  • Install bulkhead fitting in fuel tank (for future aux tank installation)
  • Modify fuel pump plate to clear bulkhead fitting
  • Install ROX bar risers. Minor cable & hose rerouting was done but stock cables were used
  • Install Happy Trails saddlebag mounts and bags
  • Install Happy Trails trunk rack with GIVI top case plate

Throughout the event I couldn’t help but look around at folks watching, asking questions, and helping out and feeling a sense of accomplishment. Not accomplishment in the sense of getting tasks done, but accomplishment in seeing Curt’s vision come to life. This was just a small piece of everything Curt gave to the motorcycle community and I was honored to be a part of it.

The whole build was captured by the camera and converted to a video which you can watch below.

Video by: Michael Jordan

The ST has a great charging system, and we’re being very careful to install most of the electrical accessories on a switched circuit but we also wanted to plan for the “just in case” situation where the bike might not start because of a dead battery.

Getting to the battery on the ST is fairly simple in that you have to remove the seats and then remove 3-bolts that hold on the right side cover. Once the cover is off you can access the battery if you want to take a peek at the connections or jump start the bike.

On our project ST we decided to add a set of the 2 piece jumper cables so that none of that had to be done. This will be especially handy when the bike is loaded for long trips so you don’t have to pull off anything that is strapped down to the passenger seat area.

Installation is very straight forward because, as I already mentioned, you gain access to the battery by removing the seat and side cover. Once you have the side cover off you can see the battery and the terminals.

The kit comes with an 18″ whip and you attach the red to the positive, and the black to the negative. It doesn’t get much more straight forward than that. Once you’ve got it installed you have a 2-pin SAE connector similar to the one some battery chargers use but this whip is thick 10 gauge wire. DO NOT try to jump start your bike with the whip that your battery charger came with, it’s not a thick enough gauge.

The second part of the kit is a 12′ cable that will be stored in the tail trunk and, like the whip, is 10 gauge and has the 2-pin SAE and will plug right into the bike on one end. The other end has a set of clams that you can connect to the bike you are getting the jump start from.

It’s really as simple as that and when the install is complete you can hardly tell that you have the jumpers installed. We pulled ours out a little for the picture but it will be tucked away until it’s needed (which will hopefully be never)

  • Tony (hotspice)'s photo
  • Tony (hotspice)'s photo
  • Tony (hotspice)'s photo

I’ll admit it. Ripping all the plastic off of the bike was something I wasn’t looking forward to. I had already broken one of the small plastic push-rivets when I tried to hunt down the fuse for the blown Powerlet plug and stopped right there before I did any more damage.

Thankfully, ST-Guru Curt Gran had offered to walk us through the CORRECT procedure prior to our Fuzeblock Tech-Day. We’ll see how well this sunk in when it comes time to re-assemble the bike.

  • Tony (hotspice)'s photo

Now that we were down to the bones of the bike, install of the Fuse block(s) would be much simpler. The plan was to place 2 Fuzeblock FZ-1’s on the bike. One was going to be in the the back tail section and one in front, attached to the inside of the fairing, to the fairing pocket wall.  The whole reason behind this was that, with so much dis-assembly required to get into the bike, placing one in the front and one in the back would minimize the need to rip into it again if accessories are added down the road.

For the back fuseblock power and ground were taken from the battery and we pulled the switched power off of the tail light power wire. For the front we again went to the battery for the power and ground but for our switched source we used a Quartet Harness which is under the left front body panel. Again trying to keep it straightforward and simple which always makes future troubleshooting easier.

Posi-Tap Connector from Posi-Lock

Tip: We ALWAYS use Posi-Lock’s Posi-Tap when tapping into a wiring harness. Posi-taps make a small hole in the wires insulation and then spread the strands apart while making contact. Think of dipping your finger in water. You penetrate the surface and the water conforms around your finger. Then, if you ever remove the tap’s, you just apply a little sealant to the insulation and you’re good to go. Again, less chance of trouble caused by vibration and moisture down the road.

Since both Fuse Blocks are in place and all wires are cut to length, we make sure to wrap all of the wires going from the battery to the blocks in a sleeving. I like to put shrink-wrap tubing on both ends of the sleeving so that they don’t fray or start to slide one way or the other. This helps protect the wiring from heat and vibration which can cause you problems down the road.

Another thing that can cause you problems down the road is poor cable routing. Make sure that you run the wires in a path that won’t be stressed because of lenght, that it’s not running across any sharp edges, and that you don’t have any other hard parts that are going to come into direct contact with it. All of these issues can cause the wires to fray or break.

  • Tony (hotspice)'s photo
  • Tony (hotspice)'s photo
  • Tony (hotspice)'s photo

Now, with both blocks in place and tested it’s time to proceed with the next Accessory. We’re going to take the stock GIVI and make it more visible by adding LED lighting to it.

For our project ST1300 we’re STarting with a STock ST1300 and documenting the work as we go along.

Without further ado, I present our project subject.

Meet, a 2007 ST1300A whos only mod up until now has been:

  • Givi Top case
  • 1 – Powerlet plug (this was blown on the day of pickup and the fuse was very inaccessible)
  • A set of driving lamps

Let the games begin!

  • Tony (hotspice)'s photo
  • Tony (hotspice)'s photo
  • Tony (hotspice)'s photo
  • Tony (hotspice)'s photo
  • Tony (hotspice)'s photo
  • Tony (hotspice)'s photo