Removing the ABS from my 2004 BMW R 1100 S

I have a 2004 BMW R 1100 S, I like the bike but lately the brakes have been giving me issues.
On vacation this year while riding Lolo Pass in Idaho my front brakes started to pulse. I thought "uh oh. Time to replace the rotors up front." Little did I know this was not the real issue.
When I got home I order some new front rotors and brake pads ($300.00). I installed them on the bike. No improvement. In fact now there was a new issue. Sometimes the ABS would kick in when not needed turning the brakes off so an instant while I was trying to stop. Definitely not good. I did a little research and decided that I would have the ABS unit bled ($450.00) to see it that would fit the issue. Again no joy.
Alright, maybe it's because I am using non BMW pads, so I got some real BMW pads ($220.00) to see if this would fix the issue. Nope, same as before.
Back to the internet, but this time with a much different question, Has anyone ever swapped BMW's Servos assisted brakes for manual ones? Not only has this been done, but by several people.
If your are a new rider who relies on ABS. Not a skilled mechanic, or are just some whack-ooh who wants to sue someone because you read their stuff on the internet,


Let me back up a step and explain why I was going this route. I have already spent $970.00 chasing brake issues, when I didn't have a brake issue I had an ABS issue. And the dealer informed me that replacing the ABS module would be $3000.00. This on a bike that on a good day I may be able to sell for $5000.00. The bike runs great, is fun to ride. But there is no way it's worth an additional $3000.00 just to have it be as it should.
I believe ABS is a nice feature, but again based on the bikes age and worth simply having functioning brakes would be great.
I was directed to a video on the procedure. I didn't take some early dis assembly pictures, but if you watch the video you can see how to disconnect the ABS unit.

video of ABS removal

Some further research showed me a good way to keep the brake lights working. If you watched the video I linked he talks about getting the brake lights to work because when you hit the brakes the switches don't send a signal to the lights. Instead the send a signal to the ABS unit which then sends signals to turn on the brake lights. I chose the second method for two reasons, first in the video the guy is worried about the ability to restore the ABS if wanted. I don't care about this. Second, since I didn't care about saving the old ABS unit or of the ability to go back, it was much easier to use the circuit that BMW provided to actuate the brake lights instead of having to build my own.

OK here we are skipped forward quite a few steps. At this point I have torn the ABS unit out and hooked up the front brakes temporarily to see if they really did simply just work without the ABS pump in there. Yes they do. This part took me about two hours of work.
Now I know I want the brain from this ABS unit to operate my brake light. The brains are under this end of the unit.
BMW put tamper resistant screws in there to hold things together
So out came the drill to open things up.
In the write up I saw describing this, the poster wrapped a plastic bag around the electronics to protect them. I knew I wanted a better solution than that. And looking at the unit if I take it apart a little further I may have my solution, also I wanted to disconnect these wires and it would be easier to do with the sections separated.
The second section is held with four torx screws. They have Loctite so go carefully.

This next section has brake fluid in it so be over something to catch it.

You also need to take these bolts out of the mounting bracket.
This is what you see when you get this part open. You will need to disconnect these wires.
There is a The big hole in the second piece for the wires to pass through so I duck taped the one side.
And then put silicone in the four screw holes and the large hole the wires used to pass through and left that overnight to dry.
I went to the hardware store and got four screws and nuts to hold the two halves together, then secured this new smaller unit to the original bracket to hold it in place on the bike.
This of course simply connected to the original wiring.
I removed the sensor from the front wheel. That plug and the two that used to go to the reservoirs on the ABS unit each go a dab of silicone on the end then wrapped in electrical tape to keep water out..
Other bikes it seems have enough line on them to simply reroute the original lines some and you are done. On the S there is not enough to hook the rear brakes up at all and while the front can be hooked up, you cannot attach the fitting back to the frame where it originally was. So I had custom brake lines made. Check the yellow pages in your area for a place that makes them. I have used the place in my town before for cars and bikes so I know they do good work.
An hour and a half in their parking lot (And $220.00 later) and I had new braided stainless steel brake lines.
And the lowers
With the removal of the ABS you are going to have to deal with the warning light. One of them is fixed by removing this blue relay. This gets rid of the ABS test light.
And done.
The only way to get rid of the ABS fault light, since we are using the ABS brain, is to pull the bulb out of the socket. On the S here that means removing the wind screen, rear view mirrors, front fairing, headlight assembly and THEN the instrument cluster so you can remove the bulb.
All that is left now is to re assemble the old girl and get her back on the road. No more pulsing brakes (Did I say pulse? The whole front of the bike used to shudder) And the brakes stay applied the whole time I squeeze the lever.
Of course there is no more ABS, so there as some instances where I could go down if something were present to reduce traction and catch me off guard. But ABS is a new feature (Still in my opinion) and not all bikes come with ABS yet.

So, again in my opinion, much better than shelling out an addition $3000.00 just to keep the bike on the road. .

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