How we were introduced to CANBUS on BMW motorcycles..
We came off a successful Kickstarter campaign and were installing products on our backer’s motorcycle whenever we can. If they were in Southern California and they were interested in Vololights, we’d show up at their garage. It helped us understand our customer and we got immediate feedback.
We’d always come to the customer’s home as we were too embarrassed to admit we didn’t have an office and were assembling each product by hand in a garage.
I had just finished installing a VoloMOD on a customer’s BMW 1200RT and when I turned the key ON everything looked fine, the VoloMOD gave its “I’m okay” flash sequence. I tilted the VoloMOD to test its functionality and almost immediately the Error Message showed up on the customer’s motorcycle. My heart just dropped… “Holy shit! We just broke this guy’s bike!” That was my introduction to the BMW CANBUS system.
We were lucky that as soon as we removed the VoloMOD from the circuit, the Error Message went away and the backer was happy to have us install Vololights instead of VoloMOD.
We found that a lot of modern motorcycles have adopted CANBUS. We had similar experience with a Harley. Even if the actual signals were 12V signals, if the bike detected a signal that it did not generate, an error message would appear.
We’ve since found that many of the top motorcycle manufacturer have adopted the CANBUS to simplify their wiring.
Recently, we set out to map out the instruction set of the BMW CANBUS system. We used my (Faizal’s) 2014 1200GS and we’re happy to announce we were able to map out the instruction and confirmed it with a test box we built.
We have lots of ideas on what to build and can use some directions from our customers. Current proposed features include:
What do you guys think?
If you think we’re making something that you might be interested in, please sign up in our mailing list here.