GS-911 BMW Diagnostic Tool The engine management systems on today’s motorcycles are smart, efficient and reliable, but there’s little to do when your motorcycle dies except to watch a blinking fault light and wait for roadside assistance. In simpler times, when carburetors mixed air and fuel and a set of points cued the spark, an average rider stood a fighting chance of troubleshooting and repairing his own bike. And if you couldn’t get it running, maybe your buddy could. Today, you’re SOL (simply outta luck) when your modern moto coughs and sputters to a stop. That is, unless you’re riding a BMW and carrying a GS-911 diagnostic device from Hex Code.
Connecting GS-911 at www.cnautotool.com to the diagnostic port of my F 800 GS took just seconds, followed by cabling it to a GS-911-enabled laptop (my aging phone wouldn’t handle the Bluetooth option). The program interface is well organized—selecting your bike’s series, model and year brings up the main function menu to get you going. Under ECU Info you’ll find total operating time, ECU firmware module versions and other arcane information. The Realtime Values page is the most informative, presenting information for engine management signals like fuel pressure, air intake temperature, rpm, switch indicator status, battery voltage and many more. If you’re into charts, you can go nuts letting GS-911 dump real-time data to your computer in an Excel-compatible format. Output Tests let me run the fan (which I rarely hear), test the overtemp lamp and cycle the fuel tank venting valve and fuel injectors, creating a symphony of whirring and clicking within the bowels of the machine. From Special Functions I reset a service reminder that had been nagging me for a few thousand miles. I’d done the service myself, but couldn’t tell the motorcycle that without tapping into its brain.
Hooking up a GS-911 BMW Diagnostic Tool is like cutting a window into your BMW’s electronic black box. And it’s so easy to do that running the diagnostics regularly would be child’s play. The only thing missing is more information on some of the values displayed. I’d like to see min-max ranges for the sensor values and have some of the abbreviations spelled out so I don’t have to trot out a shop manual to interpret the results. Other than that, this South African device is a gem. In the United States you’ll find them at Ted Porter’s Beemershop. Go ahead, re-calibrate your idle actuators—just because you can. I did.