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Hello Wayne,

From: "Wayne Woodruff" <wayne@xxxxxxxx>

> >o BMW's whizzy brakes provide no power-assist when the key is
>>  in the "OFF" position. In fact, the brake level requires substantially
>>  more pressure to activate the brakes than non-assisted brakes. This
>>  has surprised more than a few BMW riders when they moved their
>>  bike with the engine off (like from the garage down the driveway),
>>  only to discover they had "no brakes". (NOTE: BMW bikes with
>>  whizzy brakes have a warning label top of the fuel tank, and more
>>  warnings in the user manual regarding this effect, but not all riders
>>  read all warning notices).
> I've read some of the "foof" about the increased braking and
> personally, I do not understand what all the fuss is about.
> I had a R1100R that did not have "whizzy" brakes and I traded it for a
> 2004 R1100S that has "whizzy" brakes.  I have absolutely no problems
> stopping with the bike off.  I would say it take "a little" more
> effort, but not "substantially".

I've ridden a non-whizzy R1100S for 4 seasons (20K km) and a whizzy R1100S 
for 1 season (7K km), so I would think we both have meaningful experience 
with both systems. So why the difference in opinions? For starters, we don't 
have any metrics such as "pounds of pressure required at end the of the 
brake lever to begin activating brake force at the rotor with the engine 
off." That sort of metric would give us numbers such as (I am making these 
up) 1 lb non-whizzy vs 3 lbs whizzy. The reader could determine whether that 
difference  is "a little more", or "substantially more."

Recalling only from (possibly faulty) memory of what my non-whizzy brakes 
felt like, and using highly-subjective relative comparison, when I move my 
whizzy R1100S on level ground and I want to stop it using the right hand 
lever, the amount of force I must exert to *begin* to apply any braking 
force at the rotor exceeds the force I would have to apply if I wanted to 
stop very quickly from highway speeds on my non-whizzy R1100S. Also, the 
feedback at the whizzy hand lever when initially applied provides resistance 
although no braking force is applied at the rotor. I must push through this 
increasingly resisting range to roughly half of the lever's full range. At 
that point, the resistance increases sharply to feel as though I have 
reached the end of the range. I must squeeze the hand lever still harder 
beyond this perceived stop in order to apply brake force at the rotor.

For someone whose bike is on an incline, and accelerating while the power is 
off, and the operator does not expect this type of response from the brakes 
(or lack thereof), this experience can be alarming. I speculate that the 
issue may be less pronounced on newer iterations of the whizzy brakes, as my 
bike is a 2001 R1100S and yours is a 2004.

- -Steve Makohin
 '01 R1100S/ABS
 Oakville, Ontario, Canada