Wednesday, 6 May 2009

BMW Indicator Switches

I've been a BMW owner since 1981.

My first was an R65 - a 650cc flat twin, 'scaled down' from the the larger twins which had evolved from 750 & 900 to 800 & 1000cc.

It had indicator switch trouble: it fell out and was lost. No matter, I found an old Honda switch lever, and cut it to fit. Jammed carefully in, it lasted as long as I had to bike.

Mid-way through that time, BMW introduced the 'K' range, which featured the unusual indicator switch set-up of little flappy levers under each switch cluster, press left to go left etc. and 'up' with your right thumb to cancel.

Hold your hands out in front, as if you were holding 'bars, wiggle your thumbs. I bet they naturally want to swivel through an arc - not slide left and right as a 'typical' indicator switch would have you do.

Most BMW owners loved the switchgear - most journalists - who only rode the bikes for minutes (ie "in-depth road test") hated them.

Here's a later, 'evolved' version on a later K1200 bike:

This type of switch continued on into the 'oilhead' range of flat twins, and only the 'F' singles and new parallel twins stayed 'loyal' to the 'typical' bike all-in-one switch on the left bar.

Until now. Well, until the 'new' (ie bigger holes in the engine) 1300 K bikes were launched at last year's bike shows. And now, sad day, BMWs have 'normal' switch gear:

Today's Motorcycle news has a 'sports tourer' group test - with the new K1300GT.

Guess which bit they didn't like?

The 'awkward' indicator switch.

I laughed :)


1 comment:

Ian said...

'Normal switchgear' eh?

Don't suppose that means you can do anything sensible like turn the headlight off in daylight, does it?