Need the 9-1-1 on GS-911 for TPMS sensor replacement

Delray

Active member
UPDATE: If you're searching for info on replacing a TPMS sensor (RDC, Reiffendruckkontrolle), this thread starts with GS-911 but segues to the Motoscan app and OBDLink, which turns out to be a simple, effective and cheaper way to change your own sensor.


Debating whether to invest in GS-911 to fix a failing TPMS sensor ....

Specifically, I have a 2013 BMW C 650 GT with a failing rear TPMS sensor. It works perfectly half the time; the other half, the bike screen shows two dashes and I get the yellow triangle of death warning (!). I've read the batteries in these sensors last from 5 to 7 years. With a 2013 that's now 8 years old, all signs point to a failling battery/bad unit. The front sensor, on the other hand, functions flawlessly.

My two main options:

1) Get a new sensor installed at the dealer. They quoted $300 for everything -- new sensor, tire off the bike, debead it, install the new sensor, bead the tire and put it back on the bike. They say I can save $20 by bringing the tire in, which I may do to have a car available so I don't have to wait or Uber 40 miles home. The dealer isn't exactly around the corner. I'm in no particular rush, but they are taking appointments now for one month in the future.

2) Get the GS-911, a Chinese knockoff sensor, a sensor learning tool, take the tire off the bike and drive it to a Suzuki dealer nearby to have the sensor put on the tire, then I'll bring it home, plug it in to my round, 10-pin connector under the seat, and "teach" the sensor and bike to talk. I have zero experience with this option.

I don't foresee many other uses for a GS-911. I could turn off the "SERVICE" light that's been on since I bought the bike two weeks ago, but it's so small and unobtrusive I never notice it. If something goes wrong in the future, a GS-911 would great to have. It's a certainty I will own another GT in the future, most likely a late, low mileage model.

One other factor. The beat up Dell laptop I bought for $80 on Facebook Marketplace to run the BMW service manual has 1M of RAM. HexCode, makers of GS-911, "recommends" 2M. Does "recommend" mean it's helpful but not necessary? Does GS-911 WiFi run on Apple products? I have iMac desktop, Macbook Pro laptop and iPhone 11.

Thoughts? Experience?

Thanks.

IMG_5276.jpg
 
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Pappy13

Member
I have a 2013 also, I purchased the GS-911, IIRC there is a mac option in the set up, I've used the GS to install a new TPS and placed the bike in "learn" mode, I don't know if it was needed but I also had a TPS "turn on" tool that I waved at the sensor when getting it tied to the bike. I've also used my GS to re-calibrate the screen, cycle the anti-lock brakes pump, played with the lights and horn(to scare the dog) and re-set the maintenance interval. I did buy the first TPS sensor as a cheap knock off from China, but after Cycle Gear slobber knocked the sensor and it came off the mount and rolled around in the tire I ordered a set of sensors made by the OEM manufacturer. With the GS you can let the GS search for a signal from a tire sensor or you can program in the number on the sensor and the communication is a lot quicker (the second set I purchased came in little baggies and the number was printed on a label attached to the baggie) the knock off sensor had no programmable number. Admittedly, I had spent a lot of time in auto computers and aftermarket fuel injection systems but the GS really wasn't to bad to understand, if the Mac isn't an option most Dell laptops can add memory, might be worth a trip to the Geek Squad. I'll check my GS paperwork when I get home and reply again if Mac is an option.
 

Delray

Active member
Super helpful info, thanks. I ate up every word. Got a kick out of GS-911 to scare your dog.

My gut says "buy the GS-911" but the math doesn't add up.

Dealer replaces rear tire sensor = $300 total. Two tires = $600.

Buy GS-911 and that's $400 + $20 wake up tool + $60 tire work + $180 OEM sensor = $660 for one tire. That's more than twice the dealer cost of $300 for one tire!

Add a second tire via GS-911 at $240 ($180 OEM sensor + $60 tire work) and that's $900 for two tires! And that's not even a BMW dealer cost. That's a self-imposed cost!

With Chinese knockoff sensors (read a few bad stories about them, yours included), I could knock the price down to $500 for one tire vs. $300 dealer and $580 for two tires vs. $600 dealer. That sounds promising, but the prospect of a sensor bouncing around on the inside of my tire doesn't sound pleasant.

Long term, I probably won't buy any more older GT's where the sensors would wear out. So long term value from the GS-911 isn't there. I don't see used units on eBay -- I thought maybe I could buy and resell and the cost wouldn't be so onerous. I never buy a bike without asking myself a simple question about the price: "If I buy it today, what can I sell it for tomorrow?" That's how I determine if I'm getting a good deal.

Sensor replacement is costly, guess that's a fact. I love the feature, but frankly, FOBO sensors on my Burgman for $99 with readings on my iPhone app were WAY cheaper and easier to maintain.
 
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EvilTwin

Active member
I have about 80-100 in the motoscan software plus the odb2 adapter. To fit the round port there is an adapter that goes to the odb2 adapter. For that all to work you need an android phone to run it on.

You might want to get on one of the other message boards and see if there is anybody local down in FL that has the gs911 or this setup that could possibly help to reset the tpms. And since the rear is going out, you gotta figure the front isnt far behind. 7-8 years is pretty good life for a battery that gets constant use. So it might get more use than you might think.

They also sometimes pop up used as well for maybe half off of new. So if you do get one, you can always sell it if you decide to sell the bike.
 

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Delray

Active member
Good thoughts, thanks. Motoscan seems like a great alternative, but Android is the devil's handiwork. I'd never buy an Android-required product. I'll keep an eye out for a GS-911 sale. I'm about to start riding with a BMW riding group so I'll eventually ask around -- maybe offer $50 to rent one for a couple hours. If I used the Chinese knockoff I could fix the sensor for under $100.

Like I said, it's working half the time. I added a piece of electrical tape over the yellow pyramind of death so when the sensor isn't working, I don't have to notice the icon every time I look at the dash. Right below the warning icon is a small line of black-on-gray text that also signals the warning, so if I'm being warned about something else, like a headlight, I will still see it.

Anyone have info on chain maintenance or a gear oil change? Those are my last two to-do's on the bike, although the gear oil isn't due for another 9,000 miles at 24k. All I know about the chain is the tension should be under 3/4" and the teeth shouldn't be worn. I need to get educated about adjusting the chain rail ... why? When? How?
 

Ceesie76

Member
I have the motoscan app with OBD reader and the round-to-standard cable and it has worked perfectly for me so far. I use a samsung tablet for it that has also been flawless for years now. I just think the 911 is too expensive for what you get (same with the BMW dealer). It's not just service reset of course, but also other things as you know, so having the right diagnostic tool can come in very handy down the road. All you need is wifi, so a phone is not a must have for the motoscan. A used functioning android device is probably only tens of dollars at this point.
 

Delray

Active member
"A used functioning android device is probably only tens of dollars at this point."

That's interesting. What sort of "used functioning Android device" are you talking about?

I picked up a beat up Dell laptop for $80 on Facebook Marketplace to run the BMW Service Manual. Never thought I'd buy a Windows PC but I like it. It's fun to have a garage computer. This has a bottom so heavy when you pull up the top to open it, the beast sits there like it's glued to the table (which I like, instead of trying to open the cover with one hand and lifting up the entire laptop).
 
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slant911

Active member
I debated the same thing and could not justify $400 for this tool. I did get the motoscan app and dongle....all in around $100. The only drawback with this is it will not do the windscreen calibration. It does run ABS pump to bleed brakes (but totally unnecessary when bleeding unless you have run the system dry) and various other services including learning new TPMS sensors. Most important to me was to reset the service light. That kind of shit drives me crazy seeing lights on the dash so worth it to me to avoid the hassle and $50 each time to take it to the dealer.
 

EvilTwin

Active member
Probably any android phone or tablet within the last few years could run it.
From their website on requirements: (I left in the green android icon just to bug you...)



An Android device is required to use the MotoScan app. Both smartphones and tablets are suitable. The minimum Android version is 4.3. However, we recommend at least 5.0 or higher. If possible, always use the latest Android version.

The software does not work on iOS, Windows, Linux, macOS, Android emulators and other operating systems.
 

Delray

Active member
A quick look on Facebook Marketplace shows two qualifying Android tablets within 10 miles for $50 and $75.

Now, serious question, if I go with Android, will Satan steal my soul in the middle of the night and feed it to rats in the murky sewers of the underworld?

With an Android tablet, I add the OBD and dongle and the cost is at $125 to $150. Add the tire work and it's around $200, then the BMW sensor and the total is $380, still higher than the dealer cost of $300.

A second tire would be $240 (BMW sensor + tire work) for a two-tire total of $620, still $20 more than the dealer total of $600 for two sensors. Geez, who would have thought going to a BMW dealer was the way to save money?

Advantage for Android is DYI'ing and recouping part of the investment, because some BMW Motorrad owner would buy this set up.

Motoscan users ... do you recall if a serial # was required to activate the tire sensor? Thinking Chinese knock off sensor, which don't have serial #'s but do offer big cost savings.
 

slant911

Active member
Sounds like perfectly good numbers and reasoning. That is why I got it...although my soul has already been eaten by satan as I have always had android phones and tablets. I have not had to do a TPMS sensor swap yet so no clue how that goes but it does appear looking at the software there is some self learn thing I believe. But not having done it would not guarantee it. If you were closer I'd just let you play around with it to see what it would do.
 

EvilTwin

Active member
It may steal your soul, but even if you get down there, you won't be lonely since all the apple fanboys have been keeping the chairs warm...

In any event, check out the website https://www.motoscan.de and click on the brit flag for English. They dont translate it into Merican... If you go look in the blog area there is a posting on teaching in new sensors. From what I can tell by reading it it will recognize the new sensors and enable them. https://www.motoscan.de/2016/11/21/rdk-sensoren-anlernen/ You will need a separate device to activate them, they look to go for about 13-15 bucks on Amazon. You may have to jack up the rear and front and spin the wheels so that they will come on and report in. The blog states that you need the ultimate version of the software to access this function as well.

As for the tablet, you might want to get one of the amazon fire tablets. Even though it runs "Fire OS", its really just another flavor of Android. I've got one of their 10 inch tablets and there are some hacks that are easy enough to figure out that will let you run standard Android apps on it along with an android settings icon. The fire tablets are super cheap if you get them with ads turned on. The ads are no big deal and you probably wouldn't use it for much else anyway.

Not sure if the cheap Chinese sensors will work. What do the BMW equivalent sensors cost?
 

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EvilTwin

Active member
Here is a link to an article on advrider: https://advrider.com/aftermarket-r1200gs-tpms-rdc-sensor-replacement/ its for a r1200gs but as most people familiar with BMW, they always reuse the same hardware across all their lines. Das Frugal Germans...

Looks like there are a few videos on replacing the sensor or even better, replacing the batteries in the existing sensor. Apparently the black potting material is pretty soft and you can scrape it out with a small screwdriver. Then you get the old cr2032 cell out and solder in a new one and re-pot it with something like hot melt glue or epoxy. You can test the sensor out before you commit to sealing it all back up.
 

Delray

Active member
"It may steal your soul, but even if you get down there, you won't be lonely"

I kid about Android, but I have three sons who swear by it and swear AT Apple products. They also tease me for having an aol.com email address. I stick with brands I like but never want to be stuck in the past. Progress is good.

I'm wary of Chinese sensors. BMW's are $181. on bikebandit. I assume the dealer price is the same with their $300 all-inclusive charge.

For now, working half the time works for me. It's a '13 GT with 15,500 miles. If it were a low mileage '17 I'd be more inclined to fix it tomorrow.

I start every ride with the dashes showing for the rear tire, but after ten minutes the rear tire reading shows up and works for the rest of the ride. Plus, with the bike on the center stand, this is the easiest rear tire I've ever had to inspect before a ride.

P.S. thanks for the vid link. I watched the battery replacement section the other day. Looked very messy to me.
 

justscootin

Member
I bought the gs911 and then rented it out 8 times paid for the tool. I have the old yellow one I paid 300 Canadian for it in december 2012. I have also reset my service light every year or 10000 km, I have 75000km. The tool has well paid for itself

Debating whether to invest in GS-911 to fix a failing TPMS sensor ....

Specifically, I have a 2013 BMW C 650 GT with a failing rear TPMS sensor. It works perfectly half the time; the other half, the bike screen shows two dashes and I get the yellow triangle of death warning (!). I've read the batteries in these sensors last from 5 to 7 years. With a 2013 that's now 8 years old, all signs point to a failling battery/bad unit. The front sensor, on the other hand, functions flawlessly.

My two main options:

1) Get a new sensor installed at the dealer. They quoted $300 for everything -- new sensor, tire off the bike, debead it, install the new sensor, bead the tire and put it back on the bike. They say I can save $20 by bringing the tire in, which I may do to have a car available so I don't have to wait or Uber 40 miles home. The dealer isn't exactly around the corner. I'm in no particular rush, but they are taking appointments now for one month in the future.

2) Get the GS-911, a Chinese knockoff sensor, a sensor learning tool, take the tire off the bike and drive it to a Suzuki dealer nearby to have the sensor put on the tire, then I'll bring it home, plug it in to my round, 10-pin connector under the seat, and "teach" the sensor and bike to talk. I have zero experience with this option.

I don't foresee many other uses for a GS-911. I could turn off the "SERVICE" light that's been on since I bought the bike two weeks ago, but it's so small and unobtrusive I never notice it. If something goes wrong in the future, a GS-911 would great to have. It's a certainty I will own another GT in the future, most likely a late, low mileage model.

One other factor. The beat up Dell laptop I bought for $80 on Facebook Marketplace to run the BMW service manual has 1M of RAM. HexCode, makers of GS-911, "recommends" 2M. Does "recommend" mean it's helpful but not necessary? Does GS-911 WiFi run on Apple products? I have iMac desktop, Macbook Pro laptop and iPhone 11.

Thoughts? Experience?

Thanks.
 

Pappy13

Member
I re-set my TPMS last night, I have the GS-911, I attempted to use the number on the TPMS but the bike wouldn't take it, I just put the bike in learn mode then the number I was attempting to program showed up on the screen. This is only the second time in 52 years of riding that I let someone else install a bike tire for me and they screwed the hooch when they broke the new TPMS sensor. I did buy the pair of Schraider (mis-spelled but it's 03:00) sensors for about $40.00, have the spare in the parts bin for the bike and will replace the rear when I install the new tires. I always work on anything as though I will keep it, and do as much of my own maintenance as I can to keep costs down so it's made sense for me to buy the 911, but if you don't intend to put 50,000 miles on the bike over the next 5 years then your math works. While I was in the system I checked and GS-911 does support the Mac, but not as fully as the windows, they said some functions would be "not available". Oh well, riding to work now, you all be safe now, ya hear?
 

Delray

Active member
"I always work on anything as though I will keep it ... but if you don't intend to put 50,000 miles on the bike over the next 5 years then your math works."

You've summed up my double-edged sword. I update a new-to-me bike mechanically and keep it shiny and new-looking. I feel like each one is my pride and joy. I'm a 12-year old with a new bicycle, every time. But I don't see keeping one long term, much less "50,000 miles."

Although I've been riding motorcycles since my college days, I discovered maxi-scooters later in life; I have lost time to make up for. After renting a 50cc in Key West in 2016 and wondering if any company made big boy scooters, I bought an old Honda Silver Wing on Christmas Eve as a gift to myself. My current GT is my tenth maxi-scooter since then, four Honda Silver Wings, three Burgman 650's and three BMW C 650 GT's.

I'm like a sailor who was at sea for nine months and now finds himself drinking in shore leave ... "OMG, a red one! No, over there, a Honda! No, look at that big Burgman! Wait, what's that? A dark storm metallic BMW!"

I hunt for a really good deal, update all the maintenance as a labor of love ... oil, plugs, filters, coolant, brake fluid and pads, drive belt and sliders ... ride it for awhile and delight a new owner with a bike in first-rate condition (for a break-even price or modest profit to me).

After ten bikes, my white whale has surfaced, a pristine, low mileage, white 2017+ BMW C 650 GT with a Corbin seat.

Aye, I know she's out there somewhere ....
 
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Delray

Active member
How are the sensors held in place? Torx bolt? Adhesive?

Are the front and rear sensors held in place differently?

Will I need new valve stems?

Cheapest option, in the "what have I got to lose, I'll replace it anyway category," is to have a dealer open up the tire. I can remove the sensor, dig out the old battery, put in a new CR2032 battery for $3.00, solder + hot glue the battery in place and ................. how do I attach the sensor to the wheel before I take it back to the dealer to bead the tire?

With this option, I figure the bike's ECU and sensor are already intimately acquainted, the sensor just needs the new battery. Thus, there is no need for GS-911 or Motoscan or a wakeup tool. Just $3.00 for the new battery and $50 for de-beading and beading the tire (and, from what I've heard, a fair amount of PITA time scaping and soldering).

If you're researching replacing a TPMS sensor, here's a comparison I did ... big question left is whether the Motoscan option will activate Chinese sensors. By the way, I learned the "RDC" on the dash is German for Reifen Druck Control ... or Tire Pressure Control.

COST COMPARISON (TPMS)

GS-911 WITH CHINESE SENSOR ... $500

GS-911 ($400) with 10-pin adapter ($20), wake up tool ($10), tire work ($50) and Chinese sensor ($20). Activates windscreen, works with iPhone. Gives me remote diagnostics on the road and best overall diagnostics. TIRE #2: $70 ($50 for tire work; $20 for Chinese sensor). Resell GS-911 someday for $250 and total investment is $250 for one tire.

GS-911 WITH OEM SENSOR ... $660
GS-911 with 10-pin adapter, wake up tool, tire work and OEM sensor. Activates windscreen. Works with iPhone. Remote diagnostics and best overall diagnostics. TIRE #2: $230 ($50 for tire work; $180 OEM sensor). Resell GS-911 for $250 and total investment is $410 (one tire). Most expensive option.

MOTOSCAN WITH OBDLink LX AND OEM SENSOR ... $428
Motoscan app and OBDLink LX with 10-pin adapter, wake up tool, Android tablet ($50), tire work and OEM sensor. Remote diagnostics. No windscreen. No Chinese sensors (?). TIRE #2: $230 ($50 tire work; $180 OEM sensor). Resell OBD Link for $25 and total investment $403 (one tire). Around $250 if I can use a Chinese sensor.

DEALER INSTALLS ... $300
Dealer installs and activates. TIRE #2: $600, nothing to resell. Total investment $300 (one tire). Easiest option.

REPLACE THE BATTERY ... $53
Dealer de-beads tire, I dig out old sensor, replace battery ($3.00) and dealer beads tire ($50). Will also need soldering gun ($20) and hot glue gun ($10).
 
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Pappy13

Member
There is also available a 2 sensor set made by the OEM for around $40.00, a better option than the Chinese made. I had installed one of the Chinese made in my front tire, Cycle Gear destroyed it so I can't tell if it would have been any good or not, but the schrader set from Ali for 31.99 worked well when I installed the front replacement and I have the second on hand for the rear when I replace tires again. (I can't remember how much shipping was, if any).
 

Delray

Active member
Here's what I concluded ....

For my needs, replacing a rear TPMS sensor, buying a $400 GS-911 is like swatting a mosquito with a pile driver.

I'm buying the Motoscan Pro app ($28) + OBDLink LX ($60) + 10-pin adapter ($18) + GM Wake up tool ($12) + Chinese sensor ($40).

I will remove the tire, take it to a dealer to de-bead and install the new sensor (FYI, both front and rear sensors attach with one T-30 torx bolt. You can verify this by observing a sticker on the rim, usually opposite the valve stem, that says "Sensor Position"). That's $40 for tire work. Add an Android tablet, version 4.1 or higher, for $50 and the total is $208.

Compare that to the quoted $300 + tax ($321 total) at my BMW dealer. I'll save a little over $100.

What I REALLY like is having remote diagnostics with this setup in my seat bag. This August, I will tow my GT from South Florida to Rochester NY to stay for a month. With the nearest authorized BMW Motorrad dealer 176 miles away, remote diagnostics sounds very sensible and reassuring.

Thanks to all for info and opinions.
 
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