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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My ignition switch has the commonly occurring problem of a broken wire/solder inside the switch.
Having had plenty of time to think it over, I may have found a contributing factor. The wire tie inside the switch is either installed too tight from BMW or becomes tighter over time.
Pictured first is a photo of the OEM ignition switch from the FAQ page.
It shows a white wire tie (circled red) holding the bunch of wires together.
In this photo you can notice it is tight against the black protective sleeve. Crimped all the way down. (That’s the contributing factor)
The second photo: is of a cut section of the red/white wire that was caused from the wire tie being too tight, and compressing it against the solid green wire.
The pressure of the tight wire tie
along with the friction of it moving inside the switch, actually welded the two individual red/white and the solid green wires together.
Had I simply re soldered the disconnected wire into the switch, I would still have not solved the issue.
This would have led me to believe I needed a new $170usd OEM switch.
A through inspection of the entire broken switch along with all wires inside revealed the additional problem before re install.
Remember to inspect under this wire tie-remove or replace it before you re install the ignition switch.

Last photo shows the green wire has a broken solder, and separated from the switch. (This is the commonly occurring issue) Refer to the FAQ ignition switch section.

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Update:
I was unable to repair the switch.
I’m not sure if it is just a burnt out switch or if I wasn’t able to solder a good connection being that the metal joint the wire is soldered to is housed inside the plastic barrel.
I am now searching for a cheap replacement ignition switch as well as a new RH switch assembly.
I’ve been told that any EBay universal switch will work, but the connectors won’t match up with the Bmw 3-4 pin connectors. A small jumper or modification may be required to join connectors.
This along with loosing the wheel lock capabilities the OEM lock offers. Something to consider when sourcing a replacement if theft is a concern.
Another consideration is the cheaply made parts may not hold up in bad weather, or on a bike stored outdoors.
If these issues aren’t of concern then any universal eBay switch should work for a cheap solution.
It’s a matter of ~$20 on eBay for the universal ignition switch vs $180 for the OEM ignition switch.
The cost of the attempted repair was around $60 for the pictured items below 🤔
If you have to go and purchase these items before doing the repair, you may want to consider just replacing the part for a new OEM rather than spending half the cost on a “possible” repair job.
Hope this helps someone who is in the same position.
- John
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Hi John, you could leave the original key switch in place and just use it as a steering lock if required. Of course that would mean carrying an extra key but having two key switches could confuse any honest thieves.
As far as the new switch block goes you could just solder the wires from the new switch to the old wires and keep the original plug as it is. Just fit some heatshrink over the wires, twist them together and solder them. If you want a better finish put a larger bit of heatshrink over the lot .
Pete
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I am not %100 it was not successful. Although I know the solder wasn’t the best.
I have found a fault in the kill switch as well. I’ll have to replace it, it’s beyond repair. Hopefully then I’ll find the ignition switch repair was successful.
If not I was considering doing what you mentioned If I understand correctly you are saying cut the wires off of the oem bad ignition switch( leaving the proper connectors needed) and solder them to a new aftermarket replacement switch? I have thought of doing this as well.
So far the few eBay switches I’ve seen come with 6 wires and the bmw has 7 going into the switch. I am wondering if one wire is redundant and can be joined together making 6 wires.
I haven’t gotten as far as identifying each of the 7 wires individually going to the ignition switch.
When I get time this week I’ll have to sit down, and go through it properly.
Considering this is the first bike I have owned that I am wrenching on myself, I’m learning as I go. It’s taking me longer than a more knowledgeable person would.
No worries it will be fixed, just a matter of time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I’ve found a 7 wire switch that could work soldering the wires together using the bmw connectors. I will try and identify each wires location and purpose this evening in the clymer manual.
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Hi John, some of the contacts in the switch are for things like parking lights. I don't know if you can read a circuit diagram but here is one that was on the Chain Gang Site that is very useful. It will show you the wire colours and what does what with the switch.
I was also talking about the right hand switch block on the handlebar, saying you could just cut and join those wires too.
Good luck
Pete
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hi John, some of the contacts in the switch are for things like parking lights. I don't know if you can read a circuit diagram but here is one that was on the Chain Gang Site that is very useful. It will show you the wire colours and what does what with the switch.
I was also talking about the right hand switch block on the handlebar, saying you could just cut and join those wires too.
Good luck
Pete
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Well this one is a bit confusing to read. I actually had this one saved in my phone, but looking at it seems to scramble my brain for some reason. However I believe I’ve got the clymer service manuals wiring diagram figured out.
I’ll have the new kill switch by this weekend. I’ll get it installed and double check the ignition switch before ordering a replacement.
If, and when I get the bike running. I’ll then get to move on to another long list of issues I inherited with this bike.
As always thanks a lot Pete! You’ve been very helpful since I’ve joined this community. 🏆
 

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Hi John, basically the ignition switch is three switches in 1.
The switching goes like this.
From the main battery fuse there is a Red wire to the ignition switch.
The First set of contacts on the switch connect RED to the Green/Black wire to power the hot grips.
The Second set Send Power from the battery fuse RED wire to the Green wire to send power from the battery back to the 15 amp fuse to power stuff like , Lights, ignition, fan, flashers and Brake lights.
The Third set of contacts pick up power from the Light switch via the Green/Grey wire to power the parking lights via the Blue /Grey wire.
I hope this helps to unscramble your brain
Pete
 
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