BMW CE 04: Indicator Replacement Procedure

A couple of weeks ago, I had the misfortune of breaking the indicator light off my BMW CE 04 scooter. It was through no fault of its own, I just underestimated the amount of suspension travel when mounting a bicycle on the back of it using the 2x2Cycles Moto Bicycle Carrier.

Give yourself 3-4 hours to perform these steps as it can require the removal and reinstallation of up to 25 bolts. Even if you are generally bad at mechanical things, this is an entirely doable procedure with the correct tools.

Credit to Guru Shudamundi, who posted a summarized version in a BMW CE 04 Facebook Forum thread, which gave me the courage to fix my own bike.

Required Equipment

Please note that the turn signal part is subtly different in the USA – this procedure will show the USA parts, but the steps are effectively the same. You can order the replacement part from your BMW dealer, or online dealers such as A&S Cycles: it’s a common part that is shared with the CE04, M1000RR, R nineT, S1000*R series of bikes.

Step 1: Failed Indicator Removal

Unscrew what’s left of the failed indicator, as well as the protective cowl in place, using a T30 and T25 torx wrench. You will also need an adjustable wrench to keep the nut on the other side from rotating freely.

Step 1: Wheel Removal

With the bike still on the side-stand, loosen each of the five T50 wheel bolts by a few turns. It’ll be much easier to do so now than when it’s on the center-stand.

Now put the CE-04 up on the center-stand for the removal, ensuring that the center-stand doesn’t sink into the ground. If you don’t have a center-stand, get creative with something else sturdy.

Partially unscrew each bolt by two turns using a T50 Torx wrench. With some wiggling, you should be able to pull the wheel straight out toward you. I ended up loosening the mud guard as the wheel I didn’t have enough clearance with the gravel.

Step 2: Panel Removal

You can summarize this step as: remove every bolt and tie wrap in your way, but feel free to keep reading for the gory details.

You’ll first need to remove this cover from the belt drive side of the bike with a T25 torx bit.

Underneath it there is another inner panel, which you should unscrew but not remove. This will give you more wiggle room to install the indicator cable that is sitting behind it (visible in the center of this picture)

Depending on which indicator needs replacement, the cable will run to either the connection you see here or the one just to the left of it, hidden beneath the clip. You’ll need to reach that clip from the wheel side. Go ahead and unscrew this T25 bolt if you haven’t already:

From the wheel side, you can see the 3 cables leading from the license plate holder toward the front of the bike. One for each indicator and one for the brake light. Trace the wire and cut all the tie wraps keeping these cables in place. You’ll also want to undo the unusually short T25 bolt hiding under the wires here:

While you are here under the mud flap, go ahead and undo this T25 bolt as well that helps keep the license plate attached:

You’ll also need to undo these two T30 bolts on the top side of the mud flap. Once that’s done, the light assembly will only be held on by cables.

Once the lights and plate are free, you will find one more tie wrap to cut:

If you haven’t done so already, unscrew the remainder of your broken light with a T25 torx bit. You will likely need a small wrench to keep the nut stationary while doing so. Once you’ve unscrewed the protective cowl, cut the old light cable.

With the broken cable cut, follow the cable to where it plugs into the bike. For the left indicator, it’s hidden under this clip that needs to be popped off. I used a pair of pliers, but if you hate your hands, you can do it with your fingers.

Step 3: Wiring in the new indicator

Before doing anything else, you must thread the new connector through the tail light assembly. It’s a tight curve that might seem daunting initially, but it can be done!

Once you have the cable end through, put the protective cowl on the indicator to prepare it for attachment back to the light assembly:

Grab a wrench and T25 torx bit to screw the indicator lamp into the main light assembly.

Replace the tie wrap you cut within the license plate assembly:

Now things are secure enough that you can safely plug the indicator wire in if you haven’t already, and give it a try before reassembly.

Step 4: Panel Reassembly

Now that you’ve confirmed the new light works, it’s time to put the bike back together!

Start by reinstalling the license plate and light assembly back onto the mudguard with two T30 bolts on the outside. Attach the unusually short T25 bolt that lives below the cables (seen here between the 2nd and 3rd tie wrap from the left):

Verify the routing of your cables, and then replace the 4 tie wraps that you cut earlier:

Once everything seems correct, install the final T25 bolt for the tail light assembly, underneath the mud guard.

Now cut the tie wraps before we go back to the belt-side of the vehicle, where we will begin putting the other panels back in place. On the inner panel between the shock and the belt, screw in the top-right and bottom-most T25 screws.

Now reinstall the outer cover with 3 final T25 bolts. Screw the top bolt first, as the clasp may fall off – you may need to hold it in place with a pair of pliers.

Reinstall any other remaining T25 bolts you might have unscrewed from the body. In my case, I also undid a T25 bolt from the front of the mud cover to give myself more room to remove the wheel:

Step 5: Wheel Installation

At this point, your cables should be all routed properly, the body on, cables cut, bolts screwed in, and things looking clean overall:

If so, lift the wheel into the right place, and screw the T50 torx bolts back in with a star pattern, finger tight first. Then come back with a torque wrench and tighten each bolt to 60nm (44ft/lb) in a star pattern.

Now go ride that thing!