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Single Wire System and CAN bus

The BMW Motorrad Single Wire System (SWS) is an innovative, electronic vehicle wiring system for motorcycles. The data exchange is affected by means of CAN bus technology (Controller Area Network) via a single connection (thus the term Single Wire System), although in practice it is designed as a dual channel system. This vehicle electrical system offers a considerably larger range of functions compared to conventional systems in motorcycles, providing a significant reduction in wiring. Other advantages of this intelligent motorcycle electrical system are weight reduction in the wiring harness, increased functional reliability and full diagnosis capacity.

CAN bus technology in combination with the BMW Motorrad Single Wire System is thus a data network concept which makes do with a single data line. This connects various control units - rather like stops along a bus route (which is where the name "bus" technology comes from) - allowing permanent access to all data in the system. The basic principle of this technology is that all control units, sensors and consumers are linked into a network via a single shared channel through in which all signals converge, regardless of their later function. This network therefore permanently makes all information available at all times for all the components connected to it.

Thus the complex cabling of each individual function is no longer necessary, greatly reducing the potential error sources of conventional vehicle electrical systems. At the same time, the permanent bi-directional data exchange between all control units provides the possibility of simple and extensive diagnosis of the entire system. The whole network makes do without conventional cut-out fuses: in the event of short-circuit or failure, the electronic system switches off the relevant function as a precautionary measure - the error can then be quickly identified when the diagnosis is carried out. In addition, errors are indicated in the multifunction display of the info flatscreen. This is a further bonus point for the high degree of reliability of this entire conception.

After twenty years of experience with innovative vehicle electronics, BMW Motorrad has now taken another crucial step towards the future in introducing this motorcycle electrical system.