BMW R1150GS Adventure Homebrew Handlebar Garage Door Remote

2 April 2018
I'm almost finished building my garage and while it's not fully complete yet, it's at a stage where I can store my motorbike in it. The garage has a roller door, which can be operated by a remote control. The remote control is convenient but it's really designed for someone driving a car. With the motorbike, I have to stop, take the bike out of gear, take off my gloves, root around in my pocket for the remote and then open the door. I decided that a handlebar-mounted button would be the easiest way to operate the door.
I started by ordering a spare remote control for the door. Then I had to decide where I was going to mount a button on the handlebars. I wanted to operate the button with my right hand, so that I could just stop and hold in the clutch with my left hand, rather than having to take the bike out of gear.
There is an empty space, just to the left of the switchgear on the righthand side, with a little nut and bolt below it (which I think hold the switchgear in place). The empty space is a perfect place to mount a button and the nut and bolt provide the perfect way to attach the button to the handlebars.

I started looking online for a suitable button. I wanted it to be waterproof (IP65) and I wanted it to look well on the bike too. I found one on, a website that sells parts for building custom motorcycles. The button fits into a 12mm hole, which I think is about the right size to fit aesthetically (and physically) on the handlebars and big enough to operate easily while wearing gloves.

When the spare remote control arrived, I programmed it to operate my door and verified that it was working. Then I started wiring the button. I soldered the wires onto the button, rather than using the screw terminals.

To keep the wiring at the back of the button waterproof, I sealed around the wire with Sugru.

To wire the button into the remote control, I first pryed off the top of the remote, which holds the rubber over the buttons:

Then I drilled a hole in the side of the remote for the wire and soldered the two cores of the wire to each side of the button on the circuit board:

I put a little bit of hot glue on the side of the remote, where the wire enters to stop it getting dragged:

Next, I started making the bracket to hold the button onto the handlebar. I had a piece of scrap steel lying around which happened to have a 90 degree bend in it and a hole of the right diameter in the right place. I roughly cut the piece of steel to approximately the size I needed:

I drilled a 12mm hole for the button, then used a junior hacksaw and a file to cut the bracket down to size and refine the shape of the bracket. When I was finished making the bracket, I painted it with a two pack paint.

When the paint was dry and the Sugru had cured, I bolted the button into the bracket and bolted the bracket onto the handlebar. To open the nut on the handlebar, I had to unscrew a plastic cover on the underside of the switchgear and use an allen key to hold the bolt. There was about 5mm of thread to spare on the bolt and the bracket is about 5mm thick, so it fit perfectly.

I ran the wire down the handlebar, onto the headstock (leaving a loop to allow the bars to move) and under the instrument cluster, cable-tying it into place along the way. There's a little bit of free space behind the instrument cluster. I decided to mount the remote in there because it would be facing the door when the bike is facing the door. The remote comes with a clip for mounting it on the dashboard of a car etc, so I used that to mount it behind the instrument cluster. This means I can unclip the remote from the bike easily whenever I need to replace the battery. I removed the screen and instrument cluster top cover, found a flat surface to mount the clip on and cleaned it with an alcohol wipe. I used 3M double-sided tape to mount the clip.

I passed the remote up behind the instrument cluster and clicked it into the clip:

Here's the remote in operation:

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