Alarm Install

The CS has a stock wiring connector for the Alarm system in which you could tie into:


Alarm: Scorpio SRi-500 SE with perimeter sensor
Bike: BMW F650cs

Cost: $269 (frequently sold for this price on ebay).
Note: I am not affiliated in any way with Scorpio alarms and have tried to be as objective as possible in this review and installation guide. I am not a licensed technician. This is the first real "hands on" thing that I have done to my bike, so please follow this guide at your own risk.


Instructions and general setup:


This alarm consists of a main control unit with two wiring harnesses (main and accessory)…

…and the FM handset:


First have a look under the seat and find a place to put the MCM unit:


There is not much room under there, but I found a place that will work in the left rear fairing. A word of caution: be careful that your placement of the MCM unit and wires does not cause them to be 'crushed' by the seat when you get it back on there.

The wires that you need are in the tail section of the bike:


You need to find the wires for the left and right rear turn signals, the license plate light, and a ground wire (all conveniently wired into a nice little connector just waiting to be tapped into).

These are the wires that you will tap into from the HAR-1:


Before you start, remember to disconnect the negative battery terminal. I chose to tie into these wires "post-connector" just in case I screwed something up (in which case I would only have to purchase the tail end wiring harness). There is not a whole lot of wire to work with, but it is certainly managable and made easy with the provided t-tap connectors. Each of the four wires from the MCM unit gets its own t-tap connector. You stick one wire in the female end of each connector and then clamp it onto the appropriate wire.

After I tapped into the correct wires (see diagram), I bundled them with electrical tape and tucked them out of the way:


Here you can see the general setup, and pretty much the only place on this bike to stick the MCM unit:


It was important for me run the antenna wire where there was little metal in order to get the best possible signal. Once the seat is on the bike, you can see where the antenna sticks out from the MCM unit to the back of the bike:


Pretty inconspicuous, and it provides a decent signal.

Once the main unit is installed, you can install the perimeter sensor, which is only a small plastic-cased device that can be stuck pretty much anywhere with the double-sided velcro that was provided:


Once all of this is completed, you can connect the positive lead from the MCM unit to the battery. The alarm with make a couple "chirps" to let you know that the unit is functioning. Now just connect the negative terminal, and you're all set to try it out.

Scorpio customer support:
I initially planned on having my dealer install this alarm. However, my dealer was very reluctant to do so and advised against it due to potential battery problems (excessive battery drainage). My dealer claimed that if I installed this alarm, I could expect a 3 volt drop in three days if I did not start the bike. I contacted Scorpio and was able to speak to a technician who told me that it was physically impossible and was able to give me various “worst case” voltage drop scenarios in several alarm settings. I was pleased with this information and decided to install it myself. Having bought this alarm on ebay, the seller neglected to include documentation for the perimeter sensor. I contacted Scorpio once again, who sent me the information I requested in a reasonable amount of time. I contacted Scorpio for a third time when the plastic antenna cap fell off my handset; they were quick to send me another. Overall, I’ve had a good experience with customer support.

Scorpio claims that you can get “up to half a mile” range. If you look at other reviews online, most people report a fraction of that, depending on the geographical surroundings (buildings, concrete, etc). I tend to get about half a km range (about ¼ mile), which I think is sufficient and likely due to the placement of the antenna and lack of metal around it. I am able to park my bike in an underground parking lot, walk 500m to another building, and receive a decent signal from the 3rd floor.

Overall performance:
There are a few sensors that can be set to trigger this alarm: 1) Shock sensor; 2) Tilt-sensor; 3) Perimeter sensor. You can arm these sensors independently or combined. In the daytime I will usually set the first two, adding the perimeter sensor at night. You can even set the bike to “silent alarm” where it will page you, but the alarm will not sound on the bike. I found this to be useful when you want to catch kids snooping around your bike but you don’t necessarily want to scare them off before you do.

I bought this alarm primarily for the perimeter sensor feature and as a reaction to recent act of vandalism which was not prevented by a Xena alarm that failed to go off. I was curious to see how this feature would work. The perimeter sensor can thankfully be adjusted to encompass a range around the bike from about one to four feet. The adjustment is very sensitive so you need to tinker with it until you get it right. I am pretty happy with how it works. You can also adjust the sensitivity of the shock sensor. The sheer volume of this alarm is startling (your ears will be ringing if you stand too close for more than a few seconds) and is likely to get the attention of people in a hurry. The best feature of course is that the bike will page you if the alarm goes off. Similar to a cell phone, you can set the handset to vibrate or ring.

Battery drain:
One of the big concerns for me was battery drainage. Due to this concern (and the extra effort that would have been involved), I neglected to install the hijack disable kit, preferring to use my Xena disk lock as an additional deterrent. Another good feature on the handset is that it will let you know when the bike battery drops below 11.5 volts. So far it has not dropped below this, but then again, I ride my bike nearly every day. The longest I had my bike parked with my alarm armed is 3 days and it started up fine. Even if the battery craps out, or the power is cut, the unit has a built in backup battery to keep it operational.

Final thoughts:
I have used this alarm now for a month and a half and am very pleased with the performance. The only thing that I dislike is that you can’t set a silent perimeter alert (alerting you when people are getting too close but not triggering the alarm) while still having the tilt/sensor alarm active (the alarm sounds when the bike is being touched or moved). Overall though, I would give this alarm a 9 out of ten and would recommend it to others. If you live in the inner city and you’d like to have that extra piece of mind, then this alarm is the ticket. The reality is that if someone has the cohunes and manpower to pick up your bike with an alarm going off in their ears and throw it into the back of a truck faster than you can answer your handset page… we’ll then I guess they deserve a hero cookie and perhaps your bike too.

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