Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Twinsburg, Ohio, USA
article by Scott Mckay, Sierra BMW Service
Just go this in a Email
Thought it was a good reminder and looks like one or two time intervals have changed.
Here's a great article by Scott Mckay, Sierra BMW Service
Manager and BMW Motorrad USA Aftersales Award Winner...
Timing is everything when it comes to maintenance.
Everyone knows that their machines need servicing at least
every 6,000 miles but many don’t realize there are also time
based service intervals, regardless of miles ridden.
BMW recommends replacing engine oil every 3 months or 1,800
miles for short distance riding or consistent use in
temperatures below freezing. Oil builds up condensation when
the engine cannot get to full operating temperature due to cold
weather or short rides. Do not start the engine in an attempt
to charge the battery unless you are going to ride it for a few
hours. It will not significantly charge the battery, if at all,
and will create a lot of moisture inside the engine. Invest in
a “Battery Tender” to keep your battery ready for the next
ride. Make sure you have the correct charger for your
battery/bike and know how to connect it properly. Thankfully
sealed batteries are becoming standard on most BMW’s. F650’s
still use the classic lead acid batteries that require checking
the level every few months.
Brake fluid should be flushed once a year, as it will absorb
moisture, which can corrode the brake system and reduce the
boiling point. Bikes with steel braided brake lines can extend
the interval to every other year. BMW now recommends that
hydraulic clutch systems be flushed every 4 years (this does
not apply to 2005 and newer R1200’s or 2005 and newer
K1200S/R/GT which use special mineral oil instead of brake
fluid). I would still recommend every 2 years for severe use
such as off-road.
Transmission and rear drive oils (F650 owners can ignore this
part) should be changed every 12K or 2 years, whichever comes
first. New technology bikes (such as R1200GS/RT) are the
exception with transmission oil changed at 24K intervals and
the rear drive having no oil change required (except at break-
A coolant change was recommended every 2 years but BMW recently
changed the interval to every 4 years, in conjunction with the
use of BMW coolant. Always use a 50/50 mix of distilled water
and BMW approved anti-freeze.
GS riders and others venturing into dusty conditions need to
check air filters more often than the recommended 12,000 mile
Last, but not least, don’t forget to check your tires for
condition and air pressure before every ride.
This is only a guideline. I highly recommend checking your
owner/maintenance manual for the specific requirements of your
Take care of your bike and it will be ready to go when the much
longed for riding weather is upon us.
Sierra BMW Motorcycle Service Manager
BMW Master Certified Technician
BMW Motorrad USA Aftersales Select Service Manager of the Year
2003, 2004 & 2005
2002 LTC Pacific Blue
Caliper Moto Lights, Hyper light brake lights, Spiegler brake lines, Ride West side markers, Grip puppies, HyperPro Springs and CA HID Kit.
2009 Honda Shadow (Wife's)
Blue & Pearl
"Well It’s not rocket science but absolutely a nightmare. At the end of the day you had a fairly unique situation that I personally at this moment in time could see me having as well 24/7. With all due respect, it shouldn’t of happened."