Oil Level when bike is cold - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 14 Old Oct 16th, 2005, 6:24 pm Thread Starter
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Oil Level when bike is cold

Ok just had the 12,000 miles service done and found that they did not hook the passenger heated seat plug back up and did not even screw (just stuck in) the screws which hold the seat on. So of course I am now concerned at what else did they screw up or not do. I have come to expect this type of service from HD but had hoped not from BMW. Isolated case, lazy mechanic, lack of quality control who knows. Anyway enough rambling.

I just checked the oil and the bike is cold. I know where it should be in the sight window when hot but I am only reading in the bottom 1/4 of the window. To me that would indicate they did not put enough in. Am I wrong?

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post #2 of 14 Old Oct 16th, 2005, 6:37 pm
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Too bad about the dealer experience. It seems to happen all too often! Minor mistakes a lot of the time.

Viewpoints may vary a bit on the oil level, but here is my take, and I do my own maintenance. By the book... er, CD, with some HELP from this august forum.

With the bike on the 'Center Stand' my oil level rests halfway between the center mark and the top.

With the bike on the 'Side Stand' the indicated level drops to about the center mark.

In any event, the 1/4 mark seems LOW to me!

J. Averill Townsend
Bloomfield Hills, MI


IBA# 24374

2002 K1200LTC - Silver
1978 R100/7 - Very, very Black
2004 Bushtec Quantum - Silver, of course...(SOLD)

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post #3 of 14 Old Oct 16th, 2005, 6:44 pm
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The oil level in my sight glass is very consistent, hot or cold. It should be at the red mark in the center of the window or perhaps a little higher. I think I read that the difference between the top of the glass and the bottom, is something like a 1/2 pint of oil.

'07 - R1200RT Slippery Silver

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Past rides:
'03 R1150RT - MAXed out
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post #4 of 14 Old Oct 16th, 2005, 7:17 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mpillis
I just checked the oil and the bike is cold. I know where it should be in the sight window when hot but I am only reading in the bottom 1/4 of the window. To me that would indicate they did not put enough in. Am I wrong?
First thing that you said good was you could see the oil line..

A good rule to use is you should be able to see an oil line if it is hot or cold and it should be about midway in the sight window on the center stand.. and should be visible.. barely on the side stand IF you are on the level platform.. If you can't see an oil line on the centerstand.. do not add oil... move it to the side stand.. If it is TOO FULL it will be above the sight window and adding more will only frustrate you.. If you go to the side stand and see an oil line then you need to remove some.. too full will cause foaming... and the oil will loose it's effectiveness.. IMHO too much oil is much worse than not enough..

Jack D. (Southern Connecticut)
2001 Black LTC
2015 Blue R1200GSA
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post #5 of 14 Old Oct 16th, 2005, 7:20 pm Thread Starter
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Thanks

Bike was on centerstand when I checked it.
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post #6 of 14 Old Oct 16th, 2005, 9:24 pm
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Oil level when bike is cold

According to the Rider"s Manual, the max level on the centerstand is at the top of the sight glass and at the half way mark on the side stand. That is where it is on my 2000 and doesn't vary hot or cold or between oil changes.


Bob Schrader
Wentzville, Mo.
'00LTC
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post #7 of 14 Old Nov 11th, 2005, 8:04 pm
kip
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manual spec

according to my manual.....center of the sight glass on the side stand...
I assume that is referring to level ground.....

thats where i keep mine and it reads the same hot or cold....

i generally figure if its below center but above 1/4 of the glass its ok.....below that i add some....

kip
99 LT
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post #8 of 14 Old Nov 11th, 2005, 8:59 pm
 
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Copied from the repair manual:

Caution:
Never fill with engine oil above the MAX mark in the
oil level inspection glass.

ē Wait at least 10 minutes after a test run before
checking the oil; place the motorcycle on its centre
stand and check the oil level, topping up if
necessary.
Upper ring marking ....................................... MAX
Lower ring marking ........................................ MIN

Note:
The centre of the inspection glass corresponds to
the MAX fill level if the motorcycle is standing on its
side stand.
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post #9 of 14 Old Nov 12th, 2005, 12:41 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mpillis
I just checked the oil and the bike is cold. I know where it should be in the sight window when hot but I am only reading in the bottom 1/4 of the window. To me that would indicate they did not put enough in. Am I wrong?
"Wrong?" No. Overly concerned? Yep.

If you can see an oil line *anywhere* in the window, hot or cold, the engine is safe.

Could the tech have topped it off? Sure, but I'm not sure I'd call this a significant error or failure. The only reason I would add any more is if I was going on a long trip, and I knew the bike was still in break-in, burning significant amounts of oil -- and only for my convenience, as it would minimize the need for me to keep track of the oil level during the trip.

Lastly, while it is often stated that too full is dreadfully bad, the fact is the crankshaft on this bike is *way* up above the oil level in the sump (the crank is directly under the right cover, at the same level as the oil fill hole -- think about how far above the sight glass that is!). I believe you'd could put in a *lot* more oil before it's time to even *start* worrying about oil windage and foaming. Certainly, if you're putting in 3.5-3.7 quarts to get oil into the window, no harm will come if you inadvertantly put in all 4 quarts. I would definitely *not* drain oil for a slight overfill such as this.

Heck, here's a radical thought to chew on: A pretty good argument can be made that oil changes would be easier/faster if you just pitched 4 quarts in without bothering to check/adjust the level -- it's only going to go down (back into view in the window).

Mark Neblett
Fairfax, VA
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post #10 of 14 Old Nov 12th, 2005, 4:37 am
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"oil changes would be easier/faster if you just pitched 4 quarts in without bothering to check/adjust the level -- it's only going to go down (back into view in the window)."

Right or wrong, that is exactly what I do and at 24,000+ mine runs like a sewing machine. I started out religiously putting in 3.7, running up the engine and letting it cool for 10 minutes, etc. and the level never came up in the glass far enough to suit me. Each time I was having to add some more out of that last bottle to bring it up anyway. The difference between what was going in and four quarts was so insignificant I just started throwing all four of them in. Somebody'll probably get onto me about this, but it seems to work for me.

Al Hennigan
'03 Anthracite LTE
'09 GS Adventure
Middle Tennessee
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post #11 of 14 Old Nov 12th, 2005, 9:51 am
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With or without changing the filter ?.
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post #12 of 14 Old Nov 12th, 2005, 2:11 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simoncharles
With or without changing the filter ?.
I always change filters, so for rme, it's with (about 1/4 qt in the filter). Can't say I'd worry if I did it without, though (4.25 qt).

Mark Neblett
Fairfax, VA
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post #13 of 14 Old Nov 12th, 2005, 6:00 pm
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Oil Level

I Had A Rear Engine Seal Leak And Was Told It Could Have Been From Overfilling The Oil.
My Dealer Told Me To Fill To The Center Of The Glass When On The Center Stand And The Bike Uses A Lot Less Oil Than When Filled To The Top Of The Glass.it Also Smokes Less After Sitting On The Side Stand. Ifound It Smokes More If The Bike Is Facing Downhill While On The Side Stand.

2001 Suzuki Bandit 1200s 47k.mi.
2003 Anthracite Lte 30k.mi.
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post #14 of 14 Old Nov 12th, 2005, 9:50 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by banditbiker
I Had A Rear Engine Seal Leak And Was Told It Could Have Been From Overfilling The Oil.
My Dealer Told Me To Fill To The Center Of The Glass When On The Center Stand And The Bike Uses A Lot Less Oil Than When Filled To The Top Of The Glass.it Also Smokes Less After Sitting On The Side Stand. Ifound It Smokes More If The Bike Is Facing Downhill While On The Side Stand.
Sorry -- don't buy it There's a lot of air volume in this crankcase, and it doesn't have all the pistons going to BDC at once, like a boxer. Excess oil in a small volume crankcase boxer may create high pressure pressure that could comprimise a rear main seal, but I don't see it in the K12 crankcase. Sounds like your dealer speculating based on inapplicable theory. The using more oil is also a small-case boxer phenomena, as higher case pressure pushes more oil-laden air out the breather, increasing the volume of ejected oil -- but that's not the situation with the K12. Finally, the cylinder sleeve ends are well above the oil level, so oil's not getting in that way -- and I can't think of any other way oil level can affect a change in leakage into the combustion chambers to be burned (I'm open to suggestions, but I'm skeptical to say the least).

Just another $0.02 from the peanut gallery.

Mark Neblett
Fairfax, VA
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