Motorcycle oil..or not? - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 20 Old May 12th, 2007, 7:41 am Thread Starter
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Question Motorcycle oil..or not?

I recently read a comment in a post that running "Motorcycle Oil" on the K bike is not necessary.

Reason given: The K bike has a dry clutch and the "Extra" ingredient that makes oil "motorcycle" oil is for wet clutches.

Comment: I owned an 85 K100RT and used Mobil One 15/50 synthetic and never had any issues for the last 10 of the 17 years I owned the bike. When I sold it, the engine seemed as tight as the day I brought it home.

BMW super syn is $10+ per quart
Mobi One 15/50 at Costco is $30 per 6 pack.

Any comments?

Last edited by davek1; May 12th, 2007 at 7:42 am. Reason: additional comment
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post #2 of 20 Old May 12th, 2007, 8:46 am
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Endless discussion this one..... General Consensus is use what'cha want.

It is pretty split here and no one is having problems with any fresh oil
change. I am going with Synthetic after my 12K change from front to rear.

47+ Yrs Daily Motorcycle Street riding for Therapy

2012 Victory Cross Country Tour

2007 Black Suzuki DL1000 V-Strom - Sold
2007 Red Moto Guzzi Norge 1200 - Sold
2005 LT Dark Graphite - (Sold)
2005 PearlBlue FJR1300 (Sold)
3 BMW's, 8 HD baggers, 3 Goldwings & 860K + miles later
*Ridin steady since 1973

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post #3 of 20 Old May 12th, 2007, 12:33 pm
 
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I do agree that bikes with a dry clutch do not require "motorcycle oil". Makes perfect sense. However...I use Repsol in all of my bikes because it has the purdiest label.
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post #4 of 20 Old May 12th, 2007, 12:36 pm Thread Starter
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Question

Sorry, maybe I wasn't clear.
I am asking about (for example) Mobil One 15/50 Synthetic "Motorcycle" Oil vs Mobil One 15/50 (standard) Synthetic Oil.

I have used synthetic for 15 years, in everything... lawn mower, snow thrower etc.

All of the oil companies are now making and selling "Motorcycle" oil. It is $2-$3-$4 more per quart. I can (maybe) see the extra protection for an air cooled engine (and how much extra protection is there really?).

But, what's wrong with going to your local auto parts store and buying Mobil One, the same stuff I put in my car (except for the viscosity) and using it in my LT?

Mobil One Synthetic 15/50 at Costco = $5 per quart
BMW Super Synthetic motorcycle oil 15/50 = $10.50 per quart
Amsoil Synthetic Motorcycle Oil (at my local HD dealer) = $10.50 per quart

What is the real difference?
Is it really necessary?
I have been buying the expensive stuff for ever. Am I waisting my money?
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post #5 of 20 Old May 12th, 2007, 1:39 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davek1
All of the oil companies are now making and selling "Motorcycle" oil. It is $2-$3-$4 more per quart. I can (maybe) see the extra protection for an air cooled engine (and how much extra protection is there really?).
I just went through an oil related failure in my car and from what I saw when I tore it down, that "extra protection" can mean the life or death of an engine. My car uses a flat tappet cam and it lost 3 lobes and 4 lifters due to the "extra protection" not being in the oil and there were no warnings on the oil labels stating that their oil was no longer compatable with flat tappets.
As it turns out motorcycle oil still has that little extra still in it (phosphate and zinc). The EPA mandated to oil mfg's that they had to cut down on these in motor oils, so they eliminated them because roller cammed engines don't need them and 90% of car engines on the road now use roller cams (or overhead cams) For flat tappets, the zinc and phosphate are "additional" lubricants that are needed. They are still in motorcycle oil and oil used in the big rigs (Shell Rotella T for example).
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post #6 of 20 Old May 12th, 2007, 4:57 pm
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How does this relate to the LT, and to the oil specifications BMW has for the LT?
Thanks
Bob
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post #7 of 20 Old May 12th, 2007, 6:19 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BecketMa
How does this relate to the LT, and to the oil specifications BMW has for the LT?
Thanks
Bob
In that the cam mfg's recommend motorcycle oil as a replacement for the oils that are missing the zinc and phosphate. The motorcycle oils have thses ingredients for added protection.
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post #8 of 20 Old May 12th, 2007, 6:59 pm
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And these are necessary, specified by BMW for the LT? I'm lost?
Thanks
Bob
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post #9 of 20 Old May 12th, 2007, 7:28 pm
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Most motorcycle oil use to have anti foaming stuff in it to help with a wet clutch. The BMW does not have this. And the manual says you can use normal oil, I believe is asks for the use of castrol. I will have to check the manual to be sure.

I have use normal oil in any bike I ever owned and have never had a problem

Manny
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post #10 of 20 Old May 12th, 2007, 8:56 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BecketMa
And these are necessary, specified by BMW for the LT? I'm lost?
Thanks
Bob
I can see you are purposely being obtuse. But just incase you are truely "lost", the question was asked; "what is the real difference?" I pointed out the "real" difference with an example how the difference can affect things.
I was merely trying to help someone with a question. Guess I won't do that again.
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post #11 of 20 Old May 12th, 2007, 10:26 pm
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Question explain

Quote:
Originally Posted by Morley
My car uses a flat tappet cam and it lost 3 lobes and 4 lifters due to the "extra protection" not being in the oil and there were no warnings on the oil labels stating that their oil was no longer compatable with flat tappets.
Morley, What is a "flat tappet cam"? Would this be like the old camshaft and lifters used in an airhead boxer engine?
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post #12 of 20 Old May 12th, 2007, 11:46 pm
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Yes. The tappet or lifter had a flat (more or less) surface that rode on the cam lobes. The only thing keeping the lifter from actually touching the cam lobes is the oil. And since 2 lubricating ingredents were removed from the oils (about 3 years ago on automotive oils), the lifters were allowed to make contact with the actual cam lobes (not good). Even the synthetic oils won't prevent this contact from happening.
According to CompCams, there are only 2 types of oils left that are suitable for flat tappets, Shell Rotella T and "motorcycle" oils

Quote:
Originally Posted by wardenross
Morley, What is a "flat tappet cam"? Would this be like the old camshaft and lifters used in an airhead boxer engine?

Last edited by Morley; May 13th, 2007 at 2:21 am.
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post #13 of 20 Old May 13th, 2007, 1:36 am
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I'm not trying to be obtuse Ken.

I don't have any background or experience in this area. I ask a lot of questions when I don't understand. Unfortunately, I have empirical proof that my memory for detail is very poor.

I have to look up which plug does not use a washer when we do oil changes on the LT.

Recently, I had to have someone explain to me what actually gets measured in an analog multi tester. I didn't have a clue the meter was only reacting to magnetism!

Common mode currents in ground, heavy sigh, roll my eyes, ask questions.

Waiting for a cook-book answer for where and how to drill an oil drain hole in the clutch bell housing.

Bob, 0h 0h LT
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post #14 of 20 Old May 13th, 2007, 2:20 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BecketMa
I'm not trying to be obtuse Ken.

I don't have any background or experience in this area. I ask a lot of questions when I don't understand. Unfortunately, I have empirical proof that my memory for detail is very poor.
My mistake then. My apoligies. I am a mechanic by trade and like to tinker with all things mechanical and I sometimes forget that not everyone can "connect the dots" (relate one thing to another) easily.
Since BMW says to use plain old Castrol in their (newer) engines, I would do so....but nagging in the back of my mind would be the doubt. Since the oil mfg's never let the consumer know about the oil formulation changes (and what could result from them)...did they let other mfg's know? Here I had a brand new engine I built and put in my car and 2 years later I'm tearing back into it because no one knew (or was telling) that oils had changed, drastically.
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post #15 of 20 Old May 13th, 2007, 6:24 am
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I have a 2000 LT, and I am sure my manual does not say to use Castrol oil. In fact the oil "grades" it says are acceptable are not found in regular automotive oil. I have a feeling that I could easily run Automotive oil in my bike without any problems, and I know alot of people on here,





































I am quite sure my manual (2000 LT) does not say to use Castrol. In fact the oil grades it says that are not acceptable are not found in regular Automotive motor oil. I have a feeling I could use Automotive oil in my bike without any trouble. I am sure there are many on this site who have. However, for now, I am going to continue to use motorcycle specific oil in my bike. I just don't think the the extra $12.00 or so it costs per oil change is worth the risk. jrlakin














and elsewhere who to, but for now I think I am going to spend the extra $12.00 or so an oil change and use motorcycle formulated oil. It just isn't worth the risk. jrlakin
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post #16 of 20 Old May 13th, 2007, 6:25 am
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I guess i sort of goofed up that last post. Sorry.
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post #17 of 20 Old May 13th, 2007, 6:42 am
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Golden Spectro 4

I read smoewhere that BMW oil is supplied by Golden Spectro.Does anyone know if this is true ? There web sit is loaded with info about different typs of oil. I do know a Honda certified mechanic and its what he uses for all of his bikes.
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post #18 of 20 Old May 13th, 2007, 7:26 am
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check out this

Quote:
Originally Posted by Morley
Yes. The tappet or lifter had a flat (more or less) surface that rode on the cam lobes. The only thing keeping the lifter from actually touching the cam lobes is the oil. And since 2 lubricating ingredents were removed from the oils (about 3 years ago on automotive oils), the lifters were allowed to make contact with the actual cam lobes (not good). Even the synthetic oils won't prevent this contact from happening.
According to CompCams, there are only 2 types of oils left that are suitable for flat tappets, Shell Rotella T and "motorcycle" oils
check my post with pictures...

http://www.bmwlt.com/forums/showthread.php?t=22802
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post #19 of 20 Old May 13th, 2007, 1:40 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wardenross
Saw that and posted some links. Sorry to see it happen.
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post #20 of 20 Old May 13th, 2007, 1:47 pm
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Lt

From day one, the 1999 LT owners manual specifies "Brand-name HD oil, API classification SF, SG or SH." This is on page 80 of the Service and Technical Booklet that came with the bike. BMW sells their own, expensive oil in their shops. So what? So does Ford, GM and everyone else.
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