OK, I really didn’t intend for this to be one of those oil threads that goes on for weeks. I am finally at home and was able to grab the .2 quarts that I have left from last weekends oil change and did some homework as to the grade and viscosity problems. You guys really have me concerned about my oil selection now. My 2005 Service Manual ($120 ouch!) states the following for the oil (page 00.42)
Replace oil and oil filter at least once a year. If the
motorcycle is ridden only for short distances or at
outside temperatures below 0 °C (32 °F), this task
must be performed every 3 months or every
3,000 km (1,800 miles) at the latest.
Brand-name HD oil, API classification SF, SG or SH
suffix letters CD
or CE are permitted; alternatively,
brand-name HD oil of CCMC classification G4 or
G5; suffix PD2 is permitted.
Do not add any additives or use longlife engine oil.
Engine oil capacity:
change..........3.6 l (6.34 Imp. pints/3.80 US quarts)
Quantity of oil between
MIN and MAX
marks.......... 0.80 l (1.40 Imp. pints/0.85 US quarts)
And this is what I purchased based on a recommendation I found on the site someplace. Maybe it was the old site but I can’t find it anymore.
Castrol SAE 5W-40 full synthetic. “Specially Formulated to meet the needs of BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen.” Almost $6.00 per quart.
I wasn’t keen on the 5 weight but hay it was cold out there and 5W-40 seemed like a good spread. I went to the Castrol Web Site www.castrolcandada.com
and found this info on the SAE 5W-40:
The most recommended grade in today's new cars. Exceeds all car and light truck manufacturer's warranty requirements for the protection of gasoline, diesel and turbocharged engines where API SL, SJ, SH (I have a winner here)
, CF or CD
is recommended. Exceeds European ACEA: A1, ACEA: A5, ACEA: B1, Corvette GM 4718M, VW T4 and all requirements of ILSAC GF-3 for API Certified Gasoline Engine Oils and meets Energy Conserving Standards. Also meets Japanese valve train wear and engine protection requirements for Porsche, Volvo, BMW and Mercedes Benz.
Information concerning the performance, viscosity grade and energy conserving properties of an oil can be found within the API Service Symbol, also known as the "Donut". This symbol displays the API (American Petroleum Institute) Service rating, a two-letter classification that identifies the quality level of the motor oil and the type of vehicle it is suited for. The first letter "S" indicates the oil is appropriate for "spark ignition" or gasoline engines. The first letter "C" indicates the oil is intended for "compression ignition" or diesel engines. The second letter in each category indicates the performance level of category. For the "S" categories, the performance level increases as the categories go through the alphabet. However, the same is not true for the "C" categories as the types and intended application range for diesel vehicles vary greatly. It is important to refer to the owners' manual for appropriate performance recommendation.
In the center of the donut will be the SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) viscosity classification. The bottom of the donut is reserved to convey the energy conserving properties of the oil as determined in a standard industry test.
What I have learned.
I believe that the type of oil in the bike can make a big difference in how it runs and its fuel economy. I am not sure how the BMW oil I used at the 3000 mile change effected these but I am sure that the oil I have in there now is agreeable to the machine because it is running much better than it use to, my fuel economy is back to 44 mpg and my rear view mirrors don’t shake when I’m at idle.
I hope that the information in the thread has been useful and thank you to everyone who tried to keep me straight on the oil question.