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AntRT said:
No such thing as a quick oil question. :)
So True. In all fairness to Vulch, I'm not sure we've had an oil thread since he joined the forum.

Vulch - you will find that there is nothing that will get the folks in this group more spun up than the seemingly logical question "what's the best oil". Out of any ten members you will get 12 opinions touting 15 favorites.

My opinion - if the API/DIN spec meets the manufacturer's requirement, after that it's up to you. I personally use BMW branded 20-50 conventional (dino) oil, I know it's more expensive than what you can get on sale but it's just as easy for me to pick it up at the shop when I pick up an oil filter. But that's in a moderate temperature California environment, others may vary.

JayJay
 

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I've agonized over this for quite a while. I think I'll use up the Ams0il 20W-50 I have left, then probably move to Mobil1 15W-50. I've got 5 quarts of Ams0il 10W-40 left that I'll use in the fall once it starts getting cold again.

I did religious UOA on my last bike for 45,000 miles, and I've come to the conclusion that the only important thing is that you use oil that meets whatever spec the manufacturer recommends and that you change it at the recommended intervals.
 

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Here's what you need to know:

Old & dirty oil, Bad! :mad:
New & clean oil, Good! :D
 

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hallzee said:
Here's what you need to know:

Old & dirty oil, Bad! :mad:
New & clean oil, Good! :D
++++1
:histerica
 

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hallzee said:
Here's what you need to know:

Old & dirty oil, Bad! :mad:
New & clean oil, Good! :D
Pretty slick answer.... What's better is, it's the right answer.
 

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OK but seriously ... Why do you use 20W50 on 2010 and later RTs when its not a recommended grade in the owners manual ??? Just couldn't help myself..... It's an oil question!
 

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Oil question on a BMW motorcycle forum? I'll bet no one will care or even make an opinion.

My opinion. Buy the slippery stuff. :histerica
 

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TWheels said:
OK but seriously ... Why do you use 20W50 on 2010 and later RTs when its not a recommended grade in the owners manual ??? Just couldn't help myself..... It's an oil question!
I agree. I use 10w-40. Thicker oil doesn't necessarily give better protection. It certainly will add friction and reduce mileage, if only by a smidgeon.
 

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I extracted the owner's manual sections on oil requirements for the '05-'09 hexheads (I used a 2009 Owner's Manual) and for hexheads (2010+, I'm not sure what year this was), see attached files. They give recommendations for viscosity and require SAE SF or better, and recommend against synthetic for the first 10,000 km (6,000 miles). Interesting that the camhead manual does recommend Castrol GPS which is a synthetic but at the same time they recommend against synthetic in new engines.

Clean and enough = good
Dirty or not enough = bad

Other than that, I'm not going to get into the discussion any more. For now.

JayJay
 

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JayJay said:
for hexheads ... They give recommendations for viscosity and require SAE SF or better, and recommend against synthetic for the first 10,000 km (6,000 miles). Interesting that the camhead manual does recommend Castrol GPS which is a synthetic but at the same time they recommend against synthetic in new engines.
JayJay
I don't think BMW is recommending against using synthetic oil for camheads in the first 6000 miles. At least my 2012 manual doesn't have any prohibition against syn oil at any mileage.

Castrol GPS, as mentioned, is a synthetic blend. BMW has obviously changed their minds about the use of synthetic oil in the first 6000 miles and it is logical that they now recommend a syn blend without any mileage limitation for the newer bikes.

Interesting that 20W-50 is not on the list of approved weights for the camheads.

I don't really think any of this is very important, but, just saying ....
 

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Another quick oil question

Ok guys here is a follow up question regarding oil changes. Since everyone was letting loose with their opinions I thought this a good place to ask one more question. Although I have been riding motorcycles for 38 years this is my first BMW. For those of us that like and enjoy changing our own oil and filter what is a good interval for a 2011 R1200RT? I used to do regular changes every 3,000 miles regardless of mileage. I appreciate any thoughts you may have.
 

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I think the days of 3000 mile oil changes are pretty much passe.

Engines are tighter and run cleaner, oil and filtration have both improved.

I have no problem going with the 6000 mile change interval, as the oil is visibly clean. That's not to say the additive package is fully intact, but visibly clean is a pretty good indication of contaminant level.

Use a quality oil that meets the required specification in terms of weight and rating, change it at the recommended interval and spend time riding rather than fussing over oil.

That said, oil is cheap. Filters are cheap. Clean oil is good. If you feel good changing it every 3000 miles, do so. It certainly will not hurt anything.

Tom
 

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The manual states every 6000 miles or one year, whichever comes first. Good enough for me.
 

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There is no reason in the world to change oil every 3,000 miles. Do it as the manual recommends, and send a sample to Blackstone if you think it's too long an interval.

Edited to add:

Here's the final UOA from my Harley. I ran 10W-40 in the winter, 20W-50 the rest of the year. 5,000 mile intervals as called for by Harley. That engine generated a ton more heat than the Boxer ever will, and I rode that bike hard. That oil could have easily went 7,000 miles.

Your engine doesn't care what brand oil you use, where you bought it, where it was refined, what you paid for it, or anything else superfluous. All it cares about is the viscosity, the rating, and the fill level. Use the correct grade and the correct viscosity, and check your level. The engine will take care of the rest.

 

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12R12RT said:
I think the days of 3000 mile oil changes are pretty much passe.

Engines are tighter and run cleaner, oil and filtration have both improved.

I have no problem going with the 6000 mile change interval, as the oil is visibly clean. That's not to say the additive package is fully intact, but visibly clean is a pretty good indication of contaminant level.

Use a quality oil that meets the required specification in terms of weight and rating, change it at the recommended interval and spend time riding rather than fussing over oil.

That said, oil is cheap. Filters are cheap. Clean oil is good. If you feel good changing it every 3000 miles, do so. It certainly will not hurt anything.

Tom
+1... I ran the Mobile 1 V-Twin 20-50 for over 50k miles on the LT and changed it every 6000 miles... I plan on doing the same thing on the RT. The 20-50 works well in the very hot desert on Las Vegas.
 

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The automobile and motorcycle manufacturers started extending the mileages between oil changes when fuel was mandated to be unleaded in 1975. Lead accumulating in the oil was a big reason for changing oil so frequently. I remember being shocked when my new 1975 Chevy called for oil changes only every 7500 miles.

I have a 2005 car that comes with Mobil 1 full synthetic from the factory and it's the only oil permitted by the manufacturer. It has an onboard computer that analyzes a variety of things and tells me when I should change oil ... sometimes it goes 12000 miles before recommending a change.
 
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