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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Once my 2011 RT hit 15,000 miles, it no longer showed any signs of burning oil, so at 18,000 miles I decided to switch to synthetic. Up to that point I was changing my oil every 3,000 miles. Now, with synthetic, I'm considering stretching that interval a little longer.

Being new to synthetic, I was wondering how far you synthetic users are going between changes?
 

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150flyer said:
Once my 2011 RT hit 15,000 miles, it no longer showed any signs of burning oil, so at 18,000 miles I decided to switch to synthetic. Up to that point I was changing my oil every 3,000 miles. Now, with synthetic, I'm considering stretching that interval a little longer.

Being new to synthetic, I was wondering how far you synthetic users are going between changes?
Let me get this: for this important aspect of maintenance, you are asking our opinions, instead of reading bike's manual?

Well, if you must: the oil change requirement exists not only to replace used-up oil, but - more importantly - to remove contaminants from combustion and wear. Remember how dirty your filter looks?

Ergo: your oil may be in most wonderful shape, but you still want to get the crap out of your engine. So, my scientific/unscientific opinion/advice is to continue with the recommended change interval. I do not have the RT manual handy; for the GS it is 6000 miles. Myself, I change between 3k and 4k miles.

To put it differently: we are talking about a bike that costs close to $20k. And yet, we entertain discussions on how to save a few tens of $'s per season, by getting cheaper oils, aftermarket filters, or - as in this thread - exceeding recommended service intervals. Huh?
 

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150flyer said:
Once my 2011 RT hit 15,000 miles, it no longer showed any signs of burning oil, so at 18,000 miles I decided to switch to synthetic. Up to that point I was changing my oil every 3,000 miles. Now, with synthetic, I'm considering stretching that interval a little longer.

Being new to synthetic, I was wondering how far you synthetic users are going between changes?
K and R bikes... I run dino change ~6K
 

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The only way to determine this, other than the OEM recommendation, is to have oil analysis run and see what is going on between oil changes. Blackstone Labs is a great resource for many people and can tell you precisely when to change oil:

http://www.blackstone-labs.com/
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
rdwalker said:
Let me get this: for this important aspect of maintenance, you are asking our opinions, instead of reading bike's manual?

To put it differently: we are talking about a bike that costs close to $20k. And yet, we entertain discussions on how to save a few tens of $'s per season, by getting cheaper oils, aftermarket filters, or - as in this thread - exceeding recommended service intervals. Huh?
Does your condescending attitude make you feel more intelligent than everyone else?
 

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You will hear some folks that run synthetic to just change the filter every 5k and the oil every 10k. Myself, I would change it every 6k to match your RT's "other" service requirements.
 

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150flyer said:
Once my 2011 RT hit 15,000 miles, it no longer showed any signs of burning oil, so at 18,000 miles I decided to switch to synthetic. Up to that point I was changing my oil every 3,000 miles. Now, with synthetic, I'm considering stretching that interval a little longer.

Being new to synthetic, I was wondering how far you synthetic users are going between changes?

BMW says 10K km or 6K mi by the way on regular oil. But I change at 6K km because it reassures me to do so.
Over the years I have noted that engines that have reached exceptional mileage all had frequent oil changes. Oil and filter is inexpensive after all so why not.
 

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IMHO... 6,000 miles.

The process is so much fun I usually want to do it before then....
 

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Todays oils are so good that changing oil every 3K like you had a 40 yr old car running mediocre quality dino juice and burning leaded fuel is just wasteful. Its also pretty hard to kill todays engines prematurely- the 50,000 mile emissions liability laws have caused a lot of upgrades to everything from valves to cams to piston and liner design. So if you just want to putter and waste a few $ have at it but don't delude yourself that this is doing much useful for a machine that most won't keep even 100K miles let alone 200K or 300K.. Unless you abuse heck out of the motor, its going to last as long as you're likely to keep the bike.

Factory intervals are conservative as proven by oil analyses done and published by many (and less than 1/2 of what many modern cars use)- which show a typical rider ought to be able to go 8000 or more. And that shouldn't be a surprise- the bike has a separate tranny so no tranny shear, operates at modest temps re what a modern oil can tolerate, has a pretty large oil capacity for its displacment providing a good dilutuion factor for combustion byproducts and is fitted well so the oil accumulates only a modest amount ofr combustion crap anyway. Yes you would eventually use up any oils base number (ability to neutralize combustion acids) if you never change it but you won't even come close with any sane change interval.. You won't shear it out of range or have any type of viscosity range failure- especially with synthetics which have better inherent multigrade properties and are less dependent on additive packages for viscosity properties than dino juice.

The biggest benefit from overly frequent oil changes is that it give the owner a chance to get familiar with bikes construction and systems and perhaps spot needed maintenance early through more frequent inspection..
 

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Today's change intervals are indeed conservative.

But first of all an oil change is never so much about getting "crap out of engine" as it is about obtaining a new set of additives. There is lots and lots of oil filter capacity and generally speaking you could easily change them every other time without problems.

In today's car engines it's actually bad for your engine to change motor oil at more frequent intervals than specified. Not too clear on this as regards motorcycles, but wouldn't be surprised if things aren't moving that way too.

http://papers.sae.org/2007-01-4133/

Folks that design motor oils and engines are WAY ahead of most forum posters and mechanics. Just take your medicine and do what BMW specifies. Understand that "specify" and "recommend" mean two different things, and BMW specifies.

But, since unlike with its cars, BMW doesn't have guts enough to specify only synthetic oils, I'd think it feasible to conclude the specifications are biased low to encompass use of dino oil. Oil change interval on current BMW cars is 15K miles.
 

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racer7 said:
Todays oils are so good that changing oil every 3K like you had a 40 yr old car running mediocre quality dino juice and burning leaded fuel is just wasteful. Its also pretty hard to kill todays engines prematurely- the 50,000 mile emissions liability laws have caused a lot of upgrades to everything from valves to cams to piston and liner design. So if you just want to putter and waste a few $ have at it but don't delude yourself that this is doing much useful for a machine that most won't keep even 100K miles let alone 200K or 300K.. Unless you abuse heck out of the motor, its going to last as long as you're likely to keep the bike.

Factory intervals are conservative as proven by oil analyses done and published by many (and less than 1/2 of what many modern cars use)- which show a typical rider ought to be able to go 8000 or more. And that shouldn't be a surprise- the bike has a separate tranny so no tranny shear, operates at modest temps re what a modern oil can tolerate, has a pretty large oil capacity for its displacment providing a good dilutuion factor for combustion byproducts and is fitted well so the oil accumulates only a modest amount ofr combustion crap anyway. Yes you would eventually use up any oils base number (ability to neutralize combustion acids) if you never change it but you won't even come close with any sane change interval.. You won't shear it out of range or have any type of viscosity range failure- especially with synthetics which have better inherent multigrade properties and are less dependent on additive packages for viscosity properties than dino juice.

The biggest benefit from overly frequent oil changes is that it give the owner a chance to get familiar with bikes construction and systems and perhaps spot needed maintenance early through more frequent inspection..
"...Right on"
 

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In any unguarded moment even the service techs will tell you an RT can go 10-15K miles on quality oil. BUT.. if you want to be the dotting wet nurse to your bike, you are surely free to do so. Make sure you double check the muffler bearings while you're at it.
 

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Oh Boy! Another oil thread----better than Holyfield vs. Tyson!
 

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xcamel said:
In any unguarded moment even the service techs will tell you an RT can go 10-15K miles on quality oil. BUT.. if you want to be the dotting wet nurse to your bike, you are surely free to do so. Make sure you double check the muffler bearings while you're at it.
What about the Johnson Rod? ;)
 

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Ponch said:
What about the Johnson Rod? ;)
Don't forget the updated version on the Camhead. It now comes with a counter-balancer to knock out harmonics.
 

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xcamel said:
In any unguarded moment even the service techs will tell you an RT can go 10-15K miles on quality oil. BUT.. if you want to be the dotting wet nurse to your bike, you are surely free to do so. Make sure you double check the muffler bearings while you're at it.
BMW muffler bearings are lubed for the life of the muffler. No need to check. :)
6K dino
 
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