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I am new on this site and a recent LT rider. I have a question concerning the oil type to use on this machine. What those having a long experience of this machine would advise as oil type (base type and specs) and brand. I am leaving in France where we have winter temperatures (14 to 41 F) and summer temperature ( 77 to 95 F). Is it better to use a different oil type for the 2 seasons or one of general purpose?
 

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Please do a search for "oil" on this site. You will find more than you probably care to know about people's opinions on oil!
 

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You are in for a lot of answers... here is my opinion...

Your owner's manual does a great job of explaining oil viscosities for your riding conditions. I live in Ottawa Canada, and have broad temperature ranges to cope with as well. Personally I favour the wider range of synthetic oils, something in the 15W50 category. The LT is water cooled and as bit easier on it's oil as it manages temperature with cooling fans and water jackets. My other bike is an air cooled Yamaha V Star 1100 and synthetic oil gives it some temperature headroom for rush hour traffic in August.

I also use synthetic in all my air cooled engines and truck, they are susceptable to high temperatures in the engine block due to limited cooling or up hill towing.

The important thing is buy properly rated oils by spec, and stay in your temp range, if you are in the Alps all the time, might want to add a few degrees headroom or long climbs. Synthetic will cost more, but if you do your own oil changes, it should balance out.
 

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BMW dealers that I have spoken with agree that Synthetics are great but don't use synthetic until the bike reaches 18,000 miles.

Until then, any SG grade of regular oil will do. I live in Colorado where I don't believe the climate is that much different but in the winter it can get really cold. Since you are not sharing the same oil between the crankcase and the clutch, it has been argued that the LT is more like a cage engine.. Therefore, oil like Castrol GTX or Castrol 4 stroke moto oil in my opinion would be fine (I really don't think it makes a difference based on all the reading on unvalidated claims by oil manufacturers about motorcycle oil). Just make sure that the rating is SG or better. I believe that is stated in the owner's manual. I have always used 20w50 Castrol oil for $2.35 with no trouble. Once I get to 18,000 it will be Mobil 1 auto synthetic for me..

Good Luck

Bob Glassman
Littleton, CO
'03 KLT - Impala Brown - 13K
 

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rglassma said:
Just make sure that the rating is SG or better.
There was a service bulletin to the dealers from BMW specifically forbidding use of SJ oils.

SG or SH are fine.

I used BMW synthetic for some time, then switched to Castrol Syntec 5W-50 full synthetic, a little less money and I could get it at Pep Boys, much closer than the BMW dealer.
 

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It's something to do with the right break in of the engine.
 

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I was just told yesterday by my local (Portland, OR) BMW parts folks that their service department tells riders not to switch to synthetic oil until at least 40,000 miles. The claim was that BMW engines are not really broken in until 40,000 miles. News to me as I've been using BMW Synthetic oil since about 12,000 miles.

Denny
 

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Three different dealers will give you four different opinions on this. Some say don't switch until 12K or 18K, and others say switch at 600 miles. I changed mine to synthetic at 12K and haven't worried about it since.
 

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BMW corporate emailed me saying you can switch to a 15W50 or 20W50 synthetic motorcycle specific engine oil after the 6,000 mile service. Read this article to select one that meets your needs. https://www.amsoil.com/lit/g2156.pdf.
 

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meese said:
Three different dealers will give you four different opinions on this. Some say don't switch until 12K or 18K, and others say switch at 600 miles. I changed mine to synthetic at 12K and haven't worried about it since.
I suspect four or more different opinions!!

Denny
 

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TimVipond said:
BMW corporate emailed me saying you can switch to a 15W50 or 20W50 synthetic motorcycle specific engine oil after the 6,000 mile service. Read this article to select one that meets your needs. https://www.amsoil.com/lit/g2156.pdf.
As I suspected, you can't go wrong with the BMW oil.
 

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rglassma said:
BMW dealers that I have spoken with agree that Synthetics are great but don't use synthetic until the bike reaches 18,000 miles.

Until then, any SG grade of regular oil will do. I live in Colorado where I don't believe the climate is that much different but in the winter it can get really cold. Since you are not sharing the same oil between the crankcase and the clutch, it has been argued that the LT is more like a cage engine.. Therefore, oil like Castrol GTX or Castrol 4 stroke moto oil in my opinion would be fine (I really don't think it makes a difference based on all the reading on unvalidated claims by oil manufacturers about motorcycle oil). Just make sure that the rating is SG or better. I believe that is stated in the owner's manual. I have always used 20w50 Castrol oil for $2.35 with no trouble. Once I get to 18,000 it will be Mobil 1 auto synthetic for me..
Bob, I thought you were going to Amsoil?? Also, I agree with you about the similarity to a car engine, however the compression ratio is probably a bit higher, causing more "stress" on the bearings... My 2 cents..
 
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