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Been to 2 different dealers on the SE Florida coast (like them both, one is just 2 hrs. closer) and they both had their own opinions on when to switch to synthetic. One dealer said 6000 miles, the other 12000. And some threads I've read on this site mention "not until 18000". I want to do the right thing and also want to start doing most of the maintenance myself (dropping hundreds of dollars at the dealerships is relatively easy I've found). My '04 LT has 9000 miles, I just had the oil changed and the 2 year fluid service (except for clutch, dealer said wait until 12000) and plan a 3000 mile trip. I'll do the 12k service then. Your advice is always appreciated and extremely helpful. I'm glad to be a member of BMWLT.com and a LT owner. Anyone down this way have some tech advice or skills will be happy to meet. I've only seen one other LT around here and haven't seen him again. Thanks, all.
 

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The way I see it, 99% of what is going to happen tolerance-wise has already happened once the factory dictated breakin period is complete. As long as you have run the motor good and hard (redline and WFO through the gears) on several occasions, the motor is ready. I have gone syn at 1000 miles to 2200 miles on 4 brand new motors. Still have 3 of them, and they all run perfectly. I dont understand this wait for synthetic thinking at all.
 

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I have only owned my LT for 4 weeks and find there are many discrepancies in advice from different dealers. I recently asked the dealer I purchased the bike from for some oil to top up the engine and was given Castrol GP. Having asked him about when to change over to Castrol Synthetic he advised 12000 miles. I rang another dealer and their technician advised 6000 miles. I guess the people to ask are BMW.

Dave
 

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The two dealers that I have used here in colorado indicate 18000.. I personally don't see the downside of waiting.. I would rather be safe then sorry.
 

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Oil threads are always controversial around here. Excuse me while I go kill myself:D

The nikosil cylinder liners are extremely hard. High mileage bikes have been torn down (Dave Shealey's comes to mind) and they have found the original final grind marks on the sleeves. The idea is synthetic retards seating of the rings on this hard surface.

Then you have guys that say to run it like you'll run it and there won't be any probs. That running the snot out of it creates pressure that will seat the rings.

Who's right?

Well, let me ask you something: What kind of oil do you use?

AAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRGGGGGHHHHHHH!!!!!!!


NascaLT said:
Been to 2 different dealers on the SE Florida coast (like them both, one is just 2 hrs. closer) and they both had their own opinions on when to switch to synthetic. One dealer said 6000 miles, the other 12000. And some threads I've read on this site mention "not until 18000". I want to do the right thing and also want to start doing most of the maintenance myself (dropping hundreds of dollars at the dealerships is relatively easy I've found). My '04 LT has 9000 miles, I just had the oil changed and the 2 year fluid service (except for clutch, dealer said wait until 12000) and plan a 3000 mile trip. I'll do the 12k service then. Your advice is always appreciated and extremely helpful. I'm glad to be a member of BMWLT.com and a LT owner. Anyone down this way have some tech advice or skills will be happy to meet. I've only seen one other LT around here and haven't seen him again. Thanks, all.


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Heck, Grif, we all know that we use the oil that tastes best! I'm partial to one that works equally well in dressings and sauteing. Sometimes the color can add an unusual aspect too!

Seriously, just did my 30K maintenance yesterday and wasted a couple of hours driving around and looking for some suitable oil. Did the refiners get so wrapped up in gasoline profiteering that they forgot to schedule performance oil production? I had been using Mobil 1 15W50 Performance oil, and now all I can find is their 'Extended Life' 15000 mile oil in that spec. Tried Autozone, Pep Boys, and the ever faithful WallyWorld and there is an almost complete lack of performance oriented oils on the shelves. Finally found some Castrol synthetic at a local auto parts house that will do, but anybody got a handle on what is going on here?
 

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Sam

This is what I use in my LT Sam. As one of the resident experts (David Shealey) often says the LT engine is basically a small car engine. I run Amsoil's series 2000 20-50w Racing oil in my LT. If its good enough for many of the Nascar teams to use its good enough for me and my LT.
Here is the link.
https://www.amsoil.com/storefront/tro.aspx
 

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Here is my correspondance with BMW pertaining to this subject.

Dear Mr. Vipond,

Thank you for contacting BMW Motorrad USA regarding your 2006 BMW K 1200 LT. We appreciate your inquiry.

All BMW motorcycles imported by the USA come from the factory with petroleum based Castrol oil (20W50) in the crankcases. BMW Motorrad USA recommends any motorcycle-dedicated oil (synthetic or petroleum base) throughout the life of the engine, with Castrol being the preferred brand. We do not suggest using synthetic oil until after the 6,000 mile service.

Car motor oils have been reformulated and no longer meet the needs of a motorcycle engine. If an automotive oil is used in your motorcycle, clutch damage may be experienced, and BMW Motorrad USA would not be liable for any consequential damage.

If you have any further questions, please respond to this e-mail or contact the Customer Relations and Services Department at 1-800-831-1117. Our office hours are Monday through Friday from 9:00 A.M. to 9:00 P.M., Eastern Standard Time.

Regards,
BMW Motorrad USA



-----Original Message-----

From: [email protected]
Sent: 4/25/2006 12:00:00 AM
To: [email protected]
Subject: [bmw-admin] [visitor-feedback] Message from site visitor

 Tim Vipond sent the following message from the site:Can I switch to synthetic motorcycle oil meeting all the requirements listed in the owners manual at the 600 mile oil change on my 2006 K1200LT? I've heard BMW dealers say never to use synthetic, switch at 18,000 miles or 12,000 miles and heard a rumor that the accessory catalog says a switch can be made at 6,000 miles. I switched to synthetic on my 2000 K1200LT at 6,000 miles and currently have 135,000 miles with no engine problems or even a valve adjustment. AMSOIL says I can switch to AMSOIL synthetic motorcycle oil immediately, but recommend to wait until the 600 mile oil change.Full name: Tim VipondUsername: Email address: [email protected]ddress: 6011 Amelia Terrace Court, Sugar Land, TX 77479Browser info: Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1; .NET CLR 1.0.3705) (this information may be useful if the user is complaining of technical problems on the site)Regards,BMWMotorcycles.com  


I also emailed AMSOIL the same question. They emailed and said I could switch to AMSOIL synthetic motorcycle oil anytime and be covered under their warranty, but suggested I wait until the 600 mile oil change.

So from break in to 600 miles, I rode my bike pretty much normally, but did not lug the engine or live near redline. At 600 miles I put the AMSOIL MCV synthetic motorcycle engine oil in, their SMF122 oil filter and their SVG synthetic gear lube in and now ride it really hard on Sundays like I always did on my 136,600 mile synthetically lubed 2000 K1200LT. Now at 4,000 miles it runs great and has not used a drop of oil that I can tell at the sight glass. I plan on changing the engine oil and filter at 12,000 miles to comply with my AMSOIL warranty and it will comply with the BMW warranty unless BMW can prove the oil did not hold up or was not a motorcycle specific oil via an oil analysis. In which case, AMSOIL pays. So all my bases are covered.
 

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Shogun54 said:
Heck, Grif, we all know that we use the oil that tastes best! I'm partial to one that works equally well in dressings and sauteing. Sometimes the color can add an unusual aspect too!

Seriously, just did my 30K maintenance yesterday and wasted a couple of hours driving around and looking for some suitable oil. Did the refiners get so wrapped up in gasoline profiteering that they forgot to schedule performance oil production? I had been using Mobil 1 15W50 Performance oil, and now all I can find is their 'Extended Life' 15000 mile oil in that spec. Tried Autozone, Pep Boys, and the ever faithful WallyWorld and there is an almost complete lack of performance oriented oils on the shelves. Finally found some Castrol synthetic at a local auto parts house that will do, but anybody got a handle on what is going on here?

The old Mobil 1 15w50 red cap is now the Extended life 15w50 Gold cap..

And from what I've read, the manufacturers and engineers of both oil and of most motorcycles and cars say you can switch to synth at the first oil change, unless of course it came from the factory with synth then, you've already switched.

I've had dealers tell me things that were so obviously wrong, I don't take much stock in what they say.
 

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Tim:

Does the 2006 LT have a wet sump? I know previous models including my 99 LT were dry sumps so unless the 2006 is now a wet sump I would like to know how BMW claims that using the wrong oil can damage the clutch in a dry sump? It is impossible.
 

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amsoilguy said:
Tim:

Does the 2006 LT have a wet sump? I know previous models including my 99 LT were dry sumps so unless the 2006 is now a wet sump I would like to know how BMW claims that using the wrong oil can damage the clutch in a dry sump? It is impossible.
John

It is not the sump that makes the difference - it is the wet or dry clutch. ALL K1200LTs have a wet sump but a dry clutch. A dry sump is a bike that has an oil TANK on it some where. The new K bike with the transverse engine has a dry sump but a wet clutch. Go figure!:rolleyes:
 

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I stand corrected on the wet/dry sump issue however i beleive my 99 has a dry clutch. Are you say that newer 2006 LT has a wet clutch is that correct?
 

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amsoilguy,

The brochure states it has a dry clutch. I hope it stays that way and no one ever has to see it! I believe it does have a starter sprague clutch that gets splashed with engine oil. Not sure what else also has contact with the engine oil.

If anyone questions BMW's advice, I suggest they call them at the listed number and ask for clarification and post the question and their response here.

I am curious as to why you use the higher priced, AMSOIL secondary recommendation of the 20W50 Racing oil when the different, new and improved MCV is available? You might be going where no man has gone before!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
To grifscoots,
The dealer did my PM and used BMW's 20w50 non-synthetic oil. I'm thinking of amsoil for the future. Not to drag this out further .... oil change intervals?
Thanks again.
 

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NascaLT,

From the AMSOIL web site:

"SERVICE LIFE
For “on road” use in engines, transmissions and primary chaincases, change AMSOIL MCV and AMSOIL engine oil filter at twice the motorcycle manufacturer change interval or one year, whichever comes first. Change other brand oil filters at standard intervals."
 

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amsoilguy said:
I stand corrected on the wet/dry sump issue however i beleive my 99 has a dry clutch. Are you say that newer 2006 LT has a wet clutch is that correct?
No,

The new K1200 GT, R, and RS have the the newly designed transverse engine are dry sump - wet clutch. The LT still has the horizontal inline four and dry clutch.
 

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NascaLT said:
To grifscoots,
The dealer did my PM and used BMW's 20w50 non-synthetic oil. I'm thinking of amsoil for the future. Not to drag this out further .... oil change intervals?
Thanks again.
I am not even worthy to stand in the same garage as the guru's on this board as I am still learning, but I run amsoil 20w50 and go 12000 between changes.
 

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TimVipond said:
Here is my correspondance with BMW pertaining to this subject.--------Car motor oils have been reformulated and no longer meet the needs of a motorcycle engine. If an automotive oil is used in your motorcycle, clutch damage may be experienced, and BMW Motorrad USA would not be liable for any consequential damage.--------------------Regards,
BMW Motorrad USA--------------
Again you post this response, when the person has totally destroyed his believability relative to the LT with the clutch damage statement. The LT owner's manual and service manual both state that oil for the LT only has to meet certain AGI specifications, and absolutely nothing states that "motorcycle" oils need to be used.

The new "K" engines are another matter, and may be the reason the BMW person made that blanket statement which had NO relevance to the LT. The current LT engine absolutely does NOT need "motorcycle" rated oil, and will not gain one thing by using it. When I tore down my engine for the detonation damaged pistons at 100,000 miles, there was absolutely NO measurable wear on anything other than ring gaps, which had barely encroached on the lower end of the allowable wear tolerance range, the pistons were still in diameter tolerance, and the cylinder bores, crankshaft journals and crank and rod bearings were still within the very tight factory initial assembly tolerances. I put it back together with the original crank and rod bearings as there was no reason to replace them. I had used BMW Dino oil till 18,000, BMW synthetic until around 75,000 miles, then Castrol Syntec synthetic for the remainder of the bike's life.
 

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Dave,

Feel free to contact BMW and debate them. Then post up if their advice changes. Like it or not, we need to play by their rules or risk our warranty coverage.
 

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TimVipond said:
Dave,

Feel free to contact BMW and debate them. Then post up if their advice changes. Like it or not, we need to play by their rules or risk our warranty coverage.
They have to abide by what the owners manual and service manuals say. What some demonstrably clueless person says in an email to one person carries no weight.
 
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