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OK, I know I have unleashed a firestorm. I have used synthetics in my past bikes and all of my cars. The performance has been well worth the investment. What is the conventional wisdom when it comes to the LT specifically.
As a side note, what is the best drivers back rest to add to the stock seat. I am 5'11" and weigh 180. The stock seat seems to work fine, but my lower back needs the additional support.
 

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Alot of people switch to synthetic after the first 600 miles. There are alot of oil threads discussing the brand of oil. Here is what BMW says about their oil:

BMW oil ensures outstanding performance. Exceeds all requirements for API Classification SH. Meets all of the demanding requirements of precision BMW motorcycle engines. BMW oils stays in grade better under severe loads and provides outstanding wear, rust, corrosion and oxidation protection.
BMW Special Performance Motorcycle Engine Oil--BMW Approved Motorcycle Oil

As far as a back rest, I had one on my Venture Royal, and though I would miss it on my LT. I haven't, even on long trips this year.
 

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Old Slow Guy in A Fast Car
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Most of us here use synthetic oil & Gear oil. My dealer said to wait till after 18K miles to ensure the rings have set in.
BAKUP BACK REST
is what a lot of us use
 

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katnapinn said:
Most of us here use synthetic oil & Gear oil. My dealer said to wait till after 18K miles to ensure the rings have set in.
BAKUP BACK REST
is what a lot of us use
Most? Really? Has their been a poll? I am curious as I considered switching to synthetic as I have used synthetics in my cars and trucks for nearly 30 years. However, after reading a little about the BMW and its propensity to have seals leak, I decided to stick with dino oil. Also, the main advantages of synthetics are performance at the extremes of temperature or for extended change intervals. I don't run my LT in much hot weather here in PA and I also don't ride much below 32 where the synthetics really start to show an advantage. And my motorcycle comes up on the time limit for changes before it gets to more than about 6-7K miles and that is within the tolerances of a good dino oil.

I have wondered what propotion of LT owners really do use sythetic, but have no real idea.
 

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Not saying if it is the right way to go Matt, but I would bet if you took a poll you would find a very large number of us (maybe even the majority!) have switched to synthetic oils!

Just saying,

John
Voyager said:
Most? Really? Has their been a poll? I am curious as I considered switching to synthetic as I have used synthetics in my cars and trucks for nearly 30 years. However, after reading a little about the BMW and its propensity to have seals leak, I decided to stick with dino oil. Also, the main advantages of synthetics are performance at the extremes of temperature or for extended change intervals. I don't run my LT in much hot weather here in PA and I also don't ride much below 32 where the synthetics really start to show an advantage. And my motorcycle comes up on the time limit for changes before it gets to more than about 6-7K miles and that is within the tolerances of a good dino oil.

I have wondered what propotion of LT owners really do use sythetic, but have no real idea.
 

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oldgoat said:
OK, I know I have unleashed a firestorm. I have used synthetics in my past bikes and all of my cars. The performance has been well worth the investment. What is the conventional wisdom when it comes to the LT specifically.
As a side note, what is the best drivers back rest to add to the stock seat. I am 5'11" and weigh 180. The stock seat seems to work fine, but my lower back needs the additional support.
I use synthetic in the engine, trans, and final drive and have had no problems; 60k on the odometer, synthetic since I bought her 42k ago. Same synthetic in the Ducati; no problems.
 

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+1 Synthetics

+1 Bak Up Back rest
 

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I used synthetic in everything until I had my outputseal go bad and leak oil onto the clutch plate ($1.98 seal causing an $1400.00 repair).
The tech told me that synthetic can do this to the seals (Specially BMW because they use such hard rubber). The Synthetics do not keep the gaskets and seals from drying out and cracking like the dyno does.

For what it worth I went 50/50 dyno and synth castrol after the repairs.
 

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Any correct type of oil will do so long as there continue to be no or few reports of oil related engine failure for the LT. I prefer peanut oil because it does not leave an aftertaste.
 

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rkimmel2 said:
Any correct type of oil will do so long as there continue to be no or few reports of oil related engine failure for the LT. I prefer peanut oil because it does not leave an aftertaste.
Low in trans fats and cholesterol too !!! :D
 

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Having been involved in either the motorcycle or automobile business for many of my 63 years, I have found that the information gleaned from a mechanic or technician, especially when it comes to oil or tires, is usually no more accurate than the opinions found on oil or tire threads on this or other forums. Now if that isn't a run on sentence nothing is.

I am not denigrating mechanics by saying this. It is just that their opinions are as often based on hear-say or innate prejudice as the opinions of the rest of us.

In my life I have never heard of a verifiable engine failure or seal leakage issue that was the result of any oil specific reason if the oil was the proper viscosity and had been changed at proper intervals. There have been verifiable cases of sludge build up caused by auto manufacturers specifying extended change intervals (Mercedes, Toyota etc.) but nothing else to my knowledge.
 

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rkimmel2 said:
Any correct type of oil will do so long as there continue to be no or few reports of oil related engine failure for the LT. I prefer peanut oil because it does not leave an aftertaste.
Popeye uses Olive Oil.
 

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So, if I understand you correctly you're saying the synthetic oil/seal failure is another urban myth?

BTW I use Dino in the sump, and synthetic in the gear box/final drive. Too askeered to try synthetic in the engine due to being a subscriber to the urban myth. Castrol 4T 20W50 for me.

Loren

heaaleyblue said:
Having been involved in either the motorcycle or automobile business for many of my 63 years, I have found that the information gleaned from a mechanic or technician, especially when it comes to oil or tires, is usually no more accurate than the opinions found on oil or tire threads on this or other forums. Now if that isn't a run on sentence nothing is.

I am not denigrating mechanics by saying this. It is just that their opinions are as often based on hear-say or innate prejudice as the opinions of the rest of us.

In my life I have never heard of a verifiable engine failure or seal leakage issue that was the result of any oil specific reason if the oil was the proper viscosity and had been changed at proper intervals. There have been verifiable cases of sludge build up caused by auto manufacturers specifying extended change intervals (Mercedes, Toyota etc.) but nothing else to my knowledge.
 

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AlaskaFish said:
Not saying if it is the right way to go Matt, but I would bet if you took a poll you would find a very large number of us (maybe even the majority!) have switched to synthetic oils!

Just saying,

John
I'm not sure it is worth doing a poll, I was hoping maybe one had been done that I could look at. I've only been hanging around here for 3 years or so and hadn't seen one, but then I occasionally go a week or so in between visits and might have missed one.

Mostly, just a curiosity for me.
 

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wa1200lt said:
So, if I understand you correctly you're saying the synthetic oil/seal failure is another urban myth?

BTW I use Dino in the sump, and synthetic in the gear box/final drive. Too askeered to try synthetic in the engine due to being a subscriber to the urban myth. Castrol 4T 20W50 for me.

Loren

+1 on the 4T. The price is right and I don't ride my LT in a way that would gain any value from synthetics. However, I use nothing but synthetics in my other vehicles. Having them spin over briskly when it is -20F is worth its weight in gold! If I rode the LT at below zero temps, I would probably use synthetic in it also and hope it didn't cause a seal issue.

I do suspect that sythetics are more prone to seal leakage, especially vehicles that were run for a fair time on dino oil. Most of my vehicles were bought new and changed to synthetic at the 5,000 mile mark, but two that I bought used and then changed to sythetic after 50K or so both developed signifiance oil leakage from several different seals and gaskets. May be coincidence, I certainly can't be sure, but it makes me wonder nonetheless.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Thanks for the input. As mentioned, I have run the synthetics in most of my vehicles for years. I have seen significant benefit in some cases. Often noises in the drivetrain have magically disappeared. In some dyno testing we proved that the synthetic gear oil was worth 6 hp over dino oil in the transmission and rear axle of a brand new 06 Mustang GT.
I appreciate the feedback in regard to the backrest. Now I just need to make a decision and tell my wife she is buying me an early Christmas present.
My next question is about K&N air filters. Any real life data?
 

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From the Mobil 1 website


Myth: You should break in your engine with conventional oil, then switch to a synthetic oil like Mobil 1.
Reality:
You can start using Mobil 1 in new vehicles at any time, even in brand new vehicles. In fact, Mobil 1 is original equipment (it is installed at the factory) in:


* Acura RDX
* Aston Martin
* All Bentley Vehicles
* All Cadillac Vehicles
* Chevrolet Corvette C6 and Z06
* Chevrolet TrailBlazer SS
* Chrysler 300C SRT-8
* Cobalt SS S/C Coupe
* Dodge Caliber SRT-4, Charger SRT-8, and Magnum SRT-8
* Jeep Cherokee SRT-8
* Mercedes-Benz AMG Vehicles
* Mercedes SLR
* Mitsubishi Evolution
* Pontiac Solstice GXP
* All Porsche Vehicles
* Saturn Ion Red Line and Saturn Sky Red Line
* Viper SRT-10

One of the myths surrounding synthetic oils is that new engines require a break-in period with conventional oil. The fact is, current engine manufacturing technology does not require this break-in period. As indicated by the decisions of the engineers who design the high-performance cars listed above, Mobil 1 can be used starting the day you drive the car off the showroom floor. Watch our answer to this myth.


This myth along with the "leaking seals" should be dumped in trash with other urban legends.

My RT and current LT have had synthetic oils from the second oil change with nothing abnormal in either bike.

Are we to believe that a K1200LT is much different than a small BMW liquid cooled car engine?? My BMW auto mechanic says they're pretty darn similar.

Enjoy your ride.
 
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