BMW Engine Oil

Discussion in 'Parallel Universe' started by 14TLC, Jun 28, 2012.

  1. Hucker

    Hucker Lost

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    My dealer just told me that BMW has recently changed their recommendation for the engine to the 15W-50 "Super Synthetic."

    I asked since when, while giving him the :huh look. He flipped the screen around so I could verify he was looking at it right and said that BMW is notorious for changing the requirements as they wish.

    Gotta say, the tranny seems to shift like butta with the stuff. :deal
    #21
  2. 14TLC

    14TLC Adventurer

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    #22
  3. MikeMike

    MikeMike Long timer

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    Really? Then why does BMW Motorrad have the local dealer here stock only 20w-50?
    That's not sarcasm, it's reality.
    Reality is, Motorrad worldwide can't agree on a lot of things. Rotax developed the motor, not BMW.
    So all that talent at BMW went to waste. Are you going to tell me that a Mann oil or air filter is not as good as a BMW catalog product? Because Mann don't have access to the BMW brain trust?
    What BMW Motorrad says and what local dealers do is not always in sync.
    Why would Motorrad Mexico tell dealers to use 20w-50 oil in the F800/650?

    The BMW brain trust in my manual told me to run 1mm of clutch clearance in (2008, 2009, and 2010 manuals all included this), that was changed. Guess those BMW engineers just aren't so smart, are they? I am not lining up to drink the kool aid from Spandau.
    #23
  4. fosters2

    fosters2 It is what it is

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    I love how these oil discussions seem to devolve into what they become.

    Doesn't matter who makes the engine. It's sourced by BMW. They would have the support engineering group that works with the parts mfg, just like Brembo brakes. They're the ones that spec the use of the part and the suppliers, as well as working with those suppliers to determine consumables and maintenance tasks/schedules.

    It's your engine and you can put whatever you like in it. However, there's a lot of people who read these boards and come away with their collective heads spinning, not know what to do and afraid their shiny new bike is going to explode.

    For those folks (not the ones who somehow have more information than the factory) just follow the manual. That's what it's there for. It states clearly that Castrol is recommended and to use 10w-40. Pretty simple.
    #24
  5. TheCowboy

    TheCowboy back in the saddle again

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    I use whatever is available, including auto oil, I got 60,000 miles om my F8 and no problems, runs like a noisy sewing machine. Clutch is working just fine.... Motor oil science is overrated.

    TheCowboy
    #25
  6. TowPro

    TowPro Lets ride

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    Not trying to be a smart ass here Cowboy (I always respected Cowboys :D)


    But there is something to the science.
    Oils stamped "energy saving" has additives that can make the clutch slip. Motorcycle oils do not have this additive.
    Some oils (GL4?) have the tendency to have phosphors come out of the oil and plate on copper (or brass) items in high heat conditions.
    Why do some have stator failures while others don't?

    The rest is just thickness of the oil, which changes based on engine temperature.
    #26
  7. MikeMike

    MikeMike Long timer

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    Really?
    It is a good idea to remain skeptical of the BMW manual. The clutch issue alone is enough to make that clear.
    BMW Motorrad, worldwide, say different things to different people. They are not perfect, the amount of recalls on the F800/650 makes that painfully obvious to even the most dyed in the wool BMW fanatic.
    I am still waiting for someone to explain to me why the BMW brain trust says you have to use 10w-40 oil and they only supply the dealers with 20w-50 and then change the recommendations mid-production.

    Maybe you want to try that?
    #27
  8. fosters2

    fosters2 It is what it is

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    Yes, really. That's why Pomo and Monroe posted what they did earlier in the thread.


    Here's a simple response. I have no idea what or why or if BMW is telling their dealers about oil. That would be speculation.

    What I do know is the USA manual states 10w-40, which is a pretty standard oil for typical temperature ranges in the US, and probably Macedonia (14TLC's apparent location). I have no idea what oil is spec'd in the manual for Macedonia. But, whatever it is, I'd use that, unless I had better information to go by.

    The "different things to different people" is entirely the reason why there is a manual. Unless superseded by a BMW written communication, that is the gospel. Can't deny a warranty claim if you're following the manual.

    Lord knows they (BMW) are not perfect. I've got the regional PM's cell phone number and have had many a personal discussion about issues with past bikes I've owned (like left-pulling K1600's). No fanaticism here.

    Not aware there was a recommendation change mid-production. What was the recommended oil prior to the current 10w-40 and when did the change take place?

    Getting back to 14TLC's original series of posts, I would either get the exact oil that the dealer used (with a receipt to prove he got it from them), or, if he was going to buy somewhere else, go with what is stated in the manual.
    #28
  9. MikeMike

    MikeMike Long timer

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    Seems like you are avoiding a few things.

    First, it is clear that BMW has now made a change mid-production in the vehicle run for which oil is recommended.

    Second, BMW can and will totally arbitrarily allow or deny anything they want under warranty. They have a recognized goodwill policy they use in order to quell the uproar over the screw ups by the BMW brain trust. That is a fact. They also have used excuses like "you live near the ocean so the finish on your bike is not covered under warranty" etc...

    Third, if you followed the manual as gospel and used 1mm of clutch play (I highly doubt that you followed that, did you?) then your clutch would be in crap condition just as your warranty was running out, if not before. The BMW brain trust of engineering geniuses realized their screw up, so as a matter of fact, you cannot and should not take as gospel everything in the manual.

    Fourth, those genuine BMW quality air filters that collapsed into the air box and let unfiltered air flow through the motor. Remember those? I do. I also remember a genuine factory trained BMW service person telling me that it wasn't important and that, though I had just been in for the 10,000km check and they didn't bother to look at it, I should just simply wait until the next service at 20,000kms and have it swapped out. When I told them to kiss my ass, and pulled the filter out and went to the dealer to demand a new one, I was denied a new one and had to purchase it myself because "they did not discover it and photograph it in order to document it for BMW Motorrad".
    They relented later, after considerable pressure, and gave me a new one for the old torn one that I had kept because, at the time, they wouldn't give me a new one under recall nor under warranty.

    Yes, oil threads are to be avoided at all costs when talking about the particular qualities etc... of oils. However, if techs are recommending something it is because they actually see the results of use and wear when it comes to a bike, they are not pulling something out of their butt. We would all like to think that BMW and the brain trust have our best interests at heart. We all used to believe in Santa Claus, too. Maybe if BMW really had our interests at heart they would have fixed the stalling problem, the air filter problem, the steering bearings problem, the rear wheel bearings problem, the front disc bolts problem, the finish issues, the premature alternator failures, the premature battery failures, the clutch design problem, etc... before the bikes left the kind and gentle hands of the BMW brain trust of whizzbang engineering geniuses.

    Making excuses for BMW and believing in the quality of their genuine parts, is never going to see any improvement in BMW quality. VW used to trade on the legend of reliability of their vehicles, they don't anymore. LOL! There is a lesson in their for BMW.

    I suppose the genius who designed the seat for the F800/F650 likely wrote the manual for the bike, too.

    For the record, I do my own servicing since the warranty ran out (dealer service is obligatory here for maintaining the warranty), I will not take my bike to the local dealer, my motor has more than 40,000kms on it under rough 3rd world conditions ranging from slightly below zero C to over 40 C from sea level to over 14,000ft elevation on rough pavement, highway, dirt, gravel, mud, cobblestones, etc... it has never burned a drop of oil (for the last 20,000kms it has been locally sourced oil 20w-50 that is available as consumer law in this country states the dealer must service the bike to keep the warranty valid). I change my oil every 5,000kms and use Hi-Flo filters and EBC brake components. The compression is like new, it runs fine. Knock on wood. I kept the manual to practice my Spanish with.
    #29
  10. 14TLC

    14TLC Adventurer

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    Exactly my point.

    Seems that this thread will end like any other oil thread. I know I started this thread but only out of curiosity regarding the BMW oil. When it turned out to be an automotive oil....oh boy, this thread will go out of control.

    Under warranty I will let the dealer to put whatever oil their "godfather" recommends. After that I will use oil with gradation recommended by the manual and from a proven brand. Most likely 15W-40, or 15W-50 because here it can get very hot (yesterday it was 42C). After warranty I always service the bike by my self.

    Now, indeed BMW changed the manual several times. In 2008 and 2009 it was Mineral oil

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Than for 2010 and 2011 they erased the Mineral oil

    [​IMG]

    Now in 2012 they recommend only two oil gradations for all of their motorcycles

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Why they are doing that depends of the contract with their oil supplier and of course it is very cheap for them to have just few types of oil. This is not the case only with BMW, it is the same with other manufacturers. A week ago I went to the Honda dealer to buy oil for my friend's Africa Twin. Asked for the usual 10W-40 Honda branded oil and the dealer told me that Honda don't produce anymore all previous oils and now they recommend only one oil for all of their motorcycles and it is 10W-30 :huh, of course Honda branded.

    My motto is: Just use whatever oil you think is good for your bike, change it on whatever mileage you think is ok, and for sure you will be safe.
    How many of you here had and engine failure due to improper oil? And just to be clear, by improper I don't mean sawing machine oil or truck gearbox oil.
    I have a Mineral Multigrade HD engine oil for BMW petrol and diesel engines in my GS, recommended by two BMW dealers :evil. If I notice clutch slip I will change it. After warranty for sure I will not use it.

    If we are going from one extreme to another, I will just add this:

    One friend of mine had an Aprilia Pegaso from 1991 with 600cc Rotax engine (Same engine as Aprilia Tuareg Wind 600) and his bike was under constant serious off-road abuse. He works as a mechanic in auto service and he was using whatever automotive oil he could find in their shop. Never seen clutch slip, parts wear or engine failure. His words: This engine is indestructible. Even if you want to on purpose, you can not.

    I'm out. I'm going for a ride to see how are my minerals in my F8GS :ricky
    #30
  11. mustardfj40

    mustardfj40 Been here awhile

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    I wonder how you guys on the RTW trip deal with motor oil? Call your favorite BMW dealer to FedEx the oil to your hotel?

    I read the RR and saw the riders even bough gasoline stored in a jug/bottle, wonder how are you going to find specific BMW motorcycle brand oil in middle of India or China...
    #31
  12. MikeMike

    MikeMike Long timer

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    They'll be too busy dialing for roadside assistance.
    #32
  13. Dream Rider

    Dream Rider Watchman

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    new 2012 f650gs. owners manual recommends Castrol 10W40 in -4degrees F and 15W40 for warmer temps. Think that is what i used in my 2008 K1300GT as well. Both have wet clutch. Sooooooooo?????
    #33
  14. MikeMike

    MikeMike Long timer

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    I think the point which some of us want to make is that BMW Motorrad in certain instances does not stock what is specified in the book and also if you are somewhere where there is no BMW dealer and no 15-40w motorcycle oil available, you will be using something else. Believe it or not, 15-40 or 10-40 bike oil is not widely available outside the 1st world.
    #34
  15. JRWooden

    JRWooden Long timer

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    I've read in several places that you can mix weights of oil and that you roughly end up with the average for the blend.

    Officially BMW (was) recommending Castrol Act-Evo Xtra 10W-40 which is a synthetic blend and is what I have been using ... that particular oil is available in 10W-40 and 20W-50

    I've read in several places that you can mix weights of oil and that you roughly end up with the average for the blend.
    I've been unable to find any references that says mixing viscosities of the same brand of oil is "bad" ...

    If I put 1.5Qt of 10W-40 and 1.5Qt of 20W-50 in my bike at the next oil change do I end up with ~15W-45? :evil

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    #35
  16. greenthumb

    greenthumb b00b

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2008
    Oddometer:
    265
    Location:
    Okanagan, British Columbia
    I have said this before, but I have a factory BMW sticker ON MY BIKE that says to use SE or SF oil of the following weights:
    10w30, 40, 50
    15w40, 50
    20w40, 50

    It is there. I have used several of the weights listed. Just sayin' :deal
    #36
  17. TowPro

    TowPro Lets ride

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2009
    Oddometer:
    3,426
    Location:
    Compass PA
    where would one look to see this sticker on my bike?
    #37
  18. greenthumb

    greenthumb b00b

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2008
    Oddometer:
    265
    Location:
    Okanagan, British Columbia
    It's under the seat near the tailight. Engine model specifics and valve clearances are on the same sticker. Not all bikes have it. Mine is a Canadian model, and it is mentioned on the sticker as well.
    #38
  19. Hayate

    Hayate ADV Monkey

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2010
    Oddometer:
    60
    Location:
    Slabland Hopkins MN
    What I'm gathering here is oil debates devolve into a lot of science and personal preference plus added confusion of dealers, manufacturers and everyone else in the chain changing their minds?

    Ok, whatever, but the basic simple option to the expensive ($8.50 a quart) BMW branded 10w40 I pick up at the dealership is to go with Castrol 10w40? This is recommended in the service manual? Make sure it is motorcycle specific formula though right?

    Like this stuff?
    http://www.powersportsuperstore.com...-Motorcycle-Oil-1-G-p/4741299.htm?Click=35177

    Oh and for what it's worth, even buying the BMW branded oil at my dealer, the parts guy or service tech has interchangeably sold me the 10w40 or 10w50. I queried them on that and they both said it doesn't make a difference.
    #39
  20. Snowy

    Snowy Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,336
    OK, I read through all these, and remember other oil threads where similar has occurred.

    It gives me a headache thinking about it.

    For the love of God, use google or something and search for oil grades explained....read...learn...and let's not do this again.

    http://www.upmpg.com/tech_articles/motoroil_viscosity/

    Here is one such article. Search oil company sites, and check out the standards they refer to.



    for the record, I use a 10/70 full synthetic, and enough moly to treat a truck engine. no clutch slip, haven't adjusted the clutch or valves in 50,000kms of heavy 2-up riding. Smoother shifting, less rattle at cold start, less transmission noise. Have done the same in 4 bikes and 3 cars. Never been an issue.


    normal programming will now resume.
    #40