New GS burning 1 QT oil per 1k miles - normal?

Discussion in 'GS Boxers' started by surfman, Sep 9, 2009.

  1. surfman

    surfman Journey

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    Bought a new 1200GS last March and the bike has been burning about 1 quart of oil every thousand miles during its 3,800 miles. The Manhattan dealership says its normal - Im thinking I have a lemon. What's your experience?
    #1
  2. colin

    colin Adventurer

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    2009 1200gs...i have experienced pretty much the same and its normal...the hotter the engine gets...the higher the burn, so in city stops and starts you are going to burn more as far as i can see...but it will improve as you get more miles and better break in
    #2
  3. EggChaser

    EggChaser Been here awhile

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    Hmm if you ignore what the dealer has put in during servicing, my '08 GS has taken less than 1 Quart (less that 1 litre in reality) and I have done 18,000 miles.
    #3
  4. surfman

    surfman Journey

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    I normally take longer rides away from city traffic and the bike still consumes about 1 qt of oil per 1,000 open road miles. That doesn't say very much for a promoted world travel adventure bike.

    Hey Colin you seem to be ok with such poor oil mileage on a new bike and pitch that its normal and will get better with more miles. Sounds exactly like the BS pitch I got from the crack Manhattan BMW service team. Wonder why
    #4
  5. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid!

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    Read your manual! In it, it explicitly says that oil consumption up to 1 quart per 1000 miles falls within the norm.

    Some bikes use virtually no oil, and some a lot. Mine was in the a lot catagory. Up to 20K miles it used a quart to the 1000 miles, then half that, and around 50K miles it stopped completely.

    This is considered normal, though many do not use any at all.

    Jim :brow

    PS Jumping on Colin doesn't help anyone, least of all you!:deal
    #5
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  6. jeffjbmw

    jeffjbmw Threadkiller

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    I am surprised you spent that much money on a R12GS BMW and didn't know about the oil consumption. (I am saying this because of your remark to Colin).

    I knew about it before the 4 R bikes I have bought and every one is different. My GS burns some. My wife's RS burns a bit, but now at 16K miles it is slowing. The R1150R's did in the middle. Every vehicle I have ever owned burned some oil in the break in stage. And every owners manual stated it was normal to consume oil to some amount, usually a surprisingly large one.

    You burn 20 gallons or more of fuel in 1K, so a new engine might need 1/80 of that in lube to break in..............
    #6
  7. surfman

    surfman Journey

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    Same line I heard from Manhattan BMW but nobody has been able to show me that explicit quote you suggest is in the manual.
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  8. proxyissues

    proxyissues Been here awhile

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    Not what I've experienced with my '09.
    After the initial servicing (1000km) in the last 5000km I've had to add roughly .5L in oil.
    This is where about 55-65% of those km's were in city, and often in stop and go traffic or jackrabbit starts.
    And on the highway I have a very heavy wrist.
    #8
  9. fuhgawee

    fuhgawee Thats a road?

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    My 07 consumed oil till about 5000 miles. My dealer said its fairly normally
    for boxers till they break in.
    #9
  10. Schtum

    Schtum Free Genie

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    The grade of oil makes a big difference to the level of consumption. BMW is now recommending Castrol Actevo 20W-50 for boxers. My local Motorrad dealership tell me that there have been fewer reports of excessive oil consumption following this. My own experience with my 1500 mile old '09 GS corroborates this.
    #10
  11. colin

    colin Adventurer

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    i follow the manual of 20w-50 castrol, and what i experienced on a 4000km zip was on days where there was more slow traffic and bars went higher, the following morning i added 1/3qt after 1000k..where there was more highway time and lower heat, i added half of that doing the same distance...so...each bike is different...i spoke to a friend with an 07 as he says he doesnt go anywhere without a quart...my mechanic(who i trust) says its normal...so..i trust that...if i am ok with it...im not losing any sleep, and certainly not angry enough to mistrust the information that comes to me in a helpful fashion:wink: ...

    )
    #11
  12. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid!

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    Did you actually read the manual, or just ask someone to show it to you? :dunno

    It certainly was in my manual!:deal

    Jim :brow
    #12
  13. PETDOC

    PETDOC Long timer

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    FWIW-When I bought my '04 1150 GS I broke it in by the book--many shorter rides (50-75 miles), lots of gear changes and didn't exceed 4000 rpms. It initially consumed 1qt/1000 miles, but the amount progressively decreased. At 12,000 miles I switched to synthetic oil (Mobil1) and changed at 6,000 mile intervals. It has never required any any oil between changes since; now at 44,000 miles. Actually once on a long trip I went 9,000 miles between changes without having to add any oil.
    #13
  14. 2Evil4U

    2Evil4U Been here awhile

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    Dude. Oil consumption is not a problem. Don't you realize that the final drive is programmed to burst into flames tomorrow? Get your beads in the correct order.:wink:
    #14
  15. RoundTrip

    RoundTrip Unintentional deerslayer

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    You will also reduce your oil consumption by running the piss out of your boxer engine. Do NOT baby it on break-in. You have enough miles on your bike now to ride it hard and seat the rings. Get it good and hot a few times. Heat cycles are important to seating rings.

    Ride it like you stole it...what have you got to lose? Think you'll use more oil? :deal


    -jeff
    #15
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  16. JetSpeed

    JetSpeed Naviator

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    You mean to tell me that you can't find this BS line in the owners manual as stated?
    Well you can stop looking; it isn't in there and you'll be happy to know that there's plenty more misinformation floating around on this forum so just wade through it and quit being such a dick.

    Few owners of these machines have to replenish much (if any) oil between changes once the bike is past it's 12,000 mile service.
    #16
  17. mag00

    mag00 Outa Control Dave

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    I've heard that the cylinder liners are very hard and that with 20-30,000 they still have the cross hatch pattern in them.
    #17
  18. def

    def Ginger th wonder dog

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    High engine oil consumption during early miles in a boxer's life is not a concern. Remember, you boxer engine uses alloy cylinders which are NOT sleeved, but plated with Nikasil, an extremely hard surface. This translates to three things:

    1- Your cylinder walls/piston rings will last ~200,000 miles without appreciable wear.
    2- Your engine cools better with this Nikasil directly on the alloy cylinder walls.
    3- The cylinder wall/piston ring surfaces do take longer to bed in.

    Be patient. Once seated (it may take 10,000 miles, mine took 17,000 miles) you'll be rewarded with an engine that will never need rings, pistons or re boring. Also, your oil use will abate to zero oil used in 10,000 miles. Meanwhile ride it as if it is fully broken in and DO NOT lug the engine.
    #18
  19. def

    def Ginger th wonder dog

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    No liners in the boxer engine...Nikasil plated directly on the alloy cylinder walls. Extremely hard, hence the extended oil use experienced by some boxer owners.

    Boxers almost always exhibit cross-hatching even at 100,000 miles.
    #19
  20. Anorak

    Anorak Woolf Barnato

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    What about every other brand that uses cylinders plated with a nickel silicon carbide coating? Do they also burn oil as much as the GS? Also, Nikasil is a specific trade name for a proprietary process. Does BMW use that product or another one?

    Ducati uses plated cylinders and they don't have the same history of oil burning as the BMW.
    #20