Oil - Synthetic or NOT

Discussion in 'GS Boxers' started by garabato25, Mar 21, 2008.

  1. garabato25

    garabato25 Adventurer

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    Hello All,

    I just purchased my first BMW bike, a 2008 GSA. I have read the ownerrs manual and spoken to the techs at my local dealer and they recommend non-synthetic oil for the first 12,000 miles, after that I can change to Synthetic...

    I have always used Amsoil Synthetic blend for my previous japanese bikes and never had any problems....

    Can you guys tell me the reasoning behind not using fully synthetic oil after the first 600 mile break in period??? Can I change to synthetic??? I've heard things related to seals not seating properly and such...any truth to this????

    Any comments will be greatly appreciated...

    BTW....I LOVE my GSA...I feel like an arse for not switching over years ago...hahah...I traded in my K6 GSXR 1000 for it too :)

    Cheers

    Alex
    #1
  2. rboett

    rboett posser noob 205

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    Congrats on the bike!!

    Oil ,,, Hmmmmm.........

    May want to search a bit,,, I think I saw a thread about that recently,,,,
    #2
  3. Drifter

    Drifter Long timer

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    Don't be in any hurry to use Synthetic oil. There's plenty of time. Let your factory fresh engine get run in with good O' crude oil for the first 2 or 3 oil changes. Then go Syn. Frankly, I used to use Synthetic, but then a mehcanic told me that it's not all that big a deal. So, I went back to usin crude. My GS has 60K mostly trouble free miles and is still pulling very strong!
    #3
  4. infoatnmmoto

    infoatnmmoto with the band

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    Just do what it says in the manual. :deal
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  5. Grok

    Grok Long timer

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    In the early days of synthetic oil there were some problems with seals. The manufacturers became savvy pretty quickly. Formulations were modified to interact with gaskets and seals in pretty much the same way as dino oil. It is now a non-issue. Some car manufacturers are now specifying synthetic oil.

    There is a belief among some that dino helps seat the rings. It very well may, because it is an inferior lubricant.

    I would have no compunction about running a quality synthetic for the full life of the vehicle.

    As always YMMV :D
    #5
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  6. Ron Seida

    Ron Seida Adventman

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    Japanese motors are high reving, high horsepower motors, the BMW boxer is neither. I have never ran Synthetic in a boxer engine with excellent results and change the oil often, but always ran synthetic in my japanese engines. I don't think the boxer engine needs it, and i think BMW concurs, but if you do choose to run synthetic, wait until the motor is properly broken in first. This mileage varies. I bought mine with 32k km on the motor and only now after an additional 10k km of hard riding it's tightening up. I don't believe 600 miles is enough, personally, but i guess it depends on how hard you ride the engine.
    #6
  7. tagesk

    tagesk Tuscan rider

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    As a general statement, synthetic is better than dino. Mostly becuase it is purer, and thus more stable (against mechanical and chemical stress). It is also (much) more expensive.

    However, your BMW has been designed not to need it. Your BMW has been designed for you to be able to change oil in the middle of nowhere (not Nowhere as in Idaho, bu Nowhere as in Angola or Borneo). Not only will your bike "tolerate" dino oil, it has been designed by BMW, with great care, to run on it.

    In particular: If your bike falls while you cross a river in the jungle and you don't manage to kill it before it falls, you need to change your oil before starting it again, and then change the oil after it has ben running a short while. Then you need to rely on the oil the Village Chief happens to have on the shelf next to the scalps. And that will be a dino.

    I believe the consensus is:
    - Your bike has been designed to run solely on the least expensive mineral oil you are able to purchase. If you don't believe me, check you manual, and consider this: If there were any disadvantage to the bike in running dino, would BMW write in the manual that you can do so?
    I run my R1150GS on no-brand mineral oil 10W40 that I purchase at the local supermaked. That is what BMW recommends in the manual.

    - Your bike will not be damaged in any way from running with (much) more expensive oils.

    Finally, all this is covered in the GSpot FAQ to which you find a link at the bottom of my post.

    Ride your bike with prudence, ATGATT, and write Ride Reports.

    [TaSK]


    (Which reminds me that ATGATT must go into the FAQ as it isn't there)
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  8. PETDOC

    PETDOC Long timer

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    I don't have a clue as to what is best. When I got my new '04 GS I broke it in by the book--many 100 mile runs with varying rpms, but kept below 4,000 and lots of gear changes. I ran regular dino for the first 12,000 miles, changed oil/filter every 3,000 miles. It initially drank oil, if I remember correctly almost a quart one time between changes. At 12,000 miles I switched to Mobil 1 and went to changing oil/filter every 6,000 miles. At 32,000 miles it never uses any oil anymore. Made one trip of 9,000 miles where I could not change oil and I never had to add any.
    #8
  9. Whiskey Tango

    Whiskey Tango 1*

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    With the unique exception of piston powered aircraft where there were foaming issues and resultant engine damage, synthetic oil of the proper viscocity is just about always better than dino oil - even high quality dino oil.

    Syntehic oil, amongst other more complicated benefit, is much more stable at temperature extremes. Cold start, where more wear occurs than many, many miles of normal operation are less damaging with synthetic oil. Getting stuck in traffic or other situation weher the engine oil temperature is at the higher end of its range (or perhaps beyond) is also where synthetic oil shines.

    Most break-in surrounds seating of the rings. That is done more int he first sixty miles than any term near 600. Mating metal parts getting to "know eachother" can be accelerated by just using no oil - they'll get to "know eachother" real good/real quick. The notion that less lubricaiton is somehow beneficial to long term break-in makes no sense to me.

    In every other facet of machinery, with the limited acception of that which is referenced above, synthetic lubricants are preferred if not mandated. What do you think comes from the factory in the engines of Corvette, Bently, Rolls Royce, Bently, Ferrari, Lamborghini? Notice I said - right from the factory!

    With all of that said, will the BMW boxer engine run for a very, very, very long time of properly operated and cared for with appropriately rated dino oil? Absolutely!! Howver, no "damage" will be done by use of an appropriate viscosity and grade of synthic oil either.

    But, I do start my engine in cold weather; I do get stuck in traffic at rallies and what not and, to a more limited degree, prefer the option of longer oil change intervals though I rarely exercise those privileges.
    #9
  10. jigdog

    jigdog Been here awhile

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    Ah another victim about to be sucked into the Synthetic Oil Whirlpool!
    NO NEVER USE SYNTHETIC OIL! ITS ALL A BUNCH OF HORSESHIT! DONT LISTEN TO ANYONE WHO TELLS YOU DIFFERENT! YOUR ENGINE WILL RUN FINE ON REGULAR OIL!
    #10
  11. RoundTrip

    RoundTrip Unintentional deerslayer

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    So.....how do you really feel about it?

    -jeff
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  12. jigdog

    jigdog Been here awhile

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    I really couldnt care less. I just want to use the upper case letters.
    #12
  13. tagesk

    tagesk Tuscan rider

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    BTW, in case you haven't noticed, this is called an "Oil Thread".

    Consensus is that the term "Oil Thread" is a generally negative one, meaning "A thread where the posts have with little, or no, real value but this is compensated with emotion."
    This is not meant to imply that the question was stupid. But you've probably learned something about ADVRider :evil
    And while I am at it: The term "Fuel Thread" is not, in general, considered a very positive term either. You get the idea :1drink

    In any case - welcome! Ride with prudence, ATGATT, and write mind-boggling Ride Reports for us to enjoy!

    [TaSK]
    #13
  14. Deans BMW

    Deans BMW Granpa Hoon

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    Just an FYI, San Jose BMW uses Mobil 1, 15/50 Synthetic in all of their race engines from day 1. Bought in those 5 qt jugs at Wally World as I do in all of my Beemers from the first oil change on.

    BTW a few WFO laps on the track then an oil change results in a perfect break in.
    #14
  15. Steptoe

    Steptoe steptoe

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    It's simple.
    Use of synthetic oil from new doesn't allow the engine to bed in correctly, due to the oils efficiency . Which will cause oil consumption through the life of the engine.

    Use of mineral oil will allow the engine to bed in as designed, and when/if after the bedding in period you decide to use a synthetic oil OR mineral oil for the rest of your engines life, it should have acceptable oil consumption.
    #15
  16. def

    def Ginger th wonder dog

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    Not an accurate statement.
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  17. ELIMINATOR

    ELIMINATOR Where's the world going

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    The whole point of synthetic oil has not been mentioned. Most cars use it these days, and the oil change intervals are up to 3 times (18000 miles) that of what BMW reccomends for the GS.

    Perhaps it could be left in for the same mileage, as the main benefit is that it doesn't go out of grade as quick as what you guys call Dino oil. (Why is it called that?) I've read a lot about oil, it seems to be far better, but if GS' can run for ever on Mineral oil (dino to you) is it worth the extra money if the oil is changed at 6000 miles in both instances?

    Steptoe is THE GS Guru:clap
    #17
  18. def

    def Ginger th wonder dog

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    These seems to be a missconception that synthetic oils can cause some problems with engines during the early, mid and later miles....in otherwords, synthecic oils are the cause of various engine maladies.

    Synthetic oils can be used from the very beginning causing no bedding in problems or other engine compromising issues.

    What synthetic oils do provide is EXTENDED OIL CHANGE INTERVALS over and above dino oils. Also synthetic oils typically have higher TBN numbers. This provides longer in service life for the oil and keeps the additive package healthy longer. Finally, synthetics typically do not shear down nearly as quickly as dino oils because the base stock synthetic molecule is tougher. Because synthetic oils typically fare better in the NOACK test, the synthetic does not cook off like dino oils do. I would visit http://www.bobistheoilguy.com/ for the truth about oils and how they work.
    #18
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  19. ELIMINATOR

    ELIMINATOR Where's the world going

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    So as Def just wrote, reading between the lines; I's only worth it if you extend the oil changes.

    Steptoe IMO is right, synthetic used from brand new might be OK in a car water cooled engine, but not so in an air cooled boxer engine. But, as I wrote it is "In my opinion"

    So who has run synthetic oil on extended oil changes?
    #19
  20. Steptoe

    Steptoe steptoe

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    Depends where you read. Also read the what the people who design/make/build the engines have to say.

    Porsche used to have a similar running in regime a few years ago.
    #20