Oil level question

Discussion in 'GS Boxers' started by DougD, Mar 11, 2013.

  1. DougD

    DougD Adventurer

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    I changed the oil on my 02 1150gs (on the centerstand) and let it drain completely.

    changed the filter, then refilled with about 3.5 qts of 20/50

    now Ive test ridden it and let it sit on the side stand for several minutes, then on the centerstand for 20 + minutes and the oil level is showing just below the top red line in the sight window.

    I was told to put in just under 4qts ....Im glad I stopped short of that.

    is the level too high at this point?

    I was shooting for middle of the sight glass.
    #1
  2. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid! Supporter

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    You shorted your bike .5 quart!

    Drop in four quarts and stop worrying about it. You will NOT overfill with 4 quarts no matter what!

    There are many reasons you might see it at the half way point even half a quart short, oil still in the cooler is the most common. Add the half a quart and ride.

    Jim :brow
    #2
  3. DougD

    DougD Adventurer

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    I thought I seen strong warnings about NOT overfilling and damaging stuff etc....

    so even if the sight window will be completely covered with oil...thats not a problem? cool. thanks.
    #3
  4. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid! Supporter

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    The motor holds MORE than 4 quarts. You can't overfill it with 4 quarts. When changing oil you are always in the best position to know exactly how much oil you are adding in.

    Even if your oil cooler retains some oil, the most you will do is add .2 extra quarts to the motor. There is no danger in that. The oil level anywhere below 5 quarts will not harm the motor. If you get over 5.5 quarts you "might" cause a bit of oil to blow into your air cleaner, still no harm.

    Jim :brow
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  5. DougD

    DougD Adventurer

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    thanks again.
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  6. def

    def Ginger th wonder dog

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    Did you fill the new filter with fresh oil before installing it? I run my oil at mid glass.

    If it were my boxer, I would leave it as is.
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  7. CheckerdD

    CheckerdD Long timer

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    As long as you see oil in the glass you have enough oil. I would not put the extra .5 of a quart in. Maybe in a couple of days you will have the bike on the centerstand and the oil will be lower. Your in much more trouble if you over fill than underfill - as long as there is oil in the glass. Note on 1200's the amount of oil from the bottom to the glass to the top is .53 of a litre. Some years ago I was at a BMW National Rally. I looked at all the demo bikes parked in rows up on the centerstands. The oil in each was just over the bottom of the sight glass. If they are more concerned about overfilling than underfilling, maybe you should be too. Dave
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  8. kubiak

    kubiak Long timer

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    maybe it was just my 1150gs but when i filled the oil to the top of the sight glass my bike seemed to seep more oil out of the rear seal between the trans and the motor. my bike had over 100,000 miles too though. after i started running my oil at half the sight glass it stopped the oil seep between the cases.it was just a wet seep that would show up between the cases so i figured it was a rear engine seal.
    #8
  9. Bill-66

    Bill-66 I don't even know... Supporter

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    And away we gooooo!!!!
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  10. rocketman1

    rocketman1 rocketman1

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    My 1150 gs uses very little oil, I use to be paranoid about the oil level, the level seemed to go up and down and sometimes I overfilled it because it would smoke like crazy when I started it up.
    I try and keep it about half way between half way and full ie 3/4 of the way up the sight glass.
    Dont worry, the motor holds a heap of oil for a motorbike , dont thing you can go too far wrong
    #10
  11. feldjäger

    feldjäger Been here awhile

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    One thing I do is after it has drained on the center stand for a while, with help I lean the bike a bit in order to get a bit more oil out of the engine. Then when I fill it I have someone watch the glass until it fills the the proper level. I put in all four quarts without doing the above way and the bike during start up would often stall out. I changed the oil at 2000 miles and did it the way I described and never had a problem since.
    #11
  12. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid! Supporter

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    Seriously?:huh

    The bike holds 4 liters, that is MORE than 4 quarts. How could a few ounces more or less cause a bike to stall?

    These oil threads are always funny, especially all the angst over oil. It is really quite simple. You can follow the manual, which is very clear on how much oil and how to check it, or you can make it up as you go along.

    For me, to make it simple, I follow the following rule:

    * Ride the bike at least 5 minutes.
    * Place the bike on the sidestand (NOT CENTERSTAND).
    * Wait at least a minute or two.
    * Look at the sight glass.
    * If the sight glass is full, ride.
    * If you can see any light at the top of the sight glass add 8 ounces.
    * Repeat every tank of gas.

    This method virtually ensures you never over or under fill the bike. If you start out with four quarts in the bike you can be sure you will never be over or under. It isn't rocket science. The work has been done for you.

    Jim :brow
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  13. on2wheels52

    on2wheels52 Long timer

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    Agree with Jim, put in the correct amount and quit worrying about it.
    I'll admit they are a bit wonky to check the level, but I don't add until it appears low on three separate checks.
    Jim
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  14. Bill-66

    Bill-66 I don't even know... Supporter

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    Stalling was/is unrelated....

    So, how does one fill to proper level, after an oil change and take into account, filter and cooler lines..whilst watching the sight glass.. :lol3

    Maybe should pop into BMW Vegas and ask Casey or John how to do it..they'll tell you, "dump four quarts in..."

    It's a motorcycle..not a rocket..
    #14
  15. JetSpeed

    JetSpeed Naviator

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    My bike may be way different than yours but I check the oil level with it on the CENTERSTAND.
    #15
  16. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid! Supporter

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    Reread what I wrote. I said that is the BMW prescribed method, but I do not do that.:deal

    Jim :brow
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  17. seniorasi

    seniorasi Banned

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    If you ever experience and awkward silence around a bunch of GS guys (rare, I know) just start talking about oil or oil level. I guarantee the conversation will spring back to life in a heart beat.

    FYI: The BMW dealer SERVICE MANGER where I purchased my bike said the same thing Jim Von Baden said: Just put 4 quarts in and ride it. He also said if it gets below the sight glass add some, but no big deal at that.
    #17
  18. def

    def Ginger th wonder dog

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    Jim, it takes well over 5 minutes for my boxer thermostat to open and begin flowing oil through the cooler in the winter months. The summer months are different...a few miles in summer heat and my oil cooler is blowing hot air.

    I find it best to use the RID as an indicator of oil temperature prior to an oil change.

    But, you have more experience than I and your boxer is several model years younger than mine.
    #18
  19. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid! Supporter

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    Probably true, though it is rare that I ride just 5 minutes and then check my oil. I usuallly check it at home after a ride. I park on the sidestand anyhow, so it is easier that way.

    Jim :brow
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  20. JetSpeed

    JetSpeed Naviator

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    Uh... OK, I reread exactly what you wrote and I can't find that part.
    In my owners manual BMW's prescribed method is to: "Check oil level with motorcycle upright and level" I wouldn't think that to mean on its side-stand as you have recommended.
    I agree with you that 4 quarts is 4 quarts and I think you know what you're talking about, but you may have forgot to add: that you let it sit 5 minutes on the side-stand and then actually check the level on the centerstand.
    #20