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Thread: 2006 RT Oil Leak (Common?)

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    Registered User bradfordmercer's Avatar
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    2006 RT Oil Leak (Common?)

    I have a 2006 R1200RT with about 13,000 miles on it. I am the third owner. I have changed the oil/filter and serviced the bike regularly. Lately, after sitting in the garage for about ten days or so, several drops of oil appear on the floor underneath the bike. The oil is not coming from the drain plug or the filter. It is coming from the rear of the engine and appears to be dripping down the back side of the engine where the clutch housing connects to the engine. The sight glass shows the oil level as full, and I haven't had to add any oil between changes. Interestingly, when I ride the bike every couple of days or so no oil drops appear on the floor. Right now this only happens when the bike sits for 10 days or more.

    Is this common?
    Is there there anything I can do to stop the dripping? A particular type of oil? (I currently use 20w-50.)
    Should I just not worry about it less/until it gets worse?
    Bradford Mercer
    #195910
    2006 R1200RT
    bradfordmercer@gmail.com

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    Registered User waxrash's Avatar
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    It is not common for a 2006 RT to have 13,000 miles on it. :-) I do not know of any oil leaks in my riding group.


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    Lynn
    2008 BMW R1200RT (most fun you can legally have)
    2002 BMW R1150RT
    2008 Kawasaki Versys

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    not so retired henzilla's Avatar
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    Not common, especially with such low miles as mentioned.

    The area you describe hints at the rear main seal...once again very low miles to be an issue. Where is the oil level in the sight glass after sitting? Very easy to overfill and MAYBE a causal factor.
    Steve Henson
    SABMWRA MOA Club#62's Flat Fixer/ current forum moderator
    It's not the breaths you take, but the moments that take your breath away-D.Dillon/G. Strait

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    Registered User bradfordmercer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by henzilla View Post
    Not common, especially with such low miles as mentioned.

    The area you describe hints at the rear main seal...once again very low miles to be an issue. Where is the oil level in the sight glass after sitting? Very easy to overfill and MAYBE a causal factor.
    The oil level after sitting was above the red line on the sight glass. I drained and changed the oil. The oil level is now only half way up the sight glass. Hopefully, that will help.
    Bradford Mercer
    #195910
    2006 R1200RT
    bradfordmercer@gmail.com

  5. #5
    A bozo on the bus deilenberger's Avatar
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    If the oil is overfilled, some of the oil vapor will be blown into the airbox where it condenses and forms puddles of oil in the molded bottom of the airbox. The bottom isn't a simple profile, has lots of hills and valleys in it to make it conform to the top of the transmission. Eventually some of this oil will leak out (where it leaks from is a mystery, but it does..). BTDT. The fix is - don't overfill, and remove the air-filter and use a towel on the end of a long screwdriver through the filter opening to mop up the excess oil in the airbox.
    Don Eilenberger http://www.eilenberger.net
    Spring Lk Heights NJ NJ Shore BMW Riders
    '12 R1200R - I love this bike!

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    Registered User waxrash's Avatar
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    I can't decide if this forum is full of motorcycle geniuses or just a bunch of idiots who have made most every mistake. Hmmmm, maybe that's why they are geniuses........ I digress. Overfilling finds a way out somehow. I have seen guys stress over oil level and over fill every time. I have learned to change my oil, fill with the specified amount. Ride it like you stole it and as long as you see any oil in the glass ignore it. Besides I get the little reassuring check mark on my display that says it's fine. :-)


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    Lynn
    2008 BMW R1200RT (most fun you can legally have)
    2002 BMW R1150RT
    2008 Kawasaki Versys

  7. #7
    Registered User waxrash's Avatar
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    I should add that my 2008 has never used a drop of oil and it has 60k on it. It did use some during first 6000 but since then none that I can tell.


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    2008 BMW R1200RT (most fun you can legally have)
    2002 BMW R1150RT
    2008 Kawasaki Versys

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    Registered User bradfordmercer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by waxrash View Post
    I can't decide if this forum is full of motorcycle geniuses or just a bunch of idiots who have made most every mistake. Hmmmm, maybe that's why they are geniuses........ I digress. Overfilling finds a way out somehow. I have seen guys stress over oil level and over fill every time. I have learned to change my oil, fill with the specified amount. Ride it like you stole it and as long as you see any oil in the glass ignore it. Besides I get the little reassuring check mark on my display that says it's fine. :-)


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    Good advice!
    Bradford Mercer
    #195910
    2006 R1200RT
    bradfordmercer@gmail.com

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    Registered User mneblett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bradfordmercer View Post
    I have a 2006 R1200RT with about 13,000 miles on it. I am the third owner. I have changed the oil/filter and serviced the bike regularly. Lately, after sitting in the garage for about ten days or so, several drops of oil appear on the floor underneath the bike. The oil is not coming from the drain plug or the filter. It is coming from the rear of the engine and appears to be dripping down the back side of the engine where the clutch housing connects to the engine. The sight glass shows the oil level as full, and I haven't had to add any oil between changes. Interestingly, when I ride the bike every couple of days or so no oil drops appear on the floor. Right now this only happens when the bike sits for 10 days or more.

    Is this common?
    Is there there anything I can do to stop the dripping? A particular type of oil? (I currently use 20w-50.)
    Should I just not worry about it less/until it gets worse?
    Pardon the perhaps dumb question, but are you *SURE* it is engine oil?

    There are three "common" fluids to find at the bottom of the engine/transmission mating surface: engine oil, transmission (gear) oil (sulphur smell) or clutch fluid (earlier bikes it's brake fluid; later bikes it is mineral oil -- the clutch master cylinder cover very clearly states which).

    It is important to determine which fluid you are seeing -- if it is brake fluid, the clutch slave cylinder is leaking and it can ruin the clutch (split the bike in two to remove the tranny time). Look/smell closely to be very sure which fluid is present.
    Mark Neblett
    Fairfax, VA
    #32806

  10. #10
    Registered User lkchris's Avatar
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    I submit it is pretty common. Lots of these bikes have had their rear main seals replaced. Usually at the same time the seal for the balancer shaft is replaced as standard practice. My 2012 got them replaced while still under warranty.
    Kent Christensen
    21482
    '12 R1200RT, '02 R1100S, '84 R80G/S

  11. #11
    A bozo on the bus deilenberger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mneblett View Post
    Pardon the perhaps dumb question, but are you *SURE* it is engine oil?

    There are three "common" fluids to find at the bottom of the engine/transmission mating surface: engine oil, transmission (gear) oil (sulphur smell) or clutch fluid (earlier bikes it's brake fluid; later bikes it is mineral oil -- the clutch master cylinder cover very clearly states which).

    It is important to determine which fluid you are seeing -- if it is brake fluid, the clutch slave cylinder is leaking and it can ruin the clutch (split the bike in two to remove the tranny time). Look/smell closely to be very sure which fluid is present.
    Actually if the clutch slave cylinder leaks now - as you pointed out - it's mineral oil. And since they switched to mineral oil, this leak is actually rather rare. Seems the change from brake fluid was a good idea on BMWs part.
    Don Eilenberger http://www.eilenberger.net
    Spring Lk Heights NJ NJ Shore BMW Riders
    '12 R1200R - I love this bike!

  12. #12
    Nuckin' Futs! tonyfr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lkchris View Post
    I submit it is pretty common. Lots of these bikes have had their rear main seals replaced. Usually at the same time the seal for the balancer shaft is replaced as standard practice. My 2012 got them replaced while still under warranty.
    I don't think it is common. I have an 05 RT with almost 105,000 miles and have never seen a leak anywhere on my bike.
    SABMWRA MOA #62
    2005 BMW R1200RT
    1984 Kawasaki ZX750-E1 Turbo

  13. #13
    Registered User waxrash's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tonyfr View Post
    I don't think it is common. I have an 05 RT with almost 105,000 miles and have never seen a leak anywhere on my bike.
    In my immediate riding group: 4 RT, 3 GS. Miles up to 100k. Oil leaks = 0.


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    2008 BMW R1200RT (most fun you can legally have)
    2002 BMW R1150RT
    2008 Kawasaki Versys

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by tonyfr View Post
    I don't think it is common. I have an 05 RT with almost 105,000 miles and have never seen a leak anywhere on my bike.
    Here's another data point - '09 RT with 75K miles, not a drop of leakage.

    JayJay
    ******
    '09 R1200 RT, '73 R75/5 Toaster (under rehabilitation)
    Lots of rice burners in the past ...

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    Quote Originally Posted by bradfordmercer View Post
    I have a 2006 R1200RT with about 13,000 miles on it. I am the third owner. I have changed the oil/filter and serviced the bike regularly. Lately, after sitting in the garage for about ten days or so, several drops of oil appear on the floor underneath the bike. The oil is not coming from the drain plug or the filter. It is coming from the rear of the engine and appears to be dripping down the back side of the engine where the clutch housing connects to the engine. The sight glass shows the oil level as full, and I haven't had to add any oil between changes. Interestingly, when I ride the bike every couple of days or so no oil drops appear on the floor. Right now this only happens when the bike sits for 10 days or more.

    Is this common?
    Is there there anything I can do to stop the dripping? A particular type of oil? (I currently use 20w-50.)
    Should I just not worry about it less/until it gets worse?
    From your description, it unfortunately sounds like it could be coming from around the rear main seal. Google rear main seal leak on BMW motorcycles for more detailed info.

    Not common, but it certainly isn't all that rare with BMW's. My 2006 RT has this problem. Within a couple of months after I purchased the bike from the original owner @ 16k miles, I also noticed an oily residue around the clutch housing, and thought that might be the problem. When I took it in for the 24k service, the service department called to notify me that it was leaking (actually weeping is the proper term, BMW's don't leak) around the seal, and would I like for them to fix that while it was in for service.

    The only fix for this is a very expensive repair job, if you don't have the skills to completely disassemble the bike at the transmission housing, and do it yourself. Most of the cost of repair is labor. Eventually the oil will foul the clutch plate and start to slip.I have been riding mine since then and have just shy of 42k miles. I thought I felt a bit of slip when riding it a few days ago, so once started it will get progressively worse. I just decided to ride it until the clutch slippage gets so bad that I can't stand to ride it any longer, and I guess then I will have to fix, or sell.
    Last edited by ducster; 08-24-2015 at 11:07 PM.

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