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Thread: 2013 R1200RT....motor oil question...

  1. #16
    Registered User lkchris's Avatar
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    Castrol Power RS Racing 4T available at Cycle Gear, etc., is euro-produced and USA packaged and I think surely isn't semi-synthetic masquerading (legally approved) as full synthetic as is 'merikun Castrol and I'd think is the same as Power1 Racing 4T as recommended in Europe. Maybe at least some of the BMW labeled Castrol is this.

    Additionally I'd think the camhead engine (subject of this thread) doesn't qualify as a "flat tappet" engine--am I confused on this?
    Kent Christensen
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    '12 R1200RT, '02 R1100S, '84 R80G/S

  2. #17
    2011 R1200RT ka5ysy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lkchris View Post



    You're simply mistaken on this. Spec is Castrol SAF-XO for both. It's on the service DVD and it's all BMW now supplies its USA dealers. There is no equivalent sold down to NAPA or Pep Boys.

    OP can use his Mobil choice with no problem. FWIW BMW (motorcycles only) is the ONLY German vehicle sold in the USA that pays any attention at all to such mundane things as API. The rest all have published specs that define a limited number of motor oils, all synthetic.
    With respect, you need to look at the data sheet:

    http://www.ge39.com/files/SAF_XO_SAF_XJ_B1174_96.pdf

    Castrol SAF-XO is rated as a synthetic API GL-5 SAE 75W90 . It is RECOMMENDED and not REQUIRED. There is nothing special about it other than BMW probably gets revenue from Castrol for allowing use of the brand name on the bottles. If BMW actually required use of only this oil, under the Magnuson-Moss warranty act, they would have to supply it FREE to the consumer, which does not happen.

    My statement stands. There is nothing "special" about the Castrol oil. Any GL-5 75W90 or better multigrade gear lube is acceptable, as is the properly rated engine oil.


    For Wyman:

    You can use the Mobil-1 oil. The engine does not care what brand is in it. BMW recommends certain specification lube oils and as long as you use the proper rated oil you are fine. I happen to use Amsoil oils in all my vehicles, and BMW does not care. I bring my own oils to the dealership, and they don't care either. The Amsoil lubes are noted in the service record, and that is it.
    Last edited by ka5ysy; 07-17-2013 at 10:42 PM.
    Doug, 2011 R1200RT Polar Metallic
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  3. #18
    A bozo on the bus deilenberger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lkchris View Post
    Additionally I'd think the camhead engine (subject of this thread) doesn't qualify as a "flat tappet" engine--am I confused on this?
    Yes - and no. Is it a traditional "flat-tappet" - no, but.. The finger-follower design used on the camhead engine is a derivative of the design used on the S54 engines used in E46 M3's and M-Coupes. It's a sliding flat surface that runs against the camshaft. A roller bearing follower is the alternative follower design, and doesn't need as much ZDDP to protect it.

    I have seen M3 engines where the camshaft lobe had fractures in it due to lubrication failure - and likely this was caused by using the wrong oil and high RPMs. I've seen the same sort of failures on airhead engines (which use a "traditional" round/flat follower on the camshaft.)

    The significant difference is a sliding contact vs a rolling contact. The sliding contact requires better protection since a lubrication failure will cause the camshaft to be damaged by metal to metal contact. Not so much for a roller-follower (which is used on most energy saving auto engines now.)

    So more ZDDP is a good thing for the hexhead and camhead engines. The ZDDP number (this is from memory, I'd have to dig out one of my reports to confirm it) - for the Castrol TWS was above 1,600PPM. That's about as high as I've seen on any modern oil, and makes sense with the engine the oil was designed for.

    I like it. My engine seems "happy" with it, and the cost was less than the BMW Motorrad oil. Superior protection at a lower price point works for me. In addition, I like the viscosity range. The 60 (hot) viscosity will only be seen when the engine is really hot, but given our weather in NJ that seems to be happening with some frequency. The 10W (winter) viscosity is about perfect for my riding - which is year round and my bike is often started up and ridden in 30F temps. Makes for quicker oil pressure buildup and circulation with less stress on the starter motor and already weak (due to the cold) battery. One other upside - if travelling and you need some oil - it's available at any BMW car dealership. There are lots more of them than there are BMW bike dealerships.
    Don Eilenberger http://www.eilenberger.net
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    '07 R1200R (current ride) and some bimmers.. and a Porsche

  4. #19
    Registered User lkchris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ka5ysy View Post
    Castrol SAF-XO is rated as a synthetic API GL-5 SAE 75W90 .
    So, all synthetics are the same, right?

    No, SAF-XO is specially designed for long change intervals, even "lifetime" fill. Show me another that is.

    BMW uses it in its cars too, this one for non-limited-slip diffs, another for LSDs. They're specially developed for BMW. Again, lifetime fill applications. It is NOT the same formula as typical PepBoys stuff.

    The R1200 service DVD calls for it specifically whereas for other bikes, e.g. oilheads, the manual will simply specify 90 wt or the like.
    Kent Christensen
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    '12 R1200RT, '02 R1100S, '84 R80G/S

  5. #20
    A bozo on the bus deilenberger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lkchris View Post
    So, all synthetics are the same, right?

    No, SAF-XO is specially designed for long change intervals, even "lifetime" fill. Show me another that is.

    BMW uses it in its cars too, this one for non-limited-slip diffs, another for LSDs. They're specially developed for BMW. Again, lifetime fill applications. It is NOT the same formula as typical PepBoys stuff.

    The R1200 service DVD calls for it specifically whereas for other bikes, e.g. oilheads, the manual will simply specify 90 wt or the like.
    Apparently the specially developed oil must be good for British iron also.. Land Rover uses it in their differentials (that was THE source in the USA before BMW started selling it.) I believe the Brits were using it first.
    Don Eilenberger http://www.eilenberger.net
    Spring Lk Heights NJ NJ Shore BMW Riders New Sweden BMW Riders
    '07 R1200R (current ride) and some bimmers.. and a Porsche

  6. #21
    Registered User Motodan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lkchris View Post
    So, all synthetics are the same, right?

    No, SAF-XO is specially designed for long change intervals, even "lifetime" fill. Show me another that is.

    BMW uses it in its cars too, this one for non-limited-slip diffs, another for LSDs. They're specially developed for BMW. Again, lifetime fill applications. It is NOT the same formula as typical PepBoys stuff.

    The R1200 service DVD calls for it specifically whereas for other bikes, e.g. oilheads, the manual will simply specify 90 wt or the like.

    Is this the same "lifetime" fill our R1200RTs first appeared with? Or was that a different lifetime lube that's been super-ceded?
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  7. #22
    Registered User lkchris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deilenberger View Post
    Apparently the specially developed oil must be good for British iron also.. Land Rover uses it in their differentials (that was THE source in the USA before BMW started selling it.) I believe the Brits were using it first.
    Probably started during timeframe BMW owned Land Rover.
    Kent Christensen
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    '12 R1200RT, '02 R1100S, '84 R80G/S

  8. #23
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    Don,
    I suspect you'll do fine with the 10W-60 you're using but I'd add a bit to your thinking.

    Do you have data on the various ball pressure tests for metal scoring? Knowing where the boundary is for these are tough but I once crossed it when deliberately using some lighter (at the low end- I think it was a 0W-40 to gain hp in a rotary race motor. Problem was the motor end plates ended up looking like I'd gouged them out with a chisel. The motor ran like stink but eventually lost so much compression it wouldn't start- but still made massive power when it could be made to start..Not sure what parts this might equate to in a boxer motor...

    Too bad Spectro has such lousy marketing- could just buy the BMW equivalent stuff through other sources.

    SAF-XO currently sold by BMW dealers is cheap these days - about half of what is used to be. BM NA for years sold Spectro made FD lubes, of course..

  9. #24
    A bozo on the bus deilenberger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by racer7 View Post
    Don,
    I suspect you'll do fine with the 10W-60 you're using but I'd add a bit to your thinking.

    Do you have data on the various ball pressure tests for metal scoring? Knowing where the boundary is for these are tough but I once crossed it when deliberately using some lighter (at the low end- I think it was a 0W-40 to gain hp in a rotary race motor. Problem was the motor end plates ended up looking like I'd gouged them out with a chisel. The motor ran like stink but eventually lost so much compression it wouldn't start- but still made massive power when it could be made to start..Not sure what parts this might equate to in a boxer motor...
    Nope.. but scoring will leave trace elements in the oil that will be spotted in the Blackstone tests. Never been an issue, the metal contaminates (wear basically) has been a non-issue on the tests I had done with the oil I took from my M-engines. There isn't a lot of magic in the boxer engine that isn't in the S54 M-engine. Both can do relatively high RPM, use plain bottom end bearings and use basically the same valve actuation design. Lost compression would show up with iron as a contaminant (from the rings) or chrome (if they're chrome rings).. not seeing that.

    Too bad Spectro has such lousy marketing- could just buy the BMW equivalent stuff through other sources.

    SAF-XO currently sold by BMW dealers is cheap these days - about half of what is used to be. BM NA for years sold Spectro made FD lubes, of course..
    Yup. Price dropped hugely after the dealers complained about having cases of the stuff sitting around not selling at $50/liter Go figure. Capitalism at work again.
    Last edited by deilenberger; 07-18-2013 at 02:43 AM.
    Don Eilenberger http://www.eilenberger.net
    Spring Lk Heights NJ NJ Shore BMW Riders New Sweden BMW Riders
    '07 R1200R (current ride) and some bimmers.. and a Porsche

  10. #25
    A bozo on the bus deilenberger's Avatar
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    Poked around a bit, not a huge amount of info out there on TWS, but here is what I found:

    http://www.tds.castrol.com.au/pdf/42...97_2006_09.pdf

    I also noticed that Aston-Martin, Toyota Supra and a number of other performance car owners seem to be using it now..

    Here is a link to some of the analysis I've had done. A "virgin" sample of TWS to see what the anti-wear package numbers were, and some testing of BMW's 15W-50 synthetic oil. What I like is the viscosity number for the TWS at 100C.. the viscosity at 210F (normal operating range on my hexhead according to my GS-911) is almost identical between the two. The TWS provides more protection when things get hot. This is a good thing IMHO. http://forums.bmwmoa.org/showthread.php?46436
    Last edited by deilenberger; 07-18-2013 at 03:03 AM.
    Don Eilenberger http://www.eilenberger.net
    Spring Lk Heights NJ NJ Shore BMW Riders New Sweden BMW Riders
    '07 R1200R (current ride) and some bimmers.. and a Porsche

  11. #26
    Registered User Motodan's Avatar
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    With all due respect, an "oil thread", even at this esteem level of sophistication, is still just an "oil thread"....now pass the Veedol 30 weight and a funnel!
    MOA #46783
    2015 R1200RT

  12. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Motodan View Post
    Is this the same "lifetime" fill our R1200RTs first appeared with? Or was that a different lifetime lube that's been super-ceded?
    They failed to mention the word "lifetime" wasn't referring to the motorcycle. It was some type of an organism that lived approximately 12 months.

  13. #28
    A bozo on the bus deilenberger's Avatar
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    Just a bit of info I found.. TWS is now "Edge Professional" 10W-60 - and sold by BMW car dealerships. Castrol decided to change the name. What I found interesting is searching on the BMW PN that is on the bottle, I came up with:
    http://www.realoem.com/bmw/showparts...39&hg=11&fg=05

    It's on the K29-HP2-Sport's parts list as an engine oil. Apparently someone in BMW-Motorrad came to the same conclusions I did.. and spec'd it for the higher performance version of our engines.

    Wonder what would happen if I tried ordering it at a bike dealership?
    Don Eilenberger http://www.eilenberger.net
    Spring Lk Heights NJ NJ Shore BMW Riders New Sweden BMW Riders
    '07 R1200R (current ride) and some bimmers.. and a Porsche

  14. #29
    Registered User lkchris's Avatar
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    We lucky ones have a combined car/bike dealership and we'd just walk across to the car side and find it in stock. But if it's on an HP2 fiche a bike dealership can surely order it. Too many other factors to decide where it would be more expensive or if there would be a price difference. Any bike dealership with a regular HP2 customer ought to stock it.

    I like to have fun with oil, too, and I'm now using Motorex Boxer 4T 15W-50 in my RT.

    It's "designed in conjunction with AC Schnitzer" which must be fabulous in itself and best of all it's green ... so I can show it off in my sight glass. Plus, just as I'm fundamentally opposed to setting BMW valve clearances to inch measurements (should be metric), I find it more appealing to pour in motor oil from liter (not quart) sized containers, and Boxer 4T is indeed available in liter and 4 liter containers. And, it's from Switzerland and how cool is that? Livin' the life I tell you.

    Boxer4T15w50.jpg
    Kent Christensen
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    '12 R1200RT, '02 R1100S, '84 R80G/S

  15. #30
    Registered User natrab's Avatar
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    Hey. You can all thank me for reviving this oil thread. I'm coming up to my first 12k service for my '13 RT and I'm getting my fluids together.

    In summary from this thread, it seems the ONLY oil BMW allows you to use in the transmission and final drive of the camheads is the Castrol SAF-XO (AKA Syntrax Long Life 75W-90), which is not available from any third party parts supplier here in the US. The only oil that can be used is the BMW OEM spec gear oil (part number 07512293972, which upon searching on a microfiche states it replaced the part number 33117695240 as specified in the RepROM). The best deal I can find on this is about $22 a liter online and is probably more at a dealership.

    Considering I haven't seen specs defined anywhere for my camhead other than Castrol SAF-XO, to keep my extended warranty valid I suppose I will have to go buy the BMW OEM fluid (first time in my life ever doing that, lol).

    Sound about right?
    Nate R
    2013 R1200RT 90th - "Tyr" - 28k - Purchased 12/13/2013 brand new!
    2007 R1200S - "Sexy Beast" - 28k - sold
    2006 R1200RT "Wōden" - 84k - sold

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