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Thread: Another . . . but slightly different . . . oil discussion . . . !

  1. #1

    Another . . . but slightly different . . . oil discussion . . . !

    Hi all, this isn't directed at one engine/bike type, so I wanted to put it here to catch a majority of owners,

    there is an issue of many bike's owner's manuals from the past few years, having a comment in the oil section that refers confusingly to a prohibition from oil additives, and an example is given that mentions Molybdenum as an additive - problem is, BMW doesn't make it sufficiently clear (lots of putative reasons why, in discussions all over the 'net) what they mean by additives . . .

    so, being a chemistry lover (don't bother with snide comments, my skin's too thick!) and a fervent user/believer from the past in the Ester family (we all know them well), I sent in virgin samples of my favourite Motul oils, a 5w40 7100 and the same weight of 300V (my ultimate goal, after warranty). I also sent in a virgin sample of the BMW Advantec 5w40 ("Ultimate", I think that they call it) so as to compare, amongst other things, the amount of elemental Molybdenum in each, so as to at least know whether a user of the Motuls would be using more Mo than in the BMW (probably Shell's gas-to-liquid oil, seems the main opinion).

    It turns out that in fact the BMW oil is employing some form/forms of Mo that come out to approx. almost 5 times as much as the Motul sisters (161 ppm versus the Motul's 33 ppm). So anyone choosing to try a 7100 or 300V (300V changed every 3000 mi to keep it in the good form it was intended by Motul) can rest knowing that, as far as current production lots go at least, they are not using an oil with too high a Mo level (measured as elemental Mo, not saying what actual form/s were added to the oil)

    It also adds some support to the notion that BMW was perhaps stating by their word "Additives" that they meant anything added to the oil after departing the factory, rather than as part of an additive package blended in by the original manufacturer . . . though that's still unclear unfortunately (yes, I know of the discussion elsewhere having a letter back from a local BMW rep. about this meaning, and the further arguments that ensued).

    I am happy to communicate the results of the lab tests (Blackstone of course) to anyone who is interested - but generally, other elemental differences are that the BMW oil also contained a lot of Boron (possibly as a slippery-slidey?), a similar amount of Calcium to the two Motuls, and a moderate amount of Phosphorous and Zinc (yes, I'm Canadian).

    By comparison, the two Motuls, which were nearly identical in elemental contents, contained roughly 50% more Phos/Zinc (so . . . ZDDP? -- maybe not, given catalysts etc.), much less Mo as I've said, along with a notable amount of Si (anti-foaming?) and little Boron.

    Interestingly (well, it's all interesting), the 7100 being a full-on regular road oil meant for normal usage intervals, has twice as much Magnesium as it's more race-oriented 300V -- the good folks at Blackstone, and my little library, note that Magnesium is a common component of detergents and dispersants, so that would make sense.

    It seems that the BMW oil may have a bigger, more expanded additive package in some regards, compared to the Motuls, which, given the French use of at least some ester base oils and PAO's probably, might be due to their base oil composition having better natural lubricating abilities than the BMW and so needing less additions. Who knows. Fun to think about.

    It's also fun, though ultimately useless, to speculate about BMW's use of Boron (is it maybe, slidey sheets of Boron Nitride? that would be cool, and might even be the same fancy engine-parts coating that they note in the owner's manual, that could be scratched by too much Mo. Maybe it's sort of an oil re-supplementation thing?).

    Anyway, though I'm not a person who necessarily expects to feel a difference between one oil and another, in a gearbox or engine, I do know the details of value in the group V Esters and have indeed had a couple of engines with quite high mileage indeed, tear down with amazingly low wear, after years on Motul (or Red Line, in fact). My reason for use is to have less engine/gear wear over the years. That's all.

    Good cheer to all of you folks South of me on your 4th of July!

    Peter
    Peter Brassel
    Life's roads are full of lumps and bumps . . . ride a GS!
    2019 R1250 GS Adv.

  2. #2
    Left Coast Rider
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    Peter,

    You have too much time on your hands. Go for a ride.


  3. #3
    SURVIVOR akbeemer's Avatar
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    I think avoiding oils with the “Energy Conserving” emblem shown below is sufficient for avoiding problems with additives in BMWs that have a wet clutch.

    Kevin Huddy
    Silver City, Montana
    MOA# 24,790 Ambassador

  4. #4
    Registered User jandhumphreyme's Avatar
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    I'd like to see the results of the tests, always interested in those types of things.

    I don't understand how someone can be confused with what is in the manual regarding oil "additives". This is clearly a reference to additional oil additives, not the levels present in the specified oils. For there to be confusion one must assume that BMW engineers are completely oblivious to what is formulated in over the counter oil they specified to be used in their engines, nothing could be further from the truth.

    As for Boron, my understanding is that its a common additive in detergent oils or if high in concentration can be indicative of a coolant leak into engine.
    So often times it happens that we live our lives in chains
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  5. #5
    IBA# 5819 61996's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BC1100S View Post
    Peter,

    You have too much time on your hands. Go for a ride.

    +1 what he said.

    Joe
    “Fate whispers to the warrior, 'You cannot withstand the storm.'
    The warrior whispers back, 'I am the storm.'

  6. #6
    Liaison 20774's Avatar
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    I would also like to get a copy of the results.
    Kurt -- Forum Liaison ---> Resources and Links Thread <---
    '78 R100/7 & '69 R69S & '52 R25/2
    mine-ineye-deatheah-pielayah-jooa-kalayus. oolah-minane-hay-meeriah-kal-oyus-algay-a-thaykin', buddy!

  7. #7
    Registered User stooie's Avatar
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    Follow On Question

    Thanks for the info, Peter!

    As a retired mechanical engineer to whom chemistry is largely a bizaare, if not occult, mystery I ask the following: Is there an easy way to tell from a Blackstone report what the base product is, ie. ester vs. PAO vs. Type III dino/plant juice? The lubricant companies, at least in the US, keep that a mystery.
    Bob Stewart
    Salem, OR

    2018 RT

  8. #8
    Registered User lkchris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stooie View Post
    Thanks for the info, Peter!

    As a retired mechanical engineer to whom chemistry is largely a bizaare, if not occult, mystery I ask the following: Is there an easy way to tell from a Blackstone report what the base product is, ie. ester vs. PAO vs. Type III dino/plant juice? The lubricant companies, at least in the US, keep that a mystery.
    The base for BMW Advantec is natural gas.
    Kent Christensen
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  9. #9
    jandhumphreyme; how can I send you the oil test results?
    Peter Brassel
    Life's roads are full of lumps and bumps . . . ride a GS!
    2019 R1250 GS Adv.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by lkchris View Post
    The base for BMW Advantec is natural gas.
    Yes, there is a plant in the UAE or somewhere else locally, Shell is one of the developers, and they run a somewhat proprietary process to basically force the single-carbon methanes into chains of varying lengths, so that they can call it a “synthetic” oil (we all know the mess surrounding THAT argument)

    It is a cleaner product than a highly refined dino oil, but not truly synthesised like an ester or polyalphaolefin, nor, importantly, does it have the different and valuable properties that those two oil groups have.

    Peter Brassel
    Life's roads are full of lumps and bumps . . . ride a GS!
    2019 R1250 GS Adv.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by stooie View Post
    Thanks for the info, Peter!

    As a retired mechanical engineer to whom chemistry is largely a bizaare, if not occult, mystery I ask the following: Is there an easy way to tell from a Blackstone report what the base product is, ie. ester vs. PAO vs. Type III dino/plant juice? The lubricant companies, at least in the US, keep that a mystery.
    Yer welcome stooie,

    First and foremost, yes, I hate the fact that oil companies, even my beloved Motul, expect us to be doddering idiots with no interest in what we put into our babied engines, and just wave around “big” words like “ester” and expect that we will be amazed and slack-jawed,

    I adore chemistry . . . Unfortunately, Blackstone labs doesn’t currently do any actual structural chem analysis on oils, that’s a much more involving set of steps utilising Mass Spec, Gas Chromatography, InfraRed spectroscopy, etc.,

    I found a lab here in Canada (We are a petrostate) that does some such analysis but they couldn’t get further than some basic analysis to show some of the functional groups on the oil molecules (these analyses go after the lower hanging fruit of functional groups, seeing if there’s an alcohol in there, or an ester, or aldehyde, these things), then the analysis of the actual carbon backbone, so to speak, is after that,

    For a partial analysis of the molecular structures of the top most prevalent three molecules, hence base oils, we were looking at $600 - 800, which didn’t surprise me, OK for a big corporation like Shell or someone, but . . . You know . . .

    So unless I can convince a local university lab to take a couple of my oils on as “unknowns” in their analytical chemistry or organic chem labs, I guess I’m stumped in terms of what I really want to know - what actually are the top two or three base oils . . .

    Big sigh.
    Peter Brassel
    Life's roads are full of lumps and bumps . . . ride a GS!
    2019 R1250 GS Adv.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by 20774 View Post
    I would also like to get a copy of the results.
    Sure, how can I send the pdf files to you?
    Peter Brassel
    Life's roads are full of lumps and bumps . . . ride a GS!
    2019 R1250 GS Adv.

  13. #13
    Liaison 20774's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pmariana View Post
    Sure, how can I send the pdf files to you?
    I'll send you a PM.
    Kurt -- Forum Liaison ---> Resources and Links Thread <---
    '78 R100/7 & '69 R69S & '52 R25/2
    mine-ineye-deatheah-pielayah-jooa-kalayus. oolah-minane-hay-meeriah-kal-oyus-algay-a-thaykin', buddy!

  14. #14
    Ponch ponch1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BC1100S View Post
    Peter,

    You have too much time on your hands. Go for a ride.

    Obviously if he's changing the oil every 3k miles.
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  15. #15
    Registered User jandhumphreyme's Avatar
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    If you could just post the results in the forum as an image for all to see would be great.

    As for base oil testing, it would be interesting if Blackstone could provide that data, but is totally irrelevant to reporting on engine status. Which afterall is the reason they're in business. Shell just completed a plant in eastern Ohio that makes ethylene from natural gas, very interesting process.
    So often times it happens that we live our lives in chains
    And we never even know we have the key

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