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Thread: 2011 R1200 RT Motor Oil

  1. #61
    Registered User Motodan's Avatar
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    Just checked MAX BMW online, rod/crank bearing on '05 to '09 and '10 to '12 have same part number. Perhaps they did just change their mind after getting a bulk buy on 10W40 oil, that's now labeled "BMW" oil.
    F850GS

    MOA #46783

  2. #62
    Quote Originally Posted by Motodan View Post
    Just checked MAX BMW online, rod/crank bearing on '05 to '09 and '10 to '12 have same part number. Perhaps they did just change their mind after getting a bulk buy on 10W40 oil, that's now labeled "BMW" oil.


    BMW doesn't label their oil; that's a BMWNA thing. If you read the oil chart for the new bikes carefully you'll see that specifically Castrol GPS 10w-40 is OK for temps >= -20C. Other 10w-40 oils are rated for temp above >= -10C. Oh, and GPS is a semi-synthetic oil.

    In the US the oil seems to be marketed under the name Power RS GPS 4T. I haven't a clue how the BMWNA labelled oils compare.

  3. #63
    Quote Originally Posted by Motodan View Post
    Just checked MAX BMW online, rod/crank bearing on '05 to '09 and '10 to '12 have same part number. Perhaps they did just change their mind after getting a bulk buy on 10W40 oil, that's now labeled "BMW" oil.
    That doesn't surprise me. Why change rods and bearings when a very slight change in the crankshaft machining would accomplish the change. The remaining question is what are the tolerances for crank journal diameters.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
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  4. #64
    1analguy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Motodan View Post
    The '10, '11 and '12 models of our R1200RTs have an Owner's Manual recommendation of 10W40, then they list other possibilities. So what changed besides valve arrangement and method of activation? Apparently that is all. Interesting that this "head" configuration came from the HP2 and it had the very same oil weight recommendations. There's gotta be a reason, the head alone must be it.
    The Cam Head has added out-of-plane shearing (wiping) and side-loading forces present at the cam lobe/follower interface that don't exist in the hex head, yet BMW now recommends 10W-40 for the Cam Head. They used to "recommend" 20W-50 for my '07 Hex Head, yet I know my '07 RT was delivered with BMW 10W-40 dino in it, and I continued to use it until I finally switched to Mobil 1 15W-50 at 12,000 miles. I think this now reflects a more modern and realistic view of the capabilities of current oil technology on BMW's part. The general trend now is toward "lighter" oil...with fuel economy/carbon emissions in mind, and BMW is admitting that modern 10W-40 is now more than adequate to the needs of the boxer. It may also be an attempt to recover some of the energy required to overcome the added frictional losses inherent in the Cam Head design vs the Hex Head. Of course, this is all just "picking-fly-specks-out-of-pepper" speculation...

    I'd be surprised if the Cam Head's tolerances were any tighter than the Hex Head's, as they're essentially the same modern, air/oil-cooled engine with the only exception being the different cylinder heads.
    Last edited by 1analguy; 12-01-2011 at 06:34 PM.

  5. #65
    Registered User Motodan's Avatar
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    Thanks Bob, that's the best explanation (speculation?) I've heard on the topic. I'm going to go with the 10W40 as recommended.
    F850GS

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  6. #66
    Registered User Brian-NC's Avatar
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    You might like to read the massive articles about oil in various issues of motorcycle consumer news (magazine). This topic has been beat to pieces.

    I plan on sticking with dino until I see difinitive proof that synthetic will be a vast improvement. Motorcycle specific synthetic oil is way overpriced, IMHO.

    I just changed the oil in my 2010 RT @ 6K and used Castrol (motorcycle specific) dino. Of course, YMMV...Let's be realistic, I doubt any of us could see/feel/imagine any real difference wether we use dino or synthetic for the life of the motorcycle. It's obviously important to change it when you're supposed to and doing it yourself saves a ton of $$. Other than that, I don't fret over it too much, I'm too busy riding and enjoying my bike.
    Brian-NC
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  7. #67
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    Oil etc.

    I'm of the old school in that I would not run synthetic before 10K. You will not hurt anything if you do that and you may improve the rings setting.

    Once you have made the move to synthetic, You would do well to look into Red Line Synthetic as in my experience, it consistently outperforms the more well known brands; (this based on seeing the results of drivetrains which have been running Red Line over time). My cousin is the Technical Editor for the BMW Car Club of America and he swears by the stuff.

    You will probably have to order it and keep your own supply on hand unless you have an enlightened auto parts store near you.

    If you can't access the stuff without heroic measures, the BMW Synthetic while overpriced is VERY good and has more anti-friction additives than most.

    That having been said, Mobil 1 is by far the most accessable of them all and not a bad choice.

    Regards,

    Will

  8. #68
    Quote Originally Posted by 1analguy View Post
    The Cam Head has added out-of-plane shearing (wiping) and side-loading forces present at the cam lobe/follower interface that don't exist in the hex head, yet BMW now recommends 10W-40 for the Cam Head. They used to "recommend" 20W-50 for my '07 Hex Head, yet I know my '07 RT was delivered with BMW 10W-40 dino in it, and I continued to use it until I finally switched to Mobil 1 15W-50 at 12,000 miles. I think this now reflects a more modern and realistic view of the capabilities of current oil technology on BMW's part. The general trend now is toward "lighter" oil...with fuel economy/carbon emissions in mind, and BMW is admitting that modern 10W-40 is now more than adequate to the needs of the boxer. It may also be an attempt to recover some of the energy required to overcome the added frictional losses inherent in the Cam Head design vs the Hex Head. Of course, this is all just "picking-fly-specks-out-of-pepper" speculation...

    I'd be surprised if the Cam Head's tolerances were any tighter than the Hex Head's, as they're essentially the same modern, air/oil-cooled engine with the only exception being the different cylinder heads.
    The BMW dealer here in Seattle has always recommended 10-40 weight in my '09 RT that I purchased new in May of '09. Probably due to our generally cooler climate and rare hot summer days.
    "The Older I Get, the Faster I Was"
    '09 Black Metallic Sapphire "Fully Farkled" RT

  9. #69
    Quote Originally Posted by will3hawks View Post
    I'm of the old school in that I would not run synthetic before 10K. You will not hurt anything if you do that and you may improve the rings setting.

    Once you have made the move to synthetic, You would do well to look into Red Line Synthetic as in my experience, it consistently outperforms the more well known brands; (this based on seeing the results of drivetrains which have been running Red Line over time). My cousin is the Technical Editor for the BMW Car Club of America and he swears by the stuff.

    You will probably have to order it and keep your own supply on hand unless you have an enlightened auto parts store near you.

    If you can't access the stuff without heroic measures, the BMW Synthetic while overpriced is VERY good and has more anti-friction additives than most.

    That having been said, Mobil 1 is by far the most accessable of them all and not a bad choice.

    Regards,

    Will
    Any concern about the fact the it's additive package is specifically designed for wet clutch?
    "The Older I Get, the Faster I Was"
    '09 Black Metallic Sapphire "Fully Farkled" RT

  10. #70
    Registered User lkchris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Atomicman View Post
    Any concern about the fact the it's additive package is specifically designed for wet clutch?
    No, why on earth does this matter?

    BMW in Europe recommends Castrol Power 1 Racing, featuring "trizone tech." And BMW states: "BMW recommend Castrol oils as they are co-engineered with our BMW motorcycle engineers."

    http://www.bmw-motorrad.co.uk/servic...-tips/oil.html

    Here's the recommendation chart:
    http://www.bmw-motorrad.co.uk/media/...66_low_res.pdf

    Bikes sent to USA are not different.
    Kent Christensen
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  11. #71
    Registered User exfed750's Avatar
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    A treatise on cycle motor oil

    It seems like all of the threads and posts in forums all over the country and across all brands are asking the same question about oils. A bit of searching on the internet found this exhaustive test conducted by Amsoil attempting to tout the exceptional wear characteristics of their oils, which they claim will last 15k. But if you really read the report, you will learn that all oils, synthetic or mineral, will begin to lose viscosity around 3k miles, and this is what really protects your engine. So in my RT and my Harley, I am willing to use Valvoline or Castrol mineral oil and take a bit of time to change it twice during the riding season (about every 2.5k). The difference in the price of the oil ($11 vs. $5) more than covers the cost of the filter and the bike seems much happier. Check the article here:
    http://www.amsoil.com/lit/g2156.pdf

    As for filters, I found a site that lists the appropriate autofilter that will fit most brands of motorcycles. Note that the author warns about certain filters and the amount of back pressure that could cause problems. After paying $14 for a BMW filter, I may be exploring new avenues of choice for filters since they won't be on the bike long. http://motorcycleinfo.calsci.com/FilterXRef.html

    Now for a question, does anyone besides me have a HAZET BMW filter wrench that doesn't fit the current filters? I had to drive a screwdriver into the old filter to get it off of the bike. No matter how hard I pushed, that wrench just wouldn't grab the filter enough to loosen it. Is it a new design to get us to buy a new wrench?

  12. #72
    Quote Originally Posted by ExFed750 View Post
    Now for a question, does anyone besides me have a HAZET BMW filter wrench that doesn't fit the current filters? I had to drive a screwdriver into the old filter to get it off of the bike. No matter how hard I pushed, that wrench just wouldn't grab the filter enough to loosen it. Is it a new design to get us to buy a new wrench?
    New compared to what? The filter on my hexhead takes a different wrench than did the filter on my oilhead. You can find them for $20 or less unless you insist on getting one CNC milled out of a solid chunk of aluminum.

    Although, the A&S package is kind of neat: http://www.ascycles.com/detail.aspx?ID=71218

  13. #73
    100,000+ miler 32232's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ExFed750 View Post

    Now for a question, does anyone besides me have a HAZET BMW filter wrench that doesn't fit the current filters? I had to drive a screwdriver into the old filter to get it off of the bike. No matter how hard I pushed, that wrench just wouldn't grab the filter enough to loosen it. Is it a new design to get us to buy a new wrench?
    As above, new compared to what? The wrench for the current R series filters is the same as for the F800 filters. It is different to the old oilhead wrench.

    Instead of the "flats" on old style filters that resemble those on a hex head bolt, the newer filters have "notches" that are more akin to those on Torx head fasteners. It's a design that makes for better purchase on the bolt (or filter). One thing I've discovered is that the new filter/wrench interface is very snug, and getting an old, oil filled filter out of the wrench can be a messy proposition. I spray the inside of the filter wrench with silicone spray before removing the old filter and it separates easily.
    Dave

    '06 Triumph Scrambler (Trans-Labrador veteran)

  14. #74
    Quote Originally Posted by ExFed750 View Post
    But if you really read the report, you will learn that all oils, synthetic or mineral, will begin to lose viscosity around 3k miles, and this is what really protects your engine.
    No, viscosity is not what protects your engine. If you believe that you should try a really heavy weight gear oil in your engine. Perhaps molasses or honey would work well too since their viscosity is off the charts compared to plain old motor oil.

    All kidding aside...


    Viscosity is a measure of the resistance of a fluid which is being deformed by either shear or tensile stress. In everyday terms (and for fluids only), viscosity is "thickness" or "internal friction". Thus, water is "thin", having a lower viscosity, while honey is "thick", having a higher viscosity. Put simply, the less viscous the fluid is, the greater its ease of movement (fluidity).[1]

    Viscosity describes a fluid's internal resistance to flow and may be thought of as a measure of fluid friction. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viscosity
    Just because a fluid has a high "internal friction" or "greater resistance to flow" does not mean it will protect anything better. It's a measure of how "thick" a fluid is, nothing else.



    That being said, the confusion arises because one of the signs of a oil breaking down is a viscosity change. The reality is that as soon as you load that oil, it's going to start exhibiting wear and thus it's viscosity will change. Right after an oil change, as some of the preservatives and possible contaminates (e.g. absorbed water) burn off, the viscosity changes. As you put mileage on your machine, the viscosity changes. At 500 miles the oil will have much less change than your 3k oil change interval. So will 1500. Yes, 5k will have more than your 3k, but the point is that the oil is constantly breaking down. There is no magical process whereby the oil doesn't breakdown for 3k miles and then starts degrading.

    So the real question is: given that the oil is constantly breaking down under use, how much viscosity change is indicative of an oil which is no longer providing adequate protection? The correct answer is, it depends.

    The other reason for the confusion is the propensity of track cars/bikes to use higher viscosity oils "for protection." The key here is that viscosity changes with temperature. In general, an engine, under track conditions, will experience higher temperatures than the same engine driven on the street. Thus, a 60wt racing oil at a higher temp on the track may have the same viscosity as a 40wt oil on the street. The choice of the higher weight oil is so that the actual viscosity of the oil at running temps is close to the design specification. That's important because the engine's oil system, from the pump(s) to the galley-ways, are all designed to flow a fluid of a specific viscosity and flow rate matters when considering actual wear protection.

    In general there is a trend towards lighter weight oils and multi-weight oils with larger spread. Today's oils are generally so good that most of the wear now occurs at start up. Despite popular belief, it's not because there is no oil on the engine parts (ever adjusted your valves? Plenty of oil up there, eh?). The problems not so much the lack of oil as it is a lack of replacement oil; the oils cold and the oil system can't flow it or at least not much of it. That means that the time (aka duty cycle) which that small quantity of oil left on the parts much handle the engine loads is relatively long. The moving parts of the engine heat up quickly and now the same oil must handle the load until that heat is transfered to the rest of the engine, including the oil. Once that happens, the flow rate comes up (since the oils viscosity is lower now) and the duty cycle of the oil has been reduced. At that point any good oil is providing good protection. There are a variety of ways to mitigate the problem, but lighter weight "winter" oil viscosity have been very beneficial. 0W and 5W is becoming more popular for exactly that reason. The problem is that a cold engine may like a 0W/5W oil better, but a hot one won't. The key point about oil viscosity is it's ability to "resist" being pushed out of the way or out between surfaces. The right viscosity for the right running temp for the right kind of loads is important. That's where multi-weight oils come in.

    As a side note, lighter weight oils present less "drag" on the engine so MPG in theory should be higher. That's another reason for the trend towards lighter weight oils.

    Multi-weight oils are a blessing of organic chemistry. Instead of having a fluid who's viscosity changes with temperature along a fixed curve, you can have it change viscosity along several viscosity curves. Thus, 0W-40 has the viscosity of a 0 weight oil at "cold" temps and a 40 weight oil at "running" temps. The oil weight range and temps are well defined, but I won't bore you with them here...besides Google can provide them very quickly. The problem is that multi-weight oils are more susceptible to loosing their viscosity, aka breaking down. The wider the range the easier it typically is to do. 5W-20 is more resistant than 0W-40. That's one reason you'll find heavier straight weight oils for racing applications, they don't care about startup, but care a whole lot about running really hot.



    Summary
    In short, viscosity doesn't protect your engine...that's simply a misunderstanding of what viscosity actually is and confusing it with symptoms of a wear issue. Oils are always shearing down their viscosity from mile 1. What's important is to know how much viscosity shearing or other symptoms of oil wear and contamination are acceptable. That's what should determine the best drain interval and the only way to really know that is a Used Oil Analysis (UOA). If you're too cheap to pay for them yourself (nothing wrong with that mind you), you can find lots of them with Google. If you drive anything sporty, you'll find them by the bucket load. That won't take into account your driving/riding style, but it should give you a really good idea on what a scientific oil drain interval for your vehicle/oil combo actually is.

  15. #75
    Registered User exfed750's Avatar
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    Viscosity and Filter Wrenches

    Guys,
    Thanks for the link to the filter wrench, and after looking at it, bingo! No more flats to hang on to. Just dents. Leave it to the Germans to do a redesign that eliminates your current tools. You would think that they would follow K&N and others design improvement by simply putting a nut on the end of the filter so you can spin it off with a socket. Foregoing this, I'm wondering if a simple strap wrench would get the job done, providing that there is enough clearance, Clarence! I think that a ratchet would provide enough force to torque that sucker off.

    Gunderwood
    As for my response to the oil information, I am merely going from the information in the article and do not claim to be a chemical or fluid engineer, nor have I played one on TV. I do know that my Harley seemed much happier on mineral oil of the same viscosity than on Amsoil (which seemed much thinner and failed to stay loaded in the hydraulic lifters-leading to a hell of a clatter under acceleration.) I just tried to use this information to provide me with a middle of the road oil that would protect my engine. I have always said that any day that you can learn something is a good day. Thanks for the information.

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