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Thread: 2016 R1200RT site glass oil check

  1. #46
    Dress for fall & avoid it AlanColes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lee View Post
    I wouldn't put 20-50 in. Spec for the wethead is 5w-40.
    The only 5w-40 JASO MA2 oil I can think of you can buy on the road is Rotella. It's marketed for diesel engines and not everyone is comfortable with that choice.
    Our K1300Ss used oil and they called for the same 5w-40 oil so I carried oil on trips.
    There was two times I needed more and bought Castrol 10w-40 4T like the oil Omega Man posted.
    When the oil was at the add mark on those bikes it would take .5 quart to bring the level to full.
    I figured .5 quarts of 10w-40 mixed with 3.5 quarts of 5w-40 would not hurt.

    Because of faulty low oil warnings on our current bikes I put a little Castrol 10w-40 in to get ride of the warning on the dash and GPS.
    Like Lee, I wouldn't go from a recommended 5w all the way to a 20w when there are tons of 10w oils available. It is important to remember two things:
    • the w in 5w as in a 5w-40 or 5w-30, etc., refers to Winter, and identifies the viscosity of the oil under cold conditions (temperatures used vary with the actual number)
    • the 40 in 5w-40 as in a 5w-40 or 10w-40, etc., refers to the viscosity at 100C (212F) and identifies the flow rate of the oil at an approximate normal operating temperatures


    The 5w is important for oil flow at startup and warmup. As the oil approaches normal operating temperature, the 40 in 5w-40 is what is important.
    Ideal oil viscosity for any engine is a balancing act. Too low or too high will both lead to increased engine wear. If it is too low it isn't protecting as much as ideal and if it is too high it is putting undue load on the system and forcing it to work harder.

    Therefore, if I have to fudge my oil weights I would rather use a good synthetic 10w-40 then a 20w-50.

    In Lee's example, 0.5L of 10w-40 top-up to 3.5L 5w-40 should be the equivalent of 5.625w-40 vs 6.875w-41.25 using a 20w-50. These aren't differences that anyone should be concerned about, but if you have the ability to use an oil that is closer to the spec that should be your course of action.

    With regard to the 5w-40 Shell Rotella T6, as mentioned, it is diesel oil, but here's the kicker, it is also JASO MA/MA2 certified. That means that it meets or exceeds the specifications for a wet-clutch motorcycle.

    It is available at almost any auto shop selling oil including Walmart, not to mention Shell stations, etc., so should be easy to find and a no-brainer. YMMV
    Regards, Alan - President BMWONS - BMWMOA/BMWRA/BMWONS/Airheads
    Current: 2019 R1250RT / '06 Ducati ST3s / '91 R100GS / '86 R80RT / '75 R90S / '73 850 & '70 750 Commando Prev: '14 R1200RT / '04 R1150RT / '81 Honda GL1100 / '77 Suzuki GS750 / '73 Norton 850 Commando

  2. #47
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    I doubt that 1/2 quart of pretty much any oil, (maybe not Wesson), would be a problem to top off.
    From the only real Fargo, ND!

  3. #48
    Registered User gsinnc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlanColes View Post
    Like Lee, I wouldn't go from a recommended 5w all the way to a 20w when there are tons of 10w oils available. It is important to remember two things:
    • the w in 5w as in a 5w-40 or 5w-30, etc., refers to Winter, and identifies the viscosity of the oil under cold conditions (temperatures used vary with the actual number)
    • the 40 in 5w-40 as in a 5w-40 or 10w-40, etc., refers to the viscosity at 100C (212F) and identifies the flow rate of the oil at an approximate normal operating temperatures


    The 5w is important for oil flow at startup and warmup. As the oil approaches normal operating temperature, the 40 in 5w-40 is what is important.
    Ideal oil viscosity for any engine is a balancing act. Too low or too high will both lead to increased engine wear. If it is too low it isn't protecting as much as ideal and if it is too high it is putting undue load on the system and forcing it to work harder.

    Therefore, if I have to fudge my oil weights I would rather use a good synthetic 10w-40 then a 20w-50.

    In Lee's example, 0.5L of 10w-40 top-up to 3.5L 5w-40 should be the equivalent of 5.625w-40 vs 6.875w-41.25 using a 20w-50. These aren't differences that anyone should be concerned about, but if you have the ability to use an oil that is closer to the spec that should be your course of action.

    With regard to the 5w-40 Shell Rotella T6, as mentioned, it is diesel oil, but here's the kicker, it is also JASO MA/MA2 certified. That means that it meets or exceeds the specifications for a wet-clutch motorcycle.

    It is available at almost any auto shop selling oil including Walmart, not to mention Shell stations, etc., so should be easy to find and a no-brainer. YMMV
    But isn't the Rotella stuff usually sold in Gallon jugs? The OP's question was what is best to top off is he can't get the BMW specified oil. While Rotella may work OK .... pretty sure he is not going to want a gallon of it.

    Also, if on the road and needing to add I assume it is warmer months and as such wouldn't the 2nd number i.e. the "40" or "50" be more critical since he would not be working about cold weather start ups?

    Once again all reasons why it would seem a bit easier and less stressful to just carry a 1/2 qt. of whatever oil you use. Yeah I know there I go again trying to be logical. Sorry.
    Ed Apelian
    Motorcycling is my passion because golf is far too dangerous!
    2018 R1200GS - Light White !
    2016 R1200RT- Platinum Bronze

  4. #49
    Quote Originally Posted by PGlaves View Post
    I don't carry oil, and BMW's branded oil is not magic. Look at the specs: JASO MA2 and viscosity. Match the specs if possible. Certainly match the top viscosity number. This is only an example but if the spec is 15w50 and I couldn't find that I'd shoot for 20w50.
    Lee and Alan: Re-read what I wrote, highlighted above. When I wrote that I did not know the viscosity spec for whatever bike was being discussed so gave an example.
    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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  5. #50
    Debbie's Servant Lee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gsinnc View Post
    But isn't the Rotella stuff usually sold in Gallon jugs?
    Walmart carries it in gallon and quart jugs.
    Lee
    2016 R1200RS
    MOA # 30878
    Past BMW Bikes: 2011 K1300S, 2003 K1200RS, 1991 K75S, 1987 K75T, 1984 R100RT

  6. #51
    Dress for fall & avoid it AlanColes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gsinnc View Post
    But isn't the Rotella stuff usually sold in Gallon jugs? The OP's question was what is best to top off is he can't get the BMW specified oil. While Rotella may work OK .... pretty sure he is not going to want a gallon of it.

    Also, if on the road and needing to add I assume it is warmer months and as such wouldn't the 2nd number i.e. the "40" or "50" be more critical since he would not be working about cold weather start ups?

    Once again all reasons why it would seem a bit easier and less stressful to just carry a 1/2 qt. of whatever oil you use. Yeah I know there I go again trying to be logical. Sorry.
    You might be right Ed. That is the way I buy T6 (5L jugs = 1.3 US Gallons), use it for my VW Touareg TDi and put some in a 0.5L bottle that I carry on the bike in-case I need to top up. Having said that, with about 24,000 miles on two LC Boxers (18k on a 2014 RT and 6k on my 2019 R1250RT) I've not had to do any top-up between scheduled service intervals and I'm thinking it really doesn't make sense to carry oil on these bikes any more.

    As for viscosity, startup generates a disproportionate % of the wear on an internal combustion engine, so I tend to stick closer to the lowest spec'd "winter" # as is convenient. But personally, I'm not overly concerned about it, just prefer to be close to spec if possible. On the hot viscosity end of things, with some of the temperatures we are seeing this summer, I think one would be well served going to a 10w-50 if they were operating in consistent ambient temperatures above 95-100F which is close to the comfortable maximum for a 5w-40 synthetic.
    Regards, Alan - President BMWONS - BMWMOA/BMWRA/BMWONS/Airheads
    Current: 2019 R1250RT / '06 Ducati ST3s / '91 R100GS / '86 R80RT / '75 R90S / '73 850 & '70 750 Commando Prev: '14 R1200RT / '04 R1150RT / '81 Honda GL1100 / '77 Suzuki GS750 / '73 Norton 850 Commando

  7. #52
    Registered User gsinnc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlanColes View Post
    You might be right Ed. That is the way I buy T6 (5L jugs = 1.3 US Gallons), use it for my VW Touareg TDi and put some in a 0.5L bottle that I carry on the bike in-case I need to top up. Having said that, with about 24,000 miles on two LC Boxers (18k on a 2014 RT and 6k on my 2019 R1250RT) I've not had to do any top-up between scheduled service intervals and I'm thinking it really doesn't make sense to carry oil on these bikes any more.

    As for viscosity, startup generates a disproportionate % of the wear on an internal combustion engine, so I tend to stick closer to the lowest spec'd "winter" # as is convenient. But personally, I'm not overly concerned about it, just prefer to be close to spec if possible. On the hot viscosity end of things, with some of the temperatures we are seeing this summer, I think one would be well served going to a 10w-50 if they were operating in consistent ambient temperatures above 95-100F which is close to the comfortable maximum for a 5w-40 synthetic.
    Ed Apelian
    Motorcycling is my passion because golf is far too dangerous!
    2018 R1200GS - Light White !
    2016 R1200RT- Platinum Bronze

  8. #53
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    I will check my oil before I leave, when stopped at most red lights, at the end of the ride and before going to bed. I warm it up with a halon fire suppression system at hand. I put it on the side stand, then center stand, then lay it on its side, then flip to other side then use the site glass and on-board check and divide by 2. If riding more than an hour I will siphon off some oil and overnight to a lab and wait for results before continuing. I carry a gallon of all viscosity oils available in case I end up on top of a hill where the temperature dropped so I can do a oil change to a thinner oil.
    61 R27, 64 R60/2, 82 R100RT, 01 R1100RT, 18 R1200RT, 63 Honda CA110, 64 Honda Super Cub, 65 Honda S90, 71 Honda CB350 and many gone but not forgoten

  9. #54
    I'll catch hell for this, but Jim Von Baden stated this regarding my 2012 r1200gs [ after he found out I can't get my bike on the center stand, and yes, I never use it for that reason, it always sits on the side stand ]. My sight glass is on the left side for clarification.

    On the side stand he said if I can see oil in the sight glass, just keep riding it. If there's no oil in the sight glass, add 1/2 qt. and go ride. He said the engine won't be harmed in any way if it's 1/2 quart low or as much over. That's what I've been doing,

    ye or ney, and why what he told me is wrong if you disagree.
    The lion does not even bother to turn his head when he hears the small dog barking.

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  10. #55
    In general I think Jim is correct. But, get one or two friends to help you conduct an experiment. With the help of your friends put the bike on the center stand. See where the oil level is. Is it correct? If so then put it on the idestand as you normally do. Notice where the oil level is. Use this as your future reference point.
    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
    http://web.bigbend.net/~glaves/

  11. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by lfarling View Post
    ... These are metal machines. They have no feelings ...
    Sacrilege!

  12. #57
    Quote Originally Posted by PGlaves View Post
    In general I think Jim is correct. But, get one or two friends to help you conduct an experiment. With the help of your friends put the bike on the center stand. See where the oil level is. Is it correct? If so then put it on the idestand as you normally do. Notice where the oil level is. Use this as your future reference point.
    Good suggestion, thanks. I can get the two neighbor kids to help [ 18-20 YO's ], they like the bike.
    The lion does not even bother to turn his head when he hears the small dog barking.

    https://www.youtube.com/user/azqkr

  13. #58
    Quote Originally Posted by brownie0486 View Post
    Good suggestion, thanks. I can get the two neighbor kids to help [ 18-20 YO's ], they like the bike.
    In 412,000 miles Voni has never put her R1100RS on the center stand. It leans to the left on the sidestand and the sight glass is on the left side. So on the side stand the oil level appears above the top of the sight glass. As long as it showed above the top she was always good to go with no need to put it on the center stand. She could check it though sitting on it upright by reaching down with a small mirror to view the sight glass. She invented that system herself.
    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
    http://web.bigbend.net/~glaves/

  14. #59
    Quote Originally Posted by PGlaves View Post
    In 412,000 miles Voni has never put her R1100RS on the center stand. It leans to the left on the sidestand and the sight glass is on the left side. So on the side stand the oil level appears above the top of the sight glass. As long as it showed above the top she was always good to go with no need to put it on the center stand. She could check it though sitting on it upright by reaching down with a small mirror to view the sight glass. She invented that system herself.
    I'm a little slow, I just ordered an extendable 3.5" mirror from amazon yesterday. Already checked the height I want a light on the glass when it's upright [ it'll sit on a box angled onto the glass ], my eyes aren't what they used to be

    Nice system, I'll check it on stand and upright to get a reading on differences for the future.

    Thanks again,
    The lion does not even bother to turn his head when he hears the small dog barking.

    https://www.youtube.com/user/azqkr

  15. #60
    Registered User AKsuited's Avatar
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    FWIW, I added a "lift handle" for putting my wethead GS on its center stand. Makes all the difference - now it's easy and less risky to me and the bike to put the bike on the center stand.

    Harry
    My fleet: 2015 R1200GS, 2017 Toyota Prius Prime (plug-in hybrid)

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