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Thread: A basic oil question (yes, I said that!)

  1. #1
    Registered User beemermyke's Avatar
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    Jan 2006
    Richmond Hill, Georgia

    A basic oil question (yes, I said that!)

    After two oil changes using the standard BMW oil, I started ordering servicing kits from Beemerboneyard for my 2016 GSA. I've used the Liquid Moly Racing Synth 4T 5W-40 oil that you can get with these kits for probably the last three oil changes. I've learned to live with the somewhat noisy valves (yes, I had them checked at the dealer recently so I know they're in spec).

    My question is this: Has anyone used a synthetic oil that noticeably quieted the top end (er... side end) on your Wethead? Any recommendations out there? Coming up on my 24,000 mile service and was considering going to a different brand of oil to see if things will quiet down a bit.
    Motorcycling is my passion because golf is far too dangerous!
    2016 R1200GSW

  2. #2
    Registered User pappy35's Avatar
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    Nov 2017
    Collierville, TN
    Disclaimer: I don't own a Wethead...

    But every one I've ever heard running makes a very slight mechanical clatter (I think it's the cam drive chain?) as compared to my Camhead that sounds like a sewing machine. I don't think oil is going to change that. Further, I read that the new ShiftCam engine has a different kind of chain that it go back to that "sewing machine" sound.
    '13 R1200RT 90th Anniversary Edition

  3. #3
    Registered User
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    Mar 2011
    I’ve been using the rebranded shell for the last 2 changes, next change going to Rotella T6 5-40 meets Bmw specs and a lot less expensive

  4. #4
    IBA# 5819 61996's Avatar
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    Mar 2014
    Apple Valley, MN
    What does the book call for?
    “Fate whispers to the warrior, 'You can not withstand the storm.'
    The warrior whispers back, 'I am the storm.'

  5. #5
    Registered User AKsuited's Avatar
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    Jul 2009
    Southern Tier of New York
    I used Motul "7100" 5W-40 full synthetic, ester type. It meets all BMW specs. It's red in color. I had to double check to make sure it was motor oil! I got it from Amazon.

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

  6. #6


    In todays world with thinner wt oils you'll hear more noise. The heavier oils while they may quiet an engine do not lubricate as well or as soon on startup. I'd take a good 5-40 ester any day and allow its intrinsic properties to do the work and live with the noise. With the tighter clearances you really do need a thinner oil. They will let more valve noise thru.

  7. #7
    In Voni's 1,100,000 miles and my meager 950,000 miles I always preached, and still do, meet the BMW specs and you will be just fine. Try the Internet of Forum favorites, maybe not so much, unless the forum wisdom also meets specs.
    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

  8. #8
    SURVIVOR akbeemer's Avatar
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    Jul 2007
    Big Sky Country
    Rotella is evidently not recognized as meeting JASO standards as their label proclaims.

    from:Toda, Yuka(JALOS)


    cc:Hidan Sigenori ,


    date:May 7, 2019, 11:10 PM

    subject:Re: shell Rotella MA rating

    Dear Mr. Mike Spurgin,

    Please refer to the Implementation Manual on our web-site ---

    Motorcycle Four Cycle Gasoline Engine Oil

    (*Please see page 1 “NOTICE” and page 11 – 4.8 “Quality Assurance”.)

    As far as we recognize now, the product you have mentioned is not listed, "Shell Rotella or it's directives", on our on-file list.

    Based on the description in our implementation manual, this is all we can tell you at this time. We have no concern in the oils that are not in our on-file certification list.

    We would advise you to ask the oil manufacturer.

    Best regards,


    Yuka Toda (Ms.)


    JALOS-Japan Lubricating Oil Society
    2-16-1 Hinode, Funabasi-shi
    Chiba 273-0015, Japan
    Fax: +81-47-431-9579
    Kevin Huddy
    The Outpost, Silver City, Montana

  9. #9
    Registered User beemermyke's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Richmond Hill, Georgia
    Thanks for the replies.
    Motorcycling is my passion because golf is far too dangerous!
    2016 R1200GSW

  10. #10
    Registered User patm's Avatar
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    Mar 2016
    Montreal, QC
    Had to look it up, BMW's own Advantec motor oil and Amsoil aren't on the list either.


    Ride Safe!
    '16 RT

  11. #11
    Registered User RIDERR1150GSADV's Avatar
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    Apr 2017
    Both my brother and I find that the LiquiMoly oil makes our '18 GSA's shift better vs the BMW oil when using the Shift Assisit Pro. It is just our observation so YMMV...
    MOA # 108516
    Current ride 2018 R1200 GSA Triple Black
    Past rides '04 R1150RT, '05 K1200LT, '06 R1150GSA, ‘17 R1200RT

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