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Thread: Oil level reading on 2004 R1100s

  1. #1
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    Oil level reading on 2004 R1100s

    Dear All, Are erratic readings of oil level through the sight glass common on my year and make of bike? I have owned the 2004 R1100s for over a year now, every time I kill the engine and put it up on the center stand the level of oil in the sight glass is different; from no oil showing to right on the center dot to entire glass filled to brim with oil. This could mean I have an obstruction in the oil ports within the motor that does not allow the oil to drip down? I am really confused.

    I have not been able to figure out how to set the clock on my dash either. I have put a bit over 11K miles on the bike in the last 18 months. It is the first motorcycle I have owned.

    I have a bunch of questions regarding settings for the suspension (2 knobs, one for back, one for front, what do they do? where should mine be set?) I have been looking at Bridgestone sport/touring tires instead of Michelin, any history out there to share? I would like to hear from long term owners of oilhead 1100 as to timing of trans oil and final drive oil changes ( once a year, every 10K Mi.?)

    Everything on my bike works fine, great confidence would come from access to knowledgeable owners.

    Thanks in advance for taking a swing at my questions

    Carfont,
    Sacramento CA

  2. #2
    Left Coast Rider
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    Welcome to the forum!

    The issue you are seeing is caused by the oil being retained in the oil cooler (or not). After your engine is fully warmed up do the following:

    1. Stop on a level surface and turn engine off
    2. Park on side stand for 5-10 minutes
    3. Lift bike onto centre stand
    4. Check oil level
    Doing this will give you consistent readings. Oil level should be between half and full marks on the sight glass.

    On your clock:
    Take a ball point pen, depress and hold the indented button(s) near the clock. The numbers will begin to change after a few moments.

    Regarding transmission and FD oil change intervals:
    Because its so easy, I'd say once per year or 12,000 miles - whichever comes first. Be sure to use a GL5-rated lubricant and do not use synthetic fluid in the final drive. Also, be sure you have loosened the fill cap on both before draining the oil in either - they've been known to be very hard to remove and you don't want to strand yourself with no fluid in either the transmission or the final drive.

    Hope this helps.

  3. #3
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    Oil Levels

    I have a 94 R1100RS and the oil levels vary a lot, seems like sometimes the oil runs out of oil cooler sometimes not. If I put amount of oil called for in manual it seems like the level is to vary top of sight glass or maybe a little bit more however when I start bike run it shut it of oil level will be in middle of glass. If I fill it and get level to middle of glass after filter full and oil drained back from oil cooler start it run shut off oil will be at the vary bottom of sight glass.
    But sometimes it seems like oil does not run out of oil cooler so level looks low, so any more if I can see any oil in sight glass I assume it ok and if it looks too full I start it run some shut off and oil is near middle again assume oil ok.

  4. #4
    Pepperfool GSAddict's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 179212 View Post
    I have a 94 R1100RS and the oil levels vary a lot, seems like sometimes the oil runs out of oil cooler sometimes not. If I put amount of oil called for in manual it seems like the level is to vary top of sight glass or maybe a little bit more however when I start bike run it shut it of oil level will be in middle of glass. If I fill it and get level to middle of glass after filter full and oil drained back from oil cooler start it run shut off oil will be at the vary bottom of sight glass.
    But sometimes it seems like oil does not run out of oil cooler so level looks low, so any more if I can see any oil in sight glass I assume it ok and if it looks too full I start it run some shut off and oil is near middle again assume oil ok.
    The reason for the "lost" oil is that if the thermostat is closed (below operating temperature) the oil cooler is very slow to drain.
    '
    Ufda happens..........

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  5. #5
    not so retired henzilla's Avatar
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    What's this center stand thing on an S?
    Ours doesn't and as long as oil is toward top of glass on side stand and no oil on ground, it rolls out to ride.
    Sometimes I will eyeball after riding all day and putting it up and adjust if needed...which on this bike is rare between changes.

    The info provided already addresses the reasons it varies, if it is over top of glass it often ends up in bottom of air box from being overfilled.

    Welcome to the forum and picking a great model...post a pic at top of page when you can to stir up the RS guys..
    Steve Henson-Mod Team and SABMWRA Prez

    Be decisive, right or wrong.The road of life is paved with
    flat squirrels who couldn't make a decision~unknown

  6. #6
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    2004 R1100s oil level readings?

    Thank you Forum participants. I had resigned myself to throwing out the high and low readings and taking comfort in the center dot readings. That remains my takeaway from your comments. I have not had any oil in my airbox so it is not overfilled. The admonition not to use synthetic gear oil in my final drive and to get GL5 rayed gear oil is great! thank you.

    I'll try the ball point pen to set the clock. I have been trying my finger, maybe that narrow point is the trick.

    I appreciate the welcomes to the forum. This is going to be a valuable resource for me.

    Thanks again,
    Carfont

  7. #7
    Left Coast Rider
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    Quote Originally Posted by henzilla View Post
    What's this center stand thing on an S?
    Apparently you have the "low budget" version of the best looking bike BMW has ever made. Fine, you have a fancy paint job on yours, but still.....

  8. #8
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    2004 R1100s with a centerstand

    Good afternoon Forum readers,

    I've been reflecting on a comment from Henzilla regarding my R1100s having a center-stand. This is my first motorbike. I'm "new" to the motorbike subculture.
    I am curious what a center-stand means and why one might not expect or want one on a R1100s. Dont get me wrong I'm not sensitive about this stuff, my feelings aren't hurt. I just don't have any reference points for understanding suprise that an R1100s has a center-stand or what a center-stand means to all you veteran riders.
    I really love my bike. It is a bit sportier than other touring bikes and quite comfortable for me for the 100 mile intervals I tend to ride. I describe it to friends as a sport bike for a retired college professor (which I am not). While not wanting anything faster/quicker, I might be disappointed now if I rode something slower/softer.
    At 59 years of age it seems like my Goldylocks bike...just right.

    A short explanation of the centerstand "meaning" would be great. Help me with my learning curve.

    Thanks,
    Carfont
    Sacramento,CA

    PS: I will post a picture of the bike (honestly, I need to take one

  9. #9
    Fortis Fortuna Adiuvat Omega Man's Avatar
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    No Worries
    All bikes come with a side stand unless its racing like motocross or track bikes.

    Some bikes come with a center stand which is centrally located under the bike and once deployed, usually lifts the rear tire off the ground.

    On my F800GS, it came with just the side stand and I added the center stand as it makes it easier to clean or put some lube on the chain.

    Here is a video that will help-



    Good luck.

    OM
    "You can do good or you can do well. Sooner or later they make you choose." MI5
    Mod Squad
    2009 F800GS 1994 TW200

  10. #10
    not so retired henzilla's Avatar
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    Certain models came with sidestand only and a few of those had a factory option for a center stand

    Our R11S has a belly pan that covers the mounts for the center stand, the Boxer Cup models have same pan and were racing bike designs which needed all the ground clearance available.
    Our R12S and the HP2 models have side stand only as well, as did bothof our K12Sís... I added the centerstand on mine and had to cut the belly pan to make it work using the factory cut line molded in...Hís had a carbon fiber pan that she said nope to me touching.

    A center stand is desirable to have for maintenance and for some parking the bike. I use a PitBull stand for the final drives with the hole and a Wunderlich adjustable stand for other models that has pins to engage the OEM centerstand mounts. Other bikes need a floor jack and blocks unless fitted with spools for track stands.

    Some bikes look better w/out the stand and for certain riding styles...track or dirt... preferred for clearance

    Iím 62 and our 11S fits just right as well and makes me act much younger at times.
    Steve Henson-Mod Team and SABMWRA Prez

    Be decisive, right or wrong.The road of life is paved with
    flat squirrels who couldn't make a decision~unknown

  11. #11
    Left Coast Rider
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    Further to Henzilla's info, a centre stand is really handy when removing wheels - especially if you get a flat on the road and find yourself without a repair kit.
    Last edited by BC1100S; 12-17-2019 at 06:55 PM.

  12. #12
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    2004 R1100s with a centerstand

    Thanks All,

    The takeaway is that the centerstand detracts from the competition aura of my R1100s. Well, I have spirited moments on my bike but I am not chasing the performance perimeters of the machine. I didn't realize that it is not standard equipment on all R1100s'.
    I did know that the BCR bikes had the belly pan, so no centerstand. It is handy to have and adds little weight and fills clearance space that my riding style doesn't need.

    Thanks again for your responses.

    Carfont

  13. #13
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    My 2001 r1100sl (l for light) was advertised with a center stand delete to save weight. I donít think they ever made a center stand that works with the sport suspension that came on most special editions and replicas. Wunderlich makes a pit stand that works for most maintenance needs. Pelican parts has a semi active forum dedicated to the 1100&1200s. Make sure you mention oil level that always starts a s#%t storm usually on this forum also. My book says the red dot( if you have one is the max oil level but thatís controversial. My 11s uses oil and tires and fuel but Iím throttle happy. I love mine itís the perfect old man hooligan bike

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