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Thread: synthetic oil for my oil head

  1. #1

    synthetic oil for my oil head

    I bought my R1100S used from a local guy and he showed me the liter jug of the 17 dollar a liter boxer oil from Europe which he recommended. I went to the local shop and bit the bullet for my first oil change. But I really wonder what magic fairy dust this synthetic liquid gold has at 15/50 that the Mobil 1 5/30 that I run in my turbo charged WRX boxer that has been run hard and now has 150k on it does not have. I get the Mobil 1 6 pack for the price of 2 liters of the boxer oil from Europe. Is the difference that I need the 15/50 because it also runs the gearbox. Thanks from the clueless.

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by mntngrown View Post
    I bought my R1100S used from a local guy and he showed me the liter jug of the 17 dollar a liter boxer oil from Europe which he recommended. I went to the local shop and bit the bullet for my first oil change. But I really wonder what magic fairy dust this synthetic liquid gold has at 15/50 that the Mobil 1 5/30 that I run in my turbo charged WRX boxer that has been run hard and now has 150k on it does not have. I get the Mobil 1 6 pack for the price of 2 liters of the boxer oil from Europe. Is the difference that I need the 15/50 because it also runs the gearbox. Thanks from the clueless.
    I won't say the stuff he showed you is better than other brands, but 5W30 like in your car is out of spec viscosity wise for the R1100S. Too thin. Find a good syntehetic 15W50 or 20W 50 MA2 rated oil and you are fine.
    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/

  3. #3
    Registered User GTRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mntngrown View Post
    I bought my R1100S used from a local guy and he showed me the liter jug of the 17 dollar a liter boxer oil from Europe which he recommended. I went to the local shop and bit the bullet for my first oil change. But I really wonder what magic fairy dust this synthetic liquid gold has at 15/50 that the Mobil 1 5/30 that I run in my turbo charged WRX boxer that has been run hard and now has 150k on it does not have. I get the Mobil 1 6 pack for the price of 2 liters of the boxer oil from Europe. Is the difference that I need the 15/50 because it also runs the gearbox. Thanks from the clueless.
    The engine and gearbox on your R1100S do not share oils; each requires it’s own and they are quite different. Your gearbox requires a 80w-90 gear oil, like Castrol Limited Slip Gear Oil, while the engine needs a JASO MA2 rated motorcycle oil, like Castrol 4T in 20-50. The latter periodically goes on sale for around $7/qt on Amazon and when it does I usually snag a couple of 6-packs. The Mobil 1 automotive oil isn’t what you want for the oilhead.

    Best,
    DeVern
    DGerber
    1983 R80ST 1984 R80 G/S-PD 2004 K1200GT w/Hannigan S/C 2010 K1300GT 2018 R1200GS
    BMWMOA#52184, AMA#271542, IBA#138

  4. #4
    Registered User jsouth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PGlaves View Post
    I won't say the stuff he showed you is better than other brands, but 5W30 like in your car is out of spec viscosity wise for the R1100S. Too thin. Find a good synthetic 15W50 or 20W 50 MA2 rated oil and you are fine.
    Isn't the spec oil 10W40? I'm going by memory, which is dangerous. I have always used 20W50 in Oklahoma with super hot summers, but I thought the factory spec was 10W40.
    2000 BMW R1100RS | Past bikes: 97 Suzuki GS500E, 82 Suzuki GS1100E, 07 Suzuki V-Strom 650

  5. #5
    Left Coast Rider
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    Quote Originally Posted by jsouth View Post
    Isn't the spec oil 10W40? I'm going by memory, which is dangerous. I have always used 20W50 in Oklahoma with super hot summers, but I thought the factory spec was 10W40.
    The spec oil for the R1100S is 20W-50. I ran Mobil 1 15W-50 in mine for 120,000km before I sold it and the guy who owns it now has put another 20k km on it using the same oil. It still doesn't use any oil between 5,000km changes. Mobil 1 15W-50 "car" oil has high levels of ZDDP (zinc and phosphorous), 1300ppm and 1200ppm respectively, which prevents wear on flat tappet motors. The BMW mechanic who services that bike says he's never heard a quieter oilhead motor. And its not because the valves are tight.

    I've used the same oil in my 3 Ducatis with excellent results although not the same accumulated mileage.

    Use whichever oil you prefer, I'm just providing my experience.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by BC1100S View Post
    Use whichever oil you prefer, I'm just providing my experience.
    It is good practice to at least adhere to the specifications. 20W50. API SG or SH. JASO MA2
    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/

  7. #7

    Thanks

    Quote Originally Posted by BC1100S View Post
    The spec oil for the R1100S is 20W-50. I ran Mobil 1 15W-50 in mine for 120,000km before I sold it and the guy who owns it now has put another 20k km on it using the same oil. It still doesn't use any oil between 5,000km changes. Mobil 1 15W-50 "car" oil has high levels of ZDDP (zinc and phosphorous), 1300ppm and 1200ppm respectively, which prevents wear on flat tappet motors. The BMW mechanic who services that bike says he's never heard a quieter oilhead motor. And its not because the valves are tight.

    I've used the same oil in my 3 Ducatis with excellent results although not the same accumulated mileage.

    Use whichever oil you prefer, I'm just providing my experience.
    After a search on the site I posted my thread which triggered the "similar" threads. I saw your post about the thicker Mobil 1 and placed my order. This site is a great place to learn from more experienced folks Thanks BC. Got to take the R1100S out today as it did not freeze last night and we got 60f today. Just have to be careful because in Ca the road crews spread dusty sand not salt for snow traction.

  8. #8
    Bluenoser
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    From what I've read from recent BMW Bulletins on oil, the two general main oil specs are 15-50 for none water cooled bikes and 10-40 for water cooled bikes. That oil weight would be subject to air temps as there is some flexibility based on temperature extremes. These specs are primarily for the dry clutch bikes. Not sure what the F specs are as I don't own or have any experience with them. I know in my oilheads, including a R1100S I ran either Mobile 1 15-50 or a MA spec, synthetic motorcycle oil in 20-50 weight.

    I think I read somewhere that the newer wetheads where using a 5-40.

    The dry clutch bikes are tolerant of Auto type oils as the friction properties don't contaminate the clutch. Auto oils in a wet clutch, may cause issues and that is why a MA spec oil is recommended for wet clutch bikes. The higher weight Auto oils, like 20-50 don't have friction modifiers, but may not have the additive package suitable for our bikes. A lot of owners use a diesel/auto oil with good results as their additive package closely mirrors a MA spec oil and in some cases are approved for MA wet clutch use.

    If you really want to know about oil, there are a few sites on the web that will inform you. Again, when in doubt follow the manufactures specs in the owners manual. Over the years that I've been riding BMW bikes, be they, airheads, oilheads or K bikes, the basic oil specs have changed very little.
    1986 K100RT

  9. #9
    Debbie's Servant Lee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cycleman2 View Post

    I think I read somewhere that the newer wetheads where using a 5-40.

    .
    That's correct and the K1300 also called for 5-40.
    I think when that engine first came out as the K1200, 10-40 was recommended. Not talking about the Brick K1200.
    Lee
    2016 R1200RS
    MOA # 30878
    Past BMW Bikes: 2011 K1300S, 2003 K1200RS, 1991 K75S, 1987 K75T, 1984 R100RT

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