K1200GT oil change warning for novice DIYers. - K-Bikes.com - Excellence in Motion
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old Jan 5th, 2015, 11:11 pm Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia
Posts: 21
K1200GT oil change warning for novice DIYers.

Last week I changed the oil on my K1200GT (Sept 06) for the first time since I got the bike a year ago.
The last oil change was by a dealer ($400 to do that and "check things") . Doing it myself took about 50 minutes including waiting for the old stuff to properly drain out.
But I discovered the previous owner was of the apparent belief that any bolt with a Torx head is a screw loosened solely with a Torx wrench because Torx screws 'go into a fixed thread, don't they?'
A warning to novice DIYers: it ain't necessarily so. The result on my bike can be seen in the attached pic. Looks like somebody's confused a Torx bit with a drill bit. To change the oil filter on this model bike it is first necessary to remove the sidestand and gear lever assembly which is secured by three Torx M8 x 35 -10.9 bolts. Do not loosen these from the front. Use a 13mm socket/spanner and loosen from the back. The bolts are supposed to be replaced everytime but that is clearly overkill. All they do is hold up the bike in your driveway and your big toe when changing gear, for Christ sake. Tighten the three nuts to 24Nm (18ft lbs) when you put them back. Don't overtighten the new filter- a strong wrist is all that is needed (no tool). 3/8in drive Oil filter removal tool is $7.95 from Sierra BMW in NV. Not essential but it makes life very easy.
No other hassles with an oil change which starts by draining the reservoir under the seat but watch out for the oil quantity when refilling. That era bike was subect to two sizes of oil tank (which is where the oil sensor is). If the tank has wording on it it will be 4.1 Litres (1.08 US gals). No wording on volume (there will be maker info wording) and it will be 3.5 litre 0.92 Us Gals).
The difference between min-max is 0.5 litre (just over a pint). Best to use the recommended Castrol Power 1 Racing oil or other maker equivalent. $69 for 4 pints in Australia.
Similarly, don't be afraid to change the oil in the final drive more frequently than every 20,000 kilometres. No special tools are needed apart from a syringe to replace the Castrol SAF-XO (or similar) to give you peace of mind instead of pieces of metal. Cost of the 180ml syringe from Sierra BMW was $11.95. You will need a shortish belt of some sort to suspend the rear drive when you split the assembly. The whole job is quite easy and takes about an hour using the opportunity to clean and inspect otherwise difficult to see components.
Don't know about you guys, but I change my sump oil every 2.5K and the filter every 5k. Final drive every 10k. Indulgent, I know.
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Last edited by Quickie; Jan 6th, 2015 at 9:27 am.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old Jan 6th, 2015, 10:52 am
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Calgary, AB, Canada
Posts: 77
After several oil changes on my GT, I replaced those bolts last time for the same reason. The heads are shallow and the torx bit does not seem to get a good bite in them so after repeated removal, they just inevitably get chewed up. Just plan to buy new ones periodically when they start getting a bit worse for wear.

Ed Miller,
Calgary, AB, Canada
2008 K1200GT, 2009 F800GS
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old Jan 6th, 2015, 9:43 pm Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia
Posts: 21
Oil change warning reply

Yes, it seems to be a common problem. The answer is simple, though. Use the Torx bit simply to hold the head still while all the initial force is applied by the 13mm spanner or socket on the nuts at the back of the assembly. At this stage the Torx bit does little work but support the surface tension under the bolt head which provides most of the holding power under full torque. Remember, though, the bolt will probably also have a medium strength Loctite or similar on the thread (BMW recommendation). Also, make sure you are using the correct sized metric Torx bit. Just a one turn of the nut to slacken the initial tension is enough to then facilitate easy removal of the bolt with the Torx driver. You'll never strip another of those bolt heads this way. Reassembly is the same. Finish the tightening to torque with the spanner or socket (not the Torx bit) doing the work. Also, I reckon loctite is overkill in that application. I prefer to use a spring or star washer under the nuts (too expensive for BMW production budget, probably). Check for tightness as part of the routine nut and bolt check (every month for me religiously using a torque wrench - remember, no more than a single click!).
Fun, innit!
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old Jan 12th, 2015, 7:31 pm
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Location: bc, , canada
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....or buy the smaller filter and you wont have to deal with any of the above.....

...just sayn


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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old Jan 13th, 2015, 10:24 pm
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Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Rockford, MI, USA
Posts: 363
Life is so much simpler with the short filter.
With The edge of the belly pan loose you can even work the long filter in place without removing the shifter.

'07 K1200GT Crystal Gray Metalic
'00 Ducati 900 Monster
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old Jan 25th, 2015, 7:29 pm
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Windsor, VT, USA
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I have never had to remove the shift lever to change the filter. Just loosen the bottom Tupperware for easy access!
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