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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Merry Christmas! I have a question concerning my bike and its oil level. I've had the bike about a month and have already noticed it seems to burn oil (about 1/2 quart in 1000 miles). Is this to be expected? Also when looking through the site glass what is the best level to try and maintain? Thanks for any information.
 

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I try to keep mine in the center, no more than center. As long as its between the center and the bottom of the glass, I'm happy. I check it about 5-10 minutes after a good run, to allow the oil to drain back into the pan. You will see some difference checking it with the engine cold or hot. What is the age and mileage of your bike? My '01 with 30k miles uses no oil, my wife's '98 with 70k miles uses about 1/2 quart per 1500 miles.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I checked it after about a 5 minute run. I've read some posts on side or center stand parking and it seems to be better parked on the center stand from cold starts. This seems kind of crazy to me. Who wants to hall a bike up on the center stand every time? This is a 03 RS with 8500 miles. I'm not worried just curious! It sounds like it will diminish over time. Thanks for the reply
 

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1/2 quart every 1000 miles is a lot in my opinion. If the bike is still under warranty, you should consider taking it to a dealer for inspection at least just to get your potential problem on the record before the warranty expires.

Also, have you checked if you have any oil leaks? The timing cover leak is common on these bikes. Valve cover could also be leaking.

Finally, if no oil leaks, then check the oil level while the bike is on the center stand and with the engine off. BTW, I park my bike in the same spot and on the center stand every time, and I see a small fluctuation in the oil level ... I think I read somewhere that a small amount of oil gets "trapped" somewhere.

Just as a side comment ... in your latest post, you said you checked the oil level after a "5-minute run" ... not sure if this is what you mean, but it's not good to run a cold engine for only 5 minutes then shut it off. I don't know if or how this affects your oil level readings but you probably are getting accurate readings after running the engine for only a few minutes.
 

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cmntgo100 said:
I checked it after about a 5 minute run. I've read some posts on side or center stand parking and it seems to be better parked on the center stand from cold starts. This seems kind of crazy to me. Who wants to hall a bike up on the center stand every time? This is a 03 RS with 8500 miles. I'm not worried just curious! It sounds like it will diminish over time. Thanks for the reply
Oh yes, you want to check it on the center stand, not the side stand. 8500 miles, it isn't even close to being broken in. Just to make sure the rings are seated do a couple of runs up through the gears. Redline it and then let it back all the way down to about 3,000. Do this several times in a row to make sure the rings are seated. I have a 98 with only 37,000 miles on it and it doesn't smoke at all.
 

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cmntgo100 said:
I checked it after about a 5 minute run.
If you check after just a 5 minute run that might give some inconsistencies in the readings because oil may be trapped in the oil cooler if the bike was not hot enough when you shut it down (ie the oil cooler thermostat is still closed and oil does not drain down from the cooler). Based on your mileage, I think your consumption is high, in my non-expert opinion. It should be broken in enough at 8500 miles not to be consuming that much oil.
 

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What is your type of riding for the 8500 miles, does the motor feel loose and revs easy, is it smoking from oil, is the temperature guage making the half way point and fans coming on occasionally?

You should have been doing some high speed cruising and the occasional redline. If you're mainly town riding, short run, cold starts, you might need to get the gum out of the oil control rings with some longer harder riding. Has synth oil been put in from day 1? I read new motors don't run in well on fully synth. oil.

I've read of new cages driven by pussies with hats and specs on frequent cold starts and short runs and when the motor was stripped at 10K to investigate oil burn, the factory honing marks were still in the bores and the oil rings were gummed in the piston grooves!

My bike is always parked up on the centre stand with the side stand down. BMW plastic is expensive!



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What ever you do, make sure you have checked the level many times to establish to oil usage. Mine is variable, the level not the oil usage. On occasion, I've added a little oil only to find the level too high later on.
 

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Missing a bit of info here. Are you talking about a new bike as in unbroken in or a new to you (used) bike. If you are talking about a new bike still being broken in, then burning some oil is to be expected. Follow the recommendations for break in in the owner's manual and don't worry about it other than to keep the oil level up. The general consensus as far as where on the sight glass- right in the middle. My experience has indicated that the volume from the top to bottom of the glass is about 250ml! Not very much, but important to keep it visible in the glass though. As for when to check the level, do it on the center stand on level ground. Doesn't matter if the oil is hot or cold. The volume won't noticeably change either way. If you are talking about a used bike, again refer to oil consumption in the owner's manual. If its really sucking the dino juice, then it may be time for some work keeping in mind that adding oil (as long as it's not too excessive) is a lot cheaper than an engine rebuild!

Jim
 

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Re:Oil Capacity

I have a question. If the sight glass shows half full when at the proper oil lever, how much oil are you putting in your K12? According to my manual my bike takes 4 quarts and when I put 4 quarts in my bike and then take it for a ride than let it set, my sight glass is all the way full past the top, and for that matter so is my wife's R1100S I thought you shouldn't let it go lower than half way but I didn't know that meant it was full, am I missing something?
 

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I'm the third owner for my '98 so I have no idea how it was broken in. PO used dino oil and I switched to synthetic. Usage was about 1 quart/3K miles for either. I can occasionally see a puff of smoke behind me when I pull away from a light. Particularly during spirited acceleration. ;) IIRC it has about 35K miles on it now.

I don't like it either, but I don't think it is excessive. (My K75RT required no additions between 10K mile changes.) Maybe one day I'll try the "stuck ring" fix to see if that helps. Otherwise I just watch and add when the oil drops to the bottom of the sight glass. I try to get as close to the middle as possible.

I doubt that the dealer will do anything about it until usage exceeds 1 quart/500 miles. I think that's the limit for what the factory considers excessive. But probably good to document it anyway.

-hank
 

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007007 said:
I have a question. If the sight glass shows half full when at the proper oil lever, how much oil are you putting in your K12?
After an oil drain and filter change, I add about 3.5 quarts, which brings the level to the center dot of the window or a little above it.

According to my manual my bike takes 4 quarts
Hmmmm ... my GT manual says oil capacity is 3.7 quarts. 4 full quarts is too much.

and when I put 4 quarts in my bike and then take it for a ride than let it set, my sight glass is all the way full past the top, and for that matter so is my wife's R1100S I thought you shouldn't let it go lower than half way but I didn't know that meant it was full, am I missing something?
Minimum oil level is the bottom of the sight glass, and maximum is the top of the sight glass. Many here feel the center is the ideal oil level because ... well, I'm not sure why ... but it sounds good to me because it's the mid point between min and max. :D
 

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It's always going to be difficult using the sight glass as a precision oil level meter. Perhaps after the bike has stood overnight on it's usual parking spot on the centre stand you'll get a fair idea of relative oil usage. The only thing I use the spec. oil capacities for is to make sure I bought enough oil for the change!

Over the area of the oil sump, the difference between any points in the sight glass range are small changes in oil height and as long as the level is below the piston bores and not burning and ruining the CAT, that's important. If you put the bike on the side stand on a slope, the oil in the sight glass disappears - as you'd expect.

I'm lazy and my K's not using much oil, so I level to the top mark and add oil when it drops to just above the low mark. I assume the range on the sight glass is acceptable and anything below the low mark is not. If I was planning a long ride, I'd level to the top mark. I'd rather enjoy the bike than be a slave to fluid levels.

I'm not sure if our K's have low oil level warnings, in addition to low pressure. But you get either of these when your oil capacity is seriously low. The first warning flash is usually when the bike is cornered.



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The German forum warns about over filling above the top of the ring as it often leads to rear seal damage. The consensus is to drive the bike at least ten miles to get the oil hot enough, water temperature is not the same as oil temperature, and then check the oil. If the oil is not hot enough the resulting reading will be inaccurate and lead to over filling. They also suggest filling to the center of the ring as a safety buffer to avoid inaccuracies.

Regards,
Oldtimer
 

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cmntgo100 said:
Merry Christmas! I have a question concerning my bike and its oil level. I've had the bike about a month and have already noticed it seems to burn oil (about 1/2 quart in 1000 miles). Is this to be expected? Also when looking through the site glass what is the best level to try and maintain? Thanks for any information.
My bet is that the rings have not seated. I had an '03 Rs, and now an '04 GT and never burned 1/2 quart between oil changes at 3K miles after the 600 mile breakin.

Like my dealer states, ride it like you stole it.

One other possibility is that you cold start it often and ride short distances from each start.
 

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voxmagna said:
I'm not sure if our K's have low oil level warnings, in addition to low pressure. But you get either of these when your oil capacity is seriously low. The first warning flash is usually when the bike is cornered.
The only vehicles I know of that have a true low level warning are those with dry sumps. (Of course there are probably many of which I am ignorant. :D ) A lot - all? - of vehicles have a low pressure light. When the pressure gets low enough to trigger that due to insufficient oil, you're already doing damage to the engine.

I check my oil level before I take off for the day. I know what my oil consumption is and I know when I'll need to add. Before long trips (like tomorow :) :) :) ) I'll bring it up a bit above the middle so I don't have to fool with it on the road.

-hank
 
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