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Discussion Starter #1
Well,
It is near the time when I need the first oil/filter change. I recken I need 20W/50. that much I got it figure out.
However, I need some help on the grade.
I read that you are not suppose to use SJ oil, but SH, and SG is OK. What happen when the bottle reads it pass all the test for SJ, SH, SG ...is that OK?
I was at Costco and was planning to buy a case of Castrol 20w/50 that said that.

any help would be appreciated.

Plastics
99 K1200RS silver/blue
 

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oil

If you are able to get to your BMW dealer (or order it online), just use the BMW oil. Sure, it's not cheap, but you plunked down the cash for a beemer so don't skimp on the oil. Again, bike-specific oils are different than car oils. Additives, etc. Castrol is good oil, but I wouldn't use it in my beloved KRS. 20W50 is ok for most of the year, until it gets really cold. If you're using synth, the BMW 15W50 is good for the whole year.
 

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Can't go wrong with BMW oil. That covers all the bases. However, what's the important factor with which oil you use in a motorcycle with respect to what's available generally for cars? The clutch. Most motorcycles use a wet clutch, and using oils with friction modifiers can affect the clutch if you have a wet clutch. The motor is, well, a 4 cycle piston engine. No different than a car. Your .sig says 1999 K1200RS. Dry clutch, no problem. First service? If you're talking about a K1200S or K1200R, yeah, better pay attention to the service qualities of the oil. Brick motor with low miles? Go for 10w-40 for the winter, or even 5w-30. Why? The worst time for wear is when starting up the engine, as the oil has sucumbed to gravity, and flowed away. The lighter the weight, the easier it is to pump to all the nooks and crannies that need oil. 5w-30 starts off as 5w oil, and the additives bring it to 30w as it gets hot. If you can run 5w-30 and not use oil in the summer, stick with that year 'round.

That's my nickels worth.



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Razel, you posted more or less what I thought and do. I agree with using the wide range oil, but if I experienced big temperature extremes I might look at oils for Summer /Winter. Since many of us may lay up bikes for the winter one oil type would probably still be ok. Although I read a lot about synth. and non synth oils. My older K has got about 30K miles on it and I now I feed it semi synth. Oil consumption at the sight glass still seems low and hasn't changed.

It's difficult to discuss merits of oils unless you strip a lot of motors down, know what to look for or have components fail that point towards oil. I tend to take a pragmatic view that changing my oil more frequently than recommended, makes the oil brand pretty agnostic unless there are exceptional reasons - say long hard track triding or race tuning. I did notice that some oils are sold 'for older engines' and tend to be the mineral non-synth types maybe with less additives, but by 'older' they mean't pre-1960. There's also an issue with some oil additives damaging catalysts, but I don't think this applies to modern engine formulations.



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What Engine Oil

The cost of oil when compared to your investment is too small to even calculate, I have used only BMW oil in my 88K75s, 1996K1200rs, and now my 2003K1200rs. I am at one with the dealer on this one. I do however us Gold Spectro in my Triumphs and Ducati. A very good BMW mechanic from way back when indicated that he seldom saw oil leaks on BMW's that used the BMW's natural oil. He could not make the same statement with synthetics.
 

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swamp water .....

plastics said:
Well,
It is near the time when I need the first oil/filter change. I recken I need 20W/50. that much I got it figure out.
However, I need some help on the grade.
I read that you are not suppose to use SJ oil, but SH, and SG is OK. What happen when the bottle reads it pass all the test for SJ, SH, SG ...is that OK?
I was at Costco and was planning to buy a case of Castrol 20w/50 that said that.

any help would be appreciated.

Plastics
99 K1200RS silver/blue
I've been running Castrol 20/50 in my K-bikes since 1985. Every since Syntec-Blend came out (late 80's ?) I've used it. (I used ful synthetic for a while, but contrary to published reports, it weeps out when nothing else does.) No problems with the Castrol, much to the dismay of the SJ only crowd. If it's a concern while you are under warranty, you can always just buy the BMW oil.

'85 K100RS - 19k (two valves adjusted)
'87 K75s - 101k (one valve adjusted)
'95 R1100RSL - 16k (all the valves, all the time)

'94 K1100RS - 76k (zero valve adjusted)
'02 K1200RS - 50k + (one valve adjusted)
 

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I used dino oil for 10,000 miles and switched to full synthetic. Here are some brands I have used, all 20W/50 viscosity. BMW (dino), Golden Spectro (synth blend), Mobil 1 V-Twin (full synth), Castrol Syntec (full synth), Valvoline SynPower (full synth). Can't go wrong with BMW oil, but any major brand will suffice. I worry more about the viscosity I use than the brand. My bike uses no oil between changes, and is not leaking or seeping oil anywhere.
 

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leaking

FrisbeeTiger said:
A very good BMW mechanic from way back when indicated that he seldom saw oil leaks on BMW's that used the BMW's natural oil. He could not make the same statement with synthetics.
Very interesting comment. Leads me to believe that syn will penetrate all those little areas IN the engine better. But that does not mean that dyno will also not do the job just fine. That comment fits in line with others I have heard.

I use syn now on my Buell and noticed a marked diff in foaming. The syn does not foam as much as my Castrol dyno did. Not getting any leaks from either at this time. So, Moble syn will be my Buell and BMW dyno or any motorcycle 20/50 will be my bike oil. I say MC oil because it has been mentioned many times that there is more Zinc(I think it was) in MC oil. A protective factor against wear.
 

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plastics said:
Well,
It is near the time when I need the first oil/filter change. I recken I need 20W/50. that much I got it figure out.
However, I need some help on the grade.
I read that you are not suppose to use SJ oil, but SH, and SG is OK. What happen when the bottle reads it pass all the test for SJ, SH, SG ...is that OK?
I was at Costco and was planning to buy a case of Castrol 20w/50 that said that.

any help would be appreciated.
NO! Not OK. The official BMW bulletin (and I have a copy) states that ALL SJ and later oils are NOT approved. The reason is because of the reduced level of the ZDDP (zinc dialkyldithiophosphate) anti-wear additive in newer oils.

The fact that the bottle states that an SL oil (for example) meets SG, SH, and SJ requirements, means nothing, because the "rules" state that newer oils automatically can claim backward compatibility with older specifications. The fact of the matter is that there is less than 1/3 the amount of ZDDP in an SL oil, than there was in most SG oils, is ignored.

As for BMW oils, they have been tested as being pretty good, but they are not made by BMW. BMW oils are made by Spectro, so you can safely save a bit of money and buy the same thing from Spectro.

Note that the BMW service bulletin in question states that it is acceptable to use a "Brand Name type HD oil". In other words, an oil intended for diesel engines. I also discussed this with a Chevron chemist a while back, and he verified that the ZDDP content of these oils was a lot higher than present-day SJ and later oils, and very similar to the "real" (i.e. original) SG oils. Remember that these are the oils that allow big diesel rigs to go 100,000 miles between oil changes.

Two that come to mind are Chevron's Dello400 and Shell's Rotella-T. Both are 15W-40, and BOTH are approved "HD" oils. I have used Dello400 in my K-bike for several years with excellent results. AND.... it is a LOT cheaper that ripoff "motorcycle oils".

Bob.
 

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FrisbeeTiger said:
The cost of oil when compared to your investment is too small to even calculate, I have used only BMW oil in my 88K75s, 1996K1200rs, and now my 2003K1200rs. I am at one with the dealer on this one. I do however us Gold Spectro in my Triumphs and Ducati. A very good BMW mechanic from way back when indicated that he seldom saw oil leaks on BMW's that used the BMW's natural oil. He could not make the same statement with synthetics.
Even if the "oil leak" thing is true, it is COMPLETELY irrelivant to the lobrication of a running motor. All moving and rotating parts in a motor, develop a hydrostatic film of oil between the parts. In other words, there is not metal-to metal contact. This film is relatively thick (several ten-thousandths of an inch at minimum) and will be created equally well by either dino or synthetic oils. Even the oil's viscosity has relatively little effect on this. The ability of an oil to penetrate submicroscopic areas (even if it is true) has nothing at all to do with its function in a motor.

Bob.
 

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Bob,

Are you sure that BMW Motorcycle Oils are STILL Spectro? I have read different. I am NOT saying that you are wrong and I am right and I am certainly no expert on oil, so please take this as information I have heard and being thrown out for discussion and not an argument!

I have read that BMW previously used Spectro dino and Castrol synthetics (including gear oil) in the US only while they used Castrol dino and synthetic throughout the rest of the world and that they changed in 2003 to using Castrol worldwide for ALL oils, dino or synthetic.

My 2004 K1200RS Owners Manual specifically states "BMW recommends Castrol" and even has their logo in a couple of places.

As a side note, BMW cars all come from the factory with BMW Synthetic Oil installed from day 1. In their Owner's Manual and on the plastic bottles of BMW Automotive oils, they have the Castrol logo and clearly state (like in my bike's manual) that "BMW recommends Castrol". There are numerous reference that BMW Automotive oils are "custom blended" for BMW by Castrol.

Randy
 

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They were made by Spectro the last time I heard, but I suppose it is possible things have changed. As far as the "custom blended for BMW is concerned", I wouldn't put much faith in the "custom" part of it. That is a typical marketing term for taking a standard product and sticking a custom label on it.

Point is, I suppose, if BMW did swich to another vendot, then what is so special about their oil if they can get anyone to make it?

I'm stickin' with my Dello400!

Bob.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Hey thanks for oil tips!

Hey everybody,
good tips.
I think that Costco has the Castrol 15W/40 for Diesel Engines (HD oil)..I'll look at the label there next time I go to Costco to buy the super-jumbo count toilet paper.

Plastics
 

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Discussion Starter #18
15W/40 oil...better mileage, more power?

Well,
I did change my oil with just standard Castrol 15W/40 Diesel Oil which I bought a case from Costco.
My first oil and filter change took about 2 hours and it seems like you need a lot of rags to soak up the drippy oil from everywhere. It was no where as clean as I use to to on my old Honda Intercepter.
To my surprise, the K-1200RS gets better mileage now...about 10% more, also smoother and more power..I can't believe that just by changing from 20W/50 to 15W/40 makes that much difference.
Just want to let everyone know.

Plastics
99 K1200RS silver/blue
 

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People always say that I used such and such an oil and look how good my engine is running today. My story is how my 85 Maxima went 260 + miles on good old Penzoil 10 40 with no drips or oil usage at that mileage. The 4 cyl. inline engine on the K bike is basically a car engine with radiators and oil cooler. It does not need anything special for it to have a long life except keeping the air filter and oil clean. The special motorcycle oil is for engines with a wet clutch. This engine has a dry clutch. Any 20 50 oil will be fine. The reason that BMW specifies syn. oil in their cars is that anybody buying one of the finest cars in the world today would automatically assume that it should run on synthetic oil so lets just specify it from the beginning. It can't hurt and now we have created another life long customer of syn. oil.
 

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castrol blend 20 50 i can see but do yourself a favor and stay away from 15 40 diesel grade...i run a fleet of 60 trucks and 50 or so small gas jobs...tried once to keep all on one oil.....but the gas jobs starting to weep alot ....was ok for a fleet but i would never use it in anything i own that is gas...the best oil that i have ever used is LE (lubrication engineers)...they have a web site....$$ but nothing can top it...i have been doing fleet for over25 years and its the balls!!...just the cost is a factor
 
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