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Oil for new K1200


Calvin  (no socks)

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Calvin  (no socks)

Has anyone changed their oil yet?

BMW said no synthetic in engine/gearbox...

I've got it broken in and want to change it soon..

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Paul Mihalka

In the new K bikes engine, gear box and wet clutch run all in the same oil. I understand wet clutches don't like synthetic, and some other automotive oils, because they are too "slippery".

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In the new K bikes engine, gear box and wet clutch run all in the same oil. I understand wet clutches don't like synthetic, and some other automotive oils, because they are too "slippery".

Actually, wet clutches do not like "energy saving" oils. The antifriction additives cause clutch slippage. Many synthetic oils are automotive oils, and are classified as "energy saving" (it states this in the API Donut on the package). So it is not the fact that they are "synthetic" that is the problem, but the antifriction additives they contain. Dino oils with these additives have the same problem.

 

Bob.

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ShovelStrokeEd

BMW is being cautious here.

 

Some, but by no means all, synthetic oils do contain friction modifiers that will adversly effect the performance of a wet clutch.

 

My Blackbird, which has similar power and weight to the GT, has shown no problems using Castrol Syntec semi-synthetic. It is due for an oil change pretty soon now and I plan on switching to Shell Rotella. Many over on the BB forum use this and none have reported any problems.

 

By way of further illustration though, my old drag bike was equipped with a slider clutch. No lever, it used centrifugal force to engage and was very, very, consistant, able to repeat 1/4 mile et's within 0.01 seconds. A garage shortage had me changing from my normal 10w30 dino oil to some synthetic of the same viscosity. ET's fell off by nearly 0.3 seconds with mph remaining about the same indicating the engagement point of the clutch was delayed. No real slipping as the mph remained pretty much the same, just a different friction characteristic. Now, that bike made a heck of a lot more power than most street driven motorcycles and also had, with a 10" slick on the back, a good deal more traction. If the clutch didn't slip there, I would expect no problems from a normal street bike.

 

There are, also, a range of synthetic oils from various mfgs that are listed as motorcycle specific and claim not to effect the wet clutches. I would think that any of these would work fine. As Bob stated, I would avoid the "energy saving" types.

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RedLine makes 75w90NS and 75w140NS High Performance Gear Oil for use in manual transmissions. NS denotes that it does not contain the limited slip modifier for better synchro performance within the GL-5 spec.

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Paul Mihalka
RedLine makes 75w90NS and 75w140NS High Performance Gear Oil for use in manual transmissions. NS denotes that it does not contain the limited slip modifier for better synchro performance within the GL-5 spec.
Just in case, this thread talks about the new style K bikes: K1200S, K1200R, K1200GT. It does not apply to K1200LT or any befor '05 K bike. Engine, gear box, clutch, they all run in the same oil. No gear oil in these bikes.
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Just in case, this thread talks about the new style K bikes: K1200S, K1200R, K1200GT. It does not apply to K1200LT or any befor '05 K bike. Engine, gear box, clutch, they all run in the same oil. No gear oil in these bikes.

Wow, you actually have all those foul, nasty combustion products and acids circulating throughout the entire drive train? Sounds like a step backwards in German Engineering!

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My Blackbird, which has similar power and weight to the GT, has shown no problems using Castrol Syntec semi-synthetic. It is due for an oil change pretty soon now and I plan on switching to Shell Rotella.

For what its worth, I have used the Chevron equivalent to Rotella (that is, Delo 400) for years in my old K, and it seems to work well.

 

I discussed this with a Chevron chemist some years ago, and he said that diesel oils (like Rotella and Delo 400) contain higher levels of the anti wear additive ZDDP than the normal "automotive" oils have now (which apparently makes BMW happy).

 

Bob.

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Paul Mihalka
For what its worth, I have used the Chevron equivalent to Rotella (that is, Delo 400) for years in my old K, and it seems to work well.
PLEASE, let's all remember that most information/experience from old style (cylinders pointing to the side) K bikes does NOT apply to new style (cylinders pointing forward) K bikes. We had the same problem confusing information on R1100 and R1150 bikes.
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I don't have the new GT and I don't know what weight oil they recommend. I do know that Amsoil has a synthetic 20w50 that is compatible with wet clutches. Personally I've never liked the idea of leaving petro oil in my bike or any vehicle for 6,000 miles so I switched to synthetic after the break in period.

 

Toyota used to recommend 7,500 miles for my wifes Camry until they started paying for engine damage because of gelling. We got a letter in the mail saying 5,000 miles max. Why would I want to leave oil in my high revving bike for 6,000?

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For what its worth, I have used the Chevron equivalent to Rotella (that is, Delo 400) for years in my old K, and it seems to work well.
PLEASE, let's all remember that most information/experience from old style (cylinders pointing to the side) K bikes does NOT apply to new style (cylinders pointing forward) K bikes. We had the same problem confusing information on R1100 and R1150 bikes.

I'm not sure why there should be any difference. The oil doesn't know which orientation the piston is in, and the load on the frictional surfaces, and the material the surfaces are made of, is essentially the same. The only thing I can think of that is different is the new K-bikes have an integrated transmission and a wet clutch, but in this case, Rotella or Delo 400 and other so acalled "Heavy Duty" (diesel) oils are advantagious for this.

 

Bob.

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Paul Mihalka
For what its worth, I have used the Chevron equivalent to Rotella (that is, Delo 400) for years in my old K, and it seems to work well.
PLEASE, let's all remember that most information/experience from old style (cylinders pointing to the side) K bikes does NOT apply to new style (cylinders pointing forward) K bikes. We had the same problem confusing information on R1100 and R1150 bikes.

I'm not sure why there should be any difference. The oil doesn't know which orientation the piston is in, and the load on the frictional surfaces, and the material the surfaces are made of, is essentially the same. The only thing I can think of that is different is the new K-bikes have an integrated transmission and a wet clutch, but in this case, Rotella or Delo 400 and other so acalled "Heavy Duty" (diesel) oils are advantagious for this.

 

Bob.

I did not specificly address Chevron or Rotella oils, just that if something (anything) works well in the old K bikes does not neccessarily mean that it works well in the new K bikes. One bike with separate and different engine and gear oil and a dry clutch is not the same as a bike that runs the same oil in engine/gearbox/wet clutch.
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Oh no! Another oil thread grin.gif

 

Heaven forbid, I have gone to the dark side and now am in the land of the wet clutch like my kids. Don't know why folks are saying BMW doesn't recommend synthetic, my K1200GT manual comes right out and says "BMW only recommends Castrol GPS" which is about as synthetic as it gets at over $7 per quart on the net ooo.gif

 

I asked the service manager what my alternatives are for my K12GT and he said that, similar to the oilheads, his regional BMW guy is telling him dino until the first 6K and for that they are using 10W50 dino in the interim. He also said they will be getting in a 10W40 synthetic bulk shortly for the shop and we are hoping it is cheaper than Mobil1 4XT or GPS.

 

On my kids wet clutch bikes, Honda and Triumph, both only recommend the same spec that BMW calls out, the standard SG yada yada with JASO MA. Both Castrol and Mobil's marketing hype include the same verbage on their bike oils about using additives that won't damage a the wet clutch. I also have read on some other lists about the fear of using the new Mobil1 High Endurance.

 

In any event life's to short, spent a bunch of money on the bike and I will be running a spec'ed synthetic and try to save as much money as I can in the process.

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BucksTherapy
In the new K bikes engine, gear box and wet clutch run all in the same oil. I understand wet clutches don't like synthetic, and some other automotive oils, because they are too "slippery".

 

Synthetic oil is not the problem it is the efficiency enhancers that are added. If you go to the oil pbrans websites they will specify whether the oil is designed to work with a wet clutch. Redline or Mobil 1 are a couple I looked at and both have oils designed to work with wet clutches.

I can't imagine why BMW would discourage synthetic oils in general. Synthetics have more consistent perofrmance under all heating conditions, do not have any sulphur or other unwanted chemicals that solidify and corrode and have better quality detergents to keep then inside of your engine clean.

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