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Time to Finally Start Using Synthetic Oil?


twilmotte

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My RT is due for the 24,000 mile service next week and I'm trying to decide if I should continue to run the regular 20W50 BMW "engine lubricant" in it for the next 3000 miles or switch to a synthetic. I'm wondering if it would be advisable to use synthetic and change the synthetic every 6,000 miles or continue to use regular BMW oil and change it more often (every 3,000 miles) as I have been doing. One reason why I'm thinking about using the synthetics now is that my engine has finally stopped using oil. (I can actually go 3000 miles between changes now without having to add oil.) Just "phishing" for some collective wisdom here. wave.gif

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Like your owners manual says, change the oil every 6K miles using oil to the given spec.

 

Being in Texas, if you often find yourself stopped in traffic with the oil getting hot then synthetic would be a good choice. If however, you rarely get the oil temp towards the red, then dino will do the job just as well.

 

Andy

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Clive Liddell

IMO you mainly "need" the perceived benefit of syn oil from day one when you bike runs hotter than normal. Once it's broken in and running cool why would you want to spend extra on syn when any of the oils specified by BMW are fine. I have never used any synthetic oils in any vehicle of mine and never had any problem.

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I use synthetic oil because it prevents my bike from getting too hot when sitting in traffic on hot days. With dino it would climb all the way up the gauge, since I switched it has never got past 7 bars. An additional side effect is that I use less oil too!

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Syn is the way to go if you ride a lot in hot weather and also in town. I saw a drop in temp readings too when I switched to syn oil. It isn't that syn lubricates any better than dino, but it does handle the heat better and that's why it is so good on our air/oil cooled bikes. YMMV .Just my 0.02 cts, etc, etc grin.gif

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Being in Texas, if you often find yourself stopped in traffic with the oil getting hot then synthetic would be a good choice. If however, you rarely get the oil temp towards the red, then dino will do the job just as well.

 

I think this is good advice and is the only reason I switched to synthetic.

 

Ok--looks like everyone beat me to it. I need to read before I send.

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My RT is due for the 24,000 mile service next week and I'm trying to decide if I should continue to run the regular 20W50 BMW "engine lubricant" in it for the next 3000 miles or switch to a synthetic. I'm wondering if it would be advisable to use synthetic and change the synthetic every 6,000 miles or continue to use regular BMW oil and change it more often (every 3,000 miles) as I have been doing. One reason why I'm thinking about using the synthetics now is that my engine has finally stopped using oil. (I can actually go 3000 miles between changes now without having to add oil.) Just "phishing" for some collective wisdom here. wave.gif

 

if you'll feel better use any synthetic oil like amsoil, mobil1, etc. and change every 6k. "bmw" oil is not imperative.

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I think maybe some of you are confused about what synthetic oil does and does not do. I don't believe it makes your engine run cooler in hot ambient temps. It's advantage in heat is that the oil itself does not break down.

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I think maybe some of you are confused about what synthetic oil does and does not do. I don't believe it makes your engine run cooler in hot ambient temps. It's advantage in heat is that the oil itself does not break down.
So you are saying that seeing less bars on the RID does not mean the oil is cooler? If the oil is cooler won't the engine be running cooler?
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So you are saying that seeing less bars on the RID does not mean the oil is cooler? If the oil is cooler won't the engine be running cooler?

 

I run the synthetic to avoid breakdown in the Texas heat, but like Killer, I observed a lower operating temperature when I made the switch to synthetic in my 1150--by a full bar on the RID.

 

On the other hand, I did not see a drop in operating temperature when I made the switch to syn in my 1200. The 1200 just seems to run cooler while idling in traffic or running down the freeway with or without synthetic. I guess this could be explained away by pointing to the sensitivity of the gage itself, but without some kind of test this is all just guess work.

 

Back to the synthetic debate....

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So you are saying that seeing less bars on the RID does not mean the oil is cooler? If the oil is cooler won't the engine be running cooler?

 

No, you're correct--fewer bars means it's cool. I'm just not convinced that it's because you've been using synthetic. At least none of the data I've seen seems to indicate that one advantage of synthetic is that it keeps the engine cooler.

 

Or maybe I haven't looked in the right places, yet.

 

I suppose it could create less friction, but I doubt it. Or maybe it absorbs heat better, to be carried off to the oil cooler. Who knows.

 

But so far, I don't see the support for it.

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When I still lived in California I regularly rode in high heat and heavy traffic, I routinely had all the bars on the temp guage visible. As soon as I switched to synthetic, with no other changes to the bike, I never got more than 7 bars and even 7 was rare. I think the synthetic circulates better round the cooler circuit carrying more heat away. It may also have different thermal exchange properties but I don't know that. For me it's a 100% correlation and I have heard the same from others, whoever wants to take this information into account when deciding whether to switch is welcome to, if you don't that's fine too, I know what I experienced and I liked it.

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ShovelStrokeEd

Another take might be that the oil is actually removing LESS heat from the engine. The RID display does not show engine temperature but rather, oil temperature. Cooler temperature under the same conditions means the oil didn't get as hot.

 

I suppose one could outfit the bike with a variaty of pyrometers and probes to record say cylinder head temperature near the exhaust valves (the hottest part of the engine) in the sump and possibly the rear of the cylinders, to protect against air flow cooling, and then ride the bike, using a portable data logger to record all the information. Switch to synthetic and try again.

 

Me, I'll continue to use synthetic, even in my water cooled Blackbird. Gets me feeling all warm and fuzzy which is as good a reason as any.

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Another take might be that the oil is actually removing LESS heat from the engine. The RID display does not show engine temperature but rather, oil temperature.
I considered that but the hot engine didn't run well, all sorts of noises and lots of pinging, since the change I haven't experienced that kind of problem in hot conditions. Of course that may just mean that the synthetic is just performing better under hot conditions which is expected too.
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