Jump to content

What grade of oil to use for R1200RT?


Clyde

Recommended Posts

20w/50 would be viscosity - my manual says "Brand name HD oil of API classification SL or higher..." I was looking at a case of mobil one in Costco the other day and could n't decide if it met the specs or not it was rated " SM,SL/CF". I ended up not buying it - $30 for 6 quarts seemed a little high to me.

Link to comment
I was looking at a case of mobil one in Costco the other day and could n't decide if it met the specs or not it was rated " SM,SL/CF". I ended up not buying it - $30 for 6 quarts seemed a little high to me.

Most people don't run synthetic oil in their beemers until thay have 20,000 miles. I'ts use is alleged to retard break-in and contribute to excessive oil consumption. Then again it might just be biker lore wink.gif Personally I've never run synthetic in any of my vehicles unless it was mandated by the MFR.

Link to comment
Dave_in_TX
I was looking at a case of mobil one in Costco the other day and could n't decide if it met the specs or not it was rated " SM,SL/CF". I ended up not buying it - $30 for 6 quarts seemed a little high to me.

 

Most people don't run synthetic oil in their beemers until thay have 20,000 miles. I'ts use is alleged to retard break-in and contribute to excessive oil consumption. Then again it might just be biker lore wink.gif Personally I've never run synthetic in any of my vehicles unless it was mandated by the MFR.

 

If your RT isn't using oil there's no need to wait until 20000 miles to use synthetic. BMW's recommendation for the 1200 is to wait until 6000 miles before using synthetic. If your rings haven't seated, waiting longer before switchin to synthetic may (or may not) let the rings seat sooner.

Link to comment
20w/50 would be viscosity - my manual says "Brand name HD oil of API classification SL or higher..."

Translation: "Brand Name HD [heavy duty] oil" means a diesel-rated oil like Chevron's Delo400 or Shell's Rotella. These oils have higher levels of the extreme pressure additive called ZDDP, compared to "car oils". They are formulated basically as heavy duty diesel oils, and they are the oils that allow big rigs to go 100,000 mikes between changes. Their viscosity is typically 15W40. One other nice thing is that they are not expensive.

 

I have used this type of oil exclusively in my ol' K100RT. It now has nearly 200,000 km on it, and burns no oil whatsoever in 10,000 km.

Link to comment
20w/50 would be viscosity - my manual says "Brand name HD oil of API classification SL or higher..." I was looking at a case of mobil one in Costco the other day and could n't decide if it met the specs or not it was rated " SM,SL/CF". I ended up not buying it - $30 for 6 quarts seemed a little high to me.

 

What year is your RT? I have an '07 and on page 145 of the manual it says, "Engine oils of the API classification SF or better." I'm curious why yours says "SL".

 

My RT seems to be using oil. I noticed last week that it was about 3/4 filling the circle. Took it for a 250 mile ride the last 2 days and when I got home there is no oil to be found in the sight glass. This was the first time I ran it > 1hr at 4000-4500 rpm.

Link to comment
What year is your RT? I have an '07 and on page 145 of the manual it says, "Engine oils of the API classification SF or better." I'm curious why yours says "SL".

 

Mine is a 2005. I read something recently that they've changed some of the additives allowed in the current oil specs. Maybe BMW decided that the current SL oil doesn't have something they want it to have.

Link to comment
You will find some data on motorcycle specfic oil here.
I wonder if I will ever see an Amsoil-sponsored oil test that doesn't come to the conclusion that Amsoil is the best product. I'm guessing no...
Link to comment

I wonder if I will ever see an Amsoil-sponsored oil test that doesn't come to the conclusion that Amsoil is the best product. I'm guessing no...

No doubt, but there is still some good info in the report IE the Golden Spectro with the BMW name (dino and syn) are good products.

Link to comment
No doubt, but there is still some good info in the report IE the Golden Spectro with the BMW name (dino and syn) are good products.
Yes, and the Mobil 1 V-Twin (20W-50) looked very good too... (second only to Amsoil! grin.gif)
Link to comment
20w/50 would be viscosity - my manual says "Brand name HD oil of API classification SL or higher..."

Translation: "Brand Name HD [heavy duty] oil" means a diesel-rated oil like Chevron's Delo400 or Shell's Rotella.

Back from WalMart with a liter of Delo400 LE. I don't know if it's the right stuff, all I know is I need oil and I need it today. The Shell Rotella non-synthetic was SJ and a later post in this thread shows a BMW service bulletin saying not to use SJ. Another poster says to avoid low emission stuff (which the Delo400 I have is). The Delo 400 doesn't have an S anything anywhere on the bottle. Don't know if it's SF, SL, or the forbidden SJ.

 

This should not be this confusing.

Link to comment
This should not be this confusing.
It isn't as bad as it seems. The easiest thing is probably to just buy a motorcycle-specific oil (of any brand) in the proper viscosity and be done with it. For anyone who wants to dig a little deeper then there are other, more commonly available oils that are also perfectly suitable, and both Delo and Rotella are among them. What you have should be fine.
Link to comment

Let's add more to the mania. What if the oil is SH and SJ. According to the BMW bulletin SH is good. Does SH trump SJ or vice versa? Castrol GTX 20W50 is both SH/SJ. lurker.gif

Link to comment
Let's add more to the mania. What if the oil is SH and SJ. According to the BMW bulletin SH is good. Does SH trump SJ or vice versa? Castrol GTX 20W50 is both SH/SJ. lurker.gif
Yes, that is very confusing/ambiguous.

 

FWIW from what I have been able to research (much of which has also been confusing/ambiguous) it is not the API service grade that limits ZDDP levels but rather the ISLAC GF4 rating (required for the 'starburst' logo) incorporated in most car oils. Note that all heavy-duty (racing, diesel, motorcycle, many 20W-50 oils, etc.) oils do not include an ISLAC rating. In other words, for our use don't look for the starburst, avoid the starburst.

 

All that said, I can remember the cries warning of total destruction of the US automotive fleet when lead was removed from gasoline. But there wasn't much real negative effect and after a few manufacturing changes it was rendered a complete non-issue. So it will be with oils.

Link to comment
If your RT isn't using oil there's no need to wait until 20000 miles to use synthetic. BMW's recommendation for the 1200 is to wait until 6000 miles before using synthetic. If your rings haven't seated, waiting longer before switchin to synthetic may (or may not) let the rings seat sooner.
Really, if the rings aren't seated by say, 600 miles, or so, they probably aren't going to seat. That said, Mobil 1 exceeds the standards set by BMW for their motorcycles. Another alternative is Amsoil, which also exceeds BMW specs. You can purchase Amsoil wholesale from yourself. Cost to become a wholesale consumer is something like $20/yr. BTW, Amsoil Automotive oils also exceed BMW specs. and it's cheaper too. Just my $.02 worth.
Link to comment
Really, if the rings aren't seated by say, 600 miles, or so, they probably aren't going to seat.
Well, there's seating, and then there's seating. My oil consumption was high during the engine's early life (to around 30k miles or so), and now it is about nil. This is very common in the oilheads.
Link to comment

I have an '07 RT with just over 1000 miles on it. When it was delivered, the sight glass was full of a dark-colored oil and remained so until the run-in service (at about 700 miles). When I got it back, it was nicely filled (mid-glass, on the center stand with the engine hot but turned off) with BMW conventional 10W-40. The level is the same now, as near as I can tell. I have the rider's manual that came with my bike in front of me. It's not an '07 manual (apparently, there is no '07 manual). There is a gray/black RT on the cover and they're warning about lack of brakes with the engine off, which isn't an issue on the '07s. That said, on page 145 it recommends 20W-50...period. Turning the page, on 146 there is a recommended-viscosity table based on operating temperature ranges. It goes from 5W-30 at -4 to 68F, all the way through 10W-50 at anything at or above -4F, with no mention in the table of 20W-50 at all! In the text of the manual they are, at least, specific in forbidding the use of synthetic until 6000 miles. Also, they specified checking the oil level with the engine hot, and the bike on the center stand on a level surface. They just forgot to mention whether or not the engine should be running...

Link to comment
Also, they specified checking the oil level with the engine hot, and the bike on the center stand on a level surface. They just forgot to mention whether or not the engine should be running...
I would like to see no oil in the sight glass if the engine is running!!, it should be running around all the internal oilways, doing it's thing.
Link to comment
That said, on page 145 it recommends 20W-50...period. Turning the page, on 146 there is a recommended-viscosity table based on operating temperature ranges. It goes from 5W-30 at -4 to 68F, all the way through 10W-50 at anything at or above -4F, with no mention in the table of 20W-50 at all! In the text of the manual they are, at least, specific in forbidding the use of synthetic until 6000 miles. Also, they specified checking the oil level with the engine hot, and the bike on the center stand on a level surface. They just forgot to mention whether or not the engine should be running...

 

Does your chart look like the one I've attached (I combined two pages into one). I couldn't find anything in my manual about synthetic vs. non-synthetic oil. And, it says "wait 5 minutes after switching off the engine" to check the oil.

 

866521-oil_info.gif

866521-oil_info.gif.a85f6ca6fa846031a02082a3eebd91ec.gif

Link to comment

After looking at it both ways, I came to the conclusion that "hot, level, and shut off" is the only way that makes sense as it's the only way that's repeatable. As you say, when idling, there's just too much sloshing-around going on in there. I just thought it was a bit odd that a supposedly detail-oriented company like BMW issues an obsolete, poorly-translated mess of a manual with their ostensibly most-sorted-out touring bike confused.gif

Link to comment
That said, on page 145 it recommends 20W-50...period. Turning the page, on 146 there is a recommended-viscosity table based on operating temperature ranges. It goes from 5W-30 at -4 to 68F, all the way through 10W-50 at anything at or above -4F, with no mention in the table of 20W-50 at all! In the text of the manual they are, at least, specific in forbidding the use of synthetic until 6000 miles. Also, they specified checking the oil level with the engine hot, and the bike on the center stand on a level surface. They just forgot to mention whether or not the engine should be running...

 

Does your chart look like the one I've attached (I combined two pages into one). I couldn't find anything in my manual about synthetic vs. non-synthetic oil. And, it says "wait 5 minutes after switching off the engine" to check the oil.

 

866521-oil_info.gif

 

Which manual are these pages from? Mine doesn't look like that. Oil checking procedure is described on pages 106 & 107 and there is no mention of whether it should be running or not or how long not, etc. Page 145, under "Oil grades" it says "API class SF or better and ACEA class A2 or better". It also says "BMW recommends not using synthetic oils for the first 6,000 miles". As I say, this manual is obviously not up to date, but it is what I was given with the bike. I guess I'm trying to find out if there is a current, '07 "Rider's Manual" for the RT so that I can demand one from my dealer, or is what I have the same one that all '07 owners are getting? Mine is part number 01 47 7 704 057 and is dated 06/2006, 3rd Edition...

Link to comment
creekstone
They just forgot to mention whether or not the engine should be running...

Man...that adds a whole level of complication that I didn't even consider. crazy.gif I guess I think like the guys that wrote the manual. smirk.gif After all, when was the last time you checked the oil level of any engine while it was running?

Link to comment
Which manual are these pages from? Mine doesn't look like that. ... As I say, this manual is obviously not up to date, but it is what I was given with the bike. I guess I'm trying to find out if there is a current, '07 "Rider's Manual" for the RT so that I can demand one from my dealer, or is what I have the same one that all '07 owners are getting? Mine is part number 01 47 7 704 057 and is dated 06/2006, 3rd Edition...

 

My bike is a 2005 - manual says "11.2004 1st edition US/RF".

Link to comment

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...