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beemer2000

Checking Engine Oil!

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beemer2000

You would think that such a simple thing as checking the engine oil in a motorcycle would be something other than rocket science. BMW has seemed to make this procedure as complicated as they possible could. Not only in the F bikes but also the R Oilheads as well.

What ever happened to the old dip stick located low enough on the engine to make checking oil level easy? And not have to warm it up or wait uptil an oil cooler drains or any other event?! Is that too simple? Old Hondas just had a dip stick. You checked your oil before starting the engine.

Period.

The F650 must be the most complicated of the bunch. Having the oil in the frame sounded like a good idea to me until I owned one. Checking the oil level is just a big guess at best. And pouring oil back in after a change is also quite a challenge!

I just happen to think that checking the oil level is a pretty important thing to do. Apparently BMW doesn't or there wouldn't be so much mystery surrounding checking theirs!

OK. I feel better now that I have vented!

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baggerchris

Let's see. On my 06 F650 Gs, I come in after riding; put Pepper on her centerstand and unscrew the dip stick and check the oil. Is that difficult? The oil CHANGE on the other hand is messy; and time consuming, as there are two places to drain and a non spin on oil filter. On the other; other hand, in over 9,000 miles, she hasn't used a drop of oil that I can see. Quite a change from Bonbon the 1997 RT which did use some oil between changes.

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too old to care

I remember checking the oil on my old Triumph Bonneville, which you had to do often due to the many leaks. Remove the seat, grab a hand full of rags to keep from burning yourself, remove the often stuck threaded cap with a pair of Channel-Locks, look inside the frame and see if you could see oil, and replace the cap. Of course, you had to do this with the engine warm because the oil would often drain down a few inches if it sat over night. Love the plastic dipstick on my F800.

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beemer2000

Funny, I always feel the need to check my oil BEFORE I start the engine. smirk.gif

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beemer2000

Well some of the old English bikes had their quirks for sure.

You know it just doesn't seem like it has to be so difficult to place a measuring device at the lowest point in the oil reserve that can be calibrated to show you the amount of oil in your engine. And to be able to just pull it out and look at it and know if every thing is kosher.

There had to be some genius involved in the design of the F650 method.

I changed my oil today as a matter of fact and was once again reminded of how simple it was to pour oil into my 1967 Honda Superhawk 305cc. I, once again, made a mess trying to get the oil back into my beloved Beemer.

It makes you wonder?

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too old to care

Checking oil was also simple on my old Moto Guzzi (850T) too. But the oil filter was real pain. You had to drop the oil pan and then remove a normal screw in oil filter that was inside the pan. Then reinstall the pan and add oil.

 

I guess all bikes have little quirks. Even the oil filter on my Honda 305 Scramble (long gone) had a slinger filter that you had to clean out. Big chucks just kept floating in the engine. However, I can honestly say that the Honda was one of the most reliable bikes I have ever had.

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beemer2000

Well Wayne it seems to me that some basic things should remain uncomplicated. Checking engine oil would be one of them.

Speaking of oil filter changes, have you ever owned an airhead?

The filter change on those old relics is almost a joke. There are dozens of colums in the airhead forums devoted to this one simple chore that also should be a simple procedure. Makes one wonder?

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too old to care

Actually yes, R90S, R80RT, R100RT, R100RS, several oil heads, K bike, three Ducs, etc. I think my wife would get upset if she saw the complete list so I will stop here.

 

Being an engineer (retired), I am agreeing with you. On my F800 you cannot even see the plugs, much less figure how to get the valve cover off. However, the oil filter is out there easy to get to. When my F800 needs the valves adjusted, I will take it to the dealer. It will be the first bike in more than 40 years of riding that I will have done so.

 

Engineers (guilty as described) often design things with the technician second in mind. This is what turns me off about the newer bikes and cars. I like to tinker with them, and it is almost impossible to do that anymore.

 

To quote my uncle who is a mechanic when I asked him the best way to care for my car, he said to never open the hood. Instead, he told me to take it to the dealer when it needs servicing. That makes me mad.

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beemer2000

Your Uncle sounds like a wise man. However, from an economic view point, using a dealer sometimes can be extremely expensive. Did I say EXTREMELY? When simple tasks can be accompished, even by someone as mechanically challanged as I am, such as oil changes and minor repairs, I think going to a dealer is foolish. But then I am old school and see things differently than some.

I noticed the F800 oil filter sticking out there in plain view in front of the engine. I felt like giving a double thumbs up sign. And speaking of valve adjustment. Take a look at the F650 and read the procedure involved with that undertaking!! You have to dissassemble the thing practically to get to the valve cover. And then of course the "shim" thing. Why can't all heads be made with valves that don't need adjusting? I am taking mine soon for the initial valve adjustment. The dealer estimates $300. That's four hours at $75./per. Oh well. The price of riding nice bikes.

Ciao

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smiller
Being an engineer (retired), I am agreeing with you. On my F800 you cannot even see the plugs, much less figure how to get the valve cover off. However, the oil filter is out there easy to get to. When my F800 needs the valves adjusted, I will take it to the dealer. It will be the first bike in more than 40 years of riding that I will have done so.

 

Engineers (guilty as described) often design things with the technician second in mind. This is what turns me off about the newer bikes and cars. I like to tinker with them, and it is almost impossible to do that anymore.

 

To quote my uncle who is a mechanic when I asked him the best way to care for my car, he said to never open the hood. Instead, he told me to take it to the dealer when it needs servicing. That makes me mad.

But apparently not mad enough to buy a bike that you can service yourself... wink.gif

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too old to care

Don't rub it in.......

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DenverWayne

You are making this to difficult. The 1200rt will check it own oil while idiling at stop sign by pushing "BC" button, if I want some exercise I can bend over with a flashlint and check the sight glass. Modern convience has arrived.

 

Happy Trails to You.

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dnyman

I don't think I understand the original problem. I've now owned 3 BMW's - a K1200, an R1200, and an F800. IMHO, on none of these has checking the oil level been difficult. Especially if you check the oil level after a ride, when the oil is hot, which is the recommendation by BMW (and my preferred option). You park the bike, allow the oil to settle for a few minutes, and bend over to check the site glass. Or on the F800, unscrew a dip stick, and do the same thing you would in a car.

 

And if you approach the bike the next time you want to ride it, and there isn't a pool of oil on the ground under it, you can be pretty sure it's still full of oil.

 

Dave.

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outpost22
Let's see. On my 06 F650 Gs, I come in after riding; put Pepper on her centerstand and unscrew the dip stick and check the oil. Is that difficult? The oil CHANGE on the other hand is messy; and time consuming, as there are two places to drain and a non spin on oil filter. On the other; other hand, in over 9,000 miles, she hasn't used a drop of oil that I can see.

 

Ditto here. It's no big deal. Just check it AFTER your ride is over. Mine has never used a measurable drop of oil in 12,000 miles. Even the oil change procedure isn't that bad. I've got it down to about a 15 minute procedure now. And, you don't have to unclip the oil tank to drain it. Just put the bike on its side stand to drain it out.

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beemer2000

Checking the oil level <AFTER> the ride is probably a good idea. But what if you have several motorcycles and you haven't ridden one for a while and you aren't sure <IF> you checked it the last time you rode it. Wouldn't it therefore be prudent to always check the oil level <BEFORE> you start the engine? I have always had this habit before starting almost any engine-lawnmower, auto, tractor, etc.?!

 

The F650 manual says to start the engine and let it run for a couple of minutes to "pump" the oil up to the dip stick which of course is located at the top of the frame in front of the gas tank. If you check the oil without doing this you will not get anything on the stick. And after a ride it isn't possible to get an accurate reading until everything drains for an undetermined length of time?? If you wait too long I guess you have to start over?? <THIS> is the procedure that I find ridicuously inaccurate. clap.gif

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Crank
You are making this to difficult. The 1200rt will check it own oil while idiling at stop sign by pushing "BC" button, if I want some exercise I can bend over with a flashlint and check the sight glass. Modern convience has arrived.

 

Happy Trails to You.

 

i have a 2006 r12rt....you can just push and hold the BC button and get the oil level displayed? I never knew that. I'll have to go check that one out!

 

Crank

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