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Oil Analysis.....Who


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Now that the economy has turned to mush, that new k1300gt or r1200 rt I've been dreaming about isn't in the picture anymore. I'm figuring on keeping my 98 R1100rt and putting another 90K or so on it. Not that that's necessairly a bad thing as I really like this bike and I have had no issues at all with the drive line and engine. Still have the original clutch and it's not slipping at all.


However, if I'm going to keep it, I want to spend some money and freshen it up. It's starting to show it's age some.


I was thinking about having an analysis done for the engine, transmission, and final drive oil to get a read on the condition of those parts. I remember seeing a few comments about this on the forum, however, my computer search skills aren't the best, and I haven't been able to find those posts.


First, do you all think this is a worthwile expense and will I get some useful data? Also, who have you used to do your analysis, and were you happy with their service?


Second, I've been pretty busy at work and probably won't have the free time to do a complete service on my bike over the winter. Can anyone recommend a good mechanic or Dealer in and around Cincinnati that I can trust to do a good and thorough job at a reasonable price? I always trusted my BMW store here, but they're long gone :cry: and I don't have any experience with the dealers in Louisville, Indy, or Columbus.


Thanks in advance.

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wayneleslie, probably Blackstone Labs.. Get their kit with directions as you need to use precautions in getting a clean oil sample..


The engine oil sample is pretty straight forward as they have good base samples of most oil’s & motorcycles.. On the trans & final drive that will be a little less accurate as your best bet on those is to get an early oil sample then see what shows up in the oil as the miles progress.. I'm not sure what background they have on BMW final drive or trans gear oils in a motorcycle.. They probably will be able to tell you if there is a major problem in either though..


Blackstone Labs Clickey this Linkey




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Another early riser on the weekends. :grin: Thanks for the quick reply. That's the name I remember seeing , but I sure couldn't recall it. (getting old)


I'll send for their kit and get a sample off to them. Since I've never had any problems, I don't expect any issues, but you never know. It will be nice to have a baseline to work from in the future.


Thanks again, and ride well.

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Blackstone has a good rep and if you search around a bit here on the forum you can find several examples of their report format. It is definitely a good idea to have an analysis performed at regular intervals for the transmission and final drive on a high-miles oilhead and the report should show a red flag well in advance of an outright failure (usually as a spike in chromium and other bearing metals.) An oil analysis can save you big money in case of an imminent failure by allowing you to repair the component before more serious damage is done, or save you the expense and inconvenience of a road breakdown, or even prevent a ruined vacation. And if it comes out clean it will provide peace of mind. Do it!


If you want to economize you could perhaps skip the engine oil analysis or do that less frequently because internal engine problems are very rare with the oilheads, and the few that do show up have to do with valve wear issues that wouldn't show up on an oil analysis anyway. The final drive can be monitored by keeping a very close eye on the magnetic drain plug, but an analysis is even better of course. And last but not least, a regular oil analysis is just about mandatory for any 1100 transmission with high miles.


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Example of a thread concerning oil analysis.

I'm an advocate of Blackstone Labs. After using them for my Triumph I started with the 96 R11RT (new to me with 29k miles last year). Analysis showed a problem with the transmission and they suggested I go 3k miles and resample (as a single sample is not as an accurate an indicator as a good trend). Since there wasn't an established history, and the numbers for aluminum and chrome were high and iron very high, and indicators in the posted thread (the risk of damage to the case), I pulled the trans and had it overhauled. The analysis and follow-on suggestions of input shaft bearing failure were dead on.

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Another vote for Blackstone. Quick results and informative testing. I also like the fact that they will take the time to answer your specific questions and give you detailed, no bs answers. Contrast this to calling BMWNA and asking a specific question only to get a generic answer.

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Thanks to all for the input. I will be sending off for a sample kit from Blackstone this week.


That's what I like about this board. Nice, friendly, helpful information instead of the trash talk on some of the others I've been on.

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