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which oil brand and weight to use


neilsr1100rt

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neilsr1100rt

I have a 2000 BMW R1100RT and would like to change the motor oil. Any recommendations regarding the brand or weight? I live in Colorado and we do have occasional streaks of 100+ degree days.

 

This might be one of those questions that has more opinions than answers but I'm curious which oil most BMW owners prefer.

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Paul Mihalka

OK, I had it. Obviously IMHO, but backed with results. As long as it complies with what your manual says and change it roughly at the recommended intervals including the filter, you can use any brand/type oil, even the cheapest. That can be Walmart's Supertech. You will go the same hundreds of K miles as with the most expensive oil you can find. I use mostly Castrol GTX, mostly because I was weaned on Castrol 60 years ago. Results: '86 K75 200K miles, '99 R1100RT 175K, current '05 R1200GS 164K, '91 K75RT 135K killed by a deer, '82 R100 110K. All these bikes sold in very good running condition except the deer kill. The only one that needed the heads removed for a valve job was the R100.

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Oil thread averted by real life testimony. Thank you for fact over hype. I've been using castrol as well and it comes out looking the same as it went in. The old airhead blackened it a bit, but it didn't have an oil cooler. Great oil for the price, especially if you wait for it to go on sale.

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Rider's manual says SG rated. Both Castrol and Valvoline have an SG 20W-50 4-stroke motorcycle oil that I have found at Pep Boys and AutoZone.

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Afternoon Ed

 

As a rule an SG rating means a pretty darn good oil for motorcycles. Lots of ZDDP.

Problem is that really limits some fine modern oil choices as the API SG oil rating is an obsolete oil rating so even (if) a modern (new entry) motor oil meets SG specs they don't test it for that & can't use a specific SG rating. They can say meets SG specs but that isn't verifiable & the oil isn't tested to do that.

 

For most automobile usage motor oil is backwards compatible meaning that an SM or SL rated oil can be used where an older SG was specified but for some motorcycle & other non automotive heavy duty usage that might not be the case as most modern SL/SM motor oils (with an API energy rating) might not contain enough anti wear additives to be used where the older SG package was specified.

 

Luckily on the BMW oilhead boxer those engines use fairly light valve springs so cam wear doesn't seem to be an issue even with lower ZDDP oils.

 

When it comes to motor oil use in motorcycles by far the best bet is to look up the LATEST oil specifications on the oil you intend to use to be sure it STILL has the additive package you want in your engine. Even some of the good old Diesel CD/CE/CF-4 rated high ZDDP oils are now re-formulated for modern diesel emission concerns & have modified additive packages.

 

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I've been using Valvoline 20/50 Racing for a couple of years now.

 

 

Afternoon Dave

 

I don't know the additive package of the Valvoline 20/50 Racing oil but you might want to look up the COMPLETE specs of any racing motor oil before using.

 

While most racing motor oil has decent anti scuff & anti wear additives as a rule "real" racing motor oil is blended for only short time usage as racing oil is usually drained after each race. Racing motor oil could be fairly lacking in dirt suspension additives, as well as lacking on certain long term detergents, probably lacking in longer term acid reducers as well.

 

I'm not saying the Valvoline 20/50 Racing oil is bad for street usage (some commonly available (over the counter) racing oil's are just advertising hype put on standard motor oil) -- just saying to verify that it is suitable for long term street usage.

 

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Bruce (Bedford)
Asking about oil is like asking about your favorite beer and gasoline. It's all good.

 

So true, Guinness is my favorite though Abbott is a good pint too... not so sure about oil though, anyway you can't get draft oil anymore!

Bruce

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Peter Parts

Fpr Canada and cold places, Mobil 1 15-50 is quite a joy.

 

Having kick started my 650cc, 10.5:1, R69s for 30 years or so, all I can say is anybody who has done so, would never use anything but synth in their engines ever again.

 

Ben

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Dave Parry

Thanks DR, I did check the specs. before starting to use it a couple of years ago and all seemed to check out ok, I think the word "Racing" on the container is an advertising gimmick, it does seem to have all the right specs. though,

 

Dave.

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dirtdreamer50

I called the dealer that I recently purchased my used RT from and asked the service manager which oil they used when the PO had it serviced. He said that BMWs all get BMW 15-50 synthetic when serviced there. Also said that any recommended spec oil, synth or dyno will work equally well if the o/f changes are done as scheduled.

 

BTW, I found out that BMW synth is made by Spectro, so I guess X brand isn't really a requirement... dd50

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Having kick started my 650cc, 10.5:1, R69s for 30 years or so, all I can say is anybody who has done so, would never use anything but synth in their engines ever again.

That's a really interesting observation — it's been years since I kick started a bike.

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Abbott Ale...Ahhhh! Nectar of the gods for those in East Anglia......BTW - I'm an ex-pat Essex Boy LOL!

 

Bruce,

Fortunately, I am friends with our local liquor store owner and can get Twisted Thistle IPA, Fuller's ESB and 1845 in large bottles here in Texas :clap: .

 

That info for those of you that think there is no sense of "good taste" here in the U.S of A ;) !

 

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Peter Parts
Having kick started my 650cc, 10.5:1, R69s for 30 years or so, all I can say is anybody who has done so, would never use anything but synth in their engines ever again.

That's a really interesting observation — it's been years since I kick started a bike.

Yup, rode it 34 yrs, almost every day, and couple hundred thousand miles. Lotsa kicks. Da foot knows.

 

Ben

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neilsr1100rt

Thanks to all for the perspectives regarding this topic...i definitely can make an informed decision...

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HERE is some additional important info regarding Mobil1 15w50. The Zinc (ZDDP) levels are more than appropriate for our Boxer motors and actually reflect levels found in the "old" SG rated oils :thumbsup:
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I called the dealer that I recently purchased my used RT from and asked the service manager which oil they used when the PO had it serviced. He said that BMWs all get BMW 15-50 synthetic when serviced there. Also said that any recommended spec oil, synth or dyno will work equally well if the o/f changes are done as scheduled.

 

BTW, I found out that BMW synth is made by Spectro, so I guess X brand isn't really a requirement... dd50

 

I wouldn't equate anything related to BMW USA or a USA BMW dealer with anything BMW when it comes to lubrication.

 

BMW recommends Castrol: http://www.bmw-motorrad.co.uk/media/pdf/70583_A1_BMW_POSTER_MCO00066_low_res.pdf

 

BMW recommend Castrol oils as they are co-engineered with our BMW motorcycle engineers. Use of the incorrect oils or products can lead to premature wear, poor performance and incorrect operation of engine parts, clutch, gearbox and axles. Please refer to the Castrol Recommended Oils Guide.

 

Since you mostly can't get Castrol Power 1 Racing in the USA, you can use the USA market version of that oil, which is Power RS Racing. Comes in quarts instead of liters, don't you know. Castrol "americanizes" as you may have noticed.

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Urban Surfer

The best response to this question I have heard from a member of this club was " as long as the motorcycle can't see the bottle the oil came out of your are good to go"

I can't remember who wrote that, but it was a hoot at the time.

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The best reply I read was, The only time I heard of any real engine damage from oil, was when there was none in it.

 

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Bruce (Bedford)
" as long as the motorcycle can't see the bottle the oil came out of your are good to go"

I love it!

Bruce

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Bruce (Bedford)

More years ago than I wish to remember - 30+ by way of work I visited an oil canning facility; gallon cans of Duckhams, BP, Mobil and other brands were all palleted up waiting for dispatch. I was told by the tech guy I was meeting that that they were all the same BUT the most important thing by far was changing the oil filter, advice I have always kept.

Bruce

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I have a 2004 RT and have always used fully syn. Mobile 1 V-Twin 20-50 wt.

 

What???? ya think your BM'R's a Harley or sumthang resemblng a "V" twin?? :rofl:

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