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low oil level


Jharpphoto

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Haven'r ridden my 2012 RT in 3 weeks but finally had a chance to ride to work today (30 miles). Put the bike on the center stand, went in for about 5 minutes checked the oil and there was no oil visible in the glass. The last time I rode the bike the oil level was fine and it hasn't leaked any oil. I put 8 oz of oil in the filler and brought the oil back up to about 3/4 full in the sight glass. Have I destroyed my beloved RT by riding it with no oil in the sight glass. I'm freaking out right now.

 

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Afternoon Jharpphoto

 

8 ounces low is not a big deal at all (lots of oil in the engine even with the level slightly below the bottom of the sight glass).

 

I'm more concerned that you now have it overfull-- very easy to overfill if not careful.

 

Re-check it again after a long ride & with bike on a LEVEL surface & sitting for about 15 minutes, my guess is you will now find it slightly overfull.

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Thanks DR. What is the danger in being a little overfull?

 

Afternoon Jharpphoto

 

Good question: usually not a big deal on the 1200 engine as long as it isn't grossly overfull. Possibly some oil out the crankcase vent is the extent of being overfull.

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It will also help to leave the hot bike on the sidestand for 5-10 minutes before putting it on the centerstand. That can make a half sightglass difference. It does on mine.

 

Frank

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It will also help to leave the hot bike on the sidestand for 5-10 minutes before putting it on the centerstand. That can make a half sightglass difference. It does on mine.

 

 

Morning Frank

 

The problem is: if that makes 1/2 sight glass difference & that procedure ISN'T in the BMW riders manual then is that 1/2 sight glass error misrepresenting the CORRECT oil level?

 

Your would think that if BMW wanted that extra oil added into the checking procedure they would have included instructions in the riders manual to use the side stand for X amount of time before putting bike on the center stand & taking the oil level reading.

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It will also help to leave the hot bike on the sidestand for 5-10 minutes before putting it on the centerstand. That can make a half sightglass difference. It does on mine.

 

Frank

 

I have used this method for many years on all my oil heads. It makes sure all the oil drains from the oil cooler and stops overfilling.

I have no idea why BMW do not put this method in their handbooks, but I'm sure they do not want you to take a reading with an unknown amount of oil 'stuck' in the system elsewhere.

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[quote=Fil

 

I have used this method for many years on all my oil heads. It makes sure all the oil drains from the oil cooler and stops overfilling.

I have no idea why BMW do not put this method in their handbooks, but I'm sure they do not want you to take a reading with an unknown amount of oil 'stuck' in the system elsewhere.

 

Morning Fil

 

I have an idea-- every time that I have tried the side stand method on my 1200RT it shows overfull (over top of sight glass).

 

There isn't an unknown amount of oil stuck somewhere, there is a known amount of oil where it belongs (some in the R/H valve cover (matches the L/H valve cover amount) & some in the oil cooler (below the level inlet/outlet fittings).

 

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Hi Dr, yes I can see the logic in that. For me its a method I transfered over from my 1100/1150s. The handbook for them describes the method as per the 1200's, but it simply doesn't work. The level on the 11xx series can read anywhere from a full sight glass to empty if you just put it straight on the centre stand after a long run. I learnt the hard way and had to drain some oil and let the airbox drip (after removing the little airbox drain plug) in my early days of boxer ownership and enthusiastic topping up.

Maybe the 1200 head/cooler design eliminates this, I have only had my TC for 6 months.

I must admit I just adopted the same method, but will just put her on the main stand next time and have a look.

IF the 1200 retains oil, then that is not ideal for oil changes as a fair amount will not get changed?

I just love these quirky rituals!

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Don_Eilenberger

Morning Frank

 

The problem is: if that makes 1/2 sight glass difference & that procedure ISN'T in the BMW riders manual then is that 1/2 sight glass error misrepresenting the CORRECT oil level?

 

Your would think that if BMW wanted that extra oil added into the checking procedure they would have included instructions in the riders manual to use the side stand for X amount of time before putting bike on the center stand & taking the oil level reading.

Well, BMW left out the part about the chicken sacrifice too..

 

Oil check procedure:

 

BEFORE STARTING THE ENGINE IN THE MORNING:

 

  • Bend Over
  • Look at window
  • Oil in window?
  • :grin: Y = Start engine go for a ride.
  • :S N = Check why. (Make sure level isn't above window) Add a tiny bit and see if it appears then go for ride.

 

After my engines get around 20k on them Y is always true, so the process then only happens about once a week. If there is obvious oil dripping I'd suggest investigating.

 

BMW owners are SO OCD..

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  • 2 weeks later...

I agree with Don on this. I got tired of doing the oil check jig and use the same procedure. If the oil level is at the dot in the window, cold, that's good enough for me. On the center stand of course. If the idea is that the oil expands when hot and can become overfull, then filling to the dot should leave enough room for the expansion. Love BMW, but, sometimes they get unnecessarily ridiculous. And forget about the oil check thing on the dashboard. Incredibly unreliable.

 

Now, if they were only ridiculous enough to put the oil fill on the same side of the sight glass, that would be nice....

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I agree with Don on this. I got tired of doing the oil check jig and use the same procedure. If the oil level is at the dot in the window, cold, that's good enough for me. On the center stand of course. If the idea is that the oil expands when hot and can become overfull, then filling to the dot should leave enough room for the expansion. Love BMW, but, sometimes they get unnecessarily ridiculous. And forget about the oil check thing on the dashboard. Incredibly unreliable.

 

Now, if they were only ridiculous enough to put the oil fill on the same side of the sight glass, that would be nice....

 

That's just crazy talk. You should know better than that!

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