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Experience experimenting with oil

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RecentConvert

I assume that when I purchased my '14 RT that since it had been serviced the day prior at BMW in Indianapolis, it had BMW's $16 per quart oil in it.  The next oil change I switched to Castrol motocycle oil in 4T 5W40.  At $9.50 per quart it was more reasonable and recommended in the manual.  I continued with this oil until an unfortunate incident in Torrey in May.    

 

My RT is not a smooth shifter.  1-4 it clunks and isn't confidence inspiring.  4-5-6 is smooth as butter.  I had complained loudly to BMW and they tore down the transmission and clutch while still in warranty.  That proved it was in spec, it is just a poor shifting unit.   As several of you mentioned, I have gotten used to the BMW way of shifting, I still don't like it, but it is my new "normal".  I played with oil level at BMW suggestions and found it does make some difference if the level is lowered to center of the sight ring.    Not a lot, but noticeable. 

 

In Torrey, i lost most of the oil from a punctured valve cover.  Being unable to find motorcycle rated oil, we filled it with the automobile 5W40 with all of the slick additives we aren't supposed to have on a wet clutch.  To say the least, I was hearing all types of ghost noises during the ride home.  I was waiting for the mains to seize, etc.  most were ghosts and the bike seems to have suffered no ill effects from the oil loss.  What I did notice was that the shifting improved!  Far more than was attained by running with a lower oil level and Castrol.  Being a good engineer, I drained the automobile oil as soon as I got home and refilled with Castrol.    The shifting went back to normal.   

 

Having read many of the oil threads, the use of Rotella T6 5W40, caught my eye.  I can get that anywhere from almost any convenience store in case of emergency.  At $20 per gallon my wallet liked it, and it is JASO and JASO2 rated.  So I switched during the last oil change.  The changes were immediately noticeable!   Valve clatter is nearly gone!  I only heard it around town and without a helmet, but now it is absent.  I don't know if that is a good thing, but I like it.

 

The second change was poorer shifting!  Definitely not something I needed or wanted!

 

I have only 1000 miles on this oil change so I will leave it in the engine until after Torrey.   I will be going back to Castrol, but if clutches were cheap and easy to fix, I really liked the automotive oil shifting properties!

'

 

 

 

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lkraus
2 hours ago, RecentConvert said:

... Being unable to find motorcycle rated oil, we filled it with the automobile 5W40 with all of the slick additives we aren't supposed to have on a wet clutch.  To say the least, I was hearing all types of ghost noises during the ride home.  I was waiting for the mains to seize, etc.  most were ghosts and the bike seems to have suffered no ill effects from the oil loss. 

My 1982 Yamaha Seca XJ650RJ manual called for a SE oil.  Over the 28 years I commuted on it, the available API classifications shifted up to SL, but at the time, common wisdom was that the higher ratings were backward compatible with the older, lesser ratings.  So, I used whatever automotive oil on sale.  The bike was sold and gone for a couple years before I heard of friction modifiers or JASO ratings.  In 72K miles, I never had problem with the wet clutch, no grabbing or slipping, and shifts (except the usual N>1) were always just a smooth "snick."  

 

Also had a wet clutch 1971 Honda CB100, again used an automotive, non-MA, oil throughout it's life with no apparent trouble. It would no longer pop a wheelie at 20K miles, but that could have been the result of general abuse at the hands of a eight or 10 newbie teenagers.

 

I'm not suggesting that you pick a non-MA oil if you have a choice, but I don't see a need to be too concerned if there is no other option. Some oil is always better than no oil.

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dirtrider
2 hours ago, RecentConvert said:

I assume that when I purchased my '14 RT that since it had been serviced the day prior at BMW in Indianapolis, it had BMW's $16 per quart oil in it.  The next oil change I switched to Castrol motocycle oil in 4T 5W40.  At $9.50 per quart it was more reasonable and recommended in the manual.  I continued with this oil until an unfortunate incident in Torrey in May.    

 

My RT is not a smooth shifter.  1-4 it clunks and isn't confidence inspiring.  4-5-6 is smooth as butter.  I had complained loudly to BMW and they tore down the transmission and clutch while still in warranty.  That proved it was in spec, it is just a poor shifting unit.   As several of you mentioned, I have gotten used to the BMW way of shifting, I still don't like it, but it is my new "normal".  I played with oil level at BMW suggestions and found it does make some difference if the level is lowered to center of the sight ring.    Not a lot, but noticeable. 

 

In Torrey, i lost most of the oil from a punctured valve cover.  Being unable to find motorcycle rated oil, we filled it with the automobile 5W40 with all of the slick additives we aren't supposed to have on a wet clutch.  To say the least, I was hearing all types of ghost noises during the ride home.  I was waiting for the mains to seize, etc.  most were ghosts and the bike seems to have suffered no ill effects from the oil loss.  What I did notice was that the shifting improved!  Far more than was attained by running with a lower oil level and Castrol.  Being a good engineer, I drained the automobile oil as soon as I got home and refilled with Castrol.    The shifting went back to normal.   

 

Having read many of the oil threads, the use of Rotella T6 5W40, caught my eye.  I can get that anywhere from almost any convenience store in case of emergency.  At $20 per gallon my wallet liked it, and it is JASO and JASO2 rated.  So I switched during the last oil change.  The changes were immediately noticeable!   Valve clatter is nearly gone!  I only heard it around town and without a helmet, but now it is absent.  I don't know if that is a good thing, but I like it.

 

The second change was poorer shifting!  Definitely not something I needed or wanted!

 

I have only 1000 miles on this oil change so I will leave it in the engine until after Torrey.   I will be going back to Castrol, but if clutches were cheap and easy to fix, I really liked the automotive oil shifting properties!

'

 

 

 

 

Evening  RecentConvert

 

With the horsepower that the new boxer twins are putting out you need to be somewhat conscious of what motor oil that you are using (especially if you ride hard)

 

You probably need at least a  JASO MA rated oil (that covers a broad range of acceptability), for better shifting a JASO MA1 might be closer to a better shifting oil but BMW requests a JASO MA2 (MA2 runs to the higher friction end of the MA specs).

 

If you can find & get the entire oil specifications then finding a JASO MA2 oil that runs to the low side of the MA2 specs  (just above the MA1 rating that would probably give to the best clutch release between shifts but still give you the required MA2 protection.

 

Unlike older motorcycles the new BMW's have o2 sensors & catalytic converters so you also need to keep the motor oil specs in mind as far as long term  cat protection goes.

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92Merc

Well, for starters, T6 isn't really "automotive" oil.  More specifically, it's oil designed for diesel engines.  So it doesn't have the friction modifiers that other car oils have.  The big word to look for on the back is "energy conserving" to tell if it has friction modifiers.

I read somewhere that Shell will no longer be getting the T6 certified for API specs.  From my understanding, that is a car spec.  Since T6 is diesel spec oil, don't be surprised if that number disappears.

That doesn't mean the oil is changing.  It's just that Shell isn't spending the extra for API certs.  But the API specs do fall within BMW's guidelines.

 

Me personally, I'd have no hesitation in purchasing the T6 oil for the waterheads.  I ran it for 17 years in my Honda V-Twin.  I know of plenty of others as well that did the same on their Honda's.  It won't hurt the clutch.  The MA2 will not hurt the catalytic converter.  It's a good oil for the price.

I've been using Liquid Moly from Beemer Boneyard, mostly because I'll have it documented with my oil filters, plugs, etc..  But honestly, I can't tell the difference between T6 and LM.  They shift about the same.

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041100S

Just to add a little to the discussion, I purchased a '16 R1200RS and the previous owner was running Motul 7100 10w-40 4T, this is a JASO MA-2 rated. So far everything is good with the bike and shifting is easy, that is not hard shifting. However, this oil is also over $10 per liter so pretty high. On my next oil change I plan to go with Castrol Power 1 5w-40 which is also JASO MA-2, APL-SL rated. This oil can be purchased from Amazon for about $9 per quart or about $9.50 per liter. I will try it and if shifting becomes hard go back to Motul. 

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Cap

The last time I changed my oil, I used the new Rotella T6 that is JASO MA2.  And it works fine, and I have no difference in shifting compared to my previous oils which were different brands of the expensive stuff.  But I have a 2017 RT, so maybe that judder damper is the reason why it shifts well.

 

In any case, I did some research before switching to Rotella T6 in the current CK-4 formulation.  What I learned is that there is some internet thrashing about the lack of friction modifiers like ZDDP in many modern oils.  If you ignore the chatter, and consider the science, it turns out that Rotella T6 has plenty of zinc and phosphorus, and a good bit of magnesium and even a little molybdenum. So, it satisfies the BMW spec, and also should satisfy old-school riders who want some friction modifiers.

 

I like it because it is cheap, and comes in a 1-gallon jug that exactly fills my RT when I do the oil and filter change.  Nice.  Then I can dump the old oil back into the empty jug and drop it off at AutoZone.

 

Here's a link to the oil analysis: comparison of Rotella T6 CJ-4/SM (pre 2017) to CK-4 .  Note that the images in the picture of the jugs, and the columns in the report, are reversed.

 

Cap

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RTinNC

I have been running Castrol 4T 5w-40  JASO MA2 in my 2016 RT since new.   Just over 22,000 miles and no issues whatsoever.   And I can buy it on Amazon for about $42 for a pack of 6 liters bottles shipped free to my door.   I have also used Castrol products in my other vehicles and have a '99 Explorer with 222,000 trouble free miles.    I have always been one to use what the owners manual specifies.   But that is just me.  YMMV. 

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dirtrider
6 hours ago, Cap said:

The last time I changed my oil, I used the new Rotella T6 that is JASO MA2.  And it works fine, and I have no difference in shifting compared to my previous oils which were different brands of the expensive stuff.  But I have a 2017 RT, so maybe that judder damper is the reason why it shifts well.

 

In any case, I did some research before switching to Rotella T6 in the current CJ-4/SM formulation.  What I learned is that there is some internet thrashing about the lack of friction modifiers like ZDDP in many modern oils.  If you ignore the chatter, and consider the science, it turns out that Rotella T6 has plenty of zinc and phosphorus, and a good bit of magnesium and even a little molybdenum. So, it satisfies the BMW spec, and also should satisfy old-school riders who want some friction modifiers.

 

I like it because it is cheap, and comes in a 1-gallon jug that exactly fills my RT when I do the oil and filter change.  Nice.  Then I can dump the old oil back into the empty jug and drop it off at AutoZone.

 

Here's a link to the oil analysis: comparison of Rotella T6 CJ-4/SM to CK-4 (pre 2017).  Note that the images in the picture of the jugs, and the columns in the report, are reversed.

 

Cap

 

 

Morning Cap

 

Doesn't your owners manual specifically warn against using oil containing molybdenum?

 

"SAE 5W-40, API SL / JASO MA2, Additives (e.g. molybdenum-based) are not permissible because they can attack coated components of the engine, BMW Motorrad recommends BMW Motorrad ADVANTEC Ultimate oil"

 

 

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Dave_in_TX
13 hours ago, 92Merc said:

Well, for starters, T6 isn't really "automotive" oil.  More specifically, it's oil designed for diesel engines.  So it doesn't have the friction modifiers that other car oils have.  The big word to look for on the back is "energy conserving" to tell if it has friction modifiers.

I read somewhere that Shell will no longer be getting the T6 certified for API specs.  From my understanding, that is a car spec.  Since T6 is diesel spec oil, don't be surprised if that number disappears.

That doesn't mean the oil is changing.  It's just that Shell isn't spending the extra for API certs.  But the API specs do fall within BMW's guidelines.

 

Me personally, I'd have no hesitation in purchasing the T6 oil for the waterheads.  I ran it for 17 years in my Honda V-Twin.  I know of plenty of others as well that did the same on their Honda's.  It won't hurt the clutch.  The MA2 will not hurt the catalytic converter.  It's a good oil for the price.

I've been using Liquid Moly from Beemer Boneyard, mostly because I'll have it documented with my oil filters, plugs, etc..  But honestly, I can't tell the difference between T6 and LM.  They shift about the same.

According to a reply from Shell that was posted to advrider.com, T6 currently has too much phosphorus to meet API SL. BMW specs an oil that meets API SL and Jaso MA. 

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realshelby

I too ran the Shell Rotella T-6 after the first two oil changes with BMW oil. But that oil was certified for gasoline engine use. I liked it. Even had a Blackstone sample done on it, where it seemed to be very good. 

 

When T-6 changed and was no longer API gas engine certified I went to Liqui-Moly 5-40. Not much difference in shifting, but high quality oil. I ran it over 7100 miles last time and had a Blackstone test done on it. It showed LESS wear than the T6 did with about 2500 less miles! 

 

Last oil change I went to Mobil 1 4T 10-40. I thought/hoped it might shift better and might show a bit less viscosity loss toward the end of the life of it. Don't do it! From the moment I first rode off with it the shifting was crunchier! To say the least I was not expecting that. And it didn't improve or get worse. That oil has just over 7000 miles on it too, and I will send a sample off to Blackstone of it. VERY interested in wear comparison to the Liqui-Moly. Both oils had similar riding conditions and about exactly the same miles. 

 

I don't think there is a magic shifting oil. Honestly, the bike shifts just fine. It does exactly what it is supposed to do. I will likely put Liqui-Moly 5-40 back in it and forget about it. This oil should go at least 9000 miles between changes. While I don't always want to do that, knowing I can is important. Just put 2700 miles on the RT to attend a funeral, and knowing I didn't have to change oil to make the trip is good. Based on Blackstone labs reports, they have said 9000 miles is no issue at all. 

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PadG

Like Terry, I had used the Rotella T6 for all of my oil change.  It does meet all of the BMW specs. for our bike.  Also, like Terry, I have now changed over to LiquiMoly oil when Shell decided to remove the API certification from the label.  I suspect that the oil hasn't changed any, but my engine is too important to go on what I suspect.  OTOH, if I was on the road and had an incident that lose most of the oil in my RT and only the more common oil is available, then the T6 is what I probably would have used without any hesitations!

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RTinNC

I keep reading folks hoping to “improve “ shifting??   My ‘16 RT and ‘18 GS are both the best shifting BMW’s I’ve ever owned and both shift very smoothly.

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AndyS
29 minutes ago, RTinNC said:

I keep reading folks hoping to “improve “ shifting??   My ‘16 RT and ‘18 GS are both the best shifting BMW’s I’ve ever owned and both shift very smoothly.

Certainly, for your '16 model you are fortunate. Many had a less than perfect shift in all gears. As for the '18, that should shift much better because of the modification BMW carried out on the transmission.

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Cap
4 hours ago, Dave_in_TX said:

According to a reply from Shell that was posted to advrider.com, T6 currently has too much phosphorus to meet API SL. BMW specs an oil that meets API SL and Jaso MA. 

 

Would you post a link?

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LAF
13 hours ago, realshelby said:

I too ran the Shell Rotella T-6 after the first two oil changes with BMW oil. But that oil was certified for gasoline engine use. I liked it. Even had a Blackstone sample done on it, where it seemed to be very good. 

 

When T-6 changed and was no longer API gas engine certified I went to Liqui-Moly 5-40. Not much difference in shifting, but high quality oil. I ran it over 7100 miles last time and had a Blackstone test done on it. It showed LESS wear than the T6 did with about 2500 less miles! 

 

Last oil change I went to Mobil 1 4T 10-40. I thought/hoped it might shift better and might show a bit less viscosity loss toward the end of the life of it. Don't do it! From the moment I first rode off with it the shifting was crunchier! To say the least I was not expecting that. And it didn't improve or get worse. That oil has just over 7000 miles on it too, and I will send a sample off to Blackstone of it. VERY interested in wear comparison to the Liqui-Moly. Both oils had similar riding conditions and about exactly the same miles. 

 

I don't think there is a magic shifting oil. Honestly, the bike shifts just fine. It does exactly what it is supposed to do. I will likely put Liqui-Moly 5-40 back in it and forget about it. This oil should go at least 9000 miles between changes. While I don't always want to do that, knowing I can is important. Just put 2700 miles on the RT to attend a funeral, and knowing I didn't have to change oil to make the trip is good. Based on Blackstone labs reports, they have said 9000 miles is no issue at all. 

Very interested in your UOA on the Mobil oil.  I have used nothing but Liqui Moly in my GS but never had it tested.  While one bike's test does not make it so for all other bikes like it, it says we can surely get more then 6K from it.  I was always told from the first Amsoil product I knew of, you should be able to do 10K on synthetic oils.

 

Without a UOA I dont advocate extended changes but I really would not sweat 1 or 2K over 6K if I needed to extend a change on a good synthetic oil.

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Dave_in_TX
On ‎8‎/‎20‎/‎2019 at 10:56 AM, Cap said:

 

Would you post a link?

I believe it's buried away in this thread: https://advrider.com/f/threads/bmw-r1200gs-lc-engine-oil.1142258/

 

If you look at the Rotella container, although it claims to meet JASO MA2, it no longer carries any API specification for gas engines. BMW specifies an oil that meets API SL and JASO MA2. Supposedly, Rotella contains too much phosphorus to meet API SL or later.

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PadG

Is that so, or does it have something to do with the fact that Shell is in partnership with BMW, having taken over from Castrol a few years back, and Rotella just undercut the Shell made BMW oil by several miles?  OK, so I might be a little too suspicious, but can't help the thought . . . .

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Paul De

Interesting conversation. I had been sourcing consumables from the local dealer who just shuttered their doors and with the nearest BMW dealer now 60 miles away I figured it was time try to save a buck from the nose bleed high Advatec prices.  The worry is always to do right by the motor and clutch and get the right specification.  I was looking at running Amsoil 10W40 synth metric motorcycle oil $13.60/qt direct from the manufacturer, but the Liquid Molly looks like it is all that and a bag a chips meeting all the Wethead engine needs at a lower price.  

 

Has anyone run Amsoil?

 

 

On the shifting piece, my toast must have fallen butter side up because I have '15RT that shifts pretty well.  Maybe some tweaks were already being done to improve shifting as my bike was manufactured in July of that year.  I road a 2017 with a few thousand mile on the odometer and while it shifted better than my 2015, it wasn't dramatically better.   Guess it is better to be lucky than good!

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Paul De

Slight tangent here, but in my cost out on consumables research I am thinking of loosing the BMW logo altogether and going with a Mahle OC 619 oil filter which the Mahle web site cross references to the BMW part number.  Prolly the same thing but about 6-7 dollars cheaper.

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dirtrider
11 minutes ago, Paul De said:

Slight tangent here, but in my cost out on consumables research I am thinking of loosing the BMW logo altogether and going with a Mahle OC 619 oil filter which the Mahle web site cross references to the BMW part number.  Prolly the same thing but about 6-7 dollars cheaper.

 

 

Afternoon Paul

 

That is what I have been using on the 1200wc bikes, same as BMW OEM. I usually watch the Amazon deals then buy 12 at a time (free shipping).  

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Skywagon

I've always stuck with BMW or BMW recommended oil/filters like Castrol.  I'm sure others are as good, maybe better, maybe more cost effective....who knows.  

 

The cost of a new engine for a wet head is $14,000 + labor+accessories.  Will non'BMW recommended products cause an engine issue...I seriously doubt it and probably no evidence of such a thing...but in my conservative way, it probably cost me an extra $50-75/year to use BMW recommended products versus the free market. It supports my local dealer and as many have pointed out dealers are becoming more rare and are certainly critical. 

 

In my earlier days I use to run my motorbikes on Havoline 30, same as my lawnmower, my cars, etc.  I never heard of motorcycle oil and never had an issue.

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dirtrider
13 minutes ago, Skywagon said:

I've always stuck with BMW or BMW recommended oil/filters like Castrol.  I'm sure others are as good, maybe better, maybe more cost effective....who knows.  

 

The cost of a new engine for a wet head is $14,000 + labor+accessories.  Will non'BMW recommended products cause an engine issue...I seriously doubt it and probably no evidence of such a thing...but in my conservative way, it probably cost me an extra $50-75/year to use BMW recommended products versus the free market. It supports my local dealer and as many have pointed out dealers are becoming more rare and are certainly critical. 

 

In my earlier days I use to run my motorbikes on Havoline 30, same as my lawnmower, my cars, etc.  I never heard of motorcycle oil and never had an issue.

 

Afternoon David

 

Note the BMW part number then look  it up for the 1200wc.

 

 

oil filter.JPG

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Skywagon

Hi DR..agree on the filter and appreciate the tip...  BMW filter $20 Amazon Mahle $12 for same as you pointed out. I was more referring to oil and the title of this thread experimenting with oil.  I'm not a high mileage rider averaging maybe 10K miles per year...maybe 2 changes per year. Experimenting with oil for me didn't seem like the risk/reward was high enough.  The few dollars it would save me versus fighting BMW just didn't appeal to me.  

 

In an earlier thread someone on this board got some help from BMW on a bad engine out of warranty.  They had documentation of all service and all BMW parts.  It doesn't always work but I think chances are better.

 

Heck when I change oil I change all fluids.  I've even gotten in the habit of changing the brake fluid every time I change oil.  It's very simple to do on the new bikes...no more whizzy.  I doubt there are many who change their brake fluid every 4k miles, but for less than a pint of dot 4 and 15 minutes of my time....I do.

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MikeB60
6 hours ago, Paul De said:

Interesting conversation. I had been sourcing consumables from the local dealer who just shuttered their doors and with the nearest BMW dealer now 60 miles away I figured it was time try to save a buck from the nose bleed high Advatec prices.  The worry is always to do right by the motor and clutch and get the right specification.  I was looking at running Amsoil 10W40 synth metric motorcycle oil $13.60/qt direct from the manufacturer, but the Liquid Molly looks like it is all that and a bag a chips meeting all the Wethead engine needs at a lower price.  

 

Has anyone run Amsoil?

 

 

On the shifting piece, my toast must have fallen butter side up because I have '15RT that shifts pretty well.  Maybe some tweaks were already being done to improve shifting as my bike was manufactured in July of that year.  I road a 2017 with a few thousand mile on the odometer and while it shifted better than my 2015, it wasn't dramatically better.   Guess it is better to be lucky than good!

Paul,

Haven't tried the Amsoil.  

I use Castrol Power1 5w40 in the 1600 and the wethead.  It what BMW recommended before the Advantec.  Amazon runs it on special all the time, right now its $47 for a case of 6.  I've done a couple of UOAs on the 1600 with the Castrol, they look great.  I'm so used to clunky BMW gear boxes I couldn't tell you if they shift any different with the Castrol.  Here is a link    

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Dave_in_TX
On ‎8‎/‎20‎/‎2019 at 6:43 AM, realshelby said:

I too ran the Shell Rotella T-6 after the first two oil changes with BMW oil. But that oil was certified for gasoline engine use. I liked it. Even had a Blackstone sample done on it, where it seemed to be very good. 

 

When T-6 changed and was no longer API gas engine certified I went to Liqui-Moly 5-40. Not much difference in shifting, but high quality oil. I ran it over 7100 miles last time and had a Blackstone test done on it. It showed LESS wear than the T6 did with about 2500 less miles! 

 

Last oil change I went to Mobil 1 4T 10-40. I thought/hoped it might shift better and might show a bit less viscosity loss toward the end of the life of it. Don't do it! From the moment I first rode off with it the shifting was crunchier! To say the least I was not expecting that. And it didn't improve or get worse. That oil has just over 7000 miles on it too, and I will send a sample off to Blackstone of it. VERY interested in wear comparison to the Liqui-Moly. Both oils had similar riding conditions and about exactly the same miles. 

 

I don't think there is a magic shifting oil. Honestly, the bike shifts just fine. It does exactly what it is supposed to do. I will likely put Liqui-Moly 5-40 back in it and forget about it. This oil should go at least 9000 miles between changes. While I don't always want to do that, knowing I can is important. Just put 2700 miles on the RT to attend a funeral, and knowing I didn't have to change oil to make the trip is good. Based on Blackstone labs reports, they have said 9000 miles is no issue at all. 

I'm surprised with your experience with Mobil 1 4T. Although I generally use Liqui Moly, I've used Mobil1 1 one two occasions and shifting on my 2014 R1200GS was the smoothest it's ever been.

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Paul De
20 hours ago, Skywagon said:

I've always stuck with BMW or BMW recommended oil/filters like Castrol.  I'm sure others are as good, maybe better, maybe more cost effective....who knows.  

 

The cost of a new engine for a wet head is $14,000 + labor+accessories.  Will non'BMW recommended products cause an engine issue...I seriously doubt it and probably no evidence of such a thing...but in my conservative way, it probably cost me an extra $50-75/year to use BMW recommended products versus the free market. It supports my local dealer and as many have pointed out dealers are becoming more rare and are certainly critical. 

 

In my earlier days I use to run my motorbikes on Havoline 30, same as my lawnmower, my cars, etc.  I never heard of motorcycle oil and never had an issue.

 

Totally get the belt & suspenders caution and ran Advantec post OEM warranty.  Also have been a fan of Castrol synthetic oil,  particularly the synthetic grades imported from Germany.  What I see on the Amsoil and Liqui Molly PDS sheets is the API rating is SM and not SL.  Not sure if that matters?

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dirtrider
37 minutes ago, Paul De said:

 

Totally get the belt & suspenders caution and ran Advantec post OEM warranty.  Also have been a fan of Castrol synthetic oil,  particularly the synthetic grades imported from Germany.  What I see on the Amsoil and Liqui Molly PDS sheets is the API rating is SM and not SL.  Not sure if that matters?

 

 

Morning Paul

 

You are right, just looked. I have different  containers of  Liqui Moly on my shelf & the 15w50 is rated SL, the 10w40 is rated SL, an old partially used container of 5w40 is rated SL but I have 5 new containers of 5w40 & it is rated SM.

 

Not sure that it matters as for the most part automotive motor oil is backwards compatible (within reason). On motorcycle oil not always so on the backwards compatibility  but SL & SM are mostly from the same emission & friction  class so probably not a big deal.

 

 

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Paul De

I was trying to figure out the difference between API SL and SM rated oils.  While I was not able to nail down too much credible info on specific changes it appears that SM has had a slight decreases on ZDDP to reduce catalyst poisoning  VS SL and yet supposedly improves wear resistance.  Now this is where  I need to be careful and not propagate “web expert” babble so I’ll leave it as what, if any, other anti wear additive was included/increased to replace the ZDDP removed.   I looked on line at the 2019 R1250RT owners manual and it still lists SL-MA2.   So BMW does not list this API rating as acceptable yet. When I have more time I’ll dig more for credible info to share.

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Cap
9 minutes ago, Paul De said:

I was trying to figure out the difference between API SL and SM rated oils.  ...

 

Me too.  I think a primary difference is related to the concentration of phosphorus.  The amounts allowed for automobile engines is decreasing because the types of catalytic converters used in automobile engines require less phosphorus.  JASO/MA2 specs require 800-1200 ppm of phosphorus to provide adequate wear protection for wet-clutch transmissions used in motorcycles.  The API SL spec permitted about 1000 ppm of phosphorus.  But the newer automobile engine oil spec is for a maximum of 800 ppm of phosphorus.  Note that the API SL spec and the JASO/MA2 spec were in agreement with respect to concentration of phosphorus.  But the newer API specs, e.g. SN, are in conflict with the JASO/MA2 requirement for 800-1200 ppm of phosphorus.  I believe that is why BMW maintains the API SL requirement -- because newer API specs could not also be JASO/MA2.

 

There is a letter from Shell posted to a link referenced above in which some of this is explained.  The tech rep from Shell speculated that our BMW motorcycles are probably using a more robust type of catalytic converter capable of resisting the effects of phosphorus. (or at least they are able to perform adequately during their planned service life)

 

My own conclusion is that Shell Rotella T6 would be just fine in our motos, with one possible exception: the presence of molybdenum.  As DR notes above, BMW specifically warns against oils with molybdenum.  In the oil analysis posted earlier, the new formulation of Rotella T6 (CK-4) shows 71 ppm of molybdenum.  The remaining question for an expert is, "how much molybdenum constitutes too much?"  

 

Cap

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AndyS

Maybe contact your local oil analysis laboratories and ask them?

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BrianM
On 8/20/2019 at 5:09 AM, dirtrider said:

 

 

Morning Cap

 

Doesn't your owners manual specifically warn against using oil containing molybdenum?

 

"SAE 5W-40, API SL / JASO MA2, Additives (e.g. molybdenum-based) are not permissible because they can attack coated components of the engine, BMW Motorrad recommends BMW Motorrad ADVANTEC Ultimate oil"

 

 

 

The wording is interesting. Does it say no oil with molybdenum or no additives (some thing added in addition to the oil) with molybdenum? There is a comma before additives. Maybe I will send a message to BMW.

 

While in warranty I will just use BMW oil.

 

When my daughter was learning the periodic table, I made sure she could pronounce the elements correctly. Molybdenum is often mispronounced, among others.

 

Sent customer service an email, see if they get back to me.

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PadG

If I recalled the wording correctly, it said no oil containing molybdenum.  So, whether it's already in the oil, or from additive, it doesn't make any difference.  It also stated the reason for not having molybdenum in the oil, because the compound will affect some of the "specialized" coating that are applied to some of the internal component.  These info should be in your Riders Manual!  Take a look.  DL the pdf version and it will make it very easy to search for specific things!

 

BTW, no need to use BMW branded oil!  Just make sure that whatever oil that you use meets ALL of the spec. that are called out by BMW!

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dirtrider
23 hours ago, BrianM said:

 

The wording is interesting. Does it say no oil with molybdenum or no additives (some thing added in addition to the oil) with molybdenum? There is a comma before additives. Maybe I will send a message to BMW.

 

While in warranty I will just use BMW oil.

 

When my daughter was learning the periodic table, I made sure she could pronounce the elements correctly. Molybdenum is often mispronounced, among others.

 

Sent customer service an email, see if they get back to me.

 

 

Morning  Brian

 

The riders manual says just what I posted above  --- "SAE 5W-40, API SL / JASO MA2, Additives (e.g. molybdenum-based) are not permissible because they can attack coated components of the engine, BMW Motorrad recommends BMW Motorrad ADVANTEC Ultimate oil"----   (this is quoted directly from the riders manual)

 

You are correct, it kind of comes down to actual wording, then the interpretation of that wording. Plus, with the BMW English version manual the word-meaning  can also be effected by how the original wording is translated from German to English.

 

If you go back through past riders manuals you will find a number of questionable  translations that change, blur, or skew the information provided.  

 

On the riders manual  "Additives (e.g. molybdenum-based) are not permissible because they can attack coated components of the engine" --  the 'additives' could be understood as secondary (rider) ADDED additives, or could be understood as any oil containing an additive package containing molybdenum. It really doesn't specify on how they get into the oil, just not to use any oil containing  molybdenum-based additives.

 

Just a guess on my part but BMW probably didn't put much thought into  what they published in the riders manuals as THEIR suggested oil doesn't contain the molybdenum so no real need to define the reason or define how it enters the oil.

 

I guess, to me personally, if molybdenum is bad for the engine & can attack components then it really doesn't matter on how it gets into the oil (rider added or originally blended in) as I don't want it in there.

 

 

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Paul De

I will to stick to an oil that meets specifically the APL SL MA2 specification for the time being.   The change of the Liqui Molly spec to API SM now has me leaning toward Skywagon's position that the dollar difference to the Advantec is not worth the chance of an oil that is not fully compatible with the K52 motor.   I am fortunate to not be dealing with poor shifting, which is a real quality of ownership issue, so moving away from the Advantec oil in my bike is for cost considerations only.    I have no worries about using the Mahle  OC 619 oil filter though, as that filter number cross references to the BMW part number and comparing the BMW branded and Mahle filters looks like they come off the same production line.

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LAF

Liqui Moly 4-T Synth Race is what I use and it meets and exceeds all BMW specs.

 

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Bernie
35 minutes ago, LAF said:

Liqui Moly 4-T Synth Race is what I use and it meets and exceeds all BMW specs.

 

 

Checking their spec sheet, say’s it is API SM and not API SM. Does this mean it is ok to use to meet the BMW warranty?

I know it’s good oil, just like Amsoil, but if BMW is looking for any excuse to not cover a claim, why give them extra fodder.

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Skywagon

on amazon Liqui Moly is more expensive than Castrol  Liqui is 4L for $49 and Castrol is 6Qt's for $47...It's like getting an extra 1.6L for $2 less or 40% less money.  I think some of this thread was about pricing and some about better oils for shifting etc. Castrol recommended in Owners Manual..just saying.

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dirtrider
22 minutes ago, Skywagon said:

on amazon Liqui Moly is more expensive than Castrol  Liqui is 4L for $49 and Castrol is 6Qt's for $47...It's like getting an extra 1.6L for $2 less or 40% less money.  I think some of this thread was about pricing and some about better oils for shifting etc. Castrol recommended in Owners Manual..just saying.

 

Afternoon Skywagon

 

That is the BMW of old, BMW isn't in bed with Castrol any longer so hasn't recommended  Castrol in quite a while now.

 

From BMW riders manual__

 

"SAE 5W-40, API SL / JASO MA2, Additives (e.g. molybdenum-based) are not permissible because they can attack coated components of the engine, BMW Motorrad recommends BMW Motorrad ADVANTEC Ultimate oil"  

 

As far as I know-- BMW ADVANTEC Ultimate oil is formulated by Shell.

 

 

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Skywagon

Thanks DR...just looking at my manual on my 2014 RT...it lists Castrol  Must have stopped in 2015....  Directly from my manual.

 

.Viscosity class Product recommended by BMW Motorrad: Castrol Power 1 Racing
SAE 5W-40, API SL / JASO MA2
 

 

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alexp
On 8/27/2019 at 6:08 AM, Skywagon said:

I've always stuck with BMW or BMW recommended oil/filters like Castrol.  I'm sure others are as good, maybe better, maybe more cost effective....who knows.  

 

The cost of a new engine for a wet head is $14,000 + labor+accessories.  Will non'BMW recommended products cause an engine issue...I seriously doubt it and probably no evidence of such a thing...but in my conservative way, it probably cost me an extra $50-75/year to use BMW recommended products versus the free market. It supports my local dealer and as many have pointed out dealers are becoming more rare and are certainly critical. 

 

In my earlier days I use to run my motorbikes on Havoline 30, same as my lawnmower, my cars, etc.  I never heard of motorcycle oil and never had an issue.

I feel the same way as you. I do change my oil every 3K and not at 6K as recommended. I just like to have my oil clean. It helps me selling the bike when I'm ready. 

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Paul De
12 hours ago, Skywagon said:

Thanks DR...just looking at my manual on my 2014 RT...it lists Castrol  Must have stopped in 2015....  Directly from my manual.

 

.Viscosity class Product recommended by BMW Motorrad: Castrol Power 1 Racing
SAE 5W-40, API SL / JASO MA2
 

 

 

My 2015 RT manual lists BMW Advantec as preferred so the switch does seem to be between 2014 and 2015 model years.  The POWER 1 4T 5w-40 still lists the oil as API SL JASO- MA2  So it looks like is still fits the specifcs of those specifications.   For sure if I had a poor shifting RT I would be playing with different oil vendors.  I would for sure stick with the SL MA-2 spec and would be leery of straying too far from the 5W-40 viscosity, but might try 10W-40 to see if improved shifting.  Going too thick might get you into clutch operation and windage issues though.

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92Merc

I just bought 2 jugs of LM from BeemerBoneyard a week ago.  $116.58 with shipping for 2-4liter jugs.  So $58.29 a jug for me.

https://products.liqui-moly.com/2-wheel-quad-kart-bike/motorbike-4t-synth-5w-40-street-race.html

 

Specs show API SM JASO M2.  Both on site, and on jug.

 

What's a little strange to me is BB site shows "NEW" next to this oil.  I don't have any old jugs, so I don't know if they did change the formula.  But I could swear the bike is shifting a little better.  Could be my imagination, or just new oil.  We'll see how it wears in.

20190902_104028.jpg

20190902_103953.jpg

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Cap
1 hour ago, 92Merc said:

...What's a little strange to me is BB site shows "NEW" next to this oil...

 

My interpretation of BB's "new" designation is that they had either a price change or a package-format change...  For example, maybe they are now offering a 4-liter jug in 5w-40 instead of just the 1-liter packaging.  

 

As an aside, this discussion made me curious, so I dumped my Rotella T6 after 200 miles, and replaced it with Castrol 4T just to see if I could feel any difference in shifting.  I figured the only way for a semi-objective test on my bike with my riding style would be to test ride with fresh oil on consecutive days.  And I did feel a difference, at least on my 2017 R1200RT.  I noticed less crunch on shifts in the 3 lower gears with Castrol.  But finding neutral is now a delicate process, often requiring much iteration.  I considered testing Liqui-Moly too, but as you pointed out, the BB price includes $20 of shipping per jug, making it about twice the cost of Castrol.

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PadG
20 hours ago, alexp said:

I feel the same way as you. I do change my oil every 3K and not at 6K as recommended. I just like to have my oil clean. It helps me selling the bike when I'm ready. 

So, do you empty out the valve covers when you do the oil change?  Lots of dirty oil trapped in there!!  ;)

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realshelby

Beemer Boneyard gives a discount. Put in "bmwst" in the coupon box. Helps offset shipping. 

I have a jug of Liqui-Moly 5-40  from them due tomorrow. Just set the sample of Mobil 1 4T Racing 10-40 in the mailbox headed to Blackstone labs. Not happy with the Mobil 1 in any way, shifting was worse from the start with it. Interested to see how the wear diagnosis is with the Mobil 1 compared to the other oils I have used. 

 

Unless I see something that changes my mind, I will simply use Liqui-Moly 5-40 from now on. The wear rating it gave was really good and it shifts...as good as any. I had over 7,000  miles on the sample of the Mobil 1, almost exactly the same as the last sample was of Liqui-Moly. Almost exactly the same riding conditions. This will be an interesting comparison. 

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Paul De
25 minutes ago, realshelby said:

This will be an interesting comparison

:lurk:

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92Merc
1 hour ago, realshelby said:

Beemer Boneyard gives a discount. Put in "bmwst" in the coupon box. Helps offset shipping.

 

How am I just hearing about this now?  I just checked.  It's a 10% discount.  Been buying all my service items there for 4 years.

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BrianM
On 8/31/2019 at 8:30 AM, dirtrider said:

 

 

Morning  Brian

 

The riders manual says just what I posted above  --- "SAE 5W-40, API SL / JASO MA2, Additives (e.g. molybdenum-based) are not permissible because they can attack coated components of the engine, BMW Motorrad recommends BMW Motorrad ADVANTEC Ultimate oil"----   (this is quoted directly from the riders manual)

 

You are correct, it kind of comes down to actual wording, then the interpretation of that wording. Plus, with the BMW English version manual the word-meaning  can also be effected by how the original wording is translated from German to English.

 

If you go back through past riders manuals you will find a number of questionable  translations that change, blur, or skew the information provided.  

 

On the riders manual  "Additives (e.g. molybdenum-based) are not permissible because they can attack coated components of the engine" --  the 'additives' could be understood as secondary (rider) ADDED additives, or could be understood as any oil containing an additive package containing molybdenum. It really doesn't specify on how they get into the oil, just not to use any oil containing  molybdenum-based additives.

 

Just a guess on my part but BMW probably didn't put much thought into  what they published in the riders manuals as THEIR suggested oil doesn't contain the molybdenum so no real need to define the reason or define how it enters the oil.

 

I guess, to me personally, if molybdenum is bad for the engine & can attack components then it really doesn't matter on how it gets into the oil (rider added or originally blended in) as I don't want it in there.

 

 

Received reply from BMW. It seems ANY molybdenum is bad. Make sure any oil does not have any molybdenum.

 

Their reply:

 

Dear Brian,

Thank you for contacting BMW Motorrad USA regarding oil for your 2018 BMW R 1200 GS Adventure.

BMW recommends using BMW Motorrad ADVANTEC Ultimate Oil with a viscosity of 5W-40. The use of additives is prohibited. Additionally, any molybdenum-based substances can damage coatings on engine components.

Should you have additional questions, the service team at your authorized BMW Motorrad dealer has the expertise and knowledge to further assist you.  For your reference, a list of our authorized BMW Motorrad dealers can be found on our website: www.bmwmotorcycles.comunder the "Find a Dealer" link.  

For your convenience, the BMW Motorrad Customer Relations and Services Department is available Monday through Thursday from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. ET and Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. ET. You can reach us at 1-800-831-1117.

Thank you again for taking the time to write to us.

Regards,

Cameron Wagner
BMW Motorrad USA
Representative

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Paul De

So the question for me becomes does API SM specified oil have Molybdenum or not? 

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longjohn

:lurk:

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