Page 1 of 4 1 2 3 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 51

Thread: Synthetic motor oil - R1200GSA 2011

  1. #1
    Ness - Montreal
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Montreal, Canada
    Posts
    9

    Synthetic motor oil - R1200GSA 2011

    I change my oil and filter every 10,000 km. (6,000 mi.)

    Is there ANY advantage to using synthetic motor oil in my moto?
    Other than the price, is there any disadvantage?

    I've heard everything from "synthetic" is too slippery, or, use only semi synth., or ANY synth will ruin the engine, and so on...in the end, what's the OFFICIAL BMW word on this?

    I don't want to void my guarantee and extended guarantee.

    Thanks, Ness
    Ness
    Montreal
    (normness"at"gmail.com)

  2. #2
    Registered User mneblett's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Fairfax, VA
    Posts
    1,729
    As I understand it, the "Official" answer for warranty purposes is:

    You must use an oil which meets the minimum specifications expressly stated in your owner's manual.

    As to synth vs. dino, the question still is: Does the oil meet the minimum requirements stated in the owner's manual?

    If it takes a synthetic to meet those specs, yes, it is required. If dino will meet the specs, then no, synth is not required. Your manual has the definitive answer.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    After the above, it's the endless Internet pros/cons debates, with a few facts, and lots of unsubstantiated opinions.

    A couple facts:

    -- Synth is generally more expensive than dino oil meeting the same specs.

    -- Synth handles high heat better.

    The latter point is not as much an issue with liquid-cooled engines with stable head temps, but it is a factor to consider in air-cooled engines -- particularly in the case of the oilheads/hexheads/camheads, which are designed to use a high flow of oil around the exhaust valve region of the heads to take heat out of the hottest region of the engine. This is the reason I personally opt for synth in my oil/camheads.

    -- Synth flows better at very cold temps.

    Whether synth is "slippier" (i.e., provides "better" lubrication) is where facts vs. self-rationalization starts coming into it. There may be theoretical advantages to synth, but the practical reality is that with oil in normal use and being changed every 6K mi., both provide more than adequate lubrication for the application.

    So, for most folks, the issue is money vs. an unquantified amount of additional protection. Unless your manual's specs = only synth, it's up to you.

    FWIW, BMW is now starting to put synth in a least some crankcases at the factory -- my K16GTL had synth in it. I am not sure, but I believe my 2012 R12RT also did -- and the dealer put synth in at the 600 mi. service. Was it necessary to meet the specs for my 2012? Don't know -- I'll have to read my manual this evening.

    HTH!
    Mark Neblett
    Fairfax, VA
    #32806

  3. #3
    Registered User lkchris's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Albuquerque, NM
    Posts
    4,769
    Quote Originally Posted by ness View Post
    I've heard everything ...

    Most of the time the cost of synthetic oil is offset by the fact you can run it longer.

    That is, there is basically zero disadvantage and multiple advantages. It's the 21st century and there is so little reason to continue using nonsynthetic motor oils. Fact is the real car companies, i.e. Porsche, Mercedes, BMW (cars) specify their use always. BMW motorcycles easily could, too, and I'm sure they'll update their specs when they get the courage.

    But, there will remain plenty of unsubstantiated and unsustainable rumors like the things you've "heard." You know, if you're not "hearing" them from petroleum engineers and engine designers they're worthless by definition.
    Kent Christensen
    21482
    '12 R1200RT, '02 R1100S, '84 R80G/S

  4. #4
    Amateur Veteran
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Portland OR
    Posts
    245
    I'm a strong believer in quality synthetic oils... the newest Camheads (at least in my 2012 R1200R manual) doesn't list a requirement to stay on mineral oil for any period of time after the 600 mile break in.

    I switched my bike over to synthetic at just over 2000 miles; did the oil change myself and opted to use Castrol TWS 10W60 which I got from my local BMW auto dealer. IF you can get a 20W50 pure synthetic (and you likely can't in the US), you should consider that also... and I've also heard from a BMW motored engineer that they're considering revising the oil list and might start to recommend "more strongly" the use of a pure synthetic 15W50..

    Understand that if you're using a mineral oil of a certain viscosity that it may not flow as well as a synthetic oil of the SAME viscosity... don't confuse viscosity with flowability.

  5. #5
    100,000+ miler 32232's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Southwestern Ontario
    Posts
    793
    Quote Originally Posted by R1200RClassic View Post
    I'm a strong believer in quality synthetic oils... the newest Camheads (at least in my 2012 R1200R manual) doesn't list a requirement to stay on mineral oil for any period of time after the 600 mile break in.
    Cut and pasted from page 149 of the 2011 Rider's Manual:
    BMW Motorrad recommends not using synthetic oils for the first 10000 km.
    (6000 miles)

    Many camheads use a lot of oil until broken in. BMW feels that synthetic oil is so slippery it can prevent the engine breaking in properly. Once oil consumption has diminished, synthetic provides lower friction and superior service life.
    Dave

    '06 Triumph Scrambler (Trans-Labrador veteran)

  6. #6
    Amateur Veteran
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Portland OR
    Posts
    245
    Quote Originally Posted by 32232 View Post
    Cut and pasted from page 149 of the 2011 Rider's Manual:
    BMW Motorrad recommends not using synthetic oils for the first 10000 km.
    (6000 miles)
    Sadly there is no page 149 in the 2012 manual, nor is there any mention of synthetic oil (not unless you infer it form the viscosity's approved)..

    Having talked to BMW both here and in Germany ad nauseum over the past week, I get the over all impression that the mineral oil is on its way out soon with all new bikes, including boxers.



    Many camheads use a lot of oil until broken in. BMW feels that synthetic oil is so slippery it can prevent the engine breaking in properly. Once oil consumption has diminished, synthetic provides lower friction and superior service life.
    Interestingly at the 600 mile change where I went to a mineral 20w50 at the dealer, he told me it had essentially burned VERY little oil... and when I took it out at 2000 miles, there was no measurable oil burn... maybe 1/4 liter at best but that's hard to measure.. I was able to refill my 4 liter bottles almost to the top of each is how I measured. Whether it's because I broke in the engine well (I did the method of using higher rpm frequently with in the limited of the breaking period). The old "Ride it like you stole it" method works well to seat the piston rings which is the problem when people over baby a new engine and it continues to burn oil...

  7. #7
    Amateur Veteran
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Portland OR
    Posts
    245
    this is a very good video btw for the OP to watch....

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZivhWIM0Q8s

  8. #8
    Registered User RT290's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Sheboygan, WI
    Posts
    37
    Quote Originally Posted by 32232 View Post
    Cut and pasted from page 149 of the 2011 Rider's Manual:
    BMW Motorrad recommends not using synthetic oils for the first 10000 km.
    (6000 miles)

    Many camheads use a lot of oil until broken in. BMW feels that synthetic oil is so slippery it can prevent the engine breaking in properly. Once oil consumption has diminished, synthetic provides lower friction and superior service life.
    Neither the dealer supplied owners manual for my 2011 rt nor the digital version say anything about oil on page 149. Ar should sure you have the correct year OM?

  9. #9
    Ponch ponch1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Fountain Hills AZ
    Posts
    878
    Quote Originally Posted by R1200RClassic View Post
    I'm a strong believer in quality synthetic oils... the newest Camheads (at least in my 2012 R1200R manual) doesn't list a requirement to stay on mineral oil for any period of time after the 600 mile break in.

    I switched my bike over to synthetic at just over 2000 miles; did the oil change myself and opted to use Castrol TWS 10W60 which I got from my local BMW auto dealer. IF you can get a 20W50 pure synthetic (and you likely can't in the US), you should consider that also... and I've also heard from a BMW motored engineer that they're considering revising the oil list and might start to recommend "more strongly" the use of a pure synthetic 15W50..

    Understand that if you're using a mineral oil of a certain viscosity that it may not flow as well as a synthetic oil of the SAME viscosity... don't confuse viscosity with flowability.
    Doesn't Mobil have a 20w-50 synthetic motorcycle oil? I imagine Amsoil would as well.
    My Motorrad
    BMWMOA 162849 | BMWRA 41335 | VROC 8109-R | VBA 19

  10. #10
    Amateur Veteran
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Portland OR
    Posts
    245
    Quote Originally Posted by Ponch1 View Post
    Doesn't Mobil have a 20w-50 synthetic motorcycle oil? I imagine Amsoil would as well.
    apparently these are available in the US, but not overseas yes.. which is partly why BMW left that spec out of the book.. Again, I understand the new recommendations by BMW are for a 15W50 synthetic however which can be found in their latest dealer sheet (part #07 51 0 394 083).

  11. #11
    Registered User lkchris's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Albuquerque, NM
    Posts
    4,769
    Quote Originally Posted by R1200RClassic View Post
    apparently these are available in the US, but not overseas yes.. which is partly why BMW left that spec out of the book.. Again, I understand the new recommendations by BMW are for a 15W50 synthetic however which can be found in their latest dealer sheet (part #07 51 0 394 083).
    Oh, for sure available overseas as Mobil 1 Racing 4T 10W-40 and 15W-50

    Rumor has it also available at USA Triumph dealers but not in my town.

    http://www.mobil.com/UK-English/Lube...1Racing4T.aspx

    Tain't puttin' nothing in my bike that says "V-twin" on it, but if I could find this 15W-50 in the USA it would be my oil. Until then, Castrol Power RS Racing 4T, 10W-50.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Kent Christensen
    21482
    '12 R1200RT, '02 R1100S, '84 R80G/S

  12. #12
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    kentucky
    Posts
    133

    oil thread

    my manual says use 10=40,in my 2011 R1200RT,

  13. #13
    Nickname: Droid
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Green Bay, WI
    Posts
    2,352
    Well, isn't a BMW flat twin, basically a V-Twin with a really WIDE included angle?

    But the biggest difference is our twins get equal cooling to both cylinders. Not like the heat-sink known as the rear cylinder on any Harley.

  14. #14
    Amateur Veteran
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Portland OR
    Posts
    245
    Quote Originally Posted by lkchris View Post
    Oh, for sure available overseas as Mobil 1 Racing 4T 10W-40 and 15W-50

    Rumor has it also available at USA Triumph dealers but not in my town.

    http://www.mobil.com/UK-English/Lube...1Racing4T.aspx

    Tain't puttin' nothing in my bike that says "V-twin" on it, but if I could find this 15W-50 in the USA it would be my oil. Until then, Castrol Power RS Racing 4T, 10W-50.
    I meant you can't easily find 20W50 synthetic in Europe and overseas... the 10w50 and 15w50 IS readily available all over.

    But yeah, I'm still keen on the 10W=>50 in mine too.

  15. #15
    Ponch ponch1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Fountain Hills AZ
    Posts
    878
    If I switch to synthetic, it'll be the mobil 1 20w-50 motorcycle oil. Right now I use castrol 4t dino.
    My Motorrad
    BMWMOA 162849 | BMWRA 41335 | VROC 8109-R | VBA 19

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •