My 2012 RT used a quart of oil in 2,000 miles or so. I'd always heard that this was normal, so I didn't worry too much about it.
Then I had to top her off after not riding for a week or so. So it occurred to me to look and see why the engine was slightly slick and dirty with oil (which I had assumed was due to a messy oil change).
One warranty replacement of rear main seal, gearbox input shaft seal, and balance shaft seal later, and she now doesn't drink any oil.
If your bike is sipping oil, check to make sure that the bottom of your engine casing is completely free of oil. It should be. If it's not, you have a seal that's seeping.
I'd just keep working toward a break-in with dino. I believe in synthetic, but dino is fine if you avoid situations leading to extreme thermal breakdown. (i'm not baiting anyone here. Really)
Mine never used oil, but my engine got 'smoother' and 'spun freely' at 15K miles. To me, that indicated the break-in was complete. With such hard cylinder wall surfaces, the period could be as long at 30K. As an example, my Cummins deisel, designed for a service life of 300K, went 30K miles before it 'felt' broken-in. It's not an exact comparison, but 10% of the service life is 30,000 miles. On the other hand, my weed eater was probably broken-in on day one. The tougher the engine, the longer the break-in.
I'd have similar feelings about oil usage, but hang in there. The next 10,000 miles will tell the tale.
Eric * Columbia SC
Piedmont Red 2006 R1200RT
I suspect some "oil consumption" issues come from excessively anal checking of the sight glass mixed with the rather variable results one can get doing that. After seeing how boxer motors behave for oil checks I simply went to checking mine before I ride- meaning in the AM next day, most of the time. And I only add when/if it drops out of the ring- which is never on my 08 hexhead. Bike runs BMW syn and stopped using dino before the 6K service.
It is quite possible that the OPs issue which seems to be a not well broken in" bike, may not get better quickly, especially on syn. Once the first bits of seating parts are done, the rest happens slowly and sometimes never. There's a reason we broke in race motors with full bore runs on a dyno.
One could go back to dino juice and run it to see if a reduction occurs, assuming its real- OP is experienced and shouldn't be one of the ones caught by sight glass obsessiveness. But it will be slow- probably at least 10K
Also worth being dead certain this bike hasn't developed a seal leak that is being missed- look hard, it doesn't always drip on the floor under the bike so its simple to spot.
I bought the bike with 10, 000 miles on it. from 2,500 miles to 10,000 it had synth in it. It now has semisynth done for fall/winter storage. I'll change to conventional. All the feedback gives me hope that I can run it (high speed long distance) with conventional oil in it for another 10,000 and the rings should settle in as they should.
I broke my 12 R12000R in by the book, then ran it harder. I like to be in the 4,000 + zone when cruising. So 6th gear does not get used much. I also ride the twisties using the brakes only when I have to, the rest of the time the engine is turning some pretty good RPM. This both for acceleration and deacceleration.
I changed the oil at 190 miles and 900 so I can't say how much it used. But it did use a quart from 1,000 to 3,000 miles, then 1/2 quart from 3,000 miles to 5700 miles when I did the 6,000 mile service. It has not used any since. I only use Dino oil and probably will.
Ride it like you stole it. Have some fun. The rev limiter is a great invention.
At first I was checking the oil like crazy. Now as long as its there, I ride.
I also sometimes just look in the window with the bike running on the side stand. It works for me.
I do understand the frustration of using oil. My R1100RT would use 1/2 quart every 800 to 1,000 miles which does not sound like much, but on a trip it was no fun. Buy a quart and add 1/2. What do I do with the rest? Carry it along with me like I was riding a big v twin? Pitch it in the garbage? Give it to the next fella I see on a Big V twin?
I am quite sure my RT was never run hard by the original owner. I think it was lugged all its life. Proof is when I took it apart to rebuild the motor at 130,000 miles because of the oil consumption. The first thing I found are all the ring end gaps were lined up on both cylinders on top. Next was hone marks still in the cylinders which I am told is normal. Next was the final give away. Crank main bearings were worn almost to the .004" limit. Proof it had been lugged all its life. I had the valve guides replaced, measured everything, it was all within spec, so new rings and hone cylinders, rod bearings and back together it went. It does not use oil now, (broke in by the book then ridden hard) but I still bought a nice shiny new R1200R.
My diesel ford is on 269,000 miles with Dino and uses a quart between changes about 8,000 miles.
Even my welder with a 21hp 2 cylinder Kohler said not to use synthetic until 100 hours on the machine.
To each his own.
2012 R1200R 24,000 MIles
2011 Versys 14,000 Miles
2000 R1100RT 140,000 miles
1976 R75/6 Odometer broken for over 10 years.
Synth is good for a couple things...less coking with engines that are used for traffic and slow commutes. Stouter for high temps. But synth is not better for breaking in motors and these twins take a long time to break in. Until oil use stops with dino oil, don't change to synth.
Harley's used to use lots of oil...and leak too. I have no experience with the newer ones. Glad you've liked the ones you've had.
Air cooled engines do not have the same clearances as liquid cooled engines. That's just a fact. If you think about it, it makes some sense. They can get hotter than liquid cooled engines. Expansion and contraction are more and they have to be allowed for. How these boxers eventually get tight enough to not use oil is a real mystery to me, but they eventually do.
The boxer configuration adds a little fuel to the fire, but not much. BMW boxers are legacy engines...the blocks are very similar to the older bikes...and they still require break-in and use oil, sometimes a lot, before they get right. If you change to synth too soon, the oil use doesn't go away. That's just the way it is. Nature of this beast.
Only after complete warm up...That means the block and heads, not just the oil, so after 10 miles or so of riding... It's good to flog the things...use the revs often...BEFORE changing to synth. My 1100 got to about 25K. It was almost ready for a change. I took it out and really hammered the engine, acceleration and engine braking. The oil got real black. After that oil change, it didn't use oil again...and it ran better too.
Eventually, the engine changes. The oil gets really black and the engine loosens up. After that, oil use ends. Then you can use synth...not before. Ride hard! Don't lug.
These sorts of oddities must really fascinate Germans. They buy these boxer engined bikes like crazy. I think the GS is the most popular motorcycle in Europe and certainly in Germany. Not for everyone, but still a fine bike.