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Old 04-17-2012, 04:29 AM   #16
Steveman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moulin6801 View Post
So, are you guys saying that BMW does not recommend Syn oil because it has/ uses a "wet clutch" ??
What does it mean exactly? Is it better than dry??
Thanks
Nope, BMW does not say "dont use syn oils!" As they have stated in the owners manual to use Castrol GPS, which is semi synthetic it has been said that you should use mineral oil. I do not know where the rumor comes from...

A wet clutch runs in the oil, a dry clutch does not and although they function different the outcome is the same. Most bikes have wet clutches, some have dry clutches, like the BMW boxers and many of the Ducatis....

Under some circumstances wet clutches can slip if the oil does not fit. Even if the oil has the JASO MA approval, which calssifies an oil for being used in a wet clutch system this may happen. And if it happens it is 9 out of 10 times synthetic oil which -seemingly - causes the problem. Why seemingly? Well, most of the time it is a combination of syn oil and a worn clutch.
I can not remember that it ever happened in my circle of ffriends and customers that a new clutch slipped when a syn oil was used. We used to fill our race engines (Kawasaki 750RR) with Castro RS 10/60 which was a pure automobile oil with friction reducers. An absolute no-no, but Kawasaki recommended it for the kit engines and so we used it and never had a problem. We also used it in all our street bikes and my mate used it in his CBR 900 Fireblade. We changed the oil at 30.000mls and the clutch started to slip and he was mad about that and complained that he never will use this darn oil again and blablabla. I checked his clutch and it was worn, installed a new one and refilled with RS oil again. No problem. I am not saying this will not happen with a brand new clutch cause it could but it is most unlikely. Most of the time its just a combination of a clutch liner material which can't cope with the oil. Maybe his clutch would have lasted another 2000mls with mineral oil or semi synthetic, I dont know. But I know that syn oil is good for the motor internals :)

Cheers
Steve

PS I think wet clutches are better, but thats a personal opinion rather than a technical one...

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Old 04-17-2012, 06:09 AM   #17
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I have been following this thread with some interest as I am about to change over to synthetic oil in my F8GS. I has 3000 miles on it now and when I hit 4k I will change over. I have used Mobil 1 V-Twin 20-50 exclusively in the engines on my bikes (Harleys and BMW boxer twins) over the years with great success. I'm going to use Mobil 1 racing 4T 10W-40 in this bike and see how it works.

As you may know, on the Harleys, the primary chain/clutch runs in it's own oil bath and doesn't share oil with the engine or the trans. After some experimentation, I found that Mobil 1 10w-40 car oil worked the best for the clutch. On cold mornings it allowed the clutch to release easier so no more hard clunks into first and provided for a very smooth clutch. In all the years I used it, I never had to replace a clutch. True, this was on a street bike and I wasn't racing, but I ride fairly hard and while I don't beat on my bikes, I don't baby them either.

I guess what I am trying to say is that I really don't think that synthetic by itself would cause a clutch to slip or fail earlier than a petroleum oil would. I think it is more a matter of how the bike is operated that would generate early failures. As for the engine breaking in, there are car manufactures that recommend synthetic oil from the very first.
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Old 04-17-2012, 06:46 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steveman View Post
Nope, BMW does not say "dont use syn oils!" As they have stated in the owners manual to use Castrol GPS, which is semi synthetic it has been said that you should use mineral oil. I do not know where the rumor comes from...
Cheers
Steve
The mineral oil recommendation is on the top of the next page in the owners manual (at least in the English/USA owners manual)

But I will assume they are recommending mineral oil over vegetable oil (Vegetable oil was very popular in 2 stroke motorcycles).
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Old 04-17-2012, 11:16 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by towpro View Post
The mineral oil recommendation is on the top of the next page in the owners manual (at least in the English/USA owners manual)

But I will assume they are recommending mineral oil over vegetable oil (Vegetable oil was very popular in 2 stroke motorcycles).
Thank you!
Yep, I downloaded the manual and on page 126 it definitely says BMW recommends mineral oils....
However in the German manual everything is the same, just on page 127. But the sentence "BMW recommends mineral oils..." is missing there.... *wonders*

Cheers Steve
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Old 04-17-2012, 11:29 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lokey View Post
I guess what I am trying to say is that I really don't think that synthetic by itself would cause a clutch to slip or fail earlier than a petroleum oil would.
I agree with everything you say except with the above. I'd say syn oils lube better and longer and they do have friction reducers. Not as much as automobile oils but at least there are FR's in there and as I said I doubt that the problems would appear with a new clutch. The problems occur with used clutches very often.... especially with oils containing Ester. Make the finger test and put a drop of Motul V300 between your fingers.... it feels much more slippery than a common semi syn or mineral oil...

But well, maybe am wrong The most important thing is that our clutches dont slip although we use oils which are not recommended. Like you I have positive experiences with my preferred brand (Motul and Putoline) so I will keep using it...

Cheers Steve
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Old 04-18-2012, 02:05 PM   #21
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US laws apply only in USA.. For example, Grp III can NOT be labeled synthetic in Germany. (unless there are recent changes)
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Old 04-19-2012, 02:31 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ragtoplvr View Post
BMW is in Europe, they did not have a stupid USA judge that said severely hydrocracked oil was synthetic.

In Europe Syn oil is PAO or Esters. That is what BMW wishes to avoid. In USA most Syn is severely hydrocracked Dino oil, and is not enough different to cause a problem. So, if you can discover it is not PAO or Ester, you should be able to use it just fine as long as also approved for wet clutch.


Rod
That judge issued his opinion that synthetic should be a "standards based" definition, not a specification of how it is made.

Once this determination was made, he left the door open for now and all time for the other side to prove that PAO performs better in any way, shape, or form, which they never could.

The case was similar to slow old companies that built a product for construction. They always litigated that a fire wall could only be built by using their masonry brick 3 layers deep with an inch between.

New companies came along with products that could resist fire for the same 3 hours but be 1/4 the thickness and a tenth of the weight.

The old companies sued wanting the judge to say that a fire wall had to be built a precise way and that regardless of performance, nothing else would meet the fire code.

In other words, old tech wants construction or manufacturing specification laws and definitions for products. New tech companies want performance standards so they can innovate new and cheaper ways to make things.
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Old 05-09-2012, 06:15 PM   #23
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Harley vs BMW + Synthetic

To answer the original question. To "break in" means wear is happening. The Harley's tolerances are rather loose to begin with as it's air cooled and so parts grow a lot when warm. Using synthetic will slow wear so is a good idea to start ASAP on the Harley. The BMW has tighter tolerances to begin with so we want to wait for it to loosen up before we slow the wear. My question is why was there a service bulletin on the early single cylinder F650's that recommended to never use synthetic?

You can use synthetic to essentially stop the wear so why not put it in from the get go and have a "new" bike for as long as possible?
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Old 07-12-2013, 12:20 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TowPro View Post
The mineral oil recommendation is on the top of the next page in the owners manual (at least in the English/USA owners manual)
FYI, as of 2013, the mineral recommendation is no longer in the US owner's manual. They also don't mention Castrol either, and no mention of waiting until 6000 miles to start using synthetic like in years past.
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Old 07-12-2013, 05:58 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by JRWooden View Post
I'm going to stand on the sidelines and listen except to say that the oil recommended in the manual is:

10W-40 Castrol Act -> Evo X-TRA 4T which is a "semi-synthetic" I'm sure Castrol slips BMW a few bucks for printing that in the manual,
but just to avoid any issues I use it.

Exactly.....and this is what was used at my 600 mile service this month. My service tech calls it a semi-synthetic blend 15w50.
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Old 07-12-2013, 07:07 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pilesofmiles View Post
Exactly.....and this is what was used at my 600 mile service this month. My service tech calls it a synthetic blend.
They put 10W40 in at the dealer?
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Old 07-12-2013, 07:32 PM   #27
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1. Synthetic oil handles heat better than mineral oil. Not only does the oil withstand heat better but synthetic oil tends to make the engine run cooler.

2, Water-cooled bikes get hot too, especially off-road types ! If you do a lot of low-speed trail and dirt running, you know it. That fan keeps running and you can feel the heat pouring out. I use synthetic oil in my BMW single for its heat capabilities.

3. Non-water-cooled bikes like the HD are not necessarily put together with looser tolerances. In fact, often a water-cooled bike has looser tolerances. For example, as it warms up, the piston conducts a lot of heat. It takes longer for that heat to warm up the water jackets and the mass of the surrounding cylinder to reach equilibrium than warming up a simple finned cylinder of an air-cooled engine. Since the water-cooled piston gets hotter relative to the cylinder quicker than an air-cooled engine, the piston expands more relative to the cylinder than with an air-cooled engine. Hence, greater clearance is necessary.

4. Many engines nowadays come from the factory with synthetic oil in them. Materials and fitment these days don't require as much "breaking-in" as in the past. Maybe the Harley is just a little bit more advanced in this aspect than the BMW.

5. If you use synthetic oil in a wet clutch power-train be sure it has the JASO rating on the container. That means the oil doesn't have the type of friction modifiers that will pollute your clutch plates and make them slip. Shell Rotella, both mineral and synthetic, is JASO. Same true for Mobil 1 Motorcycle oil.

6. As already mentioned, zinc/phos content is beneficial for motorcycle engines. Mobil 1 Motorcycle Oil is very high in zinc, ZDDP. I use 20/50 M1 in H-Ds and BMW twins. I am using M1 10/40 in my BMW single but Rotella is good too.

7. Do not use synthetic in vintage bike engines. You will get weeps pass the seals.

8. Many European manufacturers are going to the 10-60 synthetics. I think a 20-50 would be fine but 10-60 is coming on now. You can buy it at a good price at NAPA auto parts stores under the German "Liqui Moly" brand (but it does not contain moly).

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Old 07-12-2013, 08:23 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by señormoto View Post
not sure why they told you that, but for the love of god we don't need another oil thread. Run whatever you want as long as it's 10w40 and be happy riding... These engines don't need to be babied with special oil.
+100
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Old 07-12-2013, 08:24 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by hicks View Post
can be imho a very misleading information especially for beginners.

F800gs, unlike the cars or 12gs, does not have dry clutch, but the wet one.

So the oil is common for the:

- engine
- transmission
- clutch

so it must have a special additives.. So sg, sh, sj grade oils imho.

---

+

also i've heard, that bmw is switching to 10w50 for our engines.
+100 . . . thought the 'motorcycle oil' was implied in the other post!
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Old 07-13-2013, 05:19 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by moe.ron View Post
They put 10W40 in at the dealer?
Nope, I miss typed and corrected my post-15W50 synthetic blend.

Cheers!
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