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Old 08-18-2011, 06:43 PM   #1
rockycraig OP
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Anyone run 20w50 in the new 2010, 11???r1200gs

The reason I asked is my dealer just service it and put 20w50 in my new 2011 r1200gs even though in the manual it recommends 10 w 40 to a max 15w40. He said he's been using this for 10 years, I live in PA and the winters get cold? Anyone have any experience with this, am I being to picky about this or what?????
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Old 08-18-2011, 09:34 PM   #2
Skinny Moose
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My dealer put 20/50 in at the 600 mile service, he said it was fine. At 3000 miles I swapped it to 10/40 and I`m planning on running that or 15/40 from now on. If I were you I`d run what BMW recommends.
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Old 08-18-2011, 10:13 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rockycraig View Post
The reason I asked is my dealer just service it and put 20w50 in my new 2011 r1200gs even though in the manual it recommends 10 w 40 to a max 15w40. He said he's been using this for 10 years, I live in PA and the winters get cold? Anyone have any experience with this, am I being to picky about this or what?????
I wonder if the dealer noticed that the engine changed in 2010 ;-) and perhaps the oil should as well
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Old 08-18-2011, 11:49 PM   #4
Dewy_AU
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My BMW dealer uses CASTROL ACTIV 4T 15W-50 on my 2010 r1200gs. http://www.castrolmoto.com/au/our_oi..._4t_15w_50.php

Readily available in Australia...
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Old 08-19-2011, 05:01 AM   #5
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20W-50 Oil

Dealers put 20W-50 in my 10 and 11 bikes at the 600 mile services. Two different dealers. I can't tell it makes a difference. I have never had trouble starting my bikes even in 20 degree weather. I am just careful to let them warm up for a few minutes so the oil is circulating good. My brother in law was a John Deere Factory Service Rep for several years. He told me they always have an increase in spun bearings in the winter when people start tractors and rev them without proper warm up. May not be a valid comparison because I think the Boxer motor uses roller bearings. One of my pet peeves is people who start a motor and rev it up immediately.
I have always believed that BMW went to the thinner oil and gadgets like the exhaust flapper so they could claim 5 more HP out of the new cam head engines.
Have to be careful here as the oil thread Harpies will get us if we talk about oil too much - Bob.
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Old 08-19-2011, 06:06 AM   #6
RED CAT
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rockycraig!

If your winters get cold, you want to go to a thinner oil not a thicker oil. In your case 10/40 would be better.
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Old 08-19-2011, 06:07 AM   #7
Paul Mihalka
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"May not be a valid comparison because I think the Boxer motor uses roller bearings"

BMW does not use roller bearings in the boxer motors since 1968
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Old 08-19-2011, 06:10 AM   #8
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Could not agree with you more, i'm a big believer in warming a motor gently before riding, makes me cringe to see a cold motor revved. And your comparison of the boxer motor to tractor motors is justified in that the bmw motor does use plain shell/slipper bearings.
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Old 08-19-2011, 07:14 AM   #9
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Same situation in southern California dealers in orange and long beach recommend
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Old 08-19-2011, 07:17 AM   #10
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Sorry
Both dealers i'am familiar with in southern California recommend 20-50wt oil in all 1200gs bikes including 2010/2011 models
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Old 08-19-2011, 08:32 AM   #11
Kenadian
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which weight?

I have a 2011 and the dealer gave me 20w-50 oil that I used on my 600 mile service. I was using a lot of oil right up to my next service (6,000). I switched to 10w-40 at this service and the oil consumption went to almost nothing. I don't know if it is a coincidence, but there was a post a while back which explained that the thinner oil was scarped off the cylinder walls easier and burned less. I am a believer. I would guess that BMW has a pretty good idea what oil works best on their new motor. Dealer that are suggesting 20w-50 are likely habituated to using this oil. I guess time will tell if there is any long term difference in engine longevity using different oil than the recommended weight. Unless I see hard facts that prove a thicker oil is better, I will be a wimp and stick to what the manufacturer of the bike recommends.

Ken
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Old 08-19-2011, 10:41 AM   #12
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Kevin Cameron did an article a while back explaining the various reasons to use the (thinner) manufacturer recommended oil. One of the reasons that I remember was that the flow orifices are smaller on newer-tech, tighter tolerance engines. Thicker oil doesn't flow as well through those openings cold or hot. Cylinder scrapage makes sense as well. As one of the OGs who always used 20W-50 in most everything (especially in the South and in the summer), going with lighter oil is a matter of faith, but so far (in the cars and the Triumph), no issues, and no untoward oil use. But, I'm sticking with the thicker stuff in the Airhead, and in the 1150, at least in the summer.

I'm surprised that the various dealers aren't going with BMW spec on viscosity. (Bad) habit, maybe? Reminds me of how often VW dealers overfill the oil--they either don't look the spec up on the different models, or don't notice that the bottles are liters, not quarts.
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Old 08-19-2011, 11:23 AM   #13
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The one concern I have about sticking with the BMW spec of 10w-40 is that someone said that it should not be used with ambient temps > 86F. Not sure if this is in the manual or not, but plenty of desert riding out here is in temps that exceed 86F.
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Old 08-19-2011, 11:45 AM   #14
AZuwere
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Dealer put 20W50 in at my 600 mile service. Never noticed that weight isn't in the manual until you guys started talking about it. Makes sense in Phoenix I guess.
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Old 08-19-2011, 11:57 AM   #15
kimzx1000r
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Dealer put 20w50 Spectra in for 600 mile service on 2011 and I will be changing that back to Castrol 10w40 tonight. Rode the bike twice since I got it back and I have noticed I can hear the engine in the mornings before it gets warm. Never heard that with the 10w40, it purred! 20w50 and a cold motor now ticks and taps until warm. 54-58 degrees in the am. Have even noticed it slightly in the afternoon when temps are 80+ just not nearly as noticeable as in the am.

What do the dealers know that BMW does not? No where does it mention 20w50 for a recommended oil.


Engine oil
Engine oil, capacity max 4.0 l, with filter change
of products recommended by BMW Motorrad and generally admissible viscosity classes
Castrol GPS SAE 10W-40 ~-20 C
SAE 5W-40 ~-20 C
SAE 5W-~50 ~-20 C
SAE 10W-40 ~-10 C
SAE 10W-~50 ~-20 C
SAE 15W-~40 ~0 C
Engine oil, quantity for topping up max 0.5 l, Difference between MIN and MAX
Oil grades Engine oils of API classification SF or better. Engine
oils of ACEA classification A2 or better.

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