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Old 04-24-2013, 06:40 PM   #1
stevewillis OP
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Location: Flagstaff, AZ
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Help with oil selection

First, I don't mean for this to be another oil thread, and don't want to start up the long exhausted debate over which oil is best. I'm really just looking for some assistance with complying with the recommendations in the owner manual for my F700GS for engine oil for my 600 mile service, which I wish to perform myself as I am not located near a dealership. I thought this part would be easy...

The facts:
  1. My owner manual recommends "BMW Motorrad High Performance Oil", with the specifications "SAE 15W-50, API SJ / JASO MA2".
  2. The same page of the owner manual states that "BMW recommends Castrol".
  3. Castrol does not appear to make a 15W-50 viscosity, at least not for the US.
  4. Castrol's application guide on their website claims the manufacturer recommends "Castrol Power RS Racing 4T 10W-40" for the F700GS, which contradicts my manual and looks suspiciously like what was recommended by BMW for the F650GS in the past.
  5. I am alone and afraid.

I'm neither looking for the cheapest or fanciest oil. I just want a lead on a specific product I can grab at NAPA/Auto Zone/Wal-Mart, etc., and not worry about my clutch slipping and/or exploding. If it matters, I live in northern Arizona, and might see riding in temperatures of about 35-95 F.

Thanks for your help, or apologies for doing this wrong, as the case may be.

stevewillis screwed with this post 04-24-2013 at 06:50 PM
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Old 04-24-2013, 07:33 PM   #2
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This is what matters:

"SAE 15W-50, API SJ / JASO MA2"

The rest is contradictory marketing hoo haa.

I buy Mobil 1 at Autozone. Half 10/40 and half 20/50 to make 15/45. Close enough. Chasing down 15/50 motorcycle oil is a pain. And I bet the Mobil 1 holds it viscosity better than any 15/50 you could find anyway.

Oh god, what did I do. Oil thread!
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Old 04-24-2013, 08:07 PM   #3
Jays-f800gs
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I bought Honda MC specific oil, because the Honda shop is close too me and it was $2.00 cheaper per quart then BMW oil.
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Old 04-25-2013, 02:01 AM   #4
Loutre
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I use 10/40 works like a charm :o)

Next time I'll try the full synthetic oil (BMW dealer in Rennes was using this for its engines)
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Old 04-25-2013, 11:25 AM   #5
stevewillis OP
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I have no particular feelings about Castrol vs. any other brand. I only meant to point out what a fool I was to believe that "BMW recommends Castrol" should imply that Castrol actually produces a BMW-recommended product. I thought it would be a quick stop at a parts store for whatever matched the spec. Little did I know the spec can only be blended from unicorn tears.

The question I should have asked is: since 15w50 motor oil doesn't seem to actually exist (at least not from the brands carried by retail locations anywhere near me), what is the "right" move? I am becoming increasingly suspicious that this specification change from last year's F650GS is in fact a trap to invalidate my warranty.

Mixing 10w40 and 20w50 is an option I wasn't even aware of. Thanks, NCD! This might lack a certain defensibility for potential warranty issues--I would hate to have to explain it, anyway.

Loutre, I believe 10w40 is what is recommended for your bike anyway, no?

Right now, short of mixing as suggested by NCD (this does appeal to me), I'm on the fence about just selecting 10w40 or 20w50 and moving on with my life. 10w40 has the advantage of being the one Castrol's website claims is recommended (again, dubious), and 20w50 might be a better match for my actual ambient temperatures in Arizona. The latter is pure conjecture on my part, and my reasoning is that I likely spend more time with temperatures at the upper range of the rating (90-95 F, perhaps), and little time starting the engine at anything below 45 F or so. Most of my riding time will be right in the middle, about 70 F.

Sorry for another oil thread, but I did read the others, and most end suggesting to just obey the manufacturer's recommendation. I'm trying to, I swear!
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Old 04-25-2013, 12:01 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevewillis View Post
The question I should have asked is: since 15w50 motor oil doesn't seem to actually exist (at least not from the brands carried by retail locations anywhere near me), what is the "right" move? I am becoming increasingly suspicious that this specification change from last year's F650GS is in fact a trap to invalidate my warranty.

Mixing 10w40 and 20w50 is an option I wasn't even aware of. Thanks, NCD! This might lack a certain defensibility for potential warranty issues--I would hate to have to explain it, anyway.

Loutre, I believe 10w40 is what is recommended for your bike anyway, no?
Yep that's what Hornig says too:

SAE 15W-50:
BMW R1200GS
BMW R1200R
BMW R1200RT
BMW R1200S
BMW R1200ST

SAE 10W-40:
BMW G650X *
BMW F650*
BMW F800*
BMW R1100*
BMW R1150*
BMW R1200C & R1200CL
BMW K1200*
BMW K1300*

But my BMW dealer, since it's summer, prefers to put 15w in it.
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Old 04-25-2013, 12:55 PM   #7
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Using M1 15W50 Gray Cap Synth. on the ST13 and the 8GS.
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Old 04-25-2013, 01:38 PM   #8
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Quote:
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Using M1 15W50 Gray Cap Synth. on the ST13 and the 8GS.
This is also an appealing alternative. No issues with the wet clutch and non-motorcycle-spefic oil then, I presume?
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Old 04-25-2013, 10:02 PM   #9
bimmer5891
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BMW Oils

BMW North America is now selling the oil they recommend in the owners manuals. For years BMW NA used Spectro oils for the US market. This has now changed and in the last few weeks the changeover to Castrol oils has started.
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Old 04-26-2013, 09:44 AM   #10
stevewillis OP
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I will gladly order the recommended BMW oil. Unfortunately, I don't live very close to a dealer, so I have to choose something off-the-shelf at a standard retailer to complete my 600 mile service if I want to ride this weekend.

Do you have a part number for the correct oil? I've spotted at least two BMW-labeled oils in 15w50.
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Old 04-26-2013, 02:02 PM   #11
JRWooden
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As of 03/12 BMW updated the permitted oils ...
Here's the announcement:

See:
http://www.bmw-motorrad.dk/se/sv/services/media/PI_OlL_BMW_MC_2012_MD.pdf
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Old 04-29-2013, 12:07 AM   #12
NAZDirt
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Steve-
Hit up NAPA on Butler AVE. They sometimes have supply on the shelf. They have ordered me Amsoil before in 15w50. Otherwise another rider here in town is a dealer and we place a yearly order for trucks/bikes.

I have experimented with the different weights based on riding temp ranges we have and I've no ill effects. The only problem i had was the valve cover gasket leaking as soon as I switched to synthetic but that was an easy fix.

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Old 04-29-2013, 06:59 PM   #13
Flashdog
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BMW ON magazine did a great write up a few months ago on oil that was very favorable to M1. It's nice to know since you seem to be able to buy the stuff everywhere and it's cheap compared to other full synthetics.
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Old 04-29-2013, 07:31 PM   #14
shashankmittal
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Have used Motul full synthetic for years on all my bikes, including race bikes. It's slightly expensive...but unbeatable quality!

http://www.motorcycle-superstore.com...hetic-Oil.aspx

BMW recommends Castrol because they have a tie up with them and you can source 15W-50 Castrol from the dealer (rebranded as BMW oil) for double the price
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Old 04-30-2013, 10:42 AM   #15
BELSTAFF
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Hey Steve

Steve:
I'm just a few miles south--(Camp Verde) of you,& I have been using Castrol Actevo x-4t 20w-50 semi-synthetic in my BMW F 658/800 GS--Also had it in my KTM 990 ADV Have never had an oil issue w/any bike I've used this in---I get it at Cycle Gear & it"s usually on sale also get the K&N filters there

Just match the JASO & API numbers ( In BMW 650/700/800 case) JASO MA-2 API-SG and you're good to go.

All the "genius " rocket scientist oil experts on here will debate this forever, but truth is match JASO & API to Manufacturer specs and thats, it your done. so STOP worrying & go ride your protected.

Oh! just another thought for ya--Castrol is available at any bike shop worldwide be it BF Egypt or WalMart down the street.
Can't say that for Anzoil, Royal Purple or any of the other ZIp Zam 5,Panther Piss Super oils can ya?

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