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Discussion Starter #1
I have owned several R1200/1250GS'. I have just discovered the correct procedure to check the engine oil level and what a palava that is! I have always checked the level by looking at the sight glass before a ride. If it was showing anywhere between midway and full I assumed it was ok. Incidentally, I have never had to top up between services and the oil level indicator on the dash would always show 'ok', on the odd occasion it bothers to show anything other than 'dashes'.

What one is actually supposed to do is travel for at least 18 miles. Stop and leave the engine ticking over until the radiator fan comes on, turn off the engine and then wait for five minutes before checking that the oil is between the minimum and maximum level on the sight glass with the bike in a upright position. If at the lower level add 0.8 litre of oil to bring it up to maximum.

Why such a song and dance? Why not have it so the level can be checked when the oil is cold?

I think I will continue doing what I have always done!
 

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2019 R1250 GSA
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I don’t use the center stand, so I have a mirror that is placed to the side of my bike. Since they say you need to check the level while it is hot, I check my sight glass in the mirror (while the bike is level) after letting everything drain (5 min?). What you might try is to check the sight glass while it is hot as a reference point (full), then let the engine cool overnight. Then when the engine is cold and level, check where the level is when it’s cold.
 

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My operators manual just says switch it off at operating temperature and wait 5 minutes. After you do that the first time you know where it should be when cold for future checks.
 

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I have owned several R1200/1250GS'. I have just discovered the correct procedure to check the engine oil level and what a palava that is! I have always checked the level by looking at the sight glass before a ride. If it was showing anywhere between midway and full I assumed it was ok. Incidentally, I have never had to top up between services and the oil level indicator on the dash would always show 'ok', on the odd occasion it bothers to show anything other than 'dashes'.

What one is actually supposed to do is travel for at least 18 miles. Stop and leave the engine ticking over until the radiator fan comes on, turn off the engine and then wait for five minutes before checking that the oil is between the minimum and maximum level on the sight glass with the bike in a upright position. If at the lower level add 0.8 litre of oil to bring it up to maximum.

Why such a song and dance? Why not have it so the level can be checked when the oil is cold?

I think I will continue doing what I have always done!
Like you and Pterodactyl, the cold method is what I have always done. Seems to work fine.
 

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My gauge works pretty well, though sometimes a little finicky. Well enough that it requires no acrobatics or timers as were required on my prev 1150 or 1200 roadsters
 

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Discussion Starter #9
The problem I find with the oil level display is that I do not often have 'My Vehicle' screen showing (where this function is displayed). One of the best time to check the oil display is waiting at traffic lights. The engine has to be up to temperature, bike upright, no brakes, stands in the up positions and a wait of at least 10 seconds. I must remember to scroll from one of my more used screen displays to 'My Vehicle' on the approach to the lights. Hopefully the lights don't turn green before the display show either 'OK' or 'LOW' otherwise dashes will continue to show.

I assume the low oil level warning light will only show after the above procedure has been carried out. If not, obviously it would not be necessary to carry out the above check regularly or even to look at the oil level sight glass. It would be nice to know?
 

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2019 R1250 GSA
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The problem I find with the oil level display is that I do not often have 'My Vehicle' screen showing (where this function is displayed). One of the best time to check the oil display is waiting at traffic lights. The engine has to be up to temperature, bike upright, no brakes, stands in the up positions and a wait of at least 10 seconds. I must remember to scroll from one of my more used screen displays to 'My Vehicle' on the approach to the lights. Hopefully the lights don't turn green before the display show either 'OK' or 'LOW' otherwise dashes will continue to show.

I assume the low oil level warning light will only show after the above procedure has been carried out. If not, obviously it would not be necessary to carry out the above check regularly or even to look at the oil level sight glass. It would be nice to know?
My "Oil Display" on my R1250 GSA rarely works, even after a software upgrade and meeting all of the required parameters (i.e. being level, up to temp, no brakes, etc..). The display always shows dashes so I depend on the sight glass.
 

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My dealer explained the BMW approved method to me for checking the oil level, which is slightly less cumbersome than the one described by Maturerider :

When the engine is warm, switch it off, put the bike on its side stand for 30 minutes, then put it on its center stand and check the oil through the inspection glass.

This method should guarantee the correct oil level.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
The long winded method I described was taken directly from the handbook. Your suggested method, Slijkmoto, sounds much simpler BUT what do I do whilst waiting for 30 minutes. Suggestions required but nothing rude please!
 

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The long winded method I described was taken directly from the handbook. Your suggested method, Slijkmoto, sounds much simpler BUT what do I do whilst waiting for 30 minutes. Suggestions required but nothing rude please!
Spend the 30 minutes and clean your rims!
 

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So, is the warning indicator insufficient to rely on for accurate info (do I need oil or not)?
being accomplished in the BMW song and dance to check the oil levels on my older roadsters, when I got my 16 GS I asked the dealer about the reliability of the oil level indicator on the display and he (Chris at Sandia BMW in Santa fe) unequivocably said use the on screen display...that it was fine.

And just under 60k miles later it has been, in fact I don't think I've burned any oil at all in thsoe 60k miles.

It is sometimes finicky to get it to display (displays "---", but I just try later in the ride and I'm good to go. Maybe I'm lucky with it. Usually when I get home and I am on level ground, before I turn of the engine I run the display tom the Oil LEVL setting, keeping the bike upright, and that works.
 

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The long winded method I described was taken directly from the handbook. Your suggested method, Slijkmoto, sounds much simpler BUT what do I do whilst waiting for 30 minutes. Suggestions required but nothing rude please!
I would like to, but the other guy DID use a sentence with the word "rim"... hard to beat that !>:)
 

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Like you and Pterodactyl, the cold method is what I have always done. Seems to work fine.
I don't use the center stand because I have yet to master getting it up on the stand. Knowing this, I asked over at bmwmoa forum for advice. Two well known master bmw mechanics stated if I can see oil in the sight glass on the side stand cold, it can be within a 1/2 quart high or low [ usually low if the correct amount of oil was used to begin with ] and can be ridden without concern.

What I learned on my 8K mile trip 18 months ago. Pulled into the gas pump at the Yukon river on the Dalton and the oil lamp indicator came on. Checked the sight glass on center stand, no oil visible. I put a quart of oil in, indicator went out upon restart. Next morning, checked sight glass cold, oil was visible, nearly at the top mark on the sight glass. Perfect, now I knew in 4K hard miles to the river, mine uses about a quart of oil.

I check the sight glass with cold engine before starting bike. If I can see oil in the sight glass, I'm good to go. If not, both master mechanics said to add 1/2 quart and go ride. So that's what I do. I asked my own mechanic about this and what I was told, he said they were spot on. Cold on side stand, oil in sight glass, good to go. If not, add a 1/2 quart and go ride it. :cool:
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I don't use the center stand because I have yet to master getting it up on the stand. Knowing this, I asked over at bmwmoa forum for advice. Two well known master bmw mechanics stated if I can see oil in the sight glass on the side stand cold, it can be within a 1/2 quart high or low [ usually low if the correct amount of oil was used to begin with ] and can be ridden without concern.

What I learned on my 8K mile trip 18 months ago. Pulled into the gas pump at the Yukon river on the Dalton and the oil lamp indicator came on. Checked the sight glass on center stand, no oil visible. I put a quart of oil in, indicator went out upon restart. Next morning, checked sight glass cold, oil was visible, nearly at the top mark on the sight glass. Perfect, now I knew in 4K hard miles to the river, mine uses about a quart of oil.

I check the sight glass with cold engine before starting bike. If I can see oil in the sight glass, I'm good to go. If not, both master mechanics said to add 1/2 quart and go ride. So that's what I do. I asked my own mechanic about this and what I was told, he said they were spot on. Cold on side stand, oil in sight glass, good to go. If not, add a 1/2 quart and go ride it. :cool:
Thanks for that brownie. Just checked the oil level on my GS. Cold engine, bike on side stand. Oil barely showing. Put in 300ml (that's just over 1/3 US quart). Oil now 3/4 way up the sight glass. Next time I ride the bike I try the 'official' hot oil level test and see if I have put in enough (or too much).
 
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