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The folks that make Synthetic oil quack about how great it is, but never really indicate what's so good about it. Why is it better than it organic brother? We do know that it is supposed less susceptible to heat, we know that it has a higher surface tension, but what else?

Now the question is just how good does it really need to be?

So, IMHO the reality is that super high performance motor oil in our bikes may be overkill. Something that is "good quality" most likely will never let us down, providing it's the right grade and weight and is changed on a regular basis.
Excellent points John. Part of the issue is whether dino or syn the oil you buy is a package. Most riders buy oil based primarily on viscosity, cost and propaganda. Some even look at the API rating but don't know what it means. One of the big things is how long the oil actually maintains those numbers on the bottle. I used to think a 0W50 HAD TO BE better than a 10W40. Not so. When a oil is produced, it starts with base stock and then comes the additives. To get that 0W50 extenders are added to the base stock at birth, but run it for a 1000 miles and you might have 10W30 in the crank as the chains of molecules break down. Synthetics are "supposed to" not break down as fast as dino's. Maybe, but like you say John, how good does it really need to be. IMO, I go back to an old saying from my youth, "don't sweat the small do do."
 

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thank you for the recommendation on the Ravenol 4T. in what group does Motorex 4T boxer oil fall, III or IV? that is what I presently use however I have noticed that shifting is not as good towards the end of the cycle.
Great question and very difficult to answer correctly, there are many synthetic oils on the market that give no idea as to what type of synthetic oil they are, you would think that oil makers that are putting PAO or Esters in the bottle would be more than happy to print as much all over the bottle but that isn't normally the case, in Europe synthetic oil must be either PAO or Ester or a combination of both anything else is not allowed to be labeled "Synthetic" but in North America manufacturers are allowed to call Group III oils synthetic even though the base stock is petroleum.
With this in mind knowing that Motorex is a Swiss company it is safe to surmise that there oil is either Group IV or V but probably a combination of both since PAO oils have some unique and beneficial properties and Esters have others making it common practice for synthetic oil makers to mix the two however, if the specific Motorex oil is bottled for the North American market it could be Group III but I would suspect that Motorex 4T Boxer Oil is a Group IV oil.

There is one particular popular oil company in the U.S that markets their synthetic motor oil by bashing the competitions synthetic motor oils and they do this without ever disclosing what Group of oil their products fall into but by insinuating that they are Group IV or V when in fact they are not, many U.S oil companies intentionally make it difficult to find the answers so I always assume that synthetic labeled oils are Group III unless otherwise stated on the container or if the oil was imported from Europe and packaged for their home market.

Even though I have overly simplified this whole oil thing by categorizing oils based on the Grouping classification there is also the additive packages that are used in all oils, these packages can make up roughly 20% of what's in the bottle and some are better than others but these packages are nearly impossible to debate since the companies keep their make-up near secret.
 

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being that the motorex 4T is probably a IV then I will go ahead and change the oil this weekend...ugh
The only thing that makes me suspect of Motorex Boxer oil is that you you notice the shifting quality worsens towards the end of the oils service interval, I notice this same thing when using virtually any Group III oil but I have never experienced it when using BelRay EXC or Ravenol 4T which are both Group IV (PAO/Ester blend), this normally occurs when the oil is broken down due to shearing caused primarily by the transmission gears, something that man made synthetic oils deal with very well normally.
 

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Discussion Starter #65
thanks, I will try the Ravenol next time, I have already purchased the motorex so it is what it is....it is cheaper by almost $20 too!
 

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This 20+ year old taxi cab oil test article makes one interesting point which is basically that: All motor oils performs the same.
And if you (as in any forum member reading this thread) believe that I can see how some people find oil threads pointless.
I actually had a similar experience driving delivery vans in college for a company that was cheap, they bought the cheapest vans that would do the job at the time with various engines and they got LOF (Lube, Oil and Filter) changes in the 12-15k mile range, the service was also done by a nearby shop that I'm sure used the cheapest oil and filters money could buy, the delivery company had a fleet of about 25 vans ranging in ODO readings of new to over 300K miles and in the 3+ years that I drove for them not once had I heard of an engine mechanically failing nor did any of the vans consume much if any oil between changes that I was ever aware of.
But for some reason I can still get a lot out of a good oil article, thread, discussion or material data sheet.
And in our bikes the oil does more than just lubricate the engine.
 

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Funny! I posted that in my XS-11 riding days.

Here:

The surprising truth about motor oils

This pretty much tells it like it is.

- John
Last time I got into the "Oil Religious Wars" I did some research for the XS-11 group & posted that article on our email list. Nice to see someone made a permanent page of it. 0:)

In the paraphrased words of a wise old mechanic: 'Any oil is better than no oil, fresh oil is better than old dirty oil, old synthetic is better than old dino. I recommend customers change oil more often as "best insurance" but don't tell them it is MY insurance so I can afford to keep my lazy nephew employed improving MY family harmony!'
 

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Oil

I have stated the following for years in oil threads and still find it 100% relavent:
1. I have never seen an engine failure attributed to oil that was close to manufacturer's spec changed at even double the replacement interval or less. Have you?
2. I sell my bikes well before any major component fails. To the best of my knowledge every bike I have ever sold is on the road. A caveat is that you can throw in the guys who crash their bikes out of the longevity stats too.

That old study on taxi cabs is in my opinion the ONLY valid experiment I have ever seen that directly measure wear and relates it to oil. I do give some credence to long distance fleet studies using oil analysis on LARGE fleets and running long distances. If there was a test of a zillion bikes all having oil analysis done with a history of part failures on said bikes, then it would mean something. BUT, a real big BUT, I go back to #1 above.
 

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I agree with OldButNotDead's #1 but in a forum that leaves nothing to discuss and oil is fun to talk about, if #1 was the end all beat all statement regarding oil it would be the same as going onto a food forum and stating that "Bread and water is all you need to survive" probably a true statement but certainly no fun.

There are other nice little nuances that fine oils may provide on our bikes like shifting quality, noise/vibration/heat reduction and possibly even less wear, we talk about oil and say that if your engine doesn't break down because of an oil related failure you must be using the right oil but what about simply getting the most miles out of the engine/tranny, I would venture a bet that if a cheap oil yielded 125,000 miles (hypothetically) before the engine had significant wear that required a rebuild that is duration could have been extended by the using a higher quality oil maybe even greatly extended.
To me the real question is what is not what is sufficient but what is the very best oil for these bikes I don't have that answer but I read and try to figure it out....just for fun mainly.
 

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Oil Change



Hi Guys, new to this Forum and also GS's so a little patience whilst I find my feet....

i PICK UP MY FIRST gs on Thursday, It had its last oil change in 2015 and has done 1000 miles since then! Would you do an oil/ filter change?
Any help appreciated.:|
 

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Discussion Starter #72
without being technical, the way I decide on what to do to my bike is this; if I spoil it, it will spoil me! :wink2:
 

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It is a general consensus amungst most mechanics that if you drive few miles to change the engine oil after a year.

Every time I buy something used (bike, car, mower) I go through it and change all the fluids, even if they have receipts showing it has recently been done, that way I get to use the products (oil/filter) that I prefer and take the care that only a very anal owner could give a machine.

The flip side is that it may be a waste of money, but in your case after 2 years few people will likely recommend to continue using that oil.
 

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Discussion Starter #75
where in Italy? I am fortunate to have been there 12 times and if it is your 1st visit I can suggest some stops if you want....only northern half though. how long are you there?
 

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I'm due for the break in service soon.My dealer says I need to change my engine oil,bevel oil and filter when i hit the first 1000kms but looking at the owner's manual it says the first oil and filter change is to be done only when i hit 10,000 kms.When i confronted them with this,they said that's what the service instructions are from BMW.I'm a little confused..could somebody shed some light on this please.Thanks guys
 

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looking at the owner's manual it says the first oil and filter change is to be done only when i hit 10,000 kms.When i confronted them with this,they said that's what the service instructions are from BMW.I'm a little confused..could somebody shed some light on this please.Thanks guys
What version of the owners manual? Mine ('13 wethead version) says nothing as to what is done at each service.

An engine oil change has been standard at the 600 mile/1,000Km service for a long time. The running-in checklist for the current wetheads in the Repair Manual specifies an engine oil change and a final drive oil change. The goal is to replace oil that may contain contaminants from break in.
 

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My 2016 LC has a change at 6000 MILES, oil and filter. There isn't an oil change at 600 miles, just the running in check. I had my dealer do the 600 mile check because I'm gullible and totally bought the "the 600 mile check is one of the most important services for the bike and needs to be done by BMW." I assumed they changed the oil but do not know for sure. IMO, and have done so on several bikes, you should drop the oil quick, maybe 100 miles or so to get break in crap out. Might be an old wives tale but can't hurt. Then at 6000 miles I dumped the oil and filter and each 6k interval thereafter. I still don't worry if it creeps out to 7 or 8 k.
 

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The 600 Miles Running In Check includes an oil and filter change and bevel gear oil change as well as checking fluid levels.
I was referring to the owner's manual that came with the new bike and towards the last few pages on the service interval section it doesn't state that the oil and bevel oil is to be replaced at the break in check hence the reason why i was a little concerned but since Jetspeed posted this check list,I'll just go with the flow then..Thanks buddy.:smile2:
 
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