Oil Change - BMW K1600 Forum : BMW K1600 GT and GTL Forums
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post #1 of 177 Old 06-05-2011, 10:41 AM Thread Starter
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Easy DIY Oil Change

It looks like changing the oil will be a snap. Even though this engine has a dry sump, the transmission is the sump. No crazy gymnastics to fill the engine, like I've had to do with KTMs. The sump is the recess between the catalytic converters.

So, the stated volume is 4.8 quarts. The dealer says that 5 quarts will refill the volume level to the center of the dipstick.

Drain, change filter then pour 5 quarts in and run the engine a bit to confirm the right level.

I'll be changing the oil quite a bit at first so expect some photos.

What I wonder is the availability of oil filters. The part number is different from the K12 & K13. Maybe someday Amsoil will offer one of their superior synthetic oil filters, or maybe Mobil 1 will get their synthetic filter to market first. Either way, I much prefer a synthetic media to paper because it filters better.

Last edited by RL Lemke; 05-01-2013 at 04:35 PM.
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post #2 of 177 Old 06-05-2011, 12:51 PM
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Do post photos when you get around to it - I'll be doing an oil change before the 600 mi service myself pretty soon. :gm
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post #3 of 177 Old 06-06-2011, 03:55 AM
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Can I ask what oil you are using?

Dealers here in UK use only the Castrol and there is a lot of debate about using anything other brand which might void your warranty. The real squeeze is that you can ONLY buy the Castrol Power 1 Racing 5W-40 from BMW dealers. It's an exclusive deal.

Does the owners manual allow for using other makes of oil?

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post #4 of 177 Old 06-06-2011, 08:34 AM Thread Starter
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Owners Manual Requirement:

"products recommended by BMW Motorrad and generally admissible viscosity classes" - Where does it say you MUST use a specific oil? What if Castrol isn't available? Do you only buy auto oil from dealers? Do auto manufacturers honor their warranty if you buy oil from places other than their dealerships? To assume that you are required to purchase an oil product from an independently owned dealership seems like a strange twist on what is but a recommendation by BMW.

What I will be using:
Meets or Exceeds API SF/SG/SJ
Meets or Exceeds JASO MA2
SAE 10W-40
Valvoline 4-Stroke Motorcycle Oil advantages: • High RPM, High Temperature Performance • Wet Clutch Protection • Maximum Horsepower
• Minimal Wear • Advanced Cleaning • Shear Stability • Film Strength • Excellent Corrosion Protection • Meets or exceeds manufacturer’s warranty requirements

After 1,500 miles I will switch to:
AMSOIL - SAE 10W-40 Synthetic Motorcycle Oil (MCF)
This is the reason why: http://www.amsoil.com/lit/G-2156.pdf

This is the final drive fluid I will be using: AMSOIL - Severe Gear® Synthetic Extreme Pressure (EP) Gear Lube 75W-90 (SVG)
Here is why: http://www.amsoil.com/lit/g2457.pdf

Final drive volume is 200cc. So, one liter will take care of 5 fluid changes.
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post #5 of 177 Old 06-06-2011, 10:37 AM
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So as long as the oil meets the required standard - defined by those letters we should be OK? I don't know if we have Valvoline in the UK - or it might use a different trade name? Could it be Silklone?

For interest this is the reply I had from BMW.

Dear Mr ****,

Thank you for your email dated June 3, 2011. I am sorry you are unhappy with the oils we recommend for your motorcycle. I can certainly appreciate your frustrations, especially as there is only one oil product suitable for use.

BMW Motorrad have worked with Castrol closely from engine design level through to retail dealer supply. The oils are co-engineered to suit our engines at all times and in all conditions.

Other oil companies will also make good quality oils that meet the relative industry specifications and can be used in our engines. The technical criteria for the oils to meet are listed in the rider's handbook. There are, however, differences between these oils in terms of what additives are included and how the oils are blended.

When BMW started producing motorcycles with wet clutches, we found that some of our customers were using ‘car’ oils in their bikes or oils that contained friction modifiers. This in turn caused operational issues with the clutches from slipping, pulsing and non separation when cold. This was due to the addition of friction modifiers in these particular oils.

We work in a business partnership with Castrol on a global level. There is a great deal of co-investment between both our companies and as such, we look upon the oil in the engine as a genuine part, hence why BMW Motorrad recommend using Castrol. A customer, of course, has a choice and providing the oil meets the specification listed in the handbook, that oil may be used.

However, if a customer uses the incorrect oil in the bike or the oil chosen does not meet up to the required specification and an issue should occur that is directly attributable to the oil used, we are within our rights to decline a warranty claim.

The warranty is there to protect the customer in terms of a manufacturing or material defect causing an issue. A failure due to the type of oil used would be classed as an external influence and as such, would not be covered.

Thank you again for contacting us. I trust that this information is of assistance, however, should you require any further clarification, please do not hesitate to contact me again.

Yours sincerely

BMW Motorrad UK
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post #6 of 177 Old 06-06-2011, 11:05 AM Thread Starter
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CASTROL 4T — Durable Protection

Castrol 4T is a mineral based 4-stroke motorcycle oil specially formulated to provide outstanding, durable protection under severe high torque, high stress conditions. Under these conditions, motorcycle engines operate at extremely high temperatures causing viscosity and thermal breakdown of motor oil. Castrol 4T provides maximum protection against viscosity and thermal breakdown.

Mineral based 4-stroke motorcycle oil
Delivers superior engine wear protection and high film strength for high revving motorcycle engines
Specialized additives help prevent ring sticking and build-up of harmful deposits
API SERVICE: Exceeds API SG (N.B.: SG is an obsolete designation, which has been updated to SJ for this particular use.)
JASO (T903): JASO MA-2
VISCOSITY: SAE 10W-40 // 20W-50

My posts regarding mineral oil ONLY apply to the break-in period and the route I choose to break-in my engine. This is a personal choice, and I'm willing to change the mineral oil often and follow closely the prescribed break-in procedure.

At 1,500 miles I will switch to synthetic oil. Reading the above linked white papers, I would encourage riders to make their own decision about which synthetic oil to use. The Castrol synthetic is fine. However, there are better synthetic motorcycle wet-clutch motor oils available. Here in the US & Canada Amsoil distributes a great oil. Some on the west coast swear by synthetics from Red Line. Even others in the US fall for the marketing hype of Royal Purple.
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post #7 of 177 Old 06-06-2011, 11:23 AM Thread Starter
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I prefer to change the oil and gear lube myself. This allows me to select the best that I can buy. I keep a record of every change including which fluid & filter I use. I've done this for numerous vehicles. Over the years I have had many warranty & recall claims. None was ever influenced by my selection of oil, grease, transmission fluid, gear lube, gasoline additives or coolant additives.

When I get BMW motorcycle service I ask them to not change the oil. If I get the final drive serviced I bring a quart of Amsoil gear lube. However, my local BMW dealer sells Amsoil, so that won't be necessary.

If anyone takes umbrage at my detailing of what my personal choices, or rationale behind the choices, I hereby apologize. I see this forum as an exchange of experiences and ideas. I take enjoyment is sharing the conclusions I have arrived at over the nearly 43 years of riding on the street, and countless hours of off-road riding and competition.
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post #8 of 177 Old 06-06-2011, 11:53 AM Thread Starter
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I tallied the test results for the 10-40 motorcycle oil test, removing the cost factor. Attached are the results. The lower the total score the better.
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post #9 of 177 Old 06-06-2011, 12:34 PM
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I suggest here is a website which should provide more information on oils.

K1600GTL Silver - SOLD - Now F800GS
IBA # 42277
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post #10 of 177 Old 06-12-2011, 06:13 PM Thread Starter
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OK, I've watched a BMW mechanic change the oil, relay his experience doing it a number of times, and now doing it myself.

1) There are 2 oil plugs: 1 - 8mm Allen head magnetic drain plug at the bottom of the oil sump. 2 - 5mm Allen head drain plug up inside the sump, accessed thru the drain hole.

2) You need a shallow drain pan. However, when you let the waste oil drop into this shallow pan it will splash everywhere. Put something in the bottom to diffuse the stream.

3) 5 quarts to refill to the middle of the dip stick. 4 quarts then restart the engine for 30 seconds. Then add the last quart.

4) Changing the oil filter is easy, but messy at the same time. Oil that falls onto the exhaust will burn.

5) Torques: 8mm = 28NM - 5mm = 12NM - Filter = 11NM

* The 5mm plug hits and seats all at once. So, it is easy to over torque this one as there is no give.
* The 8mm plug with new crush washer seats slowly with the give as the washer crushes.
* The 11 NM torque on the oil filter takes some time to get to as the lubricated O-ring crushes a bit. Apply the torque, hold as the ring moves, then apply more until the wrench shows a constant 11 NM.
* Draining the HOT engine oil requires some rubber gloves. There really is no way to avoid a lot of hot oil on your hands and wrist.
* I let the oil drain for hours. That way I reinstalled the plugs and filter on a cool engine.
- My next tool purchase will be a long 5mm Allen socket to reach all the way into the sump.
- The thin blue oil filter wrench fits around the shift lever without moving it. That was a great purchase.

A lot of guys buy spring type torque wrenches which need calibration regularly. I use the inexpensive beam type torque wrenches because they are consistent, year after year. Great for occasional use.

About another quart is drained from the inside 5mm plug. To ignore this one is a big mistake.

Removing and reinstalling the 5mm plug isn't as big a deal as you would think. You just have to be very careful and "feel" your way into the right position without dropping the plug. It was really easier than I expected. Especially considering I do this while laying on an old sleeping bag on the floor. Changing oil this way with the GSA was easy, but the K1600GT is really close to the ground. Easier access may be to place the bike onto the side stand for re-installing the plugs. That way the bike is inclined and there is easier access to the bottom.

I'm working with a fabricator to make a small tool for safely removing the 5mm inside plug. I'll be experimenting with options and taking the dimensions on June 26th. Stay tuned for more info.
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