Engine Oil...... again! - BMW F800 Riders Forum & Registry



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  1. #1
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    Despite lots of reading I am still trying to find an economic (cheapish) oil to put in my 2015 GT. I understand the specification nomenclature. What I would like to know is what the handbook means by:

    , Additives (e.g. molybdenum-based) are not permissible .........

    Is this additive in the make up of the main engine oil? Surely they all have them.

    Is it an additive that is from a separate bottle/product?

    I am thinking of using Westway 15W50 Motorcycle Oil Fully Synthetic 4 Stroke JASO MA2 15W-50 API SL 5 Litres.

    It may only be available in the Uk. Any thoughts on the quality of this oil?

    Also, what are the UK available equivalents to the BMW oil and air filters?

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    I don't know anything about Westway. But if you want cheap oil that works well, I would recommend Shell Rotella T4. It is a 10W-40 conventional oil that meets JASO MA2 specifications. I have been using that oil for years in my Yamaha and F650GS. In the U.S. you can typically find that "truck" oil on sale for around $15 USD in a 4-liter jug. Unless you ride in extremely hot weather, I doubt that a 50wt oil is necessary.
    Richard - Current bikes: 2016 BMW R1200RS, 2018 16.6 kWh Zero S, 2011 Royal Enfield Bullet 500 Classic, 2009 BMW F650GS, 2020 KTM 390 Duke, 2002 Yamaha FZ1 (FZS1000N) and a 1978 Honda Kick 'N Go Senior. 

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    "moly" is an extremely slick lubricant. I think the issue with using an oil with moly in it, is it could make your clutch slip.

    If your Westway oil says it is for motorcycles and says it is JASO MA2 certified, it should be just fine.

    Chris
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    Don't know about Westway but have always found Castrol products OK. Castrol Power 1 4T 15w - 50 complies with BMW requirements and is available from :
    https://www.opieoils.co.uk/p-79229-c...ngine-oil.aspx
    The manual notes re additives refer to additional products added by owner beyond oil spec.
    Motorworks are a good source for filters etc
    https://www.motorworks.co.uk/vlive/S...=15&M=70&Ct=UA

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    I use Westway Oil in my 2013 GT. I just accept that the spec of the oil is genuine as such is as good as anything else but a lot cheaper no issues but 10,000 miles is no real test, I drop the oil every 3K miles so cost can mount. Because I'd never heard of them I did do a search on companies house register to make sure they where a legitimate company and had filed a few years accounts.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daboo View Post
    "moly" is an extremely slick lubricant. I think the issue with using an oil with moly in it, is it could make your clutch slip.

    If your Westway oil says it is for motorcycles and says it is JASO MA2 certified, it should be just fine.

    Chris
    From the handbook:
    , Additives (e.g. molybdenum-based) are not permissible because they can attack coated components of the engine.

    That doesn't sound like BMW are talking about a clutch friction plate.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chris f View Post
    Don't know about Westway but have always found Castrol products OK. Castrol Power 1 4T 15w - 50 complies with BMW requirements and is available from :
    https://www.opieoils.co.uk/p-79229-c...ngine-oil.aspx
    The manual notes re additives refer to additional products added by owner beyond oil spec.
    url]https://www.motorworks.co.uk/vlive/Shop/Parts.php?T=3&NU=15&M=70&Ct=UA[/url]
    Is that a definite from BMW, about the additive Chris? I only ask because Castrol extol the virtues of their additive in Power 1. It is a zinc and phosphorous based additive.

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    Quote Originally Posted by trig View Post
    Is that a definite from BMW, about the additive Chris? I only ask because Castrol extol the virtues of their additive in Power 1. It is a zinc and phosphorous based additive.
    Zinc and phosphorus are utilized as sacrificial molecules when the oil fails (at the molecular level - all very brief in time and miniscule in area.) The more an oil has of these ingredients, the more protection the oil can offer. (Whether there is value to a user in any particular situation is another story and would involve many variables.)

    As stated, if the JASO MA2 specification is met, it's a viable option for your machine.
    Concrete remains undefeated. 

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    Thanks Andrew. Sounds like you know your stuff.

    From the handbook:
    , Additives (e.g. molybdenum-based) are not permissible because they can attack coated components of the engine.

    So, do those additives attack BMWs engine coatings?

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    Quote Originally Posted by trig View Post
    Thanks Andrew. Sounds like you know your stuff.

    From the handbook:
    , Additives (e.g. molybdenum-based) are not permissible because they can attack coated components of the engine.

    So, do those additives attack BMWs engine coatings?
    I think you are probably asking "why" as the BMW statement you have quoted states that molybdenum will attack coated components.

    Coatings can be used to improve the thermal properties, the ability to withstand friction and wear as well as the ability to shed or retain lubrication.

    Not knowing what the coating is comprised of, I can only speculate that since molybdenum reacts with oxygen upon heating forming molybdenum trioxide, that this resulting compound does not play nice with the coating.

    And if I can go really take a leap, I'd suggest that the BMW coating is also molybdenum based. The risk being that the moly additive is "harder" than the moly coating such that the coating wears first - an undesirable outcome.
    Concrete remains undefeated. 

  15. #11
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    I was asking about the Zinc and phosphorus in Castrol Power 1 .

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    Quote Originally Posted by trig View Post
    I was asking about the Zinc and phosphorus in Castrol Power 1 .
    I have read that Zinc and phosphorus are a good thing for highly-stressed motorcycle engines. But it is bad for catalytic converter life, which is why the oil companies are cutting back on the elements in their oil, especially now that most all motorcycles have catalytic converters in their exhaust systems - and maybe two are needed to meet Euro 5 emission requirements.
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    Quote Originally Posted by trig View Post
    I was asking about the Zinc and phosphorus in Castrol Power 1 .
    Neither are molybdenum, so these do not fall under the BMW warning.
    Concrete remains undefeated. 

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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard230 View Post
    I have read that Zinc and phosphorus are a good thing for highly-stressed motorcycle engines. But it is bad for catalytic converter life, which is why the oil companies are cutting back on the elements in their oil, especially now that most all motorcycles have catalytic converters in their exhaust systems - and maybe two are needed to meet Euro 5 emission requirements.
    Ok I will make the assumption that Zinc and Phosphorous are not bad for coated components of the ENGINE because cat converters are not ENGINE components.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Runmyownlife View Post
    Neither are molybdenum, so these do not fall under the BMW warning.

    The BMW warning was (e.g. molybdenum-based). So the fact that Zinc and Phosphorous are not Molybdenum does not eliminate them from the BMW warning.

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    I have contacted my BMW dealers service department and got no sensible assistance. After discussions with Westway Lubricants I have decided to use their oil.

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    The Environmental Folks have declared that ZDDP (Zinc and Phosphorus) are bad for Catalytic Convertors and Oxygen Sensors, and have required that it be reduced in modern engine oils. The old oil compounds used to have around 1,200 ppm of ZDDP - most modern oils have been reduced to 600 ppm of ZDDP. Rotella and a number of other Heavy Duty Engine Oils (HDEO) still have a high ZDDP content, as do a number of Performance oils. The new engine oils work fine in new new engines - but in a lot of older equipment the lower ZDDP level can lead to accelerated cam and rocker wear - the Suzuki Savage is especially prone to this as each rocker lifts two valves with inner/outer springs (4 springs each). Folks who use oils with low ZDDP in their Savage get short cam/rocker life - however on the www.suzukisavage.com forum we have one member who has used Rotella T6 for all of the 200,000 miles on his bike and his cam and rockers are still fine and still being used (he rebuilt his engine at 160,000 miles and the only engine parts out of spec where the valve guide, and the only parts he replaced where the valve and guides and piston rings).

    I am not sure that oils with the high ZDDP levels are all that destructive to the catalytic convertor, as I have been using Rotella T6 in my 2006 Pontiac Vibe for all of the 165,000 miles and it still runs fine, and I still have the original Oxygen Sensor and Catalytic Convertor in the car. I will continue using Rotella T-6 as it is economical and provides all the protection that is needed - I use it in my car, in my diesel tractor, my lawn equipment and in all my motorcycles. For those parts of the world where Rotella T is available - I believe there really isn't any need to use more expensive oils.

    The BMW F800GT and all the other models may not need the elevated ZDDP levels and may be fine with the modern oils with reduced ZDDP - but I don't believe the extra amount is as hard on the oxygen sensor and catalytic convertor as the regulators feel it is.
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  23. #18
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    Thumpin: Are you sure that you have been using Rotella T-6, or was it T-4? T-4 is the mineral oil version of Rotella which has a viscosity of 15W-40, while T-6 is the full synthetic version with a viscosity of 5W-40, which is too light for older motorcycles, although it would be fine when used in the latest water-cooled BMW engines, like my R1200RS. I think it might be too light for the F800-series engines. Both oils are rated to meet JASO MA2 specifications.
    Richard - Current bikes: 2016 BMW R1200RS, 2018 16.6 kWh Zero S, 2011 Royal Enfield Bullet 500 Classic, 2009 BMW F650GS, 2020 KTM 390 Duke, 2002 Yamaha FZ1 (FZS1000N) and a 1978 Honda Kick 'N Go Senior. 

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    Thumpin can answer for himself, but I've been using T6 5W-40 in my F800GT for 51,000 miles so far. (I don't know what was used in the first 2000 miles by the first owner.) It's not burning oil and continues to amaze me for how smooth it runs.

    Prior to this bike, I used T6 in my Honda NT700V for 30,000 miles and it used no oil. And prior to that, I used it in a Suzuki for about 50K.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Daboo View Post
    Thumpin can answer for himself, but I've been using T6 5W-40 in my F800GT for 51,000 miles so far. (I don't know what was used in the first 2000 miles by the first owner.) It's not burning oil and continues to amaze me for how smooth it runs.

    Prior to this bike, I used T6 in my Honda NT700V for 30,000 miles and it used no oil. And prior to that, I used it in a Suzuki for about 50K.

    Chris
    Well, so much for BMW's oil recommendations.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard230 View Post
    Well, so much for BMW's oil recommendations.
    “The code is more what you’d call ‘guidelines’ than actual rules.” – Hector Barbossa
    Aren't oil recommendations like the code?

    Shell Rotella T? is a good quality oil, and the T6 is rated as JASO MA2. As for the viscosity, I don't think it stays as a 5W weight for very long before the engine heats up and the viscosity moves toward the other end of the scale. On the initial start up, the oil flows very freely...which I figure can't be all that bad.

    There's something I came across about a year ago that was very interesting regarding how oil viscosity is achieved. If I get time, I'll see if I can find it. It wasn't at all what I expected.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard230 View Post
    Thumpin: Are you sure that you have been using Rotella T-6, or was it T-4? T-4 is the mineral oil version of Rotella which has a viscosity of 15W-40, while T-6 is the full synthetic version with a viscosity of 5W-40, which is too light for older motorcycles, although it would be fine when used in the latest water-cooled BMW engines, like my R1200RS. I think it might be too light for the F800-series engines. Both oils are rated to meet JASO MA2 specifications.
    The cold weather/winter rating of 15W for the T4 or 5W for the T6 really doesn't make any difference on my bikes......I am not going to be riding my motorcycle in the winter. All oil gets thicker when it is cold, and the T6 does not thin at cold temperatures.......it just doesn't get as thick as 15W and obtains a 5W rating at those cold temperature. (The oil really is thick - if you don't believe me put some in your refrigerator or freezer and then see how it pours).

    It is actually better to have a lower winter rating for an oil.......not worse. The oil is not "thinner" - it just has a lower resistance to rotational and pumping force at low temperatures.
    Last edited by Thumpin; 05-30-20 at 05:20 AM.

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    I run Rotella T6 on my ST because I live in Wisconsin and commute. Up here it's cold enough for the difference in 5W and 15W to make a noticeable difference for half my starts throughout the year. Given the weak battery and stator in our bikes, I need every bit of help I can get. I ride to work as long as it's above 25F. In the cold I wear heated gear and use the heated grips. The charging system cannot maintain the amp demand at idle so I have to be careful watching my volt meter. It's especially important on the way home since it sits outside while I'm at work all day as opposed to my heated garage for the way in to work. I also use my bike to often run short errands around town where everything is within a few miles from the house. I'd like to think that the 5W will help improve mileage and reduce wear for these short rides. Once it's warmed up it's the same viscosity. 40 is 40. T6 is a great oil that is perfect for my ST.

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    It never gets below 40 degrees F at my home during the winter and maybe 75 degrees during the summer. So I don't pay that much attention to what oil I use. But it is good to know that Rotella T6 works fine as I happen to have a gallon of it in my garage right now that I was saving for my RS. At least I now know that I can use it on some of my other motorcycles - but maybe not in my Royal Enfield.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard230 View Post
    Well, so much for BMW's oil recommendations.
    If we are honest with ourselves there are very few if any "bad oils" out there anymore. It would be very difficult for any modern oil to cause any sort of engine issue, so I am not quite sure why people obsess so much over it. When was the last time anyone saw a modern motor blow up and it could be proven it was the oil that caused it? MAYBE if you used 20W50 in a motor designed to use 0W oil while running in minus 30F temperatures it wouldn't flow well-enough on startup to lubricate things and you'd get some extra wear ... but it isn't likely it'll blow up. Or MAYBE if you ran a 10W straight-grade oil in a vehicle being driven in 120F desert conditions the oil might break down and you'd see parts damage ... otherwise any quality oil made for wet motorcycle clutches will be fine in a modern motorcycle. Relax, chill, it's no big deal. Get a JASO certified oil, change it regularly, and all will be well and you can spend the time you've been wasting obsessing over the best oil doing something more constructive, like obsessing over the best tire or the best 10mm socket to buy to replace your lost one ...

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    Nailed it Jim!

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    High zinc and phosphorus oils are great in vintage engines that use plain brass bushes, ball and roller bearings etc. I use them in my old Vincent and Riley engines. Moly additives are good for BMW final drive and I also use them on axles in various bikes. I think products such as Xcel plus, Moly Slip etc. are totally OTT in our engines. They are meant for race engines that are rebuilt frequently or, again, old style engines that do not run super lean or within the same tolerances as BMW engines. I do run these additives in my old engines that have oil pressures of (maybe) 5-10 psi but not in my modern stuff. A quality oil, frequent oil changes and a filter change every second oil change is cheap insurance. A rebuild on one of my Vincent engines would cost at least $20,000 so a no brainer for me. Sometimes people make a problem from something that doesn't exist.

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    There was a time many year ago in my youth - when I did not understand motor oils and I thought thicker always provided better protection......and race oils were best of all!

    I now understand that race oils generally don't have the chemical protection package as real race cars change oil after each race, and thicker oils belong in vintage equipment that was made with larger tolerances and need thicker oils to fill the gaps!

    I agree with Jim (AutoXer-1) and Albervin - modern engines and modern oils are sooooo much better than they used to be, and engine failures are rare. It used to be that car engines were worn out at 100,000 miles - it is not uncommon for 200,000 or 300,000 miles now, and I have seen several cars approaching 400,000 miles! Back in the 70's I worked in a motorcycle shop and seeing any bike with more than 30,000 miles was uncommon - now it is not all that uncommon and I know of a Suzuki Savage with 200,000 miles, a DR650 with 165,000 miles, and big touring bikes reach those kind of miles easily when maintained and ridden regularly. (I had thought that if I ever was going to own a touring bike it would be a BMW......it only took me 45 years to fulfill that goal).

    I use the Rotella T-6 in all my bikes, and just don't worry about about oil anymore.....it is very easy to buy and is in all the big box, auto supply, farm store and truck stops in the US, it is very affordable, and it does what is needed and will protect the engines well into my old age!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard230 View Post
    Well, so much for BMW's oil recommendations.
    It's worse than that--someone ran a Blackstone Labs UOA on BMW Advantec Ultimate and discovered it has quite high amounts of molybdenum in it--almost double the concentration of what Castrol Power 1 5w40 (for my RTW) contains. Liquimoly 4T Race Oil has none FWIW. Presumably the no moly warning has to do w/ OTS additives one might add to oil.

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    Richard230's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noel View Post
    It's worse than that--someone ran a Blackstone Labs UOA on BMW Advantec Ultimate and discovered it has quite high amounts of molybdenum in it--almost double the concentration of what Castrol Power 1 5w40 (for my RTW) contains. Liquimoly 4T Race Oil has none FWIW. Presumably the no moly warning has to do w/ OTS additives one might add to oil.
    Richard - Current bikes: 2016 BMW R1200RS, 2018 16.6 kWh Zero S, 2011 Royal Enfield Bullet 500 Classic, 2009 BMW F650GS, 2020 KTM 390 Duke, 2002 Yamaha FZ1 (FZS1000N) and a 1978 Honda Kick 'N Go Senior. 

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