Oil API designation for our bikes. - BMW F800 Riders Forum & Registry



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  1. #1
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    Hello Everyone. My bike is a 2015 F800GT. Prior to this oil change I used Motorex 15W50 Boxer 4T motor oil. It’s API designations were SL, SJ, SH, and SG. My bike’s owners manual (From 2015) calls for specifically API SJ oil. Today I used LiquiMoly 15W50 Street 4T motor oil. It’s API designation is only SL. (Not the SJ the owner’s manual specified). It was not until I drained the Motorex oil out that I noticed the API difference. I am sure the LiquiMoly as sold to me by Wunderlich specifically for my bike is fine, but can anyone tell me for our F800 engines, is the API of SL BETTER than SJ? Was the designation of SL around in 2015 when our bikes were produced? Thank you for your responses and thoughts.

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  3. #2
    Sundog52's Avatar
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    Take a look at this....hope it helps:

    https://www.rymax-lubricants.com/upd...-how-it-works/
    Sundog 

  4. #3
    Runmyownlife's Avatar
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    If you are interested in some recent discussion and opinions around oil:

    https://f800riders.org/forum/showthr...37#post2880137
    Last edited by Runmyownlife; 2 Weeks Ago at 12:08 AM.
    Concrete remains undefeated. 

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  6. #4
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    You do not need to use only SJ. SJ or higher is good, e.g. SL, SN etc

    The link provided by Sundog52 / post 2 confirms its "backwards compatible".
    The link also counsels against using modern oils in quite old engines, but for a 2015 you'll be fine using the later spec oil
    Ajay

    F800GT 2018 

  7. #5
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    Thank you all for your responses about API ratings.

  8. #6
    Blapper's Avatar
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    I'm probably going to make myself unpopular now, but here we go.

    The earlier API's were for best protection before catalytic converters. You have good zinc levels in the additive package to protect your cams and mating sliding surfaces while still allowing your wet clutch to work. Unfortunately zinc screws cats so the good stuff had to go. Modern car oils do not give as good protection to sliding surfaces and are not good for wet clutches. Cams were made wider to get around the first point, but clutches do not like the new stuff which has fuel economy in its design brief.
    If we were all millionaires we would buy the stuff that our bikes manufacturer sells for it but as we aren't, we MUST make sure we get the exact API as spec'd by the manufacturer. Anybody else has a vested interest in selling you anything different - like it's all they've got.

  9. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blapper View Post
    I'm probably going to make myself unpopular now, but here we go.

    The earlier API's were for best protection before catalytic converters. You have good zinc levels in the additive package to protect your cams and mating sliding surfaces while still allowing your wet clutch to work. Unfortunately zinc screws cats so the good stuff had to go. Modern car oils do not give as good protection to sliding surfaces and are not good for wet clutches. Cams were made wider to get around the first point, but clutches do not like the new stuff which has fuel economy in its design brief.
    If we were all millionaires we would buy the stuff that our bikes manufacturer sells for it but as we aren't, we MUST make sure we get the exact API as spec'd by the manufacturer. Anybody else has a vested interest in selling you anything different - like it's all they've got.
    The Manufacturer doesn't make their own oil, they outsource it and stick their name on it . . . .

    The correct stuff/spec can be made by any aftermarket company, however if it is to meet MFR spec they have to get it certified to prove this is the case. A prime example is BMW LL04 C3 oil (for cars), lots of oil brads have the certification from BMW that their oil meets spec and can be sold as such.
    BMW F800ST, 2010, Black, Fuzeblock, Sat Nav, BMW Tank Bag, Givi Touring Screen, Denali Spotlights, Denali CANSmart, Wunderlich Crash Bars, 55K Miles & counting 

  10. #8
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    There are no API service categories for motorcycle engines. Hence, JASO had to formulate one. The JASO spec lists dozens of other specifications as prerequisites then adds only one new test of their own: wet plate clutch friction.

    Search for JASO T-903 and T-904. Unlike API/SAE/ANSI specs these are published at no charge in pdf format.
    2016 Yamaha FJR1300A; 2016 Beta 430RS; 2007 BMW F800S; 2009 Husaberg FE450; 2016 Subaru Outback; 2018 F150; 2013 Tesla Model S 85; 1983 Porsche 928S; 9 cats 

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