2006 BMW K1200GT- High Aluminum, Iron, Fuel

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Folks- I would appreciate your insight here. The best way I could think of to easily post my reports is from this link; http://www.lakeerieislands.com/k1200gt.html * I am the second owner of this bike, obtaining it at around 3,200 miles- I have no idea how it was broken in. * I change the oil religiously at 3,000 miles using BMW, then recommended Castrol oils. * This bike has a wet clutch, with a seperate reservoir and sump. * I usually change the oil be warming it up in the garage until the electric fan comes on, ~ 15 minutes. * I then using a marine oil sump vacuum for the reservoir, and then draining the sump. Questions- 1. Why do aluminum and iron remoan so high now at 18,000 miles? 2. I understand my method of warming the bike up for the oil change may be attributing to high fuel content in the sample- true? 3. Even if my method of warming up my bike is skewing the fuel reading, that wouldn't effect the aluminum and iron readings- true? 4. With readings consistantly high with aluminum and iron at 18,000 miles, should I be worried or could it still tame down? 5. What, overall, can I do to settle this bike in? Thanks! B.
 
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Well... if it was anything all that bad, it looks like it would have totally trashed out by now... the numbers have been higher than UAs for around 12K miles, based on the data shown. But the engine is wearing more than normal--probably because your oil is shearing to pee-water; it's a 20 weight for goodness sake! :o I think I'd do a run using a robust 15w40 like Rotella, or perhaps I'd even use one of the thinner 50 weight car oils like Pennzoil or Havoline. It's a viscosity problem, I think... Dan
 

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Originally Posted By: Brahma
Questions- 1. Why do aluminum and iron remoan so high now at 18,000 miles? 2. I understand my method of warming the bike up for the oil change may be attributing to high fuel content in the sample- true? 3. Even if my method of warming up my bike is skewing the fuel reading, that wouldn't effect the aluminum and iron readings- true? 4. With readings consistantly high with aluminum and iron at 18,000 miles, should I be worried or could it still tame down? 5. What, overall, can I do to settle this bike in?
1. Since there does NOT appear to be a dirt or coolant ingestion problem and the fuel content is so high and the viscosity so low, as a result, I think the high iron and aluminum is from the low viscosity and the negative chemical effect that high fuel content has on anti-wear protection. 2. True. 3. False, in my opinion. 4. I think the wear situation can be improved. The only good coming from worry is if it motivates you to make corrective actions, which I think you will do. 5. What can you do? Idling is bad, especially during the warm-up phase, so stop that as much as possible. Before changing the oil, drive the bike for around 20 minutes, then take the sample. During normal bike usage, ride off immediately and be gentle with the throttle and rpms. As you approach full operating temps, you can get more and more aggressive with throttle and rpm. Italian tune-ups are good for fully warmed up engines so ride it hard when it's warmed up. Short trips are also bad for engines, so minimize them. I'd focus on these things during the next OCI and do another UOA. Based on that, you can decide if there are any other changes that should be made, like oil choice or whatever.
 
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I can't say for sure but I have a suspicion that the "high' aluminum and iron readings are really not that high for this bike which has a wet clutch and shared lubricant for the engine/transmission. If you look at a few uoas for shared engine/transmission bikes, you find that they are showing similar ppm counts for aluminum and iron. My suspicion is that the uoa data bank for the BMW K1200GT bikes contains uoa results for the 2002-2005 BMW K1200GT bikes which had the flopped four engine, dry clutch, and separate lubricant for the transmission. The two different layouts simply cannot be compared for ppm wear counts. I would suggest that you contact your oil analyzer to verify that you are not comparing "apples to oranges" so to speak. I would like to see a little higher viscosity for the gearbox sake, but I know BMW specifies a 10w-40 lubricant and presumably has done extensive testing on this grade oil.
 

Brahma

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KernelK- Could you point out bikes that have the wet clutch as opposed to dry her on the forums? I wouldn't know myself. Also, I did just send a message to Blackstone Labs who conducted the analysis to find out if their database included older GT's... Thanks all for the asistance, just a little worried here.... I really like this bike! B.
 
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Originally Posted By: Brahma
KernelK- Could you point out bikes that have the wet clutch as opposed to dry her on the forums? I wouldn't know myself. Also, I did just send a message to Blackstone Labs who conducted the analysis to find out if their database included older GT's... Thanks all for the asistance, just a little worried here.... I really like this bike! B.
Basically, I think that you can look at just about any of the uoas of Japanese motorcycles in the Bitog Used Oil Analysis-Motorcycles section. You still have a relatively young motorcycle mileage wise and should see improvements as mileage accumulates. Some owners of of the post 2005 1200GT models have reported fuel dilution issues on the K1200 owners forums so you might want to read up on this. The K1200GT slant engine model is a stunning motorcycle in its looks and performance capabilities.
 
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Yes I would get away from the Castrol. They seem to be more interested in marketing, hype, and goofy commercials than good products. I actually used GTX in metrics back in the API SJ days but don't let any of their products in my garage anymore. Enen used it for short runs in HDs. Too many better products to waist time or a good motorcycle on it. For the price of the RS R4 line you could probably be using AMSOIL, Red Line, M1, etc. I bet big money it won't shear like that. If it does you have a big time engine problem.
 
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The R4 your running, you said 10w40, but I thought only to grades were 5w40 and 10w50. Id run the 10w50 You are showing alot of fuel , your flashpoint is way down, idealy you'd want to see closer to 400 degree IMO on a dump interval. Another thing, I'd do your oil changes immediately after a good multihoured run, cause everything is in suspension, warming a bike up sitting still, doesnt do much for that. So you could be leaving alot of alumninum and iron in you motor as a result of your flush method.
 
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Its true though R4 doesnt have all the additives, but it's a very high quality real synthetic base oil, but the 5w40 grade is very light weight. I guarantee a 15w40 dino will burn and melt into hot lava rock before this stuff will, very heat tolerant. But I'd use the 10w50, if your going to be running post 2,000 mile intervals.
 
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Thanks for posting this. I have basically the same bike as you. I've never gone more than about 4k kms OCIs on my bike, and may even whittle that down after seeing this. I'm using Rotella 15w-40 sucked out of the oil tank with my Mityvac. I'll start doing this every 2k miles or so since it takes all of about 5 minutes to do the suck/refill cycle. I'll still change the filter at the factory recommended 6k mile/10k km interval so that the dealership can reset my oil change indicator, which isn't owner resettable. This will be the approach during warranty. After warranty, I intend to buy/share one of these with my neighbor who has an '08 K1200GT: Aftermarket BMW Canbus Diagnostic Tool Thought you might appreciate knowing it was available. It's good for all engine diagnosis and resetting service intervals etc.
 
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Originally Posted By: Mackelroy
I guarantee a 15w40 dino will burn and melt into hot lava rock before this stuff will, very heat tolerant.
that dont mean [censored] if he keeps shedding wear metal. SRT 15w40 is only used in thousands of diesels with oil cooled turbos. like all them 18wheelers hauling goods, tractors tilling fields and combinds harvesting food. whats the EGT on the turbo of a weight limit 18wheeler as it tries to make the upgrade into phoenix from blythe I10e in late august? he wont cook off a drop of oil unless it gets past the rings or seals.
 
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Originally Posted By: Brahma
Folks- I would appreciate your insight here. The best way I could think of to easily post my reports is from this link; http://www.lakeerieislands.com/k1200gt.html * I am the second owner of this bike, obtaining it at around 3,200 miles- I have no idea how it was broken in. * I change the oil religiously at 3,000 miles using BMW, then recommended Castrol oils. * This bike has a wet clutch, with a seperate reservoir and sump. * I usually change the oil be warming it up in the garage until the electric fan comes on, ~ 15 minutes. * I then using a marine oil sump vacuum for the reservoir, and then draining the sump. Questions- 1. Why do aluminum and iron remoan so high now at 18,000 miles? 2. I understand my method of warming the bike up for the oil change may be attributing to high fuel content in the sample- true? 3. Even if my method of warming up my bike is skewing the fuel reading, that wouldn't effect the aluminum and iron readings- true? 4. With readings consistantly high with aluminum and iron at 18,000 miles, should I be worried or could it still tame down? 5. What, overall, can I do to settle this bike in? Thanks! B.
I am sorry that you have found your UOA a disappointment but, on the brighter side of things, BMW's are great motorcycles built to last a long time. It doesn't look like your unit was quite finished with its initial break-in (at 18,000miles duh) and the numbers are not real bad considering its young age. I do see a couple of changes that may help with the numbers going forward. The Castrol RS R4 4T being used was tied for LAST PLACE out of 14 different M/C oils in the category RUST PROTECTION on Amsoil's "A Study of Motorcycle Oil Second Edition". This particular Castrol oil was also in last place for the HIGH TEMPERATURE/HIGH SHEAR test and tied for last place in the FOUR BALL WEAR test. Those are three of the most important areas for a motorcycle oil and Castrol RS R4 4T is doing a bad job on all three. (If you were to look at both the first and second edition of the study, you will see that Castrol's Motorcycle lubricants are not what their reputation would lead you to believe.) I am sorry to type it. Please decide for yourself. Fuel dilution of the oil may be contributing to the overall problem...it may not be just the Castrol. If blow-by is diluting the fuel when you are heating up the oil to change it, it is also diluting the fuel every time you come to a stop. The resulting lowering of viscosity would contribute to extra wear in the iron (Fe) and trace metals coming from bearings in the engine and transmission. On the more positive side, if there is blow-by and fuel dilution occurring, it indicates you may still have a ways to go to get the rings fully seated. The most effective way of seating the rings can be found on the internet by breaking in the motorcycle the "Moto-Tune Way". I have used it and can attest to the positive outcome from the procedure. Here is a link to their website. Yes it is controversial but my motorcycle can give you a whiplash and a nosebleed so I say it works quite well. http://www.mototuneusa.com/break_in_secrets.htm The Castrol may also have contributed to higher aluminum and iron ppm's because it could not provide its inherent wear protection when it was fuel diluted. The Castrol's additive package is also unable to prevent corrosion in the motorcycle's engine during the off season. I highly recommend that you not use that particular oil for your Beamer and that you get better protection until you are sure that fuel is not diluting the oil day by day and you are comfortable with a new UOA. Contributing to the high aluminum and iron may be the time of year that the oil is being changed. If the motorcycle is being put away at the end of the season, I would suggest routinely changing the oil later in the fall (late Oct or Nov so there is little use before it becomes idle for the winter) and be absolutely sure the oil used is excellent in rust protection. Amsoil did us all a great favor with their "Study of Motorcycle Oil" edition one and two and I suggest you read all of it. A high "TBN" number does not guarantee rust protection. Rust prevention is something that is added to the additive package outside of what creates high TBN. I suggest you might mix a quart of 20W-50 with each quart of 10W-40 to obtain a viscosity of 15W-45. This should help with compression and give you a little wiggle room since you can expect that the viscosity will plunge again. The advice to use a deisel oil is good advice but because of the potential of oil dilution and a drop of two oil grades, I personally would be more comfortable with something a little heavier than 10W-40. Shell's Rotella Synthetic 5W-40 is quite unique, however, in its tendency to not lose viscosity according to the Motorcycle UOA's I've read here, however the possibility of oil dilution still remains and Rotella is not a "thick" 40 weight. If there is fuel leakage occurring, it is important to discover and correct the cause. Perhaps you need to turn a petcock to "off" when you are done riding. Some motorcycles' fuel petcocks, carburetors or fuel injection systems have been known to leak fuel into the motor when the motorcycle is sitting and has cooled down. I'm not familiar enough with your motorcycle to suggest where to look but start with the fuel tank and work downhill. :) If you can smell gasoline, you have leakage somewhere. I seriously doubt that the motorcycle could have been hurt in its first 3200 miles unless it ran completely out of oil. You could blast a BMW hard as your nerve and the traffic would allow and it would probably result in a better break-in than the average. They are tough, long-lasting motorcycles with 20,000-25,000 mile break-ins with some owners claiming that their UOA's did not settle down until they reached 40,000 miles. Here is line to help you with the decision on what oil: http://www.calsci.com/motorcycleinfo/Consumables.htm Good luck.
 
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If you happen to read the First and Second Edition of Amsoil's "Study of Motorcycle Oils" you will get a pretty good idea of what some of the best oil choices are. You can also browse the UOA and VOA's on this website to get further insight. In my view, you cannot go wrong with Amsoils' 10W-40 or 20W-50 or Mobil's 10W-40 or 20W-50, all JASO MA or better. You also cannot go wrong with Golden Spectro 4 "Blend", also JASO MA in either 10W-40 or 20W-50. There are others but you need to study the study.:) If interested in economy of cost, figuring to change out early and check for dilution again, you could use Valvoline's JASO MA approved 10W-40 Motorcycle Oil which did rather well and bested a lot of other oils. Valvoline is a pure DINO oil (but a rather good one) and is meant to be changed every couple thousand miles.
 
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Originally Posted By: KernelK
Originally Posted By: Brahma
KernelK- Could you point out bikes that have the wet clutch as opposed to dry her on the forums? I wouldn't know myself. Also, I did just send a message to Blackstone Labs who conducted the analysis to find out if their database included older GT's... Thanks all for the asistance, just a little worried here.... I really like this bike! B.
Basically, I think that you can look at just about any of the uoas of Japanese motorcycles in the Bitog Used Oil Analysis-Motorcycles section. You still have a relatively young motorcycle mileage wise and should see improvements as mileage accumulates. Some owners of of the post 2005 1200GT models have reported fuel dilution issues on the K1200 owners forums so you might want to read up on this. The K1200GT slant engine model is a stunning motorcycle in its looks and performance capabilities.
Good advice! Yes...great bike. thumbsup
 
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Reading the info on one of the websites provided by oilguy2 I noticed that it said that an oil is not actually certified by the API if it doesn't display the API seal....Well, I looked at a bottle of Mobil 4T and it has SG,SH on it but no API seal..Neither does it have the JASO seal on it....I'm pretty sure it's tested to meet the standards of those tests, but it appears that it may not actually be API SG/SH or JASO MA certified...
 
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There are no "API Certified" seals on any oil currently being processed and sold other than those which are Energy Conserving: 0W-20, 0W-30, 5W-20, 5W-30 and 10W-30. This would mean that we should not put an API Certified oil in our motorcycles (although some designs can handle it). The API certification is not on 10W-40 High Mileage, 5W-40 Turbo Diesel Truck, OW-40 European Formula, 15W-50 Extended Performance, 10W-40 Racing 4T or 20W-50 V-Twin, etc. An oil that meets obsolete requirements (such as SF/SG), or is a "Motorcycle Oil" should not have "API Certified" on it. Reference that an oil meets JASO MA should satisfy concerns regarding sufficient "oil friction" for wet clutch operation. The current confusion in the marketplace has forced motorcyclists to become knowledgeable about oil. In the process, we have been able to select oils that meet our needs without always paying the higher expected premium. It is best to research any oil before you use it unless you have first person testimony regarding its suitability (such as comments obtained from this website) or have other Internet reference material to call upon.
 
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Another point regarding what oils BMW recommends you use: as a matter of United States Federal Law, if a manufacturer requires you to use a particular oil to maintain the warranty intact, they must provide you with that oil free of charge. If a manufacturer or their dealer require a particular maintenance schedule be followed to maintain a warranty in force, they must provide that maintenance free of charge. That law was passed years ago to prevent manufacturers and their dealers from offering a warranty to sell a product and then looking for an excuse to deny claims. If you experienced a mechanical failure and a dealership or manufacturer began to inquire about oil used and the maintenance schedule followed, I would remind them that any attempt to deny warranty claims on the basis of oil used or schedules not followed is a violation of Federal Law if they did not provide those requirements for free. That would mark the end of their investigation as to the cause of mechanical failure. Since BMW does not provide the oil or the maintenance free of charge, then we are left to our own judgment to determine what level of protection our equipment needs. Recommendations do not have to be followed and in some cases, should not be. Until fuel dilution can be corrected, I suggest you shorten your OCI (which is already pretty short) to be safe. I wonder if BMW has a recall or technical notice regarding fuel dilution on your year and model. Worth looking into.
 
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My choice of words was incorrect...Should have said API Service Symbol Donut... I noticed it was missing on a bottle of Mobil 4T oil...I'm sure it meets the standards of SG just like it states on the bottle, but what I'm wondering if it's actually gone through the API for SH,SG since there is no Donut...Same with the JASO...Perhaps they use their own labs to see if the SH/SG and JASO standards are met?
 
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