Oil consumption rate (Amsoil/Redline)

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Jun 3, 2009
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Some experience with my BMW R1150R has raised some questions about oil consumption rates. I purchased this bike with about 8,000 miles on the odometer. I refilled it with re-filled with Redline 10w40 at about 10K, After a lowside (crash) spilled a lot of my engine oil. 10w40 is slightly lighter than OEM spec, but was recommended for winter riding. In the next 4,000 miles of riding, the BMW consumed nearly 2 quarts of oil. At 14,000 miles, I refilled with Amsoil Moto 20w50, and I now have 17,500 miles on the odometer. In 3,500 miles of riding, I've only added a 1/4th of a quart. The bike is still showing a healthy oil level through the inspection window. What might cause my oil consumption rates to drop so significantly after switching oil brands? I doubt that the oil weight difference accounts for all of it. Are Ester based oils known for greater consumption rates? Is Amsoil particularly stable? What other brands are known for low consumption rates? I'm tempted to refill with Redline 20w50 at my next oil change in order to get a real comparison. For anyone unfamiliar with this bike, the BMW R1150R is an opposed cylinder air/oil cooled twin. I have BMW riding friends who are also interested in lowering their oil consumption levels; it's not uncommon for these bikes to burn through a half a liter of oil every 1000KM.
 
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No, esters have low volatility. Certain oils take longer than others to stabilize. It's not really known why this occurs. Also, certain engines seem to like certain oils better. Redline and Amsoil have among the lowest volatility among all oils.
 
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It will be interesting to see how the 20W-50 Redline does in comparison. The Amsoil MCV is known for low consumption. Redline also makes a bike-specific engine oil in that grade. The break-in on these engines is critical due to the Nikasil coated cylinders. I ran my engine through a very rigorous break-in for the first 20 miles, and then followed up with more until the engine reached that first 600 mile oil change. Then on conventional BMW oil ran 2 more 3000 mile oil change intervals until I reached the BMW-recommended 6000 miles before switching to synthetic oil. The local beemer service manager actually recommended 12k miles until switching to synthetic oil. The results afterward were that my consumption on the Amsoil 20W-50 bike oil was extremely low until I sold the 1200CL to a friend a year later. He has continued with the same oil with same results.
 

burning1

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So, there is a difference between the Amsoil/Redline Motorcycle Specific oils and the standard car oils in terms of oil consumption rates? I was under the impression that the major difference was mainly the addition of extra Zinc and Phosphorus.
 

burning1

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Unfortunately, I did not purchase the bike new. Based on the condition of the rear brake rotor (it was obviously allowed to make metal on metal contact with the pads,) the rust, corrosion, the sun damage to the upholstery, and the apparent lack of maintenance, I don't have high hopes that it was broken in especially well. With that said, I am very happy with the engine performance, and the oil consumption rates are very reasonable. The main issue I have with the bike at the moment is that a Remus cat eliminator system was installed without appropriate changes to the fueling. The bike runs quite lean. I'll be sure to update this thread after a re-fill with Redline. I commute year round on the bike, so we should have an answer in the next few months.
 
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burning1

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So, final results... Redline 10w-50 MCV burned just about a full liter of oil in 6000 miles. Not as good as the Amsoil, but significantly better than last time, and within what I would consider an acceptable limit for this type of motorcycle. Apparently, my R1150R strongly prefers 10w-50.
 
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Oilheads aren't run in until about 15,000 miles. Typical Oil consumption, until then is 0.5 - 1.0 quarts per 6,000 mile OCI. @32,000 (and since 18,000) on the odometer, my 2000 R1100R DOESN'T USE A MEASURABLE AMOUNT BETWEEN 6,000 MILE OCIs on Mobil 1 15w50... Where are you filling it to? (Should be the center of the inspection window) And are you waiting 15 minutes after you switch it off before checking the level?
 

burning1

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The bike currently has 25,000 miles on the odometer. I can confirm that I check the oil level as per the factory recommended procedure... Leave the bike on the side-stand for about 10 minutes, then level it out and permit the oil to run from the left cylinder to the sump before taking a measurement. I typically fill to the top 3rd of the oil window. Oil consumption rates are a rough calculation based on how much oil I have to add in order to keep the bike within spec. They aren't really scientific.
 
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I used to own a 1981 BMW R100 that I bought new. It had Nikasil bores in it even then. It didn't use any measurable amount of oil between changes. Sounds like the previous owner of your bike probably didn't break it in correctly.
 
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My Hayabusa burned Mobil MXT4 10w-40 noticeably. But when I use a conventional 10w-40 MC oil (like Valvoline, Spectro, etc) it burns none.
 
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My RK burns no Redline at all - at least not measureable on the dipstick. In a sound motor, all-else-being-equal Redline should be consumed very little as compared to other brands. I have heard that it takes a couple OCIs to "stabilize" the engine on Redline use but I've never actually had that problem when using Redline. If the rings are worn or weren't broken in, or there are loose valve guides, worn seals, etc. then any oil will get consumed, although a thicker oil may have a lower rate of consumption. When I first bought my Chevrolet Suburban it consumed a lot of oil, well over 1qt per OCI. I tried Amsoil XL5W-30, Amsoil ASL, and even M1 HM 10W-30 oil, after several OCI's with the synthetics I started noticing that the consumption rate was better. I switched to Amsoil HDD 5W-30 and used nearly zero oil the first 10K mile OCI, the second 10K OCI it used less than 1/2 a quart again. Now I have switched to SS0 and after over 3K miles the dipstick still shows nearly full. So I suppose the whole thing about "stabilizing" the engine with a synthetic may have some truth to it.
 

burning1

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Whatever originally came in the engine burned like crazy. I recall showing a low oil level at least once per month. Redline & Amsoil were significant improvements for this bike.
 
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