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I've got myself an oil burner

  1. #1

    I've got myself an oil burner

    Just wondering what your experiences have been. I've only ridden my new bike about 600 miles, and had to add oil twice, half a quart in total. I first checked the oil after 300 miles, I saw it barely above the bottom line of the site glass. Thinking the dealer sent me off without checking the oil, I added 250 ml. After putting another 300 on it, I checked it this evening, and there was no oil to be seen through the glass.

    So, I'm thinking I'll be calling the dealer in the morning. I was checking the maintenance manual, though, and it states a max allowable oil consumption of 0.85 quarts/500 miles. That seems pretty excessive. I'm guessing I won't be told that my oil consumption is within specs??? After all, I wouldn't have bought a BMW that I intend to put a lot of miles on if I had been told its entirely tolerable for it to burn close to a quart of oil every 500 miles, when I've ridden Jap bikes that have never burned oil on me. And even what I'm seeing, half a quart after 600 miles, is unacceptable. I don't want to have to carry oil with me when I tour. Any advice?

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  2. #2
    Lifer oreo_n2's Avatar
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    I've got myself an oil burner

    are you sure your checking it properly?
    Is the engine warm? bike upright? Does the manual specify a funky procedure for checking oil?

    this might be common for break in of a new german motor too?

    lots of things to consider.

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    Brent LRRS #772
    2006 KTM 560 SMR

  3. #3
    Lifer mycirus's Avatar
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    I've got myself an oil burner

    Yeah what model BMW? It may just need to break in. I think we need more info.

    Bruce

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  4. #4
    Member babo's Avatar
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    I've got myself an oil burner

    Don't worry yet. Mine ate about a quart every 1,000 miles since it was new, and that's normal. (I followed the owner's manual to the letter, which I think in retrospect was a mistake). They generally stop eating oil all of a sudden maybe between 5-20K miles...

    That's why I was suggesting you consider breaking it in HARD. Yours probably wasn't broken in hard enough, who knows. Maybe your bike is young enough to still seat the rings better right now. The way to do it is full throttle runs through the torque peak (I think redline is unneccessary and maybe counterproductive) a lot.

    Chris (the owner) at San Jose BMW has been building killer boxers for many years. He built Brian Parriott's Daytona-winning BoxerCup bike. I'd suggest calling him and asking him for suggestions. He'll probably tell you that you can't hurt the motor and to beat it as hard as you can. He warrantied my rings because of my oil consumption AND a pinging problem. But that was a good thing, because he balanced the rods and pistons, and reground the valves to function at a 45mm instead of 44mm opening (and did a precise grind). The bike runs like a scalded cat now and is noticibly smoother...

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    BMW R1200GS

  5. #5

    I've got myself an oil burner

    My bro's got a 2004 R1200GS. Good thing it's got a top box, because he has to carry oil for the bike with him wherever he goes. Checking the oil frequently is another necessity.

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  6. #6
    I kick hippies...and Kham Nikon's Avatar
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    I've got myself an oil burner

    Originally posted by ChR1s
    My bro's got a 2004 R1200GS.

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  7. #7
    Grizzly Fuckin Adams dhuze's Avatar
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    I've got myself an oil burner

    So does Harley build these motors?

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  8. #8

    I've got myself an oil burner

    Thanks all for the quick response. I'd swear all you guys do is ride and watch the site.

    Babo, do you mind if I ask you a few questions?

    1. You had your motor built under warranty, but not solely for oil consumption. How many miles were on your bike when it was rebuilt, and I'm guessing that you did not observe an improvement in oil consumption prior to the rebuild?

    2. As far as the bike still being young enough to seat the rings, I'm not sure. I bought it with 1400 miles, and its now at 2000. It was a demo bike, and so I'm guessing it got ridden hard, but not too hard, if you know what I mean. I know that when I've ridden bikes I'm not familiar with, I've tried to get a feel for them without going too crazy, and I'm guessing that's how most of the later 30 somethings to early 40 somethings who would've ridden the bike before me would have handled it. So I doubt its had many hard miles, and I haven't really been very hard on the motor, myself.

    3. Can you give me Chris' number, and since you know him better than I do, do you think he'd be okay with answering my questions/reassuring me about my bike? I'm not his customer; and San Jose isn't exactly close, so I'd kind of be reluctant to go to him for warranty work, although from your recommendation it appears he's more than competent.

    Thanks in advance

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  9. #9

    I've got myself an oil burner

    Are you following the Official BMW Oil Level Check Ritual? Cause if you aren't, you may have overfilled the engine.

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  10. #10
    Member babo's Avatar
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    I've got myself an oil burner

    Originally posted by Chiara
    Thanks all for the quick response. I'd swear all you guys do is ride and watch the site.

    Babo, do you mind if I ask you a few questions?

    1. You had your motor built under warranty, but not solely for oil consumption. How many miles were on your bike when it was rebuilt, and I'm guessing that you did not observe an improvement in oil consumption prior to the rebuild?

    2. As far as the bike still being young enough to seat the rings, I'm not sure. I bought it with 1400 miles, and its now at 2000. It was a demo bike, and so I'm guessing it got ridden hard, but not too hard, if you know what I mean. I know that when I've ridden bikes I'm not familiar with, I've tried to get a feel for them without going too crazy, and I'm guessing that's how most of the later 30 somethings to early 40 somethings who would've ridden the bike before me would have handled it. So I doubt its had many hard miles, and I haven't really been very hard on the motor, myself.

    3. Can you give me Dan's number, and since you know him better than I do, do you think he'd be okay with answering my questions/reassuring me about my bike? I'm not his customer; and San Jose isn't exactly close, so I'd kind of be reluctant to go to him for warranty work, although from your recommendation it appears he's more than competent.

    Thanks in advance

    1. Bike had 16,700 miles on it when the rings were replaced. I thought I had seen the consumption slow down once or twice, but it probably was because the oil level doesn't read consistently. It was definately burning at the same rate when the rings went in.

    2. It sounds like your bike wasn't flogged too hard before you got it.

    3. SJBMW is (408) 295-0205. Extension 4 is service, where Dan can be found. You can also e-mail him at dan@sjbmw.com but his response could be slow. He's a genuinely nice guy and will probably give you more time on the phone than you'd expect. At least see what he thinks about seating the rings at this mileage. I doubt you have a warranty issue at this point; I did because of the pinging. I would take a bike there if engine work was required that created an opportunity for some upgrades. He builds an R1150SJS; I was hoping warranty would pay for new jugs and I could exchange them for the 1150 jugs, but it wasn't possible. Oh well...

    Tell us what he says.

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    Last edited by babo; 05-26-06 at 08:11 PM.
    BMW R1200GS

  11. #11

    I've got myself an oil burner

    Thanks guys. I did some looking at Pelican, and as you're telling me, it seems burning oil is common among these bikes when new.

    I'm thinking that I'll email Chris for his opinion. Do you mind if I drop your name, Babo? It sounds like he would know who you are. I'll also email my salesman, just so that when he responds to me I'll have documentation acknowledging that I had a concern over oil consumption early on if it does not eventually improve.

    Thanks for taking some time to help a Boxer noob. I appreciate it. Any other advice is welcome.

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  12. #12

    I've got myself an oil burner

    Originally posted by RevBMW-Z
    Are you following the Official BMW Oil Level Check Ritual? Cause if you aren't, you may have overfilled the engine.
    Yes. Warm the motor, put it on the side stand for a few minutes, then let it rest on the centerstand for a few minutes.

    I've been adding 20W-50 dino oil. I'm thinking it should be reasonably thick. For kicks I checked it again on my way out this morning (cold motor) and it showed about 1/4 of the way up the sight glass. I understand these motors can hide some oil, but I really don't think the motor's over full.

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  13. #13
    Angry Gumball RandyO's Avatar
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    I've got myself an oil burner

    My SV consumes a fair amount of oil

    I find, consumption is less if I keep it topped off, the lower the level goes, the faster it goes

    comsumption increases as you get closer to oil change interval


    high milage oils and diesel oils seem to stay in there the longest


    I go thru about a quart every 1000 miles normal rural day to day riding , 3 quarts in a thousand miles on the highway

    I burnt 3 quarts riding down to deals gap, uses a half a quart or so during the week down there, and another 2 quarts on the way back (engine was prolly running a lot cooler that last 150 miles in the rain & flooding)

    is it worth rebuilding....no way it still runs the ballz, just lays a little smoke screen now & then

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    RandyO
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  14. #14
    Lifer richw's Avatar
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    I've got myself an oil burner

    My 97 Yamaha new started with a qt every 600 and the factory said that was within acceptable range.

    my Gixer got the motoman hard break in and has not used a drop in 5000 miles. Or maybe its the Suzuki part ... don't know

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  15. #15
    Soul Rider Paul_E_D's Avatar
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    I've got myself an oil burner

    Hey Randy, I'm not trying to butt heads with you in every thread, honest, but... I ran my last mini engine till it was burning oil like that. What finally happened is that a ring broke.

    I'm sure you're aware the oil consumption indicates worn bores and that the rings and pistons won't survive that loose tolerance forever. I'm seeing a rebuild in your furture. Might be easier to "schedule" it than to wait for it to "schedule" itself.

    Taking it out a couple thou won't hurt the power any either.

    Of course, the cheapest route would be to buy a complete low mileage motor and start all over again!

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    Paul_E_D


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