BMW R Series Frequently Asked Questions:

5.1 How much oil goes into the engine?

Without changing the filter: 3.5 liter (0.92 US gallons)
With change of filter: 3.75 liter (0.99 US gallons)

From lower edge of the glass to the high edge is 0.5 liters of oil.

R1200GS: With change of filter: 4.0 liter

5.2 What is the part number for the oil filter?

1200: BMW part # 11427673541 Filter

Here is an alternative list of filters:
Oil filters: 
FRAM is the correct FRAM but hard to find at WallyWorld. PH6063
FRAM is readily available and works PH3614
NAPA 1348
Mobil-1  M1-102
BMW  11.42-1 460 843 or 845
Mahle/knecht/microstar/tecafiltre (original part) OC91
Champion (of motorcycle range) C301
Purflux  LS188B
Tech9 (France only, made by Mahle in fact) n16
Hiflofiltro (from Thailand) HF-163
Mann-Hummel  MW712
Detlev Louis (Germany)  10050195
Toyota  08922-02004 or 90915-YZZB9
Perf-form (on BMW-1
UFI makes one too (italian) 
Donit ( 43 10 133
For After May, '97, 1100RT 
Purolator  P/N11421460845
Bosch  3330
WalMart  ST3614
Purolator  L00241
AC  PF53

The author of this table, the Honorable JVB, writes:
Keep in mind that that list was originally compiled for the R1100/1150 bikes. But they will fit and work on an R1200. I will not personally attest to their suitability in either application. I only know that countless people have successfully used them on the R1100/1150, and more and more are using them on the R1200. I am aware of no reports of any issues with their use.
5.3 Can I reuse the washer when changing the oil?

Yes you can, if you must, but preferably not. It is a so called crush washer that deforms to seal perfectly. Thus the bolt and case are designed with the assumption that a new washer every time. They are inexpensive!

BMW part # 07119963252 Crush washer

5.4 What type of oil can I use in the engine?

BMW, the designer and manufacturer, specifies "HD Oil classified as
API SF, SG or SH, or HD oil classified as CCMC G4 or G5." Almost all
modern mineral engine oil will meet these classifications.

Furthermore, the viscosity (in the range -10 centigrade to 30
centigrade) should be SAE 20W40 or better.

Here is a real question which started Yet Another Oil Thread in GSpot, and the Politically Correct answer:

Originally Posted by Joe User Hello, I wanted to know what type of oil do you use on your bike. I own an hp2 and I am thinking to use Bel Ray Sae 20w-50 (API SG, JASO MA). I was using Castrol full synthetic, but my dealer told me that there is no need to use full synthetic, as BMW suggests for air-cooled engines simple oil. This is true or not? Does simple oil lubrictes as well as full synthetic or things are different for boxers? Thanks..

Too many questions at once.

First, it is true that BMW, the designer and manufacturer of your HP2, clearly states that the engine has been designed to run on plain mineral oil. They do so by stating the requirements for the oil. Plain, traditional mineral oil meets these requirements.

You are free to value the opinion of BMW, the designer and manufacturer or your HP2, lower or higher than opinions aired on the Internet.

Second, it is not true that an old-style mineral oil has as high (and stable) quality as an expensive, fully synthetic oil.

It is also not true that an old-style mineral oil lubricates as well as an expensive, fully synthetic oil after even the shortest use.

Now, based on these three observations (one true and two false), you must decide with great care which of them you believe answered the question you wanted to ask.

You see, I believe you wanted to ask the first question. On the Internet most answers will be to one or both of the second two questions. In particular, you can expect most replies to answer your first question with false BECAUSE the two second questions have false as their answer.

5.5 How much oil goes in the transmission?

You fill until it is full. That will be circa 800 ml (0.8 liters).

1200: 800 ml (0.8 liters).

5.6 What kind of oil goes in the transmission?

BMW, the designer and manufacturer, specifies: Oil for hiopdial
gears class API GL5. Above 5 degrees C SAE 90. Below 5C SAE 80.
Or as alternative SAE 80 W 90".

In other words: Any modern hypoid oil with API GL5 and SAE 90 on it should be fine.

5.7 How much oil goes in the FD?

1100, 1150
Fill it until it is full at the bottom of the threads. It will be circa 250 ml.

250 ml on initial fill and 220 ml on oil change (notice: it is not a spelling error - 250 and 220).
On the 1200 there might, or might not, be proper holes to drain and
fill the FD. There is a document in Wisdom (see named "R12GS
Final Drive Fluid Change".
In the document, the author writes you should fill 250 ml of oil in the FD. That is not correct.

5.8 What kind of oil goes in the FD?

BMW, the designer and manufacturer, specifies "Oil for hiopdial
gears class API GL5. Above 5 centigrades SAE 90. Below 5
centigrades SAE 80. Or as alternative SAE 80 W 90".
In other words: Any modern oil with API GL5 and SAE80W90 on it should be fine.

5.9 Can I use 75W140 in my FD?

Yes you can, and many do.
However you might consider that BMW has specified 75W90, probably becuase if your rear drive gets hot enough to require the 140 chances are you already have final drive problems.. Otherwise the 75W90 will lubricate better with less fluid drag, the slightly lighter fluid is better for the bearings... Heavier fluids with higher temp. ratings (140) work well for extreme temperature's (hotter than your final drive gets) and higher shock loads, otherwise the lighter fluid is a better lubricant overall.

5.10 How often should I change the oil in the FD?

The consensus among the majority, with a non-trivial minority, is that you should change the oil in the FD at 600 miles (1.000 km), and then every 12.000 miles (20.000 km).
On the 1100 and 1150 changing the oil is simple. For the 1200 there is a document in Wisdom (see

5.11 I overfilled the FD or my engine - what do I do?

If you overfill, consensus is that you should drain and then
fill in the proper amount. There is a real chance of destroying
seals inside due to the pressure becoming too high.

That being said: The most common error (at least in Europe) is to fill 4 liters (and not 3.75) in the engine. Consensus seems to be that it is not a crucial amount, and that you can choose to ignore it.

5.12 What is "dino oil"?

Dino is short for dinosaurus. Dinosaurus lived on Earth at more or less the same time as the deposits were made that we now extract as mineral oil. The opposite of dino is synth.

5.13 Oil consumption

As per the manual, it is normal for oil to be consumed at a rate of 1 liter / 1.000 km (1/4 gallon 600 miles).

PART 6: Modifying the bike

6.1 How can I get more fuel into the tank

This question can be phrased also as follows:
What is this fuel neck mod' people keep talking about?
How do I do the fuel filler mod?
I can't fill my tank up all the way. What can I do?
The neck into the tank is to ensure that you don't fill the tank all the way to the top. The reason is that a completely full tank will overflow if you put the bike on the side stand. If you make (by drilling, for example) one or more holes in the neck there will be room for another two to three liters of fuel (1/2 to 3/4 gallon)

There is a rubber neck inserted into the steel neck in the tank. It's purpose is not clear. You can remove it. Another two liters (1/2 gallon) will fit in the tank.

6.2 Other well documented modifications
Handlebar risers
Replacing heated grip rubbers
Installing 1200ADV winglets on a standard 12gs
Aeroflow install and review
Alternate skid plates
Alternate footpegs
Install ADV tank in standard 12GS
PART 7: Miscellaneous

7.1 What is the toll-free phone number for BMW Roadside Assistance?
In the US, call 1-877-680-2176

7.2 Other resources on the Net?

If you don't find your answer here in this FAQ, it does neither imply that it has not been asked and answered here at ADVrider before (just that your question isn't frequent), nor that the ADVrider community doesn't know the answer. Try to use Google like this: "Your Question". Google is very good at these things!
Now, if that isn't enough, here is a list of other well-know resources that populate the surroundings:
Touratech USA
The site
The site
Woody's Wheel Works He also maintains a dedicated thread which you can find here
Motorcycle Yellow Pages
Marc Parnes Products for Motorcycles
A long thread on panniers
Sargent saddle: First impression, custom, and review
7.3 I have another question

If you have a question you think should be included here, please feel free to send me (tagesk) a PM on ADV Rider and we'll discuss it.

Thanks to Task for all the hard work he did, and continues to do!
2013 JimVonBaden/JVB Productions
JVB Productions
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