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  #1  
Old 12-17-2016, 12:27 PM
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Black Oil

Second year in the books with my 2015 RR. Bike has ran perfectly.

As most of you know I do not ride the RR on the street - so all of the 4,800 miles on the clock have been at the track.

I typically change the oil every 4 track days - I have gone as long as 6 days once.

So 4 days equates to about 500 miles.

Since new the oil has basically drained out - just like it looks coming out of the bottle - looks very clean/clear very little metal specs in the oil drain pan - basically nothing on the oil drain plug magnet.

I drained the oil with about 600 miles on it last month - it came out jet black - first time I've seen this. I am very careful about draining all the oil out during oil changes - I get just about all of it out so I don't think it was black because of old oil mixing in.

I changed the oil before I went to Jennings a few weeks ago. After the first day about 125 miles on the clock - sure enough the oil was really dark. After day 2 about 250 miles on the oil it was black.

A few observations - the oil level is not rising - so I don't think fuel is getting in - nor do I think antifreeze.

I just sent an oil sample to Blackstone Labs - their results may tell the story.

I also filled another sample bottle for myself so that I could check for any separation after letting it sit for a day - no obvious separation.

I'm thinking I either have a blow by situation or maybe a clutch going south?

Again as far as I can tell the bike runs great - I never use the clutch other than pitting out and in - so maybe all the high rpm downshifts/upshifts is beating the clutch up a bit.

Anyone have any thoughts on this?
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  #2  
Old 12-17-2016, 12:33 PM
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Re: Black Oil

Can we assume you use the same oil every time?

I have found that the detergent packages in different oils lead to different levels of discoloration in use.


That said, having the oil get so dark so quickly is disquieting to say the least. The oil sample was a good move and pretty much any thoughts in advance of the results are sheer speculation.

If this were an older engine, I might be inclined to suspect some sludging had been dislodged and distributed through the oil. Your bike, not so much.
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Old 12-17-2016, 12:47 PM
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Re: Black Oil

FWIW,

The last time I encountered your issue in person, I discovered a piston with a fractured ring land.
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Old 12-17-2016, 12:59 PM
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Re: Black Oil

Quote:
Originally Posted by gblessing
FWIW,

The last time I encountered your issue in person, I discovered a piston with a fractured ring land.
Greg:

I use the same oil.

And you may be on the right track - again some sort of blow by and a bad ring would do it. The bike runs perfect - no signs of smoke or oil lose for that matter.

The bike is still under warranty and if it has to come apart this is the time of year to do it.

I certainly don't run it as hard as many of the riders I see at the track - but again it is a machine and stuff happens.
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Old 12-17-2016, 01:53 PM
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Re: Black Oil

Track only 4500 miles, probably equal to 50,000+ street miles. Black oil is a sign it is doing its job and suspending carbon.
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Old 12-17-2016, 01:57 PM
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Re: Black Oil

Hmmm,

Relative to wear, certainly track miles are far more abusive than street miles but I can't see carbon accumulation at 4500 track miles causing the oil to blacken so quickly.

I'd be doing a leak down test on that engine if it were sitting here.

If the oil analysis comes back with high carbon loading, you'll still have the mystery of it's source to solve.

For reference, my track tool ( currently for sale due to a desire to update ) a ZX6R has 8100 miles. I bought it with 3000 miles and it has only been flogged on the track since. The oil that comes out of it usually looks like the stuff going back in.
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Old 12-17-2016, 02:29 PM
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Re: Black Oil

Quote:
Originally Posted by Beech
Track only 4500 miles, probably equal to 50,000+ street miles. Black oil is a sign it is doing its job and suspending carbon.
Beech:

Putting aside the track miles are harder than street miles for a minute. There are so many RR's @ the track these days that have 3 times the miles on the clock as mine and are track only bikes and the oil looks really good if they are changing it regularly.

I think the oil analysis is going to indicate something going on.
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Old 12-17-2016, 03:14 PM
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Re: Black Oil

I have always understood oil turns dark with use and heat cycles.

The fact you use the same oil is a little confusing unless the oil itself was reformulated with a slightly different additive package.

One thing that might have changed was the fuel. Perhaps there was more carbon soot produced with these last few fill ups.

From what I understand it only takes a very small amount of carbon to color the oil dark. I read that a perfectly running diesel engine will color the engine dark as soon as the car is driven off the ramps after an oil change.

I wouldn't worry much. But an oil analysis is a great idea
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Old 12-17-2016, 04:03 PM
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Re: Black Oil

From what I understand it only takes a very small amount of carbon to color the oil dark. I read that a perfectly running diesel engine will color the engine dark as soon as the car is driven off the ramps after an oil change.
Oh so true.

Having other bikes of the exact same type is a great thing for base line. Seems like maybe you do have a little problem in there. Going to take a few hours to break it down to have a look. I bet BMW will want more symptoms, maybe not. Interesting. They do back bikes used on the track. I know of legal action against Aprilia dealing with heat damage on the track and they are saying no way on track use warranty. Do not know how it turned out in court though.
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Old 12-17-2016, 04:53 PM
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Re: Black Oil

Quote:
Originally Posted by Beech
From what I understand it only takes a very small amount of carbon to color the oil dark. I read that a perfectly running diesel engine will color the engine dark as soon as the car is driven off the ramps after an oil change.
Oh so true.

Having other bikes of the exact same type is a great thing for base line. Seems like maybe you do have a little problem in there. Going to take a few hours to break it down to have a look. I bet BMW will want more symptoms, maybe not. Interesting. They do back bikes used on the track. I know of legal action against Aprilia dealing with heat damage on the track and they are saying no way on track use warranty. Do not know how it turned out in court though.
If I was racing it - then no warranty. Doing track days you are not hammering like you do in a race.

Also my dealer promotes track days all the time - really would be interesting for them to say they are not going to put in for a warranty claim.

Also the owners manual goes into detail about riding the bike on the track - not to mention the bike has an electronics package set up for track use. No place in the manual does it say if you ride it at the track the warranty is void.

I think as long as you have not altered the bike or crashed it and done something wrong during maintenance it will be covered.
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Last edited by brucev : 12-22-2016 at 10:49 AM.
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Old 12-18-2016, 07:28 AM
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Re: Black Oil

Bruce, Are you using any type of fuel additive?
any notice of running rich?
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Old 12-18-2016, 08:25 AM
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Re: Black Oil

Quote:
Originally Posted by BAK04GT
Bruce, Are you using any type of fuel additive?
any notice of running rich?
BAK:

No and it seems to be running perfectly.
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Old 12-18-2016, 08:33 AM
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Re: Black Oil

Wait a minute I take that back - I do use StarTron and had it in a few of the fill ups. I can't remember if I used it when I noticed the first oil change that the oil was black.

I absolutely used it before going to Florida - the bike was going to sit for 2 months - so the first tank of fuel in Florida had StarTron in it.
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Old 12-22-2016, 10:57 AM
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Re: Black Oil

Here is my oil sample results. Other than the aluminum is high - well maybe not - but high in regard to only 250 miles on the oil - so no way to know if the oil had more miles in fact the aluminum would go up.

All the numbers are low as is to be expected with such low miles on the oil - but the good thing is nothing obvious stands out.

The bad thing nothing jumps out as to why the oil is turning black after 100 miles.

I spoke to a tech at the lab - he stated the oil turning black right away in itself is not alarming - but the fact that I have done 7 or 8 oil changes previous to the last one and then this oil sample and the oil drained out basically clean/clear is suspect - unfortunately nothing in the report points to anything - other than maybe the high aluminum count.
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Old 12-22-2016, 11:32 AM
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Re: Black Oil

Molybdenum is twice the "average". I believe that MoS2 is blackish in color.
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Old 12-22-2016, 12:04 PM
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Re: Black Oil

Shell: "Myths about engine oil" http://www.shell.in/motorists/oils-l...t-car-oil.html

"Myth 2: “An engine oil that turns black is no good.”

On the contrary, an engine oil that does not turn black is a sign that the oil is not working. Modern engine oils contain detergent-dispersant additives that keep engine internal parts clean by removing carbon deposits and maintaining them in harmless suspension in the oil.

It is better to have the carbon deposits in the oil so they can be drained off than to have them left as deposits in the engine where they could do the most damage."
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Old 12-22-2016, 12:33 PM
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Re: Black Oil

Okay so I have been using only the BMW 5w40 oil in this bike. Now the oil bottles about a year ago went from quarts to liters and I don't remember when BMW switched to Shell.

I want to say the oil I have been using has all been the same.

So has anyone else using BMW 5W-40 oil noticed the oil turning black right away - or has any even noticed?

I would not have noticed on my K1300S because I don't change the oil as often like I do on my RR - only reason I noticed was because I change it often and it came out black and it hadn't on any other oil change prior.
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Old 12-22-2016, 01:58 PM
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Re: Black Oil

When I used that in my K13S, it did not change to black that fast. Just changed the oil in my GSA, and 1,000 miles later, its a darker version of the original amber.
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Old 12-24-2016, 05:47 AM
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Re: Black Oil

Actually acid/oxidation is the cause of most oil turning black on a new-ish engine and one with very few hours, I'm really surprised they did not give you the TBN and TAN numbers, those are very important numbers!
A lab that does not consider or ask current miles or hours on the bike? that is probably more important than the TBN/TAN
If BMW uses a low TBN spec oil or an oil that is not "race worthy" (can not take the heat cycles and abuse) and breaks down early that will explain the acid/oxidation and the dark black oil.
There should be no reason your oil should be turning black other than oxidation/acid and or a fuel additive causing a chemical reaction causing the oil to turn black.
Do you know the TBN of the BMW oil? Is their oil suitable for race or the track? And lastly is the oil "really" black or just a dark amber? put some of that used oil on a white paper towel to determine black or just dark amber. Also another trick and indication of true carbon is that it will stain you fingers and wont rub off. (old school)
I would try a racing oil next time, BMW oil is most likely for on road bikes and a non race spec oil.
"We don't think it is a problem at 14 ppm" "These bikes tend to shear the oil" Im thinking that their base line is 3000 miles although they don't give that info. I would find out if that is the number they are using or are they comparing test on bikes with the same mileage and type of use as you.
If their base line is 3000 miles that would show that the PPM of aluminum and copper is way way high on your engine at just 250 miles
Shear is not good at all in race applications.
Did you tell them it was a track bike?
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Old 12-24-2016, 07:05 AM
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Re: Black Oil

The oil is really black. I stared into the sight glass window myself. It's not amber by any stretch of the imagination. Really strange.
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Old 12-24-2016, 09:49 AM
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Re: Black Oil

Quote:
Originally Posted by BAK04GT
Actually acid/oxidation is the cause of most oil turning black on a new-ish engine and one with very few hours, I'm really surprised they did not give you the TBN and TAN numbers, those are very important numbers!
A lab that does not consider or ask current miles or hours on the bike? that is probably more important than the TBN/TAN
If BMW uses a low TBN spec oil or an oil that is not "race worthy" (can not take the heat cycles and abuse) and breaks down early that will explain the acid/oxidation and the dark black oil.
There should be no reason your oil should be turning black other than oxidation/acid and or a fuel additive causing a chemical reaction causing the oil to turn black.
Do you know the TBN of the BMW oil? Is their oil suitable for race or the track? And lastly is the oil "really" black or just a dark amber? put some of that used oil on a white paper towel to determine black or just dark amber. Also another trick and indication of true carbon is that it will stain you fingers and wont rub off. (old school)
I would try a racing oil next time, BMW oil is most likely for on road bikes and a non race spec oil.
"We don't think it is a problem at 14 ppm" "These bikes tend to shear the oil" Im thinking that their base line is 3000 miles although they don't give that info. I would find out if that is the number they are using or are they comparing test on bikes with the same mileage and type of use as you.
If their base line is 3000 miles that would show that the PPM of aluminum and copper is way way high on your engine at just 250 miles
Shear is not good at all in race applications.
Did you tell them it was a track bike?
BAK:

I did not have them test for the TBN because of the very low miles on the engine sample. Don't know the TBN of the BMW branded oil.

I told them the bike is not a street bike - but not a race bike - it was a track day bike so they understood the use of the bike.

They stated they were using a baseline of 2,600 miles for the RR's they tested - in the text of the report.

Also the moly is really high - now I don't know how much Shell uses - but I thought moly was not used or very little in motorcycle oils because of the wet clutches.

The aluminum is also high based on a 250 mile oil sample.

The viscosity is a little thin as well.

Trust me the oil is black - really looks like it has not been changed in thousands of miles never mind a few hundred. And remember the oil was perfect the first 7-8 oil changes.

The deal is it was the first oil sample with very low miles - I'm not going to run the bike say even to 1,000 miles - especially seeing the test results at 250 miles - and it turns black that quick.

I didn't change the oil to take the sample - I pulled the drain plug and caught the sample - I lost maybe a 1/2 quart of oil by the time I screwed the plug back in.

Basically the oil is in good condition - so I have not drained/changed it - I could run this oil in the spring for say 500 more miles and send it out for analysis but I will need to top it off with fresh oil because the bike is a little low. If I do that then I skew the oil sample results.

I spoke with the service manager where I do business - he was going to forward the test results to BMW and explain to them how fast the oil is turning black.

Will be interested in what BMW comes back with - personally I think they are not going to be overly concerned - because it is running fine - when it breaks they get concerned.
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Old 12-24-2016, 09:54 AM
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Re: Black Oil

Quote:
Originally Posted by skapan
The oil is really black. I stared into the sight glass window myself. It's not amber by any stretch of the imagination. Really strange.
I'm thinking something in the engine has moly coating like pistons/rings?

If that is the case sure seems to be wearing fast.

I want to get this resolved before next season - if it breaks in the summer I will be out of commission for the rest of the season.

In all fairness to my dealer - they just can't start testing taking the engine apart without BMW giving them the okay.
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Old 12-24-2016, 10:32 AM
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Re: Black Oil

Quote:
Originally Posted by brucev
BAK:

I did not have them test for the TBN because of the very low miles on the engine sample. Don't know the TBN of the BMW branded oil.

I told them the bike is not a street bike - but not a race bike - it was a track day bike so they understood the use of the bike.

They stated they were using a baseline of 2,600 miles for the RR's they tested - in the text of the report.

Also the moly is really high - now I don't know how much Shell uses - but I thought moly was not used or very little in motorcycle oils because of the wet clutches.

The aluminum is also high based on a 250 mile oil sample.

The viscosity is a little thin as well.

Trust me the oil is black - really looks like it has not been changed in thousands of miles never mind a few hundred. And remember the oil was perfect the first 7-8 oil changes.

The deal is it was the first oil sample with very low miles - I'm not going to run the bike say even to 1,000 miles - especially seeing the test results at 250 miles - and it turns black that quick.

I didn't change the oil to take the sample - I pulled the drain plug and caught the sample - I lost maybe a 1/2 quart of oil by the time I screwed the plug back in.

Basically the oil is in good condition - so I have not drained/changed it - I could run this oil in the spring for say 500 more miles and send it out for analysis but I will need to top it off with fresh oil because the bike is a little low. If I do that then I skew the oil sample results.

I spoke with the service manager where I do business - he was going to forward the test results to BMW and explain to them how fast the oil is turning black.

Will be interested in what BMW comes back with - personally I think they are not going to be overly concerned - because it is running fine - when it breaks they get concerned.
When sampling oil it should always be hot and if done by removing the drain plug it should be done in mid stream. I would redo it and get the TBN/TAN numbers. If the additive/oil is breaking down that can result in oil being black. By getting those numbers will also give you a defense if it is found that the BMW oil is not holding up to the application that they claim the spec covers.
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Old 12-24-2016, 10:48 AM
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Re: Black Oil

Quote:
Originally Posted by BAK04GT
When sampling oil it should always be hot and if done by removing the drain plug it should be done in mid stream. I would redo it and get the TBN/TAN numbers. If the additive/oil is breaking down that can result in oil being black. By getting those numbers will also give you a defense if it is found that the BMW oil is not holding up to the application that they claim the spec covers.
Oil was hot - was not mid stream - going to be hard to get oil up to temp now - freezing cold here and can't ride it - the roads are a mess.
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Old 12-24-2016, 07:14 PM
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Re: Black Oil

OH CRAP, DOH, it is probly the clutch that is causing the issue and high PPM of copper and aluminum never even came to mind until you mentioned moly. I dont feel that bad, the lab missed it also LOL
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Old 12-24-2016, 07:46 PM
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Re: Black Oil

Quote:
Originally Posted by BAK04GT
OH CRAP, DOH, it is probly the clutch that is causing the issue and high PPM of copper and aluminum never even came to mind until you mentioned moly. I dont feel that bad, the lab missed it also LOL
I thought about the clutch material causing the problem. Of course the clutch seems fine to me.

Does any of the clutch material have moly in it or coated with it?
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  #27  
Old 12-24-2016, 08:55 PM
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Re: Black Oil

Quote:
Originally Posted by brucev
I thought about the clutch material causing the problem. Of course the clutch seems fine to me.

Does any of the clutch material have moly in it or coated with it?
I wouldnt think so, like you said high moly would tend to make wet clutches slip, maybe that the BMW oil is just high in moly and that's what they use as an overall bike oil?
Do your bottles have an "energy saving" seal on them? if so than it has friction modifiers that are an enemy of wet clutches.
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Old 12-24-2016, 11:31 PM
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Re: Black Oil

Quote:
Originally Posted by BAK04GT
I wouldnt think so, like you said high moly would tend to make wet clutches slip, maybe that the BMW oil is just high in moly and that's what they use as an overall bike oil?
Do your bottles have an "energy saving" seal on them? if so than it has friction modifiers that are an enemy of wet clutches.
I will check but it is BMW oil so I would doubt it.
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Old 12-25-2016, 05:55 AM
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Re: Black Oil

Have you looked at the oil filter?
Have you changed oil filter brand, OEM to some aftermarket filter?

And high molybdenum levels is from the piston rings. They are made from molysteel.....
The high aluminium content could also be from the nicasil coated aluminium cylinders.

I would do a compression check and remove the cylinder head to inspect the cylinder bores..... Not that you have a scraped cylinder wall/broken piston ring.
A broken piston ring ultimately does not mean that you get a rough running engine, or that the cylinder gets destroyed. Only when a piston ring breaks that has had 20,000 plus miles and has got enough movement do you get them to be stuck.....

(Aircraft mechanic advice)
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Old 12-25-2016, 06:38 AM
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Re: Black Oil

I'd oil/filter change, with Castrol as the replacement.

For things too change, you have too make a change.

Lazy motor mechanic advice, because digging into an engine at this early age, is probably unnecessary.
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  #31  
Old 12-25-2016, 08:32 AM
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Re: Black Oil

Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrique83
Have you looked at the oil filter?
Have you changed oil filter brand, OEM to some aftermarket filter?

And high molybdenum levels is from the piston rings. They are made from molysteel.....
The high aluminium content could also be from the nicasil coated aluminium cylinders.

I would do a compression check and remove the cylinder head to inspect the cylinder bores..... Not that you have a scraped cylinder wall/broken piston ring.
A broken piston ring ultimately does not mean that you get a rough running engine, or that the cylinder gets destroyed. Only when a piston ring breaks that has had 20,000 plus miles and has got enough movement do you get them to be stuck.....

(Aircraft mechanic advice)
The bike is under warranty so at this point I am not taking it apart. I will wait and see if BMW has anything to say about the oil report.
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Old 12-25-2016, 08:36 AM
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Re: Black Oil

Quote:
Originally Posted by paulmogs
I'd oil/filter change, with Castrol as the replacement.

For things too change, you have too make a change.

Lazy motor mechanic advice, because digging into an engine at this early age, is probably unnecessary.
Paul:

I have used the same BMW oil - I use BMW oil filters - always change oil and filter together - nothing has changed on my part.

Something changed around the 4,000 mile mark. Oil went from draining out very clean/clear to black.
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Old 03-02-2019, 10:58 PM
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Re: Black Oil

What was the end story here?
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Old 03-03-2019, 12:34 AM
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Re: Black Oil

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Originally Posted by boxerboy81
What was the end story here?
I sold the bike, so I never found out what was going on.

I bought another new RR and so far this one is running great.

This one the top end is noisier than my last two - tech at the dealership acknowledged it sounds loud to him as well but told me just keep riding it.

Most likely going to be getting a new bike at the end of this year so will see what happens.
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  #35  
Old 03-03-2019, 02:22 AM
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Re: Black Oil

Quote:
Originally Posted by brucev
Most likely going to be getting a new bike at the end of this year so will see what happens.


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  #36  
Old 03-03-2019, 01:02 PM
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Re: Black Oil

A friends R bike suddenly had black oil 50 miles after change, same time the clutch started slipping. 42,500 mile, he does not ride much dirt nor is he a hot handed rider.
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Old 03-03-2019, 03:49 PM
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Re: Black Oil

Maybe the black comes from the clutch? ...seen in this video. "polluted with its own friction material". See the black discolouration all over the hub...

https://youtu.be/kZOvagDL7BM
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Old 03-03-2019, 04:29 PM
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Re: Black Oil

Quote:
Originally Posted by Beech
A friends R bike suddenly had black oil 50 miles after change, same time the clutch started slipping. 42,500 mile, he does not ride much dirt nor is he a hot handed rider.
That is what I thought but the oil test did not indicate clutch material. Bike at the time had about 4,000 track miles on it.

Now I never used the clutch for any of those miles so maybe it was the clutch starting to give up - not one hint of slipping and trust me I dialed it up all the time.
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Old 03-03-2019, 06:21 PM
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Re: Black Oil

That is our friend Fourhundred.
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