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Oil for the R80 ?

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I've got my "old" BMW R80 RT back in my ownership - I'm an "old newbie", the details are on my profile.

It's been out of my ownership for about ten years, or so, and I'm about to renew the engine oil and filter, but I can't remember what I used to put into this engine.

All I can remember is that is was a mineral oil, unlike the Motul synthetic stuff that I was recommended to put into my first BM, an R80/7.

Does anyone know what is recommended for this bike, please, it's a 1986 model?

Thanks in advance,


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Thanks for that information, Chrissie.

Last night, I opened the box on the rear carrier, something I've not done since it came back, and found the Haynes manual inside!

It's the one that I had passed on when the bike left here, it even has a note written in the front by me, showing that I changed the oil and filter at 11375 miles, the present mileage is 43 thousand and something, I think, so it's just about "run in"!

According to Haynes, that oil on EBay is more suited for use in an ambient temp of minus 30 degrees to plus 10 degrees, and a more suitable oil for here, might be 20/40, minus 10 to plus 30.

I've got more work to do before I start putting oil in, I think I might remove the sump, and peer inside, because the old oil was in a very poor state, the blackest I've ever seen.


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Armed myself with a tin of "Wynns" oil system cleaner, (flushing compound), this afternoon, and I've had an interesting conversation with a motor repairer type, in my local auto spares shop.

Up to this point, I haven't tried to turn the engine over yet - it's sitting and waiting for me to complete the inspection of the rear brake, and then once the rear wheel is put back on, I can try turning everything over by hand.

Then some new oil, and try to fire it up.

All this may happen next week, it depends just how cold my garage is going to be!

I will report back.


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OK, thanks for that advice.

I think that I'd better just fill change the filter, fill "Herman" up with new oil, and run him up.

He won't be going on the road until the Spring, his first journey being to the MOT tester, so all I can do, is to give him regular starts during the Winter, and try to get the oil up to a reasonable temperature, each time.

Then, when Im on the road, keep an eye on the oil for a couple of hundred miles, or so, then change it, and the filter again, irrespective of what it looks like.

This all came about this afternoon because I'd wondered if the oil, [read "very black, smelly, gloop"], that I'd drained out, was synthetic or not, and I asked the two chaps in my local shop if there was a way of telling which was which.

The answer was, "No, but if you flush through with this stuff, then you are OK to put your choice of oil in the engine"

Thats the difference between an enthusiast, and somebody who flogs engine flushing compound!

I suppose the motor mechanic in there, who agreed with the statement, couldn't care less, he's only dealing with cars belonging to customers, and if he wrecks an engine, it's "Tough luck, mate, it was OK when it left here" - shysters!


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yeah never take advice off someone trying to sell something they only tell you what you want to hear

personally what I would do is turn it over by hand like you said then fill with the grade of oil of your choice but use really cheap stuff

Run it up to temp leave it to cool for a bit then change the oil and filter for decent stuff and job done

Dont run it up during the winter just leave it there is no need to keep starting it up it only causes condensation in the motor that requires a lot of running to get rid of it :)

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OK, that's what I'll do - thanks for the help and advice.

I'll report back once everything is running, weather forecast is for a bit of cold tonight, so might not get into garage tomorrow!


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Yes, I'll put a pic up on here, Stu.

In fact, I have a photo of him, with me, at Cheltenham Racecourse, at the end of a National Rally - 1997, I think it was - the last "National" I did.

I'll dig it out, it's lurking on a stick, or a CD, I think.

He's not the most handsome of bikes, but that doesn't matter, I'm pleased to have got him back, there's quite a few memories of several trips to Scotland that we share!


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I got a chance to nip into my garage this afternoon - so I replaced the rear wheel, I removed it to inspect the rear brake shoes, and gave it a clean whilst it was out.

Also took the opportunity, whist grovelling round on the floor, to apply some "Coca Cola" to the bevel gear housing to see off all that powdery stuff on the alloy - they tell me that some people have been known to drink that stuff - takes all sorts, I suppose.

Also, because I'm over 50, I've clipped a sheet of paper on the screen.

I am pleased to report that the engine can be turned over by hand, using rear wheel/highest gear, so that's a relief.

The alloy is in a bad state - I wanted to remove the starter motor cover for an inspection within - what a job!

The sides of the cover, where they overlap the sides, had "grown" into place, and I had to remove the bolts on the air box before I could tap the cover free.

I think that the starter motor will need to come out, if only to satisfy myself that all is well, and give the area inside, a clean up, all sorts of bits of leaf and rubbish have blown in whilst in was stood, uncovered.

The cover has now been cleaned up, and has joined the queue of bits along the garage floor.

One of the securing bolts was the wrong one, being too short, and not engaged into it's thread, and the other one was a real manky affair with the hex hole almost completely rounded - it's not the bolt that left here, years ago, because almost every fastening that I removed, was treated with anti sieze compound before being tightened [but not quite as tightly as normal, to prevent over-stressing] - this bolt was dry, and had been jammed in tight, to compensate for the fact that it's too long!

Oh, I nearly forgot, [i've got a terible memory], that piece of paper on the screen, it's got all the reminders on it , like "Engine - no oil!", "Tighten rear wheel nuts", "Re-assemble back brake operating lever", and other minor, but useful, snippets!


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  • 2 weeks later...

Bloody cold in the garage!

Sump and oil pump strainer off, cleaned, and all put back.

Oil filter changed, and engine oil renewed, using some 15W 40 that was lurking nearby.

I'm intending to test all the wiring, using a spare car battery/jump leads, before operating the starter motor, [with spark plugs strapped to the fins], but I think that every connection will need to be checked/vaselined first, everything's in a bit of a state.

I notice from the wiring diagram that there is a terminal numbered "30", with wires going to number "30" on the clock, the voltmeter, the ign sw, the starter and the lighting relays.

Does this terminal physically exist?

The smaller of the two wires which are normally connected to the battery, and which I was going to connect to, for testing, seems to simply disappear into the wiring loom,does it emerge at the elusive "terminal 30", or does the batery wire divide into several smaller wires within the loom?

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OK, thanks, since I wrote that, earlier this afternoon, I've investigated, and learned a bit.

I've still no idea about the terminal, it's too cold out in the garage, but I've consulted the oracle, [internet], and discovered the DIN standard that vehicles are wired to.

Seems that the wiring is not made up as they go along, but that someone has drawn it on the back of a fag packet first, and then they assemble the wiring to what's drawn on the packet - a novel idea!

So, I downloaded a long list of numbers, with their meanings - and I now know that terminal 30 is "from battery direct", and 15 is "battery through ignition switch", for instance, and 49 is "flasher unit in", etc, etc.

It's not told me if there is a large terminal, but it makes the schematic simple to read.

Armed with this new found knowledge, I feel quite happy to meander around the wiring, and who knows, I might stumble over something, ["Ah! Doctor Terminal 30, I presume?"]

If it's of any help to anyone, it's DIN 72552, Google it, and look under the wikipedia entry/result.

I copied it and pasted it into "Word"

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Yes Stu, my Haynes manual has been joined by a Clymer manual today; the Clymer has wiring in colour, and each diagram is spread over two pages, the Haynes gives the terminal numbers, but is a bit cramped - yer pays yer money, and takes yer choice.

Anyway, I whipped out all the relays today, identified them, and cleaned them, they were a lot muckier than they were when I previously owned the machine.

Got the car battery connected this afternoon, and discovered that the fuses were making extremely poor contact. managed to get one cleaned up enough, to get the oil pressure lamp and the neutral lamp on, and I can get the start relay to operate, so it's all slowly coming back from the dead.

I'll clean up the other fuseholder next, but I think I'd prefer a new fuseholder panel, it's a bit of a hostile environment under there.

I've no idea if there was ever a plastic cover over them, I think I'd prefer if there was one - if I can't find one to suit, I can always make one up from scrap paxolin and some new fuseholders, or build one in a small ABS box.

Between now and Christmas, I'd like to pull the starter out, and clean it, and take a look inside the alternator housing, and check the ignition gubbins.

It would be nice to get everything to rotate - on the starter only first, then under "own power", around about New Years day - we'll see - I'll be back!


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Yup, slow and steady.

It seems that Motobins over at "Sunny Surfleet" stock a replacement fuseholder, which has a cover, [the original would have had one], so one of those has gone on the list for the next order.

The indicators are now working, as is the headlamp and rear lamp, but the pilot, above the headlamp is U/S - probably needs new bulb.

I suspect that the clock on the cockpit dash panel may be a non starter, and the voltmeter seems a bit "lazy", but never mind, as long as I can get the rest running, I'm not too bothered.

Hopefully, I can get the starter off on Wednesday or Thursday, I'm like most pensioners, so busy helping other people, there's not enough hours in the day!


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Herman's starter motor has been removed today - not the easiest job, and having been cleaned up, (washed with Coca Cola), it seems to be in pretty good nick - I managed to rotate the starter ring one complete turn, by hand, and it rotates quite easily.

I've previously turned the engine with the rear wheel, but this was even easier, so I am very pleased with it.

The inside of the alternator housing is surprising clean, too, a bit dusty, with some bits of cobweb here and there.

I've rung "Motobins" this afternoon, and ordered a replacement fuse unit and fuses, a pair of front fork boots, and some replacement pipe and hose, for the front brakes.

All this, and I've not even rotated the engine on the starter, yet!

Never mind, something about ship's, and small quantities of tar, I believe?


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I have got to the "renewing of the fork gaiters" bit.

In over fifty years of motorcycling, I cannot remember having to do this job before, and I wonder if there is a BMW expert on here, who can advise, please?

The gaiters aren't likely to be able to be slid up from the bottom, the forging that houses the front wheel spindle is too big, (I think), so I presume that the forks will need to be lowered through the pinch bolts, and the gaiters slipped on from the top.

If this is correct, has anyone any advice how to get the top nuts undone?

They are 41mm across the flats, a bloody big socket is going to be needed, am I tackling this the correct way?


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OK Stu,

I'll take a photo either tomorrow, or on Monday.

I've already removed the brake pipes in preparation for their replacement, so I couldn't even ride it to a repairers, (no MOT, insurance, or tax, anyway)

Dropping the forks is not difficult, I have moved the handlebars to clean the yoke beneath, so access to the plug nuts is OK, and there are just the two pinch bolts in the yoke to slack off.

What would you like a picky of? Bottom part of the fork, and the gaiter?

Whilst in the shower earlier, I do my best thinking in the bathroom, I wondered if boiling water on the gaiter would allow enough stretch, but it has got to stretch to twice it's normal diameter, so back to plan A !


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take a look at this pic


is it the fork bolt your trying to undu?

if so leave it alone you dont need to remove this to take the forks out

the top and bottom yolk should have pinch bolts slacken these then the forks will come out

although they might be a bit tight in there and take a bit of persuasion

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