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barlow53
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VBMWMO #9125
Joined: 07/08/2016
Posts: 27

Can you please tell me your advice on when to change the Transmission, Swing Arm and Final Drive gear oil on a Vintage BMW R60/2 motorcycle in terms of miles or years (if not many miles are put on per year)? Vech says to change these at every 8,000 miles and check the levels every 1,000 miles for topping off. What do you advise?

Thanks for your help, ~~Bob

schrader7032
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VBMWMO #7032
San Antonio, TX
Joined: 10/27/2006
Posts: 6902
What was Vech's baseline for

What was Vech's baseline for how many miles per year that would cover?

While there's no combustion products to deal with like engine oil, the viscosity of gear oil relies on the polymer chains that have been designed into the oil. In the driveline of the bike, that oil is being sandwiched between gears and I'm sure that these chains are being sheared apart over time. Thus over time, the viscosity drops to lower levels. Maybe that's where Vech is coming from...after 8000 miles, enough has happened to reduce the effectiveness of the oil. It would be an interesting experiment to have the gear oil tested at a lab to see if it's still 80w90 after 8000 miles.

For me, I don't think I come anywhere near 8000 miles...it would take me quite a while to get to that. I probably do it every 4-5 years just because it seems like the thing to do. I rarely check the level...if it's not on the outside or on the ground, it must still be on the inside. Of course, checking levels (easy to do on the trans and final drive) you would see if the oil is migrating.

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Kurt in S.A.
'78 R100/7 '69 R69S '52 R25/2

barlow53
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VBMWMO #9125
Joined: 07/08/2016
Posts: 27
Kurt, As always

Kurt,

As always thanks for your input! Vech did not say anything about the years his 8000 mile limit would cover. Thus, I assume that if you rode over 8000 miles in a given year he would have you change it at the 8000 mile mark. However, I doubt he would leave the gear oil in these areas for a long term in years until you hit the 8000 limit. I don't think these bikes should be treated like a car where you rarely change these oils in the life of the car.
I agree with you that changing it every 4 or 5 years is good maintenance precaution (if the miles are relatively low each year) as well as looking at the levels to see if there is any migration between the seals particularly from the swing arm to the final drive.
If you look at the original BMW owners manuals, the mileage is a lot higher at 16000 miles when you would change these fluids....
Thanks, Bob

MikeL46
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VBMWMO #9300
Joined: 01/01/2016
Posts: 75
Just like in my car, I never

Just like in my car, I never change gear oil. But, I do add 5-10% moly to the oil.

I had the well-lubed input shaft fail on my 90S; took it to the local transmission guy. He asked how often I changed the oil 'cause the gears had the least wear he had seen on a used transmission. At the time it had around 100K miles on it. I believe in adding moly to gear boxes - use it at work also.

Mike

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67 R50/2 w/R100 engine/trans and Ural Sidecar
69 R60/2 76 R90S 78 R100RS
70 Triumph w/Spirit Eagle Sidecar

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