F650GS Oil/Filter Change FAQ

Drafted by Joe M. #628
Edited (and photos) by Kristian #562
Edited and Updated by Winter
Please read the Disclaimer before attempting any work in this FAQ.
28 November 2005

For all other Generic Questions see either the Classic Oil Change FAQ or the OIL FAQ.


Replacing the engine oil and filter on an F650GS is not difficult if you know exactly what to do. These instructions presume no special knowledge or skills, and will walk you through the procedure in detail. Your BMW dealer will sell you a kit containing the parts you need for about $10.00 (filter, rubber o-ring, crush ring for oil tank, copper ring for drain plug). Your bike's toolkit will contain all required tools, except for a socket for the drain plug (24 mm, or 15/16"), and a torque wrench. If you do not have a torque wrench, try to borrow one (Pep Boys lends tools to customers). If you cannot borrow one, you should still be able to do the oil change; just be sure not to over-tighten things.

Dual Spark GS

The dual spark GS (2004 and later GS models) is almost the same as the single spark GS (2003 and earlier GS models). The only real difference is the twin spark models use a dipstick rather than a sight glass to check your oil level.

Section 1: GS/Dakar Oil/Filter Change

Tools and Parts

Description/BMW Description Generic Size - For non-BMW Purchases BMW Part #
Filter Cover "O-RING" 59.52x2.62 11 41 7 654 013
Copper Crush Washer for Sump Drain Plug "GASKET RING" 24x30x1.5 /Cu (Cu = Copper) 11 41 7 652 949
Oil Filter "OIL FILTER INSERT" n/a 11 41 2 343 452
Crush Washer for Oil Tank Drain Bolt "GASKET RING" A8X11.5 07 11 9 963 041
Possibly an O-RING for Oil Filler Cap every 20-30,000 km's 30x2.8 11 43 2 345 827
Universal Filter Kit

When ordering an Oil Change Filter Kit, you may get a "Universal Filter Kit" that will work for several bike models, which is why the part numbers don't match the ones above and the reason for the extra washers/gaskets.

  • The kit number is # 11 11 7 658 311
  • The Aluminum Gasket A8x11.5 is # 9963041
  • The O-ring 59.52x2.62-N-NBR70 is # 7654013
  • The Oil Filter Inlay is # 2343118
  • Then there are 3 copper washers, one of which I know is for the drain plug-the other two must be for other models. I have no idea which # is for the bigger Drain plug gasket, there are no sizes indicated on the part list.
  • Copper gasket # 2343010
  • Copper gasket # 7652949
  • Copper gasket # 2343240

(Thanks to Runaway #1259)

See also Alternative Sources for Oil-Filters.


There are three discrete areas that need attention. Oil drains from each one. They are (1) the oil tank; (2) the crankcase; and (3) the filter housing.

Oil Tank

See the Two Easy Alternatives below if you are ONLY Changing the Oil. The following procedure must be carried out however, if you doing the Oil AND checking the Valves.

  1. Place bike on Centerstand. Start the bike, allow it to reach operating temperature (the fan should cycle on) [Ed: Or, you might actually RIDE it] Turn bike off.
  2. Remove seat. (The seat is removed by first removing the little, locked cover at the rear of the bike, which exposes a latch. Pull on the latch, and then lift the seat off)
  3. There are seven stainless steel Torx-head screws that need removal or loosening so that the left panel of the faux "gas tank" can be removed, exposing the oil tank. (The oil tank is hidden underneath the "gas tank," and is the item to which the black oil filler cap on top of the "gas tank" screws on to) (For the uninitiated, Torx is the trademarked name for a star-shaped screw head)
  4. Six of the seven Torx screws are removed, and one is loosened. Remove the following: the left-most screw that is exposed when the seat is removed, the screw at the front of the "gas tank" slightly forward of the black filler cap, and the four screws that go through the silver-colored plate (This Picture shows the RHS one, but is similar on the Left) to which the left front turn signal is attached. When these last four are removed, the turn signal will hang. That's OK. You can also unplug the turn signal wire (Just squeeze the black tabs at the sides and pull gently) if you want and remove it completely from the bike (very good idea).
  5. The seventh screw, which merely needs to be loosened, is underneath the panel, about an inch behind the rear-most portion of the front beak-like fender.
  6. Remove the oil filler cap. The panel can now be lifted up and off the oil filler neck. The lower part of each "tank" half fits in a rubber grommet. Be gentle or you will break the male fitting on the panel ! Use Vaseline on the grommet before installing the panels and assembly/disassembly will be easier next time. There is a relatively tight force-fit between the panel and neck, just use gentle pressure and it will come off.
  7. The black oil tank, which has fins built in, is now visible. The tank needs to be removed from the bike so it can be tilted, to enable a complete draining or you can just put the bike on the sidestand which will give it enough lean to get pretty much all of it out. If you do not want/need to remove the tank, skip step 8 and part of 11. (Thanks to Paul).
  8. First, loosen the bottom-most bolt on the tank. (It is a hex-head.) This is a drain bolt. You want to loosen it and then re-tighten it finger tight so that it can be removed without too much difficulty once the tank is off the bike.
  9. The tank is attached to the bike at three places: one is a bolt, the other two places are C-clips. Dislodge the clips using a screwdriver. Note that under each of the C-clips is a black washer, which you should also remove, so as not to lose them. Then remove the uppermost bolt, which holds the tank against the air-box. Take care not to drop the black plastic spacer. The oil tank should now be free from the frame. Take CARE removing the top bolt and when you put it back, do NOT overtighten or it will Pull Out of or Rotate in the Airbox!
  10. Remove the previously-loosened drain bolt, and allow the oil to drain into a receptacle. (A long funnel may be useful in directing the oil flow.) Tilt the tank to assure that it is dry.

    Alternatively if you're only changing the oil and don't need to take the cover off for anything else:

    Easy Alternative #1

    OK this may not be earth breaking news or anything like that but I did not want to remove the "tank cover' and pull out the oil tank. I admit I'm lazy and the thought of removing that stuff makes me mad, they (BMW) can not put in a remote drain, (winter project). Went to the local auto store to get oil and picked up a hand pump for 10 bucks. Put the hose in the oil tank and the other hose end in the bucket and started pumping, two minutes later the tank was empty. OK some will say I did not get all the oil, how much oil is still left in pockets that don't drain. I can live with the thought that a few table spoons eluded capture. Thought it was of interest. Thanks to Tom#1089

    Easy Alternative #2

    Remove the oil tank from its mounting to empty it. Just remove the drain plug with the Dakar on the sidestand and catch the oil in a milk jug. ECho

  11. After the oil has drained, reattach the tank to the frame. Tighten the upper bolt to 9 nm. (Or if doing this by feel, "not too tight, not too loose). NOTE! The Rubber plug in the Airbox that the Upper RHS Oil Tank Bolt goes into can turn in the Rubber Grommet in the Airbox and the Brass insert is pretty thin, so don't over torque it when you do your Oil Change. See Oil-tank bolt-grommet Pulls Out of or Rotates in the Airbox The other place where they use a similar arrangement is the Airbox Drain, which leaks oil past the Rubber Seal, down along the outside of the Drain Tube. Great. I couldn't tighten it any either. What's wrong with a cast Plastic Nipple like the Classic?. I've never over-filled the Oil, nor dropped the bike, so oil coming up into the Airbox is a bit of nuisance, especially with that dreadful Drain Arrangement.

    Looking for where this goes? Q. A black metal spacer, about 1/2 inch thick by 3/4 inch diameter with a 1/4 inch hole in it fell out of someplace. I know the black plastic housing the air filter goes in was off and I think I was removing the coil from the plastic cylinder head cover when it fell out. Could not determine where it came from. Any one know? A. There's a (black plastic) spacer between the oil tank and frame!

  12. Then replace the two clips. The drain bolt must be replaced, using a new crush washer that comes with the kit. Tighten the bolt to 21 nm, which is fairly tight; the washer will actually be "crushed," hence its name.
  13. Slide the previously removed body panel over the oil tank filler neck, engage the panel into the middle panel that is still on the bike, and replace the six Torx-head screws. Tighten up the screw that was merely loosened, making sure the panel is engaged on top of it. Then replace the oil tank cap so stuff doesn't land inside the tank while you work on the other two areas.


  1. Remove the bash plate. That is the silver (apparently aluminium) plate at the very bottom of the frame, containing three triangular holes. The plate is attached to the frame with three Torx bolts. Remove all three, and then remove the bash plate. Front Bolt. Lower bolts.
  2. The drain plug is at the very bottom of the crankcase, in the middle. (There is a similar looking plug off to the side. Leave that alone. The drain plug should have a black label saying "Made in Italy" and " magnetico" or something like that)
  3. Place your oil receptacle directly under the drain plug. Then remove the plug using a 24 mm or 15/16" socket. The oil will drain out. It should be hot or warm. Gloves are recommended.
    Direction To Unscrew Oil Drain Bolt

    Many people have trouble trying to figure out which way to unscrew the oil drain bolt. Always keep in mind: the F650 bikes do not contain any reverse threaded bolts. In other words - clockwise will tighten a bolt, and anti-clockwise will loosen a bolt. The following things may help you work out the correct direction:

    • Lay down on your back looking back up at the oil drain plug
    • Use a ratchet on another bolt first. Once you know what direction on the ratchet is correct to loosen the bolt, change to the 24mm socket.
    • I use a ratchet and I set the direction by holding the socket in my left hand and trying it. That way it can turn only one way whether it is upside down or right side up. (thanks to norbrat)
    • When you removed the bash plate bolts, keep track of the direction you used for the two bolts under the bike. Unscrewing the oil drain bolt is the same as unscrewing the bash plate bolts.
    • If you are unsure - ask a competent "friend/mechanic".

    You are better off waiting five days for a "friend/mechanic" to show you the correct way to do it, than damaging your oil drain plug / engine cases. Also see the note regarding Sump Plug Removal on a GS/Dakar, below.

  4. While the oil is dripping, clean off the drain plug, and especially the little metal filings that have adhered to the "magnetico" portion of the plug.
  5. After the oil stops dripping, (note the Mesh Filter in the Picture) replace the drain plug, making sure to use a new copper ring. The torque spec is 40 nm, which is "nice and strong." Don't over-tighten it, or you'll have a job getting it off again. See the Classic Sump Plug FAQ for ideas on what to do if you do not want to over tighten it, but don't want it to leak or worse, come off.
  6. Reattach the bash plate, using the three bolts. The torque is 9nm.

Oil Filter

  1. To access one of the bolts on the oil filter housing, you need to remove the plastic sprocket cover. This is the item that says "650" on the right side of the bike. There are three Torx bolts attaching the sprocket cover to the bike. Two are on the bottom, and one is recessed, going right through the cover. Remove all three bolts and the sprocket cover will come off.
  2. The oil filter cover sits right above the sprocket cover. It is circular and is about 4 inches in diameter.
  3. Before removing the oil filter cover, dislodge the black wire underneath it, first studying how it is routed. This is the neutral indicator wire. It should be dislodged because oil is going to spill out of the filter housing when you remove the cover, and you should try to avoid dousing that wire with oil if possible. (A little bit doesn't hurt, so long as you mop it up). If you cover it sufficiently with a cloth, dislodging it is not absolutely necessary. Arrange a Cloth under the bottom of the filter cover, out over the edge of the bike.
  4. Remove the three Torx bolts that are equidistant around the perimeter of the oil filter cover. As you are loosening the third one, oil should start leaking out. BMW sells a tool that engages on the frame and supposedly directs the flow of oil neatly into your receptacle. (Tool no. BMW 11 7 511). The part is a small trough that hangs off 3 little pins under the oil filter cover. It directs the oil away from the frame so you can put a catch it in a receptacle. When I asked my dealer how much it cost he told me "about $68" Sixty-eight bucks!? Never mind...See Oil Drip Tray Alternatives below. Anyway, remove the third bolt and pull off the cover. NOTE! The '05 and maybe later GS has ONE extra bolt. It is one of the connectors for Jump-Starting the bike.
  5. After sopping up the errant oil, remove the filter by pulling it straight back. (You may have to use a tool to encourage it to leave its home) After the filter is removed, clean the filter housing using a clean, lint free cloth.
  6. Inside the filter cover is a black rubber o-ring. Pry it off with a screwdriver. Coat the new o-ring with fresh oil, and place the O-ring over the cover.
  7. Coat the rubber ring inside of the new filter with fresh oil. Press the new filter into the filter housing. The hole in the filter, of course, must face the bike. There is a protrusion onto which the filter will seat.
  8. Reattach the filter cover using the three bolts. The torque spec is a "not-too-tight" 10 Nm. NOTE! The '04 and maybe later GS has ONE extra bolt. It is one of the connectors for Jump-Starting the bike. Do NOT Torque this bolt to 10Nm! If you do, it will break, like this one!

  9. Re-route the neutral wire as you found it, if you dislodged it.
  10. Re-attach the "650"- emblazoned sprocket cover. The spec is a hand-tight 2 nm.

Refilling (with new Oil)

  1. Remove the oil filler cap on the "gas tank" and pour two liters of oil inside. Start the bike and let it idle for thirty seconds. (This forces oil to circulate and lowers the level in the oil tank.)

  2. Add another 0.3 liters of oil.

  3. Replace the seat. Replace the "glove compartment" cover.

  4. In order to get proper readings from the sight glass, you need a good ride of a few miles to get things circulating and settled. You may find that you need to add another 0.1 liter if you like the oil to be at the maximum of the sight glass, rather than in the middle.

  5. Clean up.

Section 2: Misc Questions and Problems

Sump Plug Removal on a GS/Dakar

Lots of people have had a lot of problems removing the Sump Plug on the Dakar. Dealers seem to do them up VERY tight. As the head is not that DEEP, and many sockets have a Bevel at the Leading edge, the real hex part of the Socket starts only 1-2mm into the Socket. In order to stop rounding the corners of the NUT, consider the following.


Checking Oil Level in the Oil Sight Glass

by Rick #815 BC Can

Typical Problem: What did I do wrong? So last night I did my first oil change on my '02 GS. Anyhow, I filled my tank with the prescribed 2 liters, ran the bike for 1/2 a minute, then put in another .3 liters. Went for about a 10 minute ride: easy riding 1st and 2nd gear just around the 'hood. When I came back, there was NO oil in the sight glass. Nothing. No leaks, no drips anywhere, and no oil in the sightglass. I put in another .1 liters of oil, and still nothing in the sight glass. Checked the FAQs again this morning, seems like the d*mn thing should be full, or at least showing up on the sight glass. (If i take the oil cap off and look inside, there is still oil in the tank, it's just kinda low). What did I do wrong? Where's my cheese?

This is the BMW Service bulletin, checking oil.

RDW, Vancouver BC, From the latest edition of my dealer's monthly newsletter: (www.johnvalkbmw.bc.ca)

Tech Tip - Checking Oil Levels:


Foggy Oil Sight Glass?

I have purchased a used 2002 F650 GS Dakar and I am having problems with the oil sight glass fogging up. As it is very difficult to tell my oil level because eather the sight glass is fogging up or the oil is foaming creating a fogged image in the sight glass. I was woundering if any one new about this problem and if so; how to fix this problem? blueflame

Two-Part Oil Change?

I stopped by my local BMW dealers today and asked the service manager about this partial oil change situation. To my surprise, he confirmed that this is indeed now BMW's recommendation regarding the 600 mile service on the singles - drain only the sump and replace that oil, and leave the oil in the remote reservoir. He had no idea why BMW had made this recommendation other than for saving money, said it made no sense to him, and they continue to do a full oil change in his facility. This seems downright bizarre to me, and if it were my bike I would insist on a full oil change. Saving the cost of about 1.3 - 1.5 quarts of oil, even the most expensive oil, just wouldn't be worth it to me.


Copper Crush Washer? - Can I re-use it?

Last May I changed my oil sump plug and installed a brass plug containing a temperature sensor. The thing came with a copper washer (from Touratech). Now, whenever I change the oil, I've been forced to reuse the same copper washer as I can't find a proper metric replacement. The FAQ states that such a copper washer is part of the BMW oil change kit for the F650 GS, but that is not the case in Canada. The washer here is a simple rubber o-ring and won't do with this brass plug. Up until now, I've done 3 oil changes and one at a dealer. The dealer had no idea how to get a copper washer (they weren't very resourceful). I've tried only one automotive supply store here and couldn't find it. Does anyone in Canada know where I can find such a copper washer.

Drained MORE Oil out than the FAQ/Service CD says?

Problem: I have a 2002 GSA and just changed my oil. Out came about 3.4 US quarts of oil. Documentation (service CD & our FAQ's) say it should only hold 2.43 quarts (2.3 l). Any idea why I got 3.4 quarts out of it instead of 2.4?

Short Answer: Because it was overfilled. Why? because someone couldn't read the sight glass or filled it and checked it cold. See Checking Oil Level in the Oil Sight Glass.


Leak from around the Filler Cap:

Q. A little oil seeped from around the filler cap area on my 01 650 gs on the way to work this morning. Anyone else had this problem or know what might have caused it? Gene / Barwick, Ga. USA

First CHECK no-one overfilled the Oil level. It takes 2.2 litres ONLY!

Oil Filter Removal Drip Tray

Well the BMW (Tool no. BMW 11 7 511) for this is a small trough that hangs off 3 little pins under the oil filter cover. It directs the oil away from the frame so you can put a catch it in a receptacle. When I asked my dealer how much it cost he told me "about $68" Sixty-eight bucks? So what are the alternatives?

  1. A piece of tin foil can do the same thing. The Savant. dAnal #1159 (central Mass)
  2. Cloths suitably arranged.
  3. Seacuke's coke Can! A Cheap oil filter drain tool

    The last time I changed my oil, I rigged a Coke can to perform the task of the mysterious BMW oil-drippings-avoidance-tool at a fraction of the cost. I made mention of it on a post and was asked to post photos by someone, can't remember who.

    Anyway, I did my 6K service over the weekend. As part of this service I did an oil change, and this time took a few pictures of the tool.

    To build the tool, begin with a coke can and some good tunes. Drink the coke, listen to the music. When done with the soda, cut open the can (I used dikes this time, metal scissors would work way better). You'll want to have about all the cylindrical length and about 1/2 the can left in tack.

    It should look roughly like one of these:

    The cylindrical shape works its way into the gap between the filter's little housing and what I'm guessing is the Dyno cover quite nicely.

    Like this.

    Even after removing the oil filter's cover, the Coke can tool stays in place.

    It's all over but the cryin'.

    One thing to note though... I allow the oil to drain real slow-like. Especially when I'm first opening the compartment. I undo the top bolt first, then the left lower bolt. Finally, I undo the right lower bolt a turn or two, then pop the cap off. It's best to keep one hand on the tool when draining the oil; it holds itself in place, but I don't like to risk it.

    Each time I've been able to get the oil drained out of the filter area with nary a drop on the rest of the engine.

Weak GS Oil Tank Lugs?

by Rod, CO '02GS

Well I think I pushed the envelope for dual sport riding this weekend and fell backward (yes the long way to the ground) on some hard dirt. The bike landed on its left side and the shock of the fall broke one of the mounting lugs on the oil tank. This is not too surprising since both mounting lugs are on the bottom of the tank (heavy cast oil tank creates significant "moment arm" force on lugs). Anyone else break one of these lugs? If so, what did you do to repair it? I'm going to try JB-Weld, and I wonder if this stuff will do the trick on a hot part.

Well, here's what I did to beef up the whole somewhat weak design. I ran a bicycle cable around the oil tank and around the flange that the battery sling connects to near the bottom of the battery. It is taught, but not too tight. I put some rubber material between the cable and the oil tank for protection. If I had a camera I would take a picture. I think I could drop the bike off a cliff and it would stay put now. The interesting thing for the inmates here is that the fall was not that hard. No speed involved, just a long way to the ground. Nothing else broke or bent. That oil tank just weighs a lot.

Alternative Oil Removal Point

(Not Recommended, ed)
by Kevin #1092 Black 02 GSA

I just did my first oil change this week and I can share an issue I caused by trying a easy short cut. I now have an oil leak as a result. There is a rubber oil line that comes from the rear bottom of the tank and feeds into a metal line that goes to the bottom of the crankcase; I guess this is an oil return line.

Disconnecting the metal line on the bottom of the crankcase looked like an easy way to gravity drain the oil tank from underneath. Anyway, there is a hollow bolt that goes through the fitting at the end of this metal line and into the crankcase. The location is right beside the drain plug. There are two copper crush washers on either side of the fitting. The hollow bolt goes through a crush washer, then through the fitting, then through another crush washer and into the bottom of the engine.

The BMW oil change kit does not contain these crush washers and my old ones looked to be in good shape so I reused them. After getting it all back together I've got a leak around this fitting now. I went ahead a removed the tank anyway and was able to drain a significant amount of additional oil also so this shortcut wasn't a great idea to begin with. I can only hope that the leak is due to using the old crush washers and not something like damaged threads in the crankcase for the hollow bolt (I did not use a torque wrench, just my heavy hand and a long wrench). I'll be draining the oil again soon and removing the crush washers to take to the dealer to get replacements. YMMV


Oil Volumes and Location

Not sure if anyone is interested or care, but here's some info on oil volumes. I did my first 600 mile oil change last night, used the hand-pump method for the upper oil tank (yes, I am kinda lazie). Measured all three oil volumes from the three diff part of the bike - upper oil tank, oil filter area, and sump tank. All measurements has a roughly 5-10% M-O-E in it. (Based on an 03 GS)