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Old 08-07-2008, 6:31 AM   #1
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Running in a new motorcycle

Running in a new motorcycle or not running it in can make a big difference to the reliability and overall life and perfomance of the engine. So I wanted to get some feedback from the members on what is best practice for a sportsbike. I've been doing some research and found tons of conflicting advice on the subject. Here are a just a few points

From new change the oil after just 20 miles regardless of what the manufacturer says.

V-Twins require a different run in than inline engines

Don't use synthetic oil during run in.

You should always stick to the manufacturers break in procedure

Run your motorcycle in as you are going to ride it

Run your motorcycle in hard

don't load your engine during break in

vary the engine speed constantly during break in.

And so the advice is conflicting, maybe engine break in is a total myth.
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Old 08-07-2008, 7:30 AM   #2
 
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Re: Running in a new motorcycle

Here is a link to a page which claims to be the Holy Grail of How to break in an engine. It is the method I used with no ill effects. Bike has over 3000 miles and uses no oil while making great power. I'm sure some of you have seen this before. Break In Secrets--How To Break In New Motorcycle and Car Engines For More Power
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Old 08-07-2008, 7:38 AM   #3
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Re: Running in a new motorcycle

Can you povide us with an outline of the method rather than a link?
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Old 08-07-2008, 7:58 AM   #4
 
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Re: Running in a new motorcycle

Sure. The idea is that a factory recommended break in is not agressive enough to create a proper seal between rings and cylinder wall. You should start by allowing the bike to reach full operating temp. Once you begin your break in you should alternate between short bursts of acceleration and deceleration while progressively raising the RPM. Allowing the bike to "engine brake" or slow on its own is also important. It is suggested that the first 20 miles are of extreme importance(80% of break in) and that the engine is fully broken in by the 1500 mile mark when using this method. You should change your oil at 20 miles. Use conventional motor oil, not synthetic, during break in. That is it in a nut shell. I still recommend reading the link as it is 15 pages and I condensed it to a paragraph.
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Old 08-07-2008, 8:31 AM   #5
 
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Re: Running in a new motorcycle

Absolutely agree with exit90a (and Motoman, author of recommendation).
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Old 08-07-2008, 10:02 AM   #6
 
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Re: Running in a new motorcycle

I see lots of these posts and questions.
My old man is a motor mech of old school, Retired now. and I took his advice - I ride as though I would ride it normally without racing the moto, and change the oil at 1000 km's - touch wood 28 years on bikes + cars and not one engine problem, no need to change that Philosophy.
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Old 08-07-2008, 2:57 PM   #7
 
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Re: Running in a new motorcycle

Ive read the hard break in strategy before, and ive also heard the contradiction that that procedure works great for racers and people that go extremely hard on their engines because they have to rebuild them after a couple thousand miles anyway. That being said, ive never had to break in a bike (buy used and make sure everything works haha)
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Old 08-07-2008, 3:47 PM   #8
 
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Re: Running in a new motorcycle

I did the RR as Honda recommended but don't think it matters much. I can remember slapping bikes together starting them once then loading them for the track. One advantage of break in is if you fail it limits damage if you are not WOT. As to the synthetic , if I follow they tell you to use a lower quality oil when on a fresh engine.
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Old 08-07-2008, 4:06 PM   #9
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Re: Running in a new motorcycle

I was always told to run allway to red line, as long as you don't put the engine under heavy load it'll be fine......
never had a problem... but then again I've only ever had to break in 3 bikes
Originally Posted by sheepofblue View Post
One advantage of break in is if you fail it limits damage
....think you maybe right sheepoblue,
The only time I came across any problems was picking up a bike for a mate...
He wouldn't ride it from shop becouse he'd never ridden on road, so I collected it for him, on way back gearbox seized.. turned out a washer had dropped into bottom of gearbox in factory and It decided the best time to pronounce it presence was on a bend at 60
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Old 08-07-2008, 4:14 PM   #10
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Re: Running in a new motorcycle

Ive always been told to run in any engine nice and easy, not go over a certain revs or speed (told to me by my tutor - the person I watched over when learning)

My Hornet has just over 2000 miles, she has been sweet as a nut ever since I got her. I don't redline my bikes when Im breaking them in (am I supposed to?), but I make sure it goes through the rev range through-out all the gears...
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Old 08-07-2008, 4:30 PM   #11
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Re: Running in a new motorcycle

Originally Posted by Twincam View Post
not go over a certain revs or speed
.
I was told they recomend this becouse most drivers don't know what a heavy load is?
I don't redline my bikes when Im breaking them in (am I supposed to?)
I do, did with my van last year too.. was told to use ALL rev range, so I do .. but I'm sure someone will say you shouldn't... don't think there is a definative answer
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Old 08-07-2008, 7:44 PM   #12
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Re: Running in a new motorcycle

I think its what the user is suited to. My company van was red-lined all through-out its running in stage, feels very free and loose (sort of speak) compared to my collegue's van.

I do like exploring the rev ranges when running them in, I may once or twice hit red-line but thats after a good few hundred miles.

Some people say take it easy, some say thrash it to hell and back - I think its down to you personally...
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Old 08-08-2008, 5:34 PM   #13
 
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Re: Running in a new motorcycle

Originally Posted by Sideshow bob;704151[FONT=Comic Sans MS
The only time I came across any problems was picking up a bike for a mate... on way back gearbox seized.. turned out a washer had dropped into bottom of gearbox in factory and It decided the best time to pronounce it presence was on a bend at 60 [/FONT]
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Old 08-08-2008, 5:47 PM   #14
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Re: Running in a new motorcycle

Originally Posted by StrumminRonin View Post
Don't worry strummin...

that was way back in the 80's, in them days bikes were manufactured out of wood, had square wheels & ran on good old leaded petrol*

*leaded petrol weighed twice as much as unleaded so bikes were slower
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Old 08-11-2008, 9:22 PM   #15
 
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Re: Running in a new motorcycle

When i was getting a bike and considering new, i talked to my buddy whos a motorcycle mechanic and got second opinions from a couple guys who have ridden for 20+ years and all broke in new bikes.
Only one said differently than this...
Ride it like you stole it, if your going to break it in, break the thing in hard, just as you will ride it later.
That being said, the mechanic also said change the oil pretty much when you get home and vary the throttle going any distance. A good tactic is to 'jackrabbit' the lights. Find stretch of road that has lots of lights, and little traffic. When the light turns green, run your bike hard to the next one, using the engine to brake yourself before the next stop line. If it turns green before you come to a stop or are close the the stop line, run up to higher gears and give her a work out.
The other guy said keep the bike under half-redline rpms, and under 90km/h till 1000km. Dont accelerate hard and dont engine brake. Pretty much baby the thing. I think hes cracked.

But... all ride bikes with no engine problems or bike problems in general. except the mechanic, he used to race and had a tendancy to break the bike and himself. He didnt consider it a race season if he walked away without casts on a few major limbs.
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