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-   -   Break in secrets? (http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hubb/tech/break-in-secrets-58787)

anaconda moto 20 Aug 2011 14:16

Break in secrets?
In a few months i will be buying a new motorbike.
Now always thought that in order to break in the motor properly
you would have to drive the first 1000km like a snail.
Now i found this web page:
Break In Secrets--How To Break In New Motorcycle and Car Engines For More Power

The page is basically saying drive sporty during the break in.
I am not a professional mechanic but reading that page it sort of made sense to me,but i am not 100 percent sure?

Please help me with this.
What is fact and what is fiction?
Should i drive slow or rather sporty the first 1000km.

Any thoughts mucho appreciate!

garrydymond 20 Aug 2011 21:43

I've only owned 3 or 4 new bikes so am far from being an expert. I read the manuals that came with the bikes when I purchased them. I followed the instructions in the manual as I figured that the manufacturers probably know better than anyone else about breaking their bikes in. I could be wrong but the few new bikes I've owned all performed as they were as they were designed to.
I will, however, check out the link out of curiosity.

mark manley 20 Aug 2011 22:01

My advice may be purely anecdotal but having owned four new bikes, two of which I still have after 32 years and 170,000 km and 20 years and 250,000 km my opinion is if you want best performance drive them hard from new or if you want long life keep to manufacturers recomendations.
I was after the latter and have got it.

garrydymond 20 Aug 2011 22:14

I just checked the link which is quite interesting but I'd still follow the manufacturers instructions.
The guy could be right as I believe that engines have changed in the last few decades. I also think you are niot just breaking in the engine but the complete bike. Everything is new, something that won't happen again, when you put on new tyres or brakes you take it easy for a while to see what is going on. It seems to make a lot of sense to take it easy with the whole bike when it's new.
One of my new bikes was a V-strom and the break in period was over quickly and I never rode it like a snail as even during break in you could go quite quickly. Another bike was a Suzuki GN125 which was a much more painful and slow process. Let's face it it's not much quicker than a snail when running at top speed!

codcutter 21 Aug 2011 12:30

have had this same discussion with the guy that does my engine work, his opinion was:

if you want performance ride it hard from the word go, but don't expect it to last

for longevity etc follow manufacturers reccomendations.

anaconda moto 21 Aug 2011 16:08

Thanks for your replies guys!

Is there a mechanic out there that can confirm the things said above?
(hard 1000km= shorter engine life,but more performance,
slow 1000km = longer engine life but less performance)


gixxer.rob 22 Aug 2011 01:22

I am not a mechanic. But I would not want to try his theory on my new engine and risk voiding my warranty.

His theory seems logical though. I wonder how many of the engines he sees in 50k ? or longer if they last for any number of reasons.

Threewheelbonnie 22 Aug 2011 07:17

The "thrash it from day 1" guy is a racer. He is interested in the last two horsepower from getting the rings to seal in the cylinders and doesn't care less about the longevity of the rest of the bike, nor it's subsequent service needs. It isn't just that the engine might only reach 50000 miles in some distant future, it's that it might eat the clutch in half that or even go pop on the day 1 dyno run. To be honest though a lot of modern road engines won't care either way.

On most large capacity bikes, just ride it normally in a mix of conditions. You only use half the available performance most of the time anyway, so why go to town with special routines during the run in. On smaller capacity bikes (I've run in an Enfield and a Ural) it does help if you plan the first couple of trip outside rush hour traffic but it's not that bad.

The manufacturers run in is a con, there is no huge need for the 600 mile oil change. In some markets they charge for this so they won't get rid of it in any market. What they do use it for though is to look for bits that are falling off. When you buy a new Nissan it's sent complete from the factory so they (on lawyers advice) don't feel the need to check the wheel nuts until 10000 miles. Your bike is assembled by the dealer, so a check at 600 miles isn't so daft. If they find signs of you not following the run in (I had a guy who did the 600 mile run in inside 24 hours, he'd just nailed it down the motorway as fast as he could) this is a great excuse to void the warranty.

Just ride the run in normally and let the dealer do their check IMHO.


pecha72 22 Aug 2011 10:48


Originally Posted by anaconda moto (Post 346597)
Thanks for your replies guys!

Is there a mechanic out there that can confirm the things said above?
(hard 1000km= shorter engine life,but more performance,
slow 1000km = longer engine life but less performance)


I don´t think there really is anything to gain by using this ´method´. The manufacturers know this thing best, because they´ve designed and built the engine. And the internet is full of all sorts of ´information´, good and bad. So when there is contradiction between the two (like here), I´d pick the manufacturers recommendation every time.

Also note, that following the manufacturers recommendation DOES NOT mean you´ll have to go extremely slow. In fact you SHOULD run the engine at variating speeds and loads, you are only advised not to rev it to the redline, and not to run it in low revs with large throttle opening (like going uphill on a high gear). Other than those, you can pretty much ride it normally on everyday traffic.

Matt Cartney 22 Aug 2011 11:38

If you are breaking in a new bike in a manner that might give you an extra little bit of power at a cost of long term reliability, you have bought the wrong bike.

As a very wise person said to me once (and this applies to bikes too): "If you want a fast car, buy a fast car. Don't buy a slow car and try to make it go faster."


anaconda moto 22 Aug 2011 13:43

Tanks all,
i am not after more horse power ,just want to do the job right.

I think i am going to break the engine in by driving normal,shifting a lot of
gears and try too avoid high revs and low revs (so the engine does not
have to work to hard)but still changing the rmp,
basicly do it by the book.(mabey just a litle bit spycier)

Would still like to know about the oil change ,
after 500km , or direct after 50km ?
The book say 500 but some say thats too late change it earlyer,
becouse of the metal bits.
Any thoughts on this?


backofbeyond 22 Aug 2011 15:40

I can just imagine the response if the manufacturers break in advice was "do a few traffic light grand prix starts and hammer it down the by-pass on the way home from the dealers". I suspect their warranty claim rate might go up a bit.

Interesting point about the need for a 600 mile oil change. My wife bought a new Mini Cooper at the end of 2009 and the first service and oil change is at 18,000 miles. The dealer didn't need to see the car before then unless something went wrong. Nothing has fallen off or broken and 20 months on we're only just approaching that milage. Be interesting to see what the oil looked like when it does get changed.

markharf 22 Aug 2011 20:30

The post about tightening all the stuff which otherwise falls off is much to the point. Stuff doesn't fall off Mini-Coops, characteristically. I don't know why motorbikes are built to lesser standards, but they all seem to be.

My oil at 5-600 miles on two bikes from different manufacturers was full of little metal bits. Made me a believer in magnetic oil drain bolts, that's for sure. I don't know why 500 miles and not 50 miles, but I'm willing to go with what the manufacturer recommends....plus the magnetic drain plug.


pecha72 22 Aug 2011 20:40

The next time I buy a new bike, I´m gonna do the first oil + filter change after just a couple hundred miles.

*Touring Ted* 22 Aug 2011 20:49

Well as someone said above.

You aren't just breaking in an engine. You're breaking in a whole bike.

Full throttle at the red line is not the best time to find out that the monkey who put your bike together can't tell the difference between NM and ft/lb on a torque wrench..

Having seen and worked with some of the people (cretins) who assemble bikes for new customers, I doubled checked every one I ever sold with my name on the paperwork.

I think the power difference is unnoticeable but the difference in fatigue may not be...

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