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  #1  
Old 25 Mar 2009
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Wearing in a new engine

Hi all,

Well, first of all this is a post to say I've bought myself a new '08 XT660Z Tenere - being delivered this weekend! Very happy about that, heh.

However, there is a slightly more relevant question to ask, which I've also put up in the XT660.com forums. How do you properly wear in a new engine? I was intending to follow whatever instructions came with the manual, but then I found the site below:

Break In Secrets--How To Break In New Motorcycle and Car Engines For More Power

I have no particular mechanical skills as yet, so I've no idea whether this is good advice or not. Any thoughts, opinions, etc on the matter would be appreciated.

thanks,

Alex
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  #2  
Old 25 Mar 2009
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The Motoman guy is probably correct BUT and I repeat BUT, look at the website and what he writes about. It's flame front this and bearings that. He makes no allowance for the rest of the bike. He's a dyno junkie interested in getting the last few HP out of race engines. If you are an F1 team this would make you happy, as it would if you were a privateer and the more powerful motor went all season. He has no section about how nice your gearbox will be in three years time when half filled with Mongolian diesel because they had no EP30.

Best advice is take the new bike out and ride it on sane side of normal. No massive, full speed motorway runs and stay out of the red zone until the first oil change, but otherwise don't do anything special.

Andy
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  #3  
Old 25 Mar 2009
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When I got my bike I had the same question. I decided to follow manufacturer recommendations, these seemed more logical.

Motoman web site is not very convincing -- there is a lot of talk but no real answers to questions plus there are no any comparison tests done in controlled environment. If anyone shows me comparison test done in controlled environment then I may change my mind. We need proof, not just talk. There is a lot of snake oil around, so be alert!
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  #4  
Old 25 Mar 2009
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Aye, I'd had the same thoughts re. the reliability of it all.
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  #5  
Old 25 Mar 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rebaseonu View Post
When I got my bike I had the same question. I decided to follow manufacturer recommendations, these seemed more logical.

Motoman web site is not very convincing -- there is a lot of talk but no real answers to questions plus there are no any comparison tests done in controlled environment. If anyone shows me comparison test done in controlled environment then I may change my mind. We need proof, not just talk. There is a lot of snake oil around.
I'd listen to the guys that designed and built it if I'd just spent five grand on a new bike; that's what I did with my last bike and it worked just fine.

S
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Old 25 Mar 2009
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Originally Posted by Docsherlock View Post
I'd listen to the guys that designed and built it if I'd just spent five grand on a new bike; that's what I did with my last bike and it worked just fine.

S
You need to think a little about what the manufacturer wrote. The worst running in disasters I've seen (one full sieze, one partial) have been Enfields where (usually retired) owners have more time than sense. They do the 500 miles at bang on 30 mph, and the second the odometer hits 501 they crack it open until they hit 40 and carry on up to the oil change. Might as well have used rollers in a garage. The ability to run in a Bullet in a fortnight on the local ring road is not a good thing, far better to ride it to work in the rush hour and if you need to do half a mile at 45 because some tailgater is late that morning don't worry about it, just get out of their way as you can.

Common sense over some running in table IMHO, although I'm betting the Yam run in is not really restrictive.

Andy
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  #7  
Old 26 Mar 2009
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just ride it gently using a little throttle, engine braking and all the gears. The owners manual ought to be a good guide. One of the reasons for misconceptions now is often the choice of materials has changed over the years. However some basics are still true. One is that fresh cut/machined surfaces are soft and inclined to clag (seize) running them lightly work hardens the surface. This is really crucial with cast iron or cast steel bores. You need to build up to full bore full revs slowly as they start tight and soft. This is why you have to glaze bust old steel bores as they get so hard and slippery they do not provide enough grip to bed in piston rings. With chrome plated or nikasil bores ( like the new Enfields mentioned above) the material is much harder and smoother so the bores need little running in. They do however need to hone them to give a little roughness for the rings to grip so they can bed down. (also to hold a little oil as unlike cast iron they are not porous) Although there is much less to do running in nikasil bores because they are smoother and harder it takes longer to do it. Hence the problem of old advice/experience with older riders on new Enfields. Typically it now takes +3k miles to free up a new Enfield ( BMW quote up to 10KM before proper ring seating).
One thing I would advise is to change the oil/filter at about 50 to 80 miles ( use running in oil) as most of teh metal and other detritis that will ever come out of your engine until it fails will be in that time. It might seem like a waste, but I believe it to be cost effective.
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Old 26 Mar 2009
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Originally Posted by oldbmw View Post
One thing I would advise is to change the oil/filter at about 50 to 80 miles ( use running in oil) as most of teh metal and other detritis that will ever come out of your engine until it fails will be in that time.
This has been also recommended much around the 'net but I did per manual after 500 km. My arguments were that perhaps some special running in oil was used in factory and if I replace it with usual oil it may not be as good. Some may say that is stupid but then prove me wrong.
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Old 26 Mar 2009
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Originally Posted by Rebaseonu View Post
This has been also recommended much around the 'net but I did per manual after 500 km. My arguments were that perhaps some special running in oil was used in factory and if I replace it with usual oil it may not be as good. Some may say that is stupid but then prove me wrong.
A lot of modern engines get turned over in the factory to allow testing of the oil circuits and compression at an earlier stage than start up. It cuts the cost of scrap. The oil used is the equivalent of running in or flushing oil because this shows leaks better and starts (I assume) the bedding in. You don't know which models have this done and which don't.

I don't think any "normal" manufacturer (I think Ferrari might?) uses anything but standard oil on delivery. This saves hassle if the first service is a touch late. If they found the wrong oil in a new engine the warrenty guy would have an easy day of it and the owner wouldn't be happy.

Another reason to follow the manufacturers intent.

BMW claims about anything always seem to stretch a point. The logic that the bore changes at a given rate up to say 10,000 km and then stabilises I can see. That this is the theoretical end of running in I'll give them. That me not having the oil changed by a BMW dealer up to this point somehow amounts to me abusing the product is IMHO the step too far and the point I fall out with them. Oil is specced internationally and mechanics trained on the job. The showroom floor design and the logo on the pole in front of the workshop makes no difference.

Andy
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Old 26 Mar 2009
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I would go roughly with the manufacturers recommendations. Don't be too gentle though as someone else posted, use all the gears and engine breaking; you want the engine to "work in".

Don't let the engine labour, don't thrash it and don't stay at a constant throttle for prolonged periods. So really you are riding pretty normally but maybe just a bit more "chilled out" (if you get my drift).
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Old 26 Mar 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rebaseonu View Post
This has been also recommended much around the 'net but I did per manual after 500 km. My arguments were that perhaps some special running in oil was used in factory and if I replace it with usual oil it may not be as good. Some may say that is stupid but then prove me wrong.
The term "as good" need to be qualified. Often running in oil does not contain all the anti wear properties of normal service oil so in fact is "less good". Any way I recommend you change it for running in oil at 50/80 miles together with a new filter until the first service, then follow the makers recommendations.. Often this will be a waste, but usually running a new motor for this amount of time will clean all of the swarf and other loose stuff you dont want circulating or in your filter.
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Old 27 Mar 2009
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Originally Posted by oldbmw View Post
The term "as good" need to be qualified. Often running in oil does not contain all the anti wear properties of normal service oil so in fact is "less good".
Gents, lets get this straight. There is no such thing as running-in oil.

Manufacturers just use regular oil - I know, I spent a lot of time around the assembly plant of Japan's largest auto company and have asked the question of the head engineer.

The reason oil analyses of oil removed from a newly run in vehicle show different chemical constituents is because the engines are assembled using molybendum lubricants and grease. The molybendum then shows up in the oil analysis leading us to believe in this legendary running-in oil with miraculous qualities. The actual oil they use in new motors is not even high quality oil - just generic base level oil folks.

As for changing the oil after a couple of hundred km from new - yes, I totally agree. It can do no harm (other than to your hip pocket), and potentially a lot of good.

Garry from Oz.
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Old 27 Mar 2009
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Originally Posted by farqhuar View Post
Gents, lets get this straight. There is no such thing as running-in oil.

Manufacturers just use regular oil - I know, I spent a lot of time around the assembly plant of Japan's largest auto company and have asked the question of the head engineer.
Regular oil -- maybe yes, but what is "regular oil"!? Some manufacturers recommend synth, others don't care. I guess some who recommend only synth still come with mineral as running in oil. Some maybe not. How do you know if your vehicle comes with synth or mineral? If it is mineral and you'll put synth in after 50 km that may not be that good. If it comes with synth and you put in mineral after 50 km as everyone suggest, that may be good as well. Basically there is not much info around about what exactly was used in factory. Your Japan factory anectote is just an anectote until you see some data on paper that comes from manuafacturer (even you get to see spec for this certain brand, another one may use different oil).
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Old 27 Mar 2009
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My understanding is that many manufacturers put regular non-synth oil in their bikes at the factory because synth oil is too low friction to breakin the engine quickly. They then recommend synth oil from the first service and from then on.

Regarding break-in procedure. I think it is a very brave person who goes with something they read on the Internet rather than what their bike manufacturer specifies. Of all my bikes, 3 were brand new, I've always followed the handbook - never had a problem. My warranty is too precious to mess about with.
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Old 27 Mar 2009
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Ride it as normal..... The manufacturers know your going to anyway !! They put all that RPM levels in the manual to get out of paying out under warranty if you let slip to your dealer than you didn't follow the book. Maybe 20 years ago you have broke in your engine, but that was before the day of advanced precision engineering that we enjoy today.

The important thing is that you don't LOAD the bike too early in its life. Don't over-rev in low gears or try and pull away in 3rd gear etc..

Its all about damage limitation. If something is put together wrong, its going to fail anyway.. whether in the first week or 2-3 weeks later, Its going to happen !!

You SHOULD change the oil early on as you can check for any shards of metal in it and also, its contaminated early as the engine is broken in..

What many people don't know is, every engine is bench tested before its fitted and released anyway (or should be)..

It is true that "ragging" an engine from new will create a better "Ring to bore" seal...

Racers certainly don't "bed in" their engines and you can guarantee all those big fast sports bike engines with 30,000 miles on them were ragged to death by their new owners on day 1 and they're still running fine.
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