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Break-in

Old 04-18-2005, 04:18 PM
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Break-in

I've had a few bikes and generally follow the manual's break-in procedures religeously. It's a personal thing.

I understand there's about 4 or 5 pretty popular methods, but everyone who does not follow the OEM version tends to not get the same mpg as I do. For instance, I was consistantly getting 81mpg on my Ninja 250, and 64mpg on my Ninja 500, which is about 10mpg higher than listed.

So... since I'm gonna do it baby-like, I examined the 2005 manual and the break-in procedure was a one-liner that said, "keep revs low for the first 600 miles". Understandable. Would one figure "revs low" be around 4k rpm? I generally give some nice pulls up to 4 or 4.5k to seat the rings nice and proper, and after a hundred miles or so let the bike compeletely cool overnight. I then change the oil at 600 miles or maybe a bit less like 500 miles. I usually don't switch to synthetic (as it's counterproductive at the early point of letting the metal filings smooth things out) until 2k miles.
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Old 04-18-2005, 09:14 PM
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Re: Break-in

All sounds good to me. I would probably do a 100 miles let cool over night, go 200 miles cool over night and finish off with a little harder 200 miles.

For goodness sake don't go with the non-dino oil till atleast 2k miles. rings needs a good time to seat in and the slicker non-dino oil will work against ring seating. After that i went with Castrol R4 full synthetic oil and have been pleasantly pleased.
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Old 04-19-2005, 08:27 AM
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Re: Break-in

I agree completely! Thanks!

I rode it home from the "Lowering" shop but they didn't shorten the kickstand quite enough: it doesn't come all the way forward without scraping the ground hard so I have to lean the bike to the right to engage it. They're going to recut and reweld it about an inch or two shorter per my request.

Stop and go traffic was good but I noticed at 71 degrees F that the bike's digital temp readout went as high as 220F and stayed between there and 210F. I suspect this is about normal as the fan kicked-in at 220F. Seems a bit hot though, no?
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Old 04-19-2005, 02:49 PM
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In stop and go traffic the bike temp gets up there. Pretty normal.
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Old 04-19-2005, 04:50 PM
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Re: Break-in

There's a link to a site buried somewhere on these forums where a guy states that you should break the bike in just like you plan on riding it.

I think the basic philosophy of it was that why seat the rings/bearings only up to a certain rpm range only to blast by it into fresh territory the mile past the break in period.

If I was to break-in my bike again I wouldn't rat on it but I would definitely "use" the bike.
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Old 05-15-2005, 04:43 AM
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Re: Break-in

the old break in debate.

I would break it in like you would break in your buddies new bride, hard and fast.
Mileage is not as important to me as power, or I would just drive my car(3 cyl suzuki, 60+mpg).
Real people have tried the motoman method, and had good results.

http://www.mototuneusa.com/break_in_secrets.htm

basically, change the oil early(20-30 miles) to get rid of any metal shavings, then ride it like you stole it.
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Old 05-16-2005, 06:31 AM
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The instructions just show how little it matters anymore.
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Old 05-16-2005, 08:35 AM
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Re: Break-in

Glad I'm not your buddy, Vitter. I prefer to break in my own!
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Old 05-17-2005, 05:54 AM
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Re: Break-in

There's no rational basis for the mototune recommendations, despite the quality of his pursuasiveness.

It is true that cylinders can develop a ridge, but not after only a thousand or two miles. Basically, the recommendations are poop. But you probably won't do any harm either.

It used to be that bearings, seals, and rings required break in. With improvements in manufacturing, the break in basically polishes the crosshatching from the cylinders and seats the rings. Everything else works close to 100% from new.
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Old 05-19-2005, 11:23 AM
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Re: Break-in

Here is my view of break-in:
• Factory break-in procedures consist of a few paragraphs in the owners manual. They tend to be conservative and are one size fits all.
• One of the primary goals of breaking in a new motor is to achieve good ring sealing. Good ring sealing results in higher performance and low oil consumption. Getting the rings to ‘run in’ properly requires combustion pressure and to get it means throttle application.
• Heat is the enemy when breaking in a new motor, getting through some heat cycles is good as engine components relax and run in as a consequence. Thus getting your engine up to running temperature and letting it cool down three or four times is good. Leaving the dealer with a new bike and riding six hours on the highway at 70mph is not.
• Once you have some heating cycles under your belt some application of heavy throttle will help create the combustion pressure you need to seat the rings. But you should back off and let the motor run at lower RPMs each time after doing this.
• Continuous steady RPM should be avoided as hot spots can develop; backing off the throttle helps cool engine components and draws oil to the top end.
• Oil and filter should be change at 600 miles to get break-in metal particles out of the motor.
• With today’s manufacturing tolerances and oil improvements break-in is not as critical as it was 30 years ago.

As I said these are my thoughts and I know we all have our views on the subject, but again given the state of today’s manufacturing technologies one wonders if it really maters what you do to your new Honda, it will run a long time regardless. JIM
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Old 05-19-2005, 03:05 PM
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Re: Break-in

My thoughts.

The thing that everyone is missing is the queston - why do you need to break in a motor.

As for the motoman theory - ride it like you stole it - he is a moron, and has no education, traning or background to support his stupid idea. If you want to be rebuilding your engine in 50K miles, or less, go for it.

As Jim TT pointed out the important things are to seal the rings and heat cycle the engine.

Modern engines are refined from the days of old. BUT there are some problems still. Metals expand and contract. They still need to be broken in, the metal parts do shift a little bit. Bearings have to loosen up and get plenty of oil run through them.

The easier you are on an engine when its new the longer it will last.
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Old 06-07-2005, 03:06 PM
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Re: Break-in

Thanks everyone. Some really good posts here! I chose the manufacturer's suggestion of under 4k for the first 600 miles and then under 6k until 2000 miles (soon). I normally ride about 400 miles a week or so, so this is no problem. I went 7k once or twice for a second or two recently at 1600 miles. Nice slow incrementing over time.

Interestingly, SportBike mag had someone ask the same question and their response was that the engineers at the manufacturing company probably know better than some street-rumor.

Popular non-disciplined technique is to change the oil at 20 miles and again at 500 and 1000 miles, redlining it like mad. I've seen this performed at AMA pits to set-in a bike but then again, these engines probably don't last more than 4 or 5k miles total before they're toast, no? Probably less?

There's been some interesting research on cryogenic engine forging where after the engine block is made, it's frozen to several hundred below zero, aligning molecules and whatnot, making things WAY smoother inside. I've heard some racecars are made this way, and applications may soon follow on bikes and commercial vehicles, extending life by more than 75%! Then again, maybe I shouldn't listen to Art Bell.
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