Break In Procedures

When I break-in a bike I try to follow a very serious order of operations & so far I have had very good success with it. My last 3 new bikes have always dynoed at the upper end of the horsepower scale when compared to the same model bikes on the same dyno.

These are the guidelines I use for all my new bikes:

Lots of heat cycles! run it & let it cool off, run it & let it cool off.

#1 rule is never maintain a steady speed during break-in. Always keep the revs going up & down. Nothing is worse on a new bike than putting miles on it at a steady rpm especially on the interstate.

For the 1st 150 miles I take it real easy never exceeding 75% of the redline(i.e if redline is 10,000 then I would not go over 7500) I take extra special care to listen for as well as feel any anomalies in the valvetrain and driveline. I am also very smooth on the throttle no jerky movements or ham fisted off & ons & I never hold the throttle at the higher rpms if I go to 7500rpm I immediately shift & bring the rpms back down.

From 150 to 250 miles I try to liven up the process by introducing brief spurts up to 90% of the redline, but once again I never stay there immediately bring the revs back down & maybe once or twice run it to the redzone & back down but don't hit the hard limiter.

250 to 600 miles It's spirited riding, but still making sure to keep the rpms fluctuating & I routinely take it up to close to redline without hitting the hard limiter.

600 miles I change the oil & inspect it thoroughly, hell I even cut open my oil filters & look LOL

600-1200 miles normal riding but still with caution & smoothness in my actions & I still try to vary my rpms on the highway even though by now that's damn near impossible cause I'm usually commuting to different rides.

After 1200 miles I flog it, wheelies & top end bursts, but I still don't hold it wide open for any real duration of time until around 1500-1700 miles.

Many RC51 Owners have commented that they have followed these instructions & their personal results were right along the results I have reported in that their bikes also produced dyno charts that were at the upper end of the scale for power output of similarly or identically equipped machines. There is no guarantee that my way works nor any scientific tests to prove it, but commonsense & the dyno results should go a long way in helping you to decide what is the best way to break your bike in properly.


A couple other notes:

Yes there are professional tuners out there that recommend that you flog the hell out of the bike right from the start to instantly seat the rings etc & yes I will admit that those bikes have in many cases produced a little more peak horsepower initially, but what everyone fails to realize is that those professional race tuners are going to end up rebuilding that motor at least once if not twice a season (sometimes more often than that) & they don't care if engine wear is accelerated or not. Most of us want a reliable good performing motor & my break-in procedures will give you that. I've been doing this for many years & living in Memphis have seen many bikes bought in the afternoon & being dragraced that evening & they always end up smoking within about 1500 miles.

The aviation industry has without a doubt the most explicit & detailed break-in procedures for internal combustion motors. The reason for this is that they MUST be reliable as an engine failure in the air has the potential to be alot more dangerous than an engine failure on the ground. Their engine break-in regimens consist of many of the exact same key elements that mine do. Heat cycles, no initial steady rpms & ever increasing rpm peaks.

One final note is that even though the engine may be broke in properly many times the transmission still takes longer. It is not uncommon for a motorcycle transmission to need 1800-2000 miles to get fully broke-in & during that time is susceptible to accelerated wear just as the motors are. You may even notice that the more miles you put on your bike the better the transmission starts to work. During break-in keep your shifts solid & smooth, use the clutch for both upshifts/downshifts & just generally be aware that all new metal parts need time to bed in properly.




(C) 2001 ROGUE