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Engine Break-In

37511 Views 179 Replies 42 Participants Last post by  yellowduc_1
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Re: kpaul asks the hard questions.

You got it. He slipped big time, but the entity that is KSquid somehow continues on, as if it never happened. Wonder why nobody has ever seen him? I don't. He's a fraud. Period. End of story.
This is the breakin procedure for aircraft engines after overhaul. Now if this is the method for an engine that has no "curb" to pull over to, just a hard landing wherever, then it is the method I use to breakin auto/motocycle engines. Oh, BTW, Honda, Kawasaki, etc advocate easy breakin BECAUSE THEIR LAWYERS TELL THEM TO. A rider trying to ride a new bike as MotoMan suggests, can lead to more single bike accidents from rider inexperience WITH THAT BIKE. SO LAWYERS....LAWYERS demand the company to not call from hard accelerations in the first 20 miles. It's sort of a "DUHHHH!!!!".
Re: kpaul asks the hard questions.

Re: kpaul asks the hard questions.

Hey, can you shot me the slip up?
Folks. Who keeps an engine for very long anyway? Very few of us will rack up more than 25,000 miles on an engine before selling it, and even that is just not very much time on a modern engine. Most motorcycles will be crashed or sold down the moto-life-chain before they'll wear out. I really think that fast break-in or slow break-in, few if any of us will be around to experience the difference. Obviously bikes are not flat-out seizing from fast break-in procedures, or sucking oil, so it really doesn't seem to matter that much.

However, that doesn't mean I'm all for fast break-in. Some of the fast break-in people are starting to sound as obsessive about loading the engine as other people are about babying it. I think the key here is to just chill and not worry about it too much. Don't worry about babying it to the point of excruciating restraint, and don't stress about putting max load on it so you get perfect ring seal.

After all, ring seal isn't everything anyway. There are other reasons to break in a bike with at least a modicrum of restraint. For one, there are other parts that need to break in as well: your tranny gears, your clutch plates and brake pads, your tires, and your suspension components. Until your bike is broken in you don't want to stress it to its limits, because the rest of the bike won't be performing at its best yet anyway.

The second reason to break in with some measure of restraint is that you, the rider, probably aren't peforming at your peak yet either. Take some time to get to know your bike. If you follow a reasonable break-in period you'll be gradually working your way into the bike's capabilities. It's just good sense to take your time getting to know a new bike.

That said, manufacturer's break-in schedules are oftentimes overly tedious. Take them with a grain of salt. If it says not to exceed 7000 rpm before 500 miles, don't sweat it if you hit 10000 once or twice in quick bursts. I take the recommendation to mean that I shouldn't hold it wide open at 12000rpm for a few freeway miles. That's just asking for trouble-- maybe even on a broken in bike. After all, race bikes don't sustain maximum rpm for several miles at a time when cruising around the track. They only pop into those rev ranges for very short periods, then it's shift, brake, etc.

Take a few hours to sit in the gargage, drop, and mind meld with your bike's mechanical components. You'll know what's right from then on out. You'll feel it. Ha.
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kpaul asks the hard question again and aircraft engine thing

No actually that doesn't make any sense at all. Having a note in an owners manual that says go easy doesn't protect anyone it's irrelevant. If the note wasn't in there and some squid goes and rides his bike normally or hard and gets hurt, for what grounds would someone sue the manufacturer? All owners manuals say operate within the traffic laws that is the legal disclaimer.

I also challenge you break in procedure for aircraft. Because, piston aircraft engines are different i.e. most are air cooled running at low rpms.. Meaning they might not need a easy going break in period like a high revving inline 4 without hydraulic valves i.e. since I have some stick time I can't really imagine not going full throttle with foot on rudder to take off.. i.e. how would you go easy on take off? Maybe the retired Air Force Colonel who was teaching me was wrong huh?
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Actually, part of the R&D for modern engines is to leave them running at max rpm for over 24 hours. Something you'll never do on the street..but it's a test the engines have to pass before they even make it to you!
I never think twice about it.

Fentonman break-in:

1. Peel sticker of of tach.

2. Ride "normally"

3. Change oil at 100 miles or so.

4. Ride a bit more spirited.

5. 600 mile service.

6. Go nutz

7. Sell before the major service and repeat.
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I was just re-reading motoman's advice, and he's actually pretty reasonable. He says, and I quote, 'Notice that this technique isn't "beating" on the engine, but rather taking a purposeful, methodical approach.' He also seems to think that his "quick break-in" doesn't have to be extreme. He says, and again I quote, 'You don't have to go over 65 mph / 104 kph to properly load the rings' And also, 'most new sportbike owners can't resist the urge to "open it up" once or twice, which is why more engines don't have this problem!! An additional factor that you may not have realized, is that the person at the dealership who set up your bike probably blasted your brand new bike pretty hard on the "test run".'

With that, motoman admits that he's not suggesting you beat the crap out of your engine. Just that you load it with some discretion.

He's not saying THRASH IT! In fact, he stresses that you should warm up the bike thoroughly and that you should VARY your rpm and load. Know what? That's just what owner's manuals say to do.

So now I'm of the opinion that these two schools of thought are not really from different planets. The controversy comes from people taking good advice and taking it to the extreme in either direction. Don't break in your bike by letting it idle in the garage for the first 500 miles. And don't break it in by redlining it along the freeway for the first 500 miles either. Use the mind-metal meld and do what feels right.
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"Sell before the major service and repeat." key step.. huh... When I was single I had sports cars and I never kept a car longer that 2 years...Fun times.. My wife always gives me crap about that..
Re: kpaul asks the hard questions.

Since I don't operate a testing lab, nor am I anal enough to gather "facts and data" that can be presented in anyway to give the desired conclusions, the only evidence I have (and the only evidence I really care about) is my own and a number of my friends experiance's. Modern engines do not require a "break in " period.

However, tires and brakes do, and a rider on a brand new bike should ride carefully for a few hundred miles in order to familierize him/her self with the bikes weight, power and handling characteristics, in my opinion that is the true reason behind the gentle break-in.

If they just wrote "ride carefully till you know what you're doing" many people, most likely you included would say "screw that, I know how to ride, I don't need to take it easy" and promptly run into the first tree they could find. Instead they say break in the engine on your delicate jewel or you'll void your warrenty and people (like you) pay attention and ride carefully and at the same time learn the bike's behavior.
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Re: kpaul asks the hard questions.

It has occurred to me many times that kpaul is just a mechanism to generate interest in the reader feedback section. People complain about him but still rise to the bait. Some are so obsessed with him here that they will start writing about him before he even posts on a topic. People complain about him filling the forums up with irrelevant junk, but it is the multitude of responses to his posts that are filling the place with chaff. Ignore him, and the problem goes away.
Re: kpaul asks the hard questions.

"Modern engines do not require a "break in " period." Well the owners manual's say different. That is your opinion.. Not proved by any comparison studies.

Again why would the manufacturer get sued if they didn't have the break-in period? People get sued when there is a defect from the implied warranty thats Business Law 101. i.e. If you are using the bike and the foot peg broke off and you crashed. If it was found that there was a deliberate marketing of an unsafe bike with a defective foot peg Then you might have a case. ie. the exploding gas tank on Pintos... That is what happened with general aviation..
Re: kpaul asks the hard questions.

I agree with your last sentence.
Excellent Point

"I would rather follow the manufacturers advice since they have done plenty of study on their engines etc." You nailed the most important fact...
Reading which is the best way to break in modern engines gives me the same feeling as reading the 50´s tips for the stingy hausfraus "how to care for your husbands ties to make them last longer" and "take care for your cast iron frying pan for a long life".

I mean, how often is it really that you have to overhaul the modern engine for gossakes? Buy a new 750 Jap and you´ll be in the basket before the engine is. Or say a big H-D. Anyways most of the cylinders changed are for tuning up purposes. The old ones typically having still 95% of the usable life left. For the better technology, better affordability, and tuning up activity the concept of breaking in has compeletely ceased to matter.

- cruiz-euro

Yeah. That's waht I was thinking. The manufacturers don't want idiots blowing the new engines up by revving them to redline unloaded. Morons would misunderstand the higher speed break-in procedures and proceed to grenade new engines.

Another reason is that the manufacturers' break-in procedures in use today are the same ones that have been in use since cars were first sold a hundred years ago. Back then slow break-ins were necessary because the poorer fit of components led to seizures. All this changed in the 80s-90s. Even though the variance of components today is a fraction of what it was 30 years ago the same break-in procedures are still in use.
Re: kpaul asks the hard questions.

"obvious aggravation " Excellent point you would think if it wasn't necessary it would be a great marketing ploy to say no aggravating break-in period.
Re: kpaul asks the hard questions.

I'm sure there is plenty of evidence to support either position, as I said I'm not anal enough nor bored enough to search it out.

However common sense should tell you and your own faith in modern technology and manufacturing process should tell you it's un neccessary. What's to break in? the engine is made of precisely manufactured componants fitted uniformly to the ten or hundred thousands of an inch, lubricated with modern syn.blend oil and tested for correct operation prior to leaving the factory. Any tightness is going cause the engine to sieze or score the cylinders in that initial start up, any loosness in the bearings and they'll spin at that time, once you get the bike it's been run a few times and been through a few heat cycles at the dealership.......what's there to break in?

They tell you that so you the buyer will take it easy on a new bike. The warrenty is in effect whether you follow their guidelines or not unless they can prove conclusivly that your action caused the failure.
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Carefull now, just because you work in a multi-line motorcycle dealership in a major city doesn't mean you know anything about need facts and data sourced from an approved double blind study including detailed minutia on the bottom of multi colored charts and graphs, only then will your opinion be considered correct.

By the way, did you ship my new Tiger yet? I sent you a check for the full amount from my bank in Nigeria...
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