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Break in procedures

8849 Views 42 Replies 14 Participants Last post by  Ratty
A friend showed me this website, thought you all should have a look see and judge it for yourselves.


When 'breaking in' my last new car (07, Ford XR6T) I drove it hard and fast, when it went up on the dyno it read ALOT higher than a stock of the same year.

Just wanted to see what peoples thoughts were on this.

My plan for the ninja when it comes is hard and fast, change oil after first 50km's, run mineral oil for first 1000km, then synthetic there after.


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exactly how i was gonna break it in when i get mine... someday... but yeah i posted the same link in a discussion somewhere else in this site
Everyone I talked to at the dealership said that all new bikes come pre-broke in. Not 100%, but enough so that the people who buy the bike brand new can use it as there daily commuter right away. They said Kawasaki recomended not winding out every gear and red lining the thing. They said that all that under 4000 rpm or 6000 rpm or baby the thing is true for older bikes, but the newer bikes are so far advanced that it is kinda like comparing apples to oranges. Just ride it like you are gonna ride it. Relax, have some fun with it.
Ride it like you stole it ;D Just kidding ;) Just rode normally meaning I did not red line it. It's next to impossible to ride it below 4k rpm, especially in the suburbs.
The 2 biggest things;

Engine clearances - There are lots of areas where clearance comes into play, but what REALLY matters during break in is the cylinder bore to piston clearance (The amount of space in between the piston and the block its traveling up and down in). In older engines the machines that MADE the engine (Boring/Honing machine/Lathes, etc) were not as precise as the machines used today. That means clearances had more tolerance(wider range of outcome in size), and needed to be broken in carefully incase clearances were a bit too tight, and the piston needed to "wear out" the cylinder bores a bit. Nowadays with everything computer controlled, engines are built EXACTLY to the specs they need to be, so really the only issue is the surface of the cylinder wall wearing into the piston ring.....

Cyclinder Wall surface - A brand spankin new engine has just been assembled after machining. This means that the cylinder wall surface is rough on a microscopic level. This is due to the way the machine that bores out the hole in the block does it's job. This surface meets against the piston rings as the piston travels up and down. Basically, by "getting on it" you push the piston rings out into the cylinder wall and help smooth out the roughness created by machining. Smoothing this surface out creates a better seal, meaning less blow-by (When combustion pressure pushes PAST the rings). Less blow by means more power, easier starting, and less emmisions.

So does this mean BEAT THE LIVING CRAP out of your bike when you get it? No...

Metals change over time with heatcycles. Friction creats heat. So the piston rings and cylinder walls wearing into each other get very hot, not only because of the combustion, but because of the friction created between the two.

So how do you wear the cylinder walls/pistons rings without overheating them?

The best way is to get on it hard for 10-15 seconds, then leaving it at high RPM's, decelerate. Lots of oil is spread on the cylinder walls under deceleration, and oil is a very good conductor of heat. This will also help "wash away" small metal particles left behind from the components wearing in. This is also why you should change your oil after 20 miles or so, as most of the break-in is done, and there are metal particles in the oil.

Motoman describes this in better detail, but I hope I put this simply enough that everyone can understand.
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hmmm...so which way is better ?? which way did u break in your bike redrider?
Just like I said in my post. Get on it hard for a bit, then decel, then get on it again...repeat. My bike has over 2k miles on it now and it runs great!
I just got my bike on Tuesday and the dealer told me not to ride it to hard for the first 100 miles, not for the eng but for the tires.. they have some what he called crud on them that makes them a little slick. after that he said ride it like you are going to ride it other wise when I bring it in for it's first service it wont realy be broken in... TRUE I really don't know but it sounds way more fun than babying the crap out of it for the first 400 to 600 miles..
That is a good point! Any tires car/truck/bike have an oily substance on them (maybe from the mold the rubber is in? dunno?) that needs to be worn off before pushing the tire to its limits. This wont really affect the break-in procedure though. Everything I said about getting on it and decel should be done while driving in a straight line on a nice open road. The bike doesn't make enough power to break the tire free, even with the oily crap on it.
Thats why it is so fun on corners, the tires wont break loose.
cool thanks for all the help red, this is a great sight..
If an engine is built sloppily then you should do a break-in. Rx-7 guys are fanatics about the break-ins and sloppily built engines LOL. Anyhow I tore down a few motors that got zero breakin, one went 60 yards out of the shop and the throttle stuck and I saw 7000rpms and 15psi, tore the engine down at a little over 30 miles and no problems in respect to that...
Hmm RX7, by the time you run it in, it would need a re-build anyway... :p


I think im still going to go through some sort of run in procedure on mine, As best i can anyhow.
If you were up in brisvegas, and we could both get to the same dyno it would be an interesting comparison. Get a base line from both then run them in differently, then compare again.


All this break in stuff is kinda over rated for me. Your talking about minute % gains comparing break-in procedures. Unless I could get 10 more hp by a specific break-in procedure, it doesn't really bother me that I get 24.7 hp and some one else gets 24.9 hp.

-disclaimer- (numbers are just examples not real reslts)
Felix said:
Hmm RX7, by the time you run it in, it would need a re-build anyway... :p

Rotaries only have a bad rap because douche-bags don't know how to build them. I have over 30k miles on a motor putting out 400+ hp.
Yeah true, where I am, there is no good builders! Plus the ones I see do alot of track work, which is hard on any engines.


Rally,....thats the best kinka racing. Dirt, mud, gravel, speed, drifting. Atleast to me.
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