Engine Break-in: By the book or harder method?
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Thread: Engine Break-in: By the book or harder method?

  1. #1
    Senior Member kj7687's Avatar
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    Engine Break-in: By the book or harder method?

    I have one simple thing that is bothering me concerning engine break-in, and that is this quote: "I think that they take the cautious route that works over time (1000km, or about 15 hours of break-in) versus a faster route that can be more easily screwed up." ( http://www.ktm950.info/how/Orange%20Garage/Engine/breakin/engine_breakin.html )

    This of course is in reference to Motoman-esque type of break-in versus factory service manual-recommended break-in.

    I have seen this quote or some version of the same basic concept in several different articles and break-in discussions. To me, a "cautious route that works over time versus a faster route that can be more easily screwed up," sounds a lot better than some "fine line", some "balancing act" between going too hard too soon, and not hard enough... By this I mean: too hard will cause too much rough friction, generating excessive heat, which will cause scoring/scuffing, and therefore an imperfect piston ring seal; conversely, too soft will not generate enough MEP (mean effective pressure) to properly seat the piston rings to the cylinder wall. If the cautious factory break-in method works, why would I want to screw something up just because I don't have the patience to go through with it? That seems stupid to me. That being said, I believe some, if not most or even all manufacturers do a short dyno run on new motors where they are brought up to redline and back down a few times, before the engines are put into final production... So I'm sure there could be a difference between what will work for a factory engine or a custom-built motor, in terms of proper and effective break-in. Still, in either case, if we subscribe to the philosophy of this "balancing act", it would seem that the factory recommendations for break-in make logical sense, as long as it is done as I describe in my second-to-last paragraph here. I think that would maintain a reasonable balance between too hard and too soft (as long as you avoid lugging the motor, and you do go up to the recommended half throttle, 3/4 throttle etc. settings, as opposed to never going over 1/8 throttle or whatever).

    The essence of this little conundrum I find myself pondering is that I am a little tired of motorcycle engines that burn oil. I have owned three motorcycles that did/do burn oil, and one that did not. Needless to say, it was SO nice being able to jump on the one that did NOT burn oil and, say, take a 100 mile round trip without having to worry about bringing oil with me in case it gets too low during the ride and/or obsessively checking the oil before a ride like that. My next motorcycle purchase will be a brand new vehicle, and I will NOT tolerate oil consumption (not until the engine has accumulated many thousands of miles, anyway). I will want to do absolutely everything in my power to MAKE SURE whatever engine I buy DOES NOT BURN OIL. Up to about a hundred ML per thousand miles would be acceptable to me (around a third of the oil sight glass). More than that...hell no. I won't buy a new bike and be pouring oil into the motor all the time.

    Anyway, so I'm thinking maybe when I break in that new engine, it will be done by the book (under a certain throttle/rpm threshold for x miles, then a different threshold for x miles after that, etc. or whatever), while doing plenty of non-synthetic oil changes at low miles and lots of heat cycles (full operating temps then allowing the engine to cool to ambient temp), and ensuring plenty of acceleration and deceleration/engine braking within those throttle/rpm break-in constraints specified in the owner's manual...

    Would it ever be possible to get the dealer/manufacturer to guarantee me an engine that won't consume more than some pre-specified amount of oil per thousand miles? As in: if it burns more oil than x ML per thousand miles after an x mile break-in, I get a new bike or a new motor? Probably a fat chance in hell of that, but it would be nice. Anyway, what do you guys think of all this, and of my idea for my next new engine break-in as specified in the previous paragraph?
    Last edited by kj7687; 03-10-2015 at 05:39 PM.
    KJ, just KJ, ok.


    Current rides:
    2004 GMC Sierra 1500, 1999 Toyota 4Runner

    Past rides: 2015 Yamaha XT 250, 1997 Suzuki DR 200, 2007 Honda Ruckus, 2007 Yamaha TW 200, 2007 Kawasaki Ninja 500, 2009 Kawasaki KLX331S; 1994 GMC Sierra 1500, 1987 Nissan Pathfinder, 1992 Acura Integra, 1986 Honda CRX, 1989 Jeep Cherokee, 1994 Chevrolet Astro Van, 1979 Volkswagen Rabbit, 1984 Jeep Cherokee

  2. #2
    Banned qwerty's Avatar
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    Motoman's techniques are for modern high performance engines, not for the 1960s technologies with which the TW is built. I've typed up several essays on the how and why of an excellent break-in procedure for TWs that includes the potential for a lot of fun riding so it doesn't have to be a boring procedure. Search.



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    Senior Member kj7687's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by qwerty View Post
    Motoman's techniques are for modern high performance engines, not for the 1960s technologies with which the TW is built. I've typed up several essays on the how and why of an excellent break-in procedure for TWs that includes the potential for a lot of fun riding so it doesn't have to be a boring procedure. Search.
    Thanks Qwerty. I will do a search for that on here. I'm sure I have done so in the past, but not recently - a refresher is in order perhaps. In addition to searching for those and reading them, I will probably get on here and a couple of other forums again when I get close to actually buying. What you say about different engine technologies is also something that I've considered with regard to break in, along the same line as my thinking on OEM factory engines vs. custom built engines (different technology, different manufacturing processes, etc).

    The two motorcycles on the top of my consideration list right now are the WR250R and DR650. Two very different engines that can pretty much both accomplish the same thing but in very different ways.
    Last edited by kj7687; 03-10-2015 at 05:54 PM.
    KJ, just KJ, ok.


    Current rides:
    2004 GMC Sierra 1500, 1999 Toyota 4Runner

    Past rides: 2015 Yamaha XT 250, 1997 Suzuki DR 200, 2007 Honda Ruckus, 2007 Yamaha TW 200, 2007 Kawasaki Ninja 500, 2009 Kawasaki KLX331S; 1994 GMC Sierra 1500, 1987 Nissan Pathfinder, 1992 Acura Integra, 1986 Honda CRX, 1989 Jeep Cherokee, 1994 Chevrolet Astro Van, 1979 Volkswagen Rabbit, 1984 Jeep Cherokee

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  5. #4
    Banned qwerty's Avatar
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    The WR will thrive on Motoman's breakin procedures. The DR650 is old school, break it in like a TW.



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