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Discussion Starter #1
After many searches on new engine break in I have discovered an amazing amount of different opinions. There seems to be no consensus on the subject so I have to ask - Why not believe the break in procedure recommended by Yamaha? What possible reason would Yamaha have for providing false information and suggesting a break in procedure that was not valid? Also, has anyone here experienced engine problems that they can attribute to improper break in?
 
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Just another opinion, but I think the Yamaha recommendation is probably fine. As for me. I change the oil with conventional every 500 for 2000 miles then synthetic after that. And basically just drive it normal.
 
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Just another opinion, but I think the Yamaha recommendation is probably fine. As for me. I change the oil with conventional every 500 for 2000 miles then synthetic after that. And basically just drive it normal.
I bought two bikes, a 2016 and 2003 with 400 and 330 miles respectively. I am following Vanillas above philosophy as I share it as well. Since I am still technically in the break in mileage range. I just am not really interested in driving around town at varying throttle setting below 1/3 or 1/2 so I am getting out on the two lanes some as well and running at 50 to 60 mph some. I run 4, 20 mile segments today just out riding between stops. Since I bought both low miles but used, I changed oil first thing on the 03 cause it was unknown and did not fully trust oil change claim of the sellers brother and after 100 added miles on the 16 cause the PO said he had already done it and i believed him. I bought 6 quarts of yamalube and figure that will get both bikes to well over 1000 miles and then decide what i will use long term then since the yamaha dealer is an hour away. A good quart changes these so I am going to hit them both a couple times real quick like 3-4 heat cycles and then go longer like 500 miles at a time or till it starts turning darker. I am overly anxious to get synthetic in them since I have had amazing smooth shifting and clutch feel out of Belray fully syn oil on multiple occasions in the past. Will be hard not to go early on this but a lot of guys say 2000 miles give or take.

That was a bunch of crap about my plans and only partially relative to what you asked but you cannot go wrong doing it the way Yamaha suggested for sure and it has to be likely optimal. I also believe an extra change or two early on cannot be anything but good as well but may not be necessarily prescribed by Yamaha due to owner convenience. The strainer and filter do catch a lot of shavings and junk the first oil change or 3 so getting it outta there can only be a great thing long term. My .02 worth
 

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Discussion Starter #4
So I have read that Yamaha uses a special "break in" oil and that is the reason for the 600 miles before the first change. Is that true or is it just regular Yamalube?
 

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I cannot honestly confirm, it is possible I suppose that they use such an oil still these days, we use to break in airplane engines on mineral oil in the old days but ring and surface finishing has came a long way and I at least believe that is old tech now and so long as it is not synthetic oil that it is a suitable break in oil to use. Once again my opinon but I would rather get the crap out than think I had special oil, less of the two evils, the stuff gong through the engine until it hangs in a strainer or filter is enough to be alarming to most people and want it outta there me included. I went through this on a new kubota tractor and the guys swore that the repeated oil changes a cople of times early added a lot of trouble free life for the guys that did it. They also made a lot of shavings and just in the filters for the first 2-3 oil changes. Don't get too up tight about it, just ride it, pile on some miles o smiles and give it a couple oil changes in the earlier part of it's life and it will be great.
 
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So I have read that Yamaha uses a special "break in" oil and that is the reason for the 600 miles before the first change. Is that true or is it just regular Yamalube?
No, it's just plain Yamalube 10W40. However, the 600 mile interval is not conservative enough in my opinion. I changed it at 50 miles and again at 150 miles. There was enough metal in the filter to make me think that was a good idea. Now I will go to 800 miles and also check the valves at that time. By 2,000 the engine is ready for full synthetic. This was what I did on my 2010 and at 16,000 miles it only used half a quart every 2,000 miles.

As for break-in, it's really simple: Don't let it get really hot, don't ride it at WOT on the highway for an hour, and vary the rpm's a lot. I've already had my new one up to 60 mph, but only for a couple of minutes, and it has only 150 miles on it.
 

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I broke my VStrom in as specified by Suzuki as it came with a 5 year warranty which I did not want to nullify , but this article has always got me wondering.
 

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that artical is the one i go by for break in. first 20 miles are the most important for ring seating.

EJ, have you ever taken a close look at the Suzuki 5 year warranty? i bought a dr650 with the 5 year on it. look close as i can't find anything that they would have to cover under warranty, if they didn't want to.
 

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I love it, the most popular answer is, when during break in, " Ride it like you stole it " Was there any chance this was gonna end any different that that :)

In the end just ride, don't abuse it terribly and change the oil a couple extra time early on.
 

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My theory was variable driving...switch gears often, gentle gear breaking on the downshift, don't leave the gear and throttle in one position for more then 10 seconds. It's much easier offroad or in the city. The oil changes I think are a little more intuitive since yamaha wants to cover their ass and sell their brand of oil as well. I followed the guide line roughly....seems to be broke it well. Most of the metal was in the filter and the oil drained sometimes a little glittery. I have noticed an increase in performance after an oil change though ...if you're a little over due you'll notice the diff.
 

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Mine had 200 miles when I bought it. I didn't think about break in but I only road in some fields and too and from. I was varying throttle but no high revs at that time. Then I got my motorcycle license. I think I changed the first oil at about 250 or 500 miles, too long ago, and cleaned the filter. I used Valvoline 20-50 car oil. Oh No. It was always dyno oil in those days. I changed the oil every 3000 miles like a car. 44,000 miles on it now with the valve job being the most major work. Maybe the older car oil wasn't so slick on the clutches.
 

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I broke my VStrom in as specified by Suzuki as it came with a 5 year warranty which I did not want to nullify , but this article has always got me wondering.
ejfranz,

I've heard variations on this "break it in like you stole it" idea before, but never have I seen such a (seemingly) well-thought-out article on this.

So, thank you for posting it.

I wonder if we could hear from any machinists/race mechanics/engine builders re: any of the claims made in "motoman's" article, e.g.., IS the cylinder honing much finer, today, than it was "back in the day"?


Similarly, anything else claimed by "motoman's" article that could be either confirmed or refuted, by those with modern engine-machining experience (or any experience--LOL) would be most welcome.

Thanks,

TS185
 
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I would agree that most modern engines are good to from the start, often with the first oil change and service (in cars) at around 5k – but it’s all relative …..

Shim and bucket takes care of most things, synthetic oils account for a lot, and the price of a new car goes a long way to paying for all those problems covered by the dealer

Basically, they take the “long view” – (except perhaps for Alpha Romeo, who simply provide “road side assistance”)

But the TW is mid-eighties engineering, with quaint things like “adjustable valves”, “carburettor”, and “chain drive” – frankly, I’m surprised its mono-shock, but given how that shock performs, it was likely to keep costs down

Comparing a modern engine to a TW is like comparing a modern Rolex with a sun dial

The good news is that you can fix it with a rock and a screwdriver, which given its natural environment is rather useful – otherwise all we’d be talking about on here is how much you paid someone to have it plugged in to a computer, and how far you had to push it to get there

So – what we’re looking at here is “old school” break in – and everyone has their own way of doing it

Take it easy – ride it like you stole it – you can go from one end of the scale to the other – the TW just laps it up

I could tell you how “I’d” do it, but It would just start a war, and I can’t buy a new one anyway – we only get used imports over here

About the only thing we ever agree on is frequent oil changes, far more than the manual recommends – heck, it’s only a small amount anyway. Otherwise you end up with a bike that’s as fast as anyone else’s, but sounds like a socket set in a tumble dryer ……
 

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I think Purple meant to say you can fix it with a rock and a JIS screwdriver.

I did the Yamaha manual's recommended gentle approach for the first 500 miles when the bike was new. I ended up trapped in my village bored stiff unable to leave town if limited to 1/3rd throttle. With a new cylinder and Wizco piston I then did the aggressive Motorman ring seating approach. Second approach was more fun although both had theoretical merits.
 
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Discussion Starter #15
Doesn't the theory of early and frequent oil changes seem to be counterintuative to the theory that the engine parts "wear in" during break in? It seems that frequent oil changes during break in would slow down the process. Could this be the logic behind Yamaha's recommendations?

If Yamaha's motive was to sell their oil they probably wouldn't want you to wait 600 miles.
 

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They do not promote more often cause it would be an over the top inconvenience to the buyer and tarnish the product, they survive the recommended method but more is most likely best. I do not think the oiling system is needing abrasives to do the break in so no I don not think so. The break in revolves 95% around the rings wearing against the cylinder wall and they shed metal that can only be good to get it out.
 
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Not following the manufactures break in procedure will only increase your odds of having a ware related problem sooner. Manufacture's build these things to precise tolerances, and they have unlimited data collected on what will give you the best chances for a long trouble free life. The guy who says he never followed break in, and didn't have any issues is just lucky or didn't have the bike long enough for the problems to prop up. It's all in the odds. Any good gambler will tell you. Do whatever you can to improve you odds, and the chance of making money goes up. Generally, you want to avoid overheating, and running any length of time at a constant load. Under load parts will ware in a particular area. Under deceleration, another area. You want to achieve as even of ware patterns as possible until tolerances loosen to within their optimal operating ranges.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
They do not promote more often cause it would be an over the top inconvenience to the buyer and tarnish the product, they survive the recommended method but more is most likely best. I do not think the oiling system is needing abrasives to do the break in so no I don not think so. The break in revolves 95% around the rings wearing against the cylinder wall and they shed metal that can only be good to get it out.
Interesting, and I was with you until the 95% ring thing. How did you arrive at that figure? There are a lot of moving parts in that engine and transmission that need to wear in during break in besides the rings. As others have indicated, the filter seems to do a pretty good job of catching the metal particles.

And just to be clear, I am not advocating one way or the other, I just find this a very interesting topic.:)
 

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I have never heard on one being damaged by how it was broke in so they are obviously tolerant of a wide range of strategies. i just like clean oil.
 
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By and large once a filter captures a particle it is retained.
It would be nice to see retention efficiency curves by particle size for the different oil filters available for our TWs. We might not be that impressed with the ninety eighth percentile retention size for the wire mesh style. Pleated paper should be better. Anyone read any manufactures claims?
filtra2.jpg
SAE studies conclude that engine wear can be significantly reduced by use of filters with a 98% single pass retention of 15 micron rating or less. Goal is to remove as much of the 2 to 22 micron sized abrasive particles that tend to match many engine tolerances. Study I read claimed a 70% reduction in wear achievable if switching to a 15 micron filter rather than a 40 micron filter.
So changing oil frequently can remove these finer particulates that otherwise pass through our filter.
 
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