How Best to Break-In (run-in) Modern Motorcycle Engines

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How Best to Break-In (run-in) Modern Motorcycle Engines

Postby SHIVA on Sun Oct 23, 2011 5:13 pm

How Best to Break-In (run-in) Modern Motorcycle Engines such as the K bikes or the RR.

The trick with breaking in modern fast engines, such as the K1300S inline 4 is not to baby it. You also don't want to start racing or thrashing it before the first oil change. Keep in mind that you can do the first oil change as early as about 350-400 miles if you need to. It says so in the owners manual.

The key is this:
Baby the engine = Burn oil later on
Thrash the engine = Lose it
Maintain a balance of hard and soft riding = Long healthy engine life

NOTE: The phrase hitting the red line doesn't mean bouncing off the rev limiter. It means getting up in the revs. For example the K13S has a red line of 11K, anywhere between 9 to 10.5 is considered red line territory.

Until you do the first oil change, you don't know how your engine is performing, and whether it's spitting metal or not. Simple statistics suggest that a very tiny percentage of modern engines could be assembled poorly, therefore the first oil change is a good indication of engine's assembly condition.

So, you shouldn't be too rough on the engine until after the first oil change.

Also, breaking-in or running-in is not just about how you ride a bike from 0-600 miles, it's really about the early life of an engine, I would say the first 3000 to 6000 miles or so.

There is no reason to keep a bike with 11,000 rpm red line running at below 4K RPM. that's just wrong thinking. That comes from days when bikes had a much lower red line and the 4K figure has stuck in people's minds.

RR has a red line of 14K RPM and factory allows you to run the bike at 9K RPM until 600 miles and then it's all out.

Considering these bikes can do 180mph and red line at 11K RPM (14K for RR), chance of thrashing them on the streets is non-existent, unless the rider is a knucklehead that intentionally abuses the engine from the get go, or you live in very isolated areas where you can ride as fast as you want, as long as you want (but we all know that's very rare).

Breaking-In Condition 1: Living in Isolated Areas with No Limit in How you Ride
Ride the bike normal, don't worry too much about the RPM, but don't expose the engine to sustained high triple digit speeds. and sustained high RPMs. No need to baby the engine, and certainly no need to maintain any imaginary RPM limit (such as half the red line). You can red line (see above explanation of red line) here and there, and certainly tap the top speed once every hundred miles. But really the most important thing is to vary the RPM and the gears in which you are riding. Once you change the oil whether is at the factory recommended 600 miles, or sooner at say 400 miles, you can then ride the bike anyway you like and can really have fun with it.

Breaking-In Condition 2: Racing
If you want to race an engine, I would say break in the engine for about 200-300 miles or so, and then change the oil and start racing it. Keep in mind race engines do not last. So, ultimately all you hope is for an engine to last a season under hard racing, of if occasional racing, a short few years.

Breaking-In Condition 3: Living in Populated Areas
Most people live in populated areas, even if you live in rural areas, you are most probably only 30 miles away from populated or urban centers. If you do live in vast isolated pockets, pls see condition 1. So, how to break in a modern, sophisticated motorcycle engine in populated areas? Don't mind the RPM limits, no way you could hit red lines in these conditions. 2nd gear will go to a 100MPH, 3rd 120 or 130, 4th 150+, 5th 160+ and 6th 175/180. So, even if you want to, you can only red line the bike in 1st without getting into serious trouble as first gear will do 80MPH.

Avoid riding the bike in 5th and 6th gears in prolonged periods. Try to keep the gears mostly in 1 and 2 and 3 and on occasion 4. Vary the RPM (don't mind the RPM limit at all) and on occasion and very infrequently you can red line in 2nd gear. Or red line in 3rd gear if you have the room and freedom to do so.

After you change the oil the first time, whether it's at factory recommended 600 miles or sooner, you can be more relaxed, but do not baby the bike the first 3000 or so miles. Meaning don't keep it in 6th and just ride at the highway speeds for 1200 miles or so, or you'll end up burning oil later on.
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Re: How Best to Break-In (run-in) K & S Engines

Postby Bernardo on Sun Oct 23, 2011 6:40 pm

Good advice Shiva :)

The phrase hitting the red line doesn't mean bouncing off the rev limiter. It means getting up in the revs. For example the K13S has a red line of 11K, anywhere between 9 to 10.5 is considered red line territory.

Also IMO I agree it's not practical to reach the rev limiter, engine works better between the max torque and max power, this means 7.000 to 10000 RPM.
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curve.jpg (35 KiB) Viewed 5552 times
K1300R Fiona (2012 - _______): viewtopic.php?f=38&t=18248
K1300R La Gorda (2009 - sold): viewtopic.php?f=38&t=10735 - viewtopic.php?f=9&t=11251
Me: .........viewtopic.php?f=8&t=13&p=68330
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Re: Tips for Breaking In new K Bikes...

Postby kerch57 on Sun Oct 23, 2011 10:07 pm

well I'm now at 37000 miles 4 and a half years on my K1200s 2007. Oil has been changed 17 times and for the first 600 miles I rode her through all gears and 8000 max rpms. After that it's been riding with wife on back mildly and when I'm alone hard. Anyway haven't ever had more the maybe 1 ounce of oil missing when changing oil. And never had anything of mine burn oil except my first truck that I bought for 100 dollars and it had 289000 miles on it when I bought it. Break in does help but I think the best thing you can do for saving oil and your motor is change it and change it often. JMT
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Re: Tips for Breaking In new K Bikes...

Postby newbforbike on Mon Oct 24, 2011 7:10 pm

As I have read all the posts and it is all related to change oil regularly and especially do check up regularly.
Not to be burn :) And there are good tips here for newbie like me, agh! hard to say newbie :oops:
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Re: Tips for Breaking In new K Bikes...

Postby Bernardo on Mon Oct 24, 2011 7:34 pm

Hi new, welcome to the forum :)

, agh! hard to say newbie

Why?, is the best way to learn all things, accepting your condition of new rider :wink:

If you like to learn more about breaking in our beauties, don't mis this post from Shiva:
"How Best to Break-In (run-in) K & S Engines": viewtopic.php?f=3&t=17269
K1300R Fiona (2012 - _______): viewtopic.php?f=38&t=18248
K1300R La Gorda (2009 - sold): viewtopic.php?f=38&t=10735 - viewtopic.php?f=9&t=11251
Me: .........viewtopic.php?f=8&t=13&p=68330
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Re: How Best to Break-In (run-in) K & S Engines

Postby r1 Convert on Tue Oct 25, 2011 11:18 am

It's the nikasil treatment that needs to bed against the piston rings. The above is the same advice I got from the garage !
Cheers

Jon

K1300S, fully loaded apart from TPM & TC - Now Gone !!!!!!

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Re: How Best to Break-In (run-in) K & S Engines

Postby throttlemeister on Sun Nov 13, 2011 4:20 pm

Don't be afraid of engine braking either. A bit of negative pressure on the pistons also very much helps to get things seated.
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Re: Speaking of the DIAVEL

Postby FYRWRX on Sat May 05, 2012 8:12 pm

Bernardo wrote:
but I do feel more integrated with the bike and in a strange way more immersed in the "riding" experience on it.


And the tale just begin, just wait when you feel more confident with your K, and ride from 7000 to redline.... :wink:



LOL -- That will be in a week or two Bernardo!!! Still in the breakin period -- no going above 6000 according to dealer and my new best friend the Service Manager! :wink:
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Re: Speaking of the DIAVEL

Postby Bernardo on Sat May 05, 2012 11:24 pm

Hi F :)

About breakin period, your friends are right, adding to that, read this interesting thread:

Tips for Breaking In new K Bikes... viewtopic.php?f=3&t=7864
K1300R Fiona (2012 - _______): viewtopic.php?f=38&t=18248
K1300R La Gorda (2009 - sold): viewtopic.php?f=38&t=10735 - viewtopic.php?f=9&t=11251
Me: .........viewtopic.php?f=8&t=13&p=68330
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Re: Speaking of the DIAVEL

Postby FYRWRX on Sun May 06, 2012 12:19 am

Hi Shiva -

Excellent thread suggestion (this site has been a Godsend!) and I am happy to report that I did take it easy the first 200 miles but did vary my gear choices. Like you said ignored the rpms during that time frame. Past few days I have been bringing it up in speed (highway use) but changed it up by moving to various lanes and adjusting speed accordingly! Plus having a bit of fun off the lights but nothing crazy! So far so good! :D
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Re: Tips for Breaking In new K Bikes...

Postby SHIVA on Sun May 06, 2012 1:24 am

Hi, to be totally realistic: you don't need to worry at all about breaking in a K bike, it's near impossible to ruin these bikes when: 1)riding at high rpms + 2) in the first 600 miles + 3) living in most parts of the US + 4) and riding on public roads. you must be a nutcase and not caring to hold your license to be able to pull that off on a 100 mile young engine.

you can't go fast on public roads in most states of our union for long periods of time anymore (all you can hope is instances of speed and by speed I don't mean doing 80 in 65, nor do I mean 100 in 65, for a bike or an exotic car that can do 180mph, 100 barely registers) and cops have become militarized since 9/11. (I know it's different in South Africa, or some other countries) the only public places left in the US where you can actually open these bikes up at high gear + high rpm without getting arrested are out in the desert. The private ones would be on the track or on the salt which is basically the same thing.

Even in Nevada going north on Rt 93 to the Bonneville, I spotted 5 NV State Patrol Cars, all with Ka band blazing.

A K1300S does 80 in first, 100 in second, 120+ just in 3rd gear with ease. :) how are you going to ruin a new engine in IL, or NY, or NJ, or CT, of other such states. unless you are on a mission. meaning you really intent to spend 20K for a new K bike, buy it with no miles, trailer it 100 miles out of the city, find a long stretch of road where no one can catch you and rev the hell out of it just so you can ruin the engine at its first 100Miles? only a nut would do that and we don't get too many of them on expensive K bikes in the US. :)

A dealer will tell you to break it in, because they simply have to tell you the legalize. the term break in is not to protect you, or the bike, but to protect the brand from being sued by the nutcases mentioned above. That's all. 8)

Here's an example:
some nutcase buys a new sport bike, right out of the crate he (oh, it will be a he) takes it to the track and starts to race it and revving the hell out of the brand new engine with no miles. He then of course blows up the engine and goes back to the dealer/brand and says my bike is brand new and it is under warranty, you have to put in a new engine for me (that's labor for taking old engine out, paying for a new engine and the labor for installing it). The dealer/brand then say, no we don't, because we state in writing that a new engine must be broken in before the first oil change (typically at 600 miles) by riding at RPM's no more than 1/2 the redline. The nutcase has no case and the dealer/brand is protected against such loss. 8)

Yes, the RR is limited to 9000 RPM during first 600 miles (or more correctly until the fist oil change), because a handful of nutcases were racing them out of the crate. But even at 9000RPM, you are hitting 160MPH!!! So, for anyone riding on public roads in most places in the US, the pre-oil change rev limiter doesn't even factor in their riding.

still today some dealers say keep it under 4K rpm and not knowing why they say that. That's because older bikes and specially Boxers redline at 8K RPM. to warn a new buyer to keep a K bike under 7 is valid protection for the dealer. As for the RR, as stated, they don't bother to warn anymore, BMW has put a rev-limiter on it, that only a dealer can remove, once first service is conducted. Cuts down on a lot of hassle. :)
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Re: How Best to Break-In (run-in) K & S Engines

Postby aelyafi on Thu Nov 01, 2012 2:11 am

Hi,

I got the K1300R 2013 model... i have about 500kms on it so far... As I havent ridden such bikes in a while (I have a Harley), I notice the gear clunks quite a lot! is that normal? also when I shift up, the gear foot lever stays up for a second or two before coming back down to its place so I can shift up again...

This doesnt happen when i use the electronic shifting, on the contrary, its so smooth its amazing!

Any advice?
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Re: How Best to Break-In (run-in) K & S Engines

Postby Bernardo on Thu Nov 01, 2012 7:59 am

Hi aelyafi :)

I notice the gear clunks quite a lot!


If it's when you put 1st gear yes, unavoidable in special when the oil is hot, except if you put the gear before you start the engine. Not Only the K models, all gearbox of all brands have the same system.
Not in other gears, upshifting or downshifting, is not normal. Perhaps you don't change in the right way. You must balance the speeds of the primary and secondary shaft in the gearbox to avoid the clunk, for that you must blip the throttle (downshift) and use the shift assistant or push a little the clutch lever while you make the change (upshift).

please read this interesting thread:
"Quickshifter (GSA) Technical Questions" viewtopic.php?f=3&t=13552


the gear foot lever stays up for a second or two before coming back down to its place so I can shift up again...

Abnormal. The lever always must returns to the center position, is a smooth movement, Seems the QS axle (aluminium) is bended or some interference with the QS spring, inside the switch. Go to your dealer for that problem.
K1300R Fiona (2012 - _______): viewtopic.php?f=38&t=18248
K1300R La Gorda (2009 - sold): viewtopic.php?f=38&t=10735 - viewtopic.php?f=9&t=11251
Me: .........viewtopic.php?f=8&t=13&p=68330
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