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Thread: New RT owner looking for 'heads up'.

  1. #1
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    New RT owner looking for 'heads up'.

    Greetings, after nearly 3 decades of Harley's, made the jump to BMW's. First with a '15 700 GS I bought as a second bike to play on, then sold the Harley and traded in the 700 and bought a Platinum Bronze '16 R 1200 RT. Absolutely love this bike. Nearing a 1000 miles on the odo as time and winter allow. Big question I have. As I am not to versed on BMW's, what do I need to do riding behavior wise during the few thousand miles to keep this in top condition? My riding partner says I drive a lot faster on this bike, luckily we have 80 MPH limits here. Trying not to get on it too hard, but it just seems to scream at me to fly. Worried about seals and bearings at this point if I push it too hard, including decel's...With this bike having this kind of performance, I find I am having to learn to drive all over again. It had it's 600 mile maintenance done as scheduled. Thanks for any input.

  2. #2
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    From my understanding, after the 600 mile service, let her rip!
    I came from riding and racing sportbikes and I was told by a race mechanic that with modern engines only the first 100 miles are crucial. After the first 100 miles, change the oil and start revving it through the gears. By 250 miles it should be broken in and ready to be ridden hard.
    With modern electronics keeping track of everything, it may be wise to follow the manufacturers break in procedures so not void the warranty.
    2014 R1200RT
    Joliet, IL

  3. #3
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    Ride it like you "STOLE" it, seriously after 1000 miles all parts should be bedded in. Wouldn't hurt to do second oil and final drive change at the 3000 mile point
    PS you live in a great area

  4. #4
    Dress for fall & avoid it AlanColes's Avatar
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    Many very high-end race shops have studied breaking-in engines over the years and it is my understanding that the consensus is that you run them fairly hard but not for long periods of time. That's both acceleration and deceleration, to seat the rings as best possible. With the new manufacturing/machining methods engines are almost completely broken-in by the time they leave the factory. The idea is to let everything get to know everything else without generating too much load over a medium-to-long period of time as that will generate excess heat if done before full break-in.

    Having said that, I was told that drag race engines which are built between rounds are thrown together with assembly lube and just a bit of oil and them fired up and run hard for about 30-60 seconds and then they're good to go. Not what I'd recommend for a street engine.

    Biggest thing is to try and vary engine speed and load. Don't baby it, the rings need pressure (both acceleration and deceleration) to do the best job of seating and giving you the longest life. The rider's manual (p. 94-95) isn't too far off (they naturally err on the side of caution) states:
    Breaking in Engine
    - While running in the motorcycle, vary the throttle opening and engine-speed range frequently; avoid driving for long periods at a constant speed.
    - Try to do most of your riding during this initial period on twisting, fairly hilly roads, avoiding high-speed main roads and highways if possible.
    - Observe the engine run-in speeds.
    - Engine break-in speeds <5000 (Odometer reading 0...621 miles (0...1000 km))
    - No full throttle (Odometer reading 0...621 miles (0...1000 km))
    For me, I'm fine with full-throttle after the first 100 miles, but just for a second and then let off completely to pressurize the rings on deceleration (pressurizing from the bottom of the rings versus the top of them). I'm definitely no expert but that's what's worked for me and I've helped build and break-in several engines over the years (starting with a 1967 387ci Tri-power GTO motor in 1971, Norton Commandos in 73 & 74, BMW M3 race engines, etc.). They have run very well and the M3 even won two National competition titles and another after I sold it. YMMV

  5. #5
    The "by the book" break in limits are up to the 600 mile service. After that, just ride it. Continuing to vary RPM and not just drone along, and being careful not to lug the engine still apply, and will apply for the life of the motor.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
    http://web.bigbend.net/~glaves/

  6. #6
    Ed Kilner #176066
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    One piece of advice I was given was to accelerate hard when going uphill during the first 600 miles to help seat the rings.

    You are beyond that, but it sounds like this might not be your last RT!
    Ed
    2015 R1200RT; 2011 R1200RT RIP; 2000 Triumph 900 (sold)
    http://triumphantsblog.blogspot.ca/

  7. #7
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    Thanks everyone

    Thanks for the replies. Puts me at ease. Hmmm, sun just came out for the first time in a week...

  8. #8
    Registered User RYD1WD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by taterjoe56 View Post
    Thanks for the replies. Puts me at ease. Hmmm, sun just came out for the first time in a week...
    If you ask a boxer owner, who complains of oil consumption, how they broke in their bike when new, most will say very carefully or by the book. We see far more break in issues that stem from being under ridden... google motorman engine break in for one perspective, and remember that lawyers have as much to do with the manual recommendations as the engineers do. FWIW
    Greg North - Sales & Marketing Manager, BMW Motorcycles Of Charlotte & Greensboro
    There are motorcycle owners, and there are motorcycle riders.
    And then there are those of us for whom motorcycling is an essential part of our journey - a way of life, and looking at it.

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