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Thread: Breaking in an Engine

  1. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by PoorUB View Post
    The worst is taking a cold, new engine and putting it to work without warming it up.
    I haven't rebuilt a single engine, did remove the head and did a valve job on an old Saab once though! Adhering to what seemed reasonable to me ever since I bought my '16 RT new I always start the bike when cold and just let it idle for about 30 to 60 seconds, then head down my flat quiet street and keep RPMs not more than about 2200, just ambling along at a slow pace. Once I see the coolant temp start increasing I will start adding a little more revs. At 37K miles now no oil is used between changes, which I do at 4-5K miles using full synthetic oil. I'm sure this ritual is hardly necessary but I like to do nice things for her then she lets me ride her real hard

  2. #17
    Registered User dieselyoda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PoorUB View Post
    IMO, and I have rebuilt hundreds of different engines over the years, about 50% of the break in happens in the first few minutes, and 90% of the break in happens in the first hour of running. Also, if the engine is warmed up I do not believe flogging it a bit will hurt it at all, not more the flogging it after 5,000 miles. The worst is taking a cold, new engine and putting it to work without warming it up.

    Considering the dealer will set up the bike and run it a few miles the worst is over by the time the owner picks it up. The first few minutes are more critical than the next few hours.
    Same boat, rebuilt lots of engines, almost all big diesels, 700 cui and larger. Break-in occurs right away or not at all.
    1997 R1100RT, 1981 KZ 440 LTD, R80RT, R90/6 sidecar, K1100RS,1983 K100RS (Cafe now)

    “The major civilizing force in the world is not religion, it is sex.”

  3. #18
    Registered User dlong's Avatar
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    I had the dealer do a dyno break-in, followed immediately by an oil and filter change. A printout of the HP and torque curves was provided, confirming that the motor was up to factory specs. I realize that not everyone may see the value, with a cost of about $300, but I did enjoy riding the bike hard from the get-go.

  4. #19
    not so retired henzilla's Avatar
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    On bikes, rarely have the opportunity as we are second owners on all but one of our bikes.

    Have one 1100R that must have been babied as it always has been oil needy, but not enough to fret over, just deal with it.
    Our /6 until I did a top end refresh also used a bit more than I cared for.

    When we do, its the manual recommend methods, no same rpm droning and no serious high revving early.

    Have rebuilt VW and American V-8's among other smaller utility engines, including motorcycles..worry at start up if I lubed where I needed to lube during assembly, but after run in and many miles and oil changes later, overall satisfied it broke in well and I am overthinking the whole process.

    My chuckle is how many generators, welders, water pumps, and other high dollar utility engines running at pretty much one speed their whole life from that original start up one does is not a concern to many.
    Steve Henson-Mod Team and club tire changer

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  5. #20
    Day Dreaming ... happy wanderer's Avatar
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    My '00 RT is a bit of a slurper. Has been since I rode it home from Raleigh NC. The previous owner only rode it under 10K miles in 10 years and I am quite sure he toddled along at 60mph or less in 5th gear most of the time. So the rings never broke in properly.

    I've redone the top end on both my airheads in the last two seasons. Both times I followed a similar process. At first startup I revved to 3K RPM with basic carb rebuild settings for about 2 or three minutes. Then I jump into my gear and go for a ride that involves a lot of speeding up and slowing down to no more than 5 or 6K for a good hour or two. By now the job is probably done but I continue to stay under 6K RPM for a hundred kms or so and then I just ride the bike like I stole it as per usual.

    In both cases about a half a liter disappears and then it stays there in the middle range of the dipstick as airheads normally do. Filling them to the top mark of the dipstick is futile; just like the oilheads. When filled to the full top mark they come down to the middle anyway. A slurper will continue on it's way down while the well broken in engine will stay there and not use much or any more oil unless you ride the heck out of it ALL the time.
    MJM - BeeCeeBeemers Motorcycle Club Vancouver B.C.
    '81 R80G/S, '82 R100RS, '00 R1100RT

  6. #21
    Registered User lkchris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stooie View Post
    1. This is an extremely contentious topic.
    It is ... mostly because engines are built differently than they were in the 20th century and so many fail to change their understanding accordingly.

    Posted before, but ... in 2006 I was able to witness in person the hand build of a Mercedes AMG 6.3 V8. When finished (and builder's nameplate attached) the engine was attached to a fixture and spun up electrically for a systems check. It was then broken in. Surely one wouldn't expect the new owner of a multi bucks hot rod to be told s/he couldn't run it hard for a while.

    This may not be relevant to the stuff GM or Chrysler build, but that's of little relevance or interest here.
    Kent Christensen
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    '12 R1200RT, '02 R1100S, '84 R80G/S

  7. #22
    Registered User CABNFVR's Avatar
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    When should I go to full synthetic?





    Just messing with you all. Break in is a valid concern to a new owner spending so many thousands on their toys. I find oil threads, tire threads, and engine break in threads interesting. BTW, we just rode our brand new 2018 GS 654 miles over 3 seperate rides on twisty back roads in western NC.
    Nothing broke so it's broke in, right?
    "Have BMW. Will Travel"

  8. #23
    Registered User pappy35's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CABNFVR View Post
    BTW, we just rode our brand new 2018 GS 654 miles over 3 seperate rides on twisty back roads in western NC.
    That's 54 miles over the initial service! That bike is DOOMED but don't worry, give it to me and I'll assume the responsibility of paying for the new engine it'll need 250,000 miles from now.
    '13 R1200RT 90th Anniversary Edition

  9. #24
    Registered User RIDERR1150GSADV's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CABNFVR View Post
    When should I go to full synthetic?





    Just messing with you all. Break in is a valid concern to a new owner spending so many thousands on their toys. I find oil threads, tire threads, and engine break in threads interesting. BTW, we just rode our brand new 2018 GS 654 miles over 3 seperate rides on twisty back roads in western NC.
    Nothing broke so it's broke in, right?



    I kid, I kid..
    MOA # 108516
    Current ride 2018 R1200 GSA Triple Black
    Past rides '04 R1150RT, '05 K1200LT, '06 R1150GSA, ‘17 R1200RT

  10. #25
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    Too bad they didn't do a third engine--where the break-in is based on low, steady RPMs/babying the engine. The older technology (materials/oils) needed break-in to "seat" the rings (at least from my old school training). The lore was that if you didn't vary the RPMs and spin it up once in a while during break-in, you wouldn't seat the rings and you would forever deal with excessive oil use and lack of compression. The concept also included using mineral oil until break-in because the synthetics wouldn't allow enough friction for the break-in to occur (as mentioned in the article).

  11. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by toolman_57 View Post
    Too bad they didn't do a third engine--where the break-in is based on low, steady RPMs/babying the engine. The older technology (materials/oils) needed break-in to "seat" the rings (at least from my old school training). The lore was that if you didn't vary the RPMs and spin it up once in a while during break-in, you wouldn't seat the rings and you would forever deal with excessive oil use and lack of compression. The concept also included using mineral oil until break-in because the synthetics wouldn't allow enough friction for the break-in to occur (as mentioned in the article).
    One break in issue that seems to never be addressed is the sealing of the rings in the grooves between the piston lands. Part of the reason mineral oil or special break-in oil was used was to allow a slight buildup of varnish in the ring grooves to enhance sealing behind the rings - not the wear-in of the rings outer surface to the cylinder wall.

    Whether more modern materials and machining renders this issue moot is never addressed in interweb discussions.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
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