Engine break in myth- the pros respond. - Honda CBR250R Forum : Honda CBR 250 Forums
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post #1 of 49 Old 06-03-2011, 12:28 AM Thread Starter
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Engine break in myth- the pros respond.

For those of you (and you know who you are) who think the best and only proper way to break in your bike is to baby it like the manual tells you and everything else is a silly myth, I bring you this partial article from MOTORCYCLIST Magazine Feb. 1991, titled GIVE IT A BREAK-IN (How to make your bike run stronger and live longer),


MOTORCYCLIST Magazine Feb. 1991

....We asked four top motorcycle engine builders what they do to ensure peak power output and optimum engine life. Here is a capsulation of their responses. "If the wrong type of oil is used initially, or the break-in is too easy, rings and cylinders could (read will) glaze and never seal properly. A fresh cylinder wall needs some medium to high engine loading to get the piston rings to seat properly for good compression but make sure you don't lug or overheat the engine. Use high quality, low viscosity oil (Valvoline 30 weight), no synthetics, too slippery. If synthetics are used during initial break in the rings are sure to glaze over.

An engine's initial run should be used to bring oil and coolant (air, oil, and/or water) up to operating temperature only, with little or no load, then shut down and allowed to cool to ambient temperature. This is important. After each run the engine needs to completely cool down to ambient temperature. In Texas, especially in the summer, that's still pretty hot. After a cool down period, start it up again and take the motorcycle for it's fist ride (you hope).

This time give the engine light loads at relatively low rpm and stay out of top gear. Lugging the engine, i.e., low RPM with a lot of throttle (manifold pressure), is more detrimental than high rpm. Another key is too constantly vary engine load during the entire break-in period. A constant load is not ideal for breaking in bearing tolerances. This second run should last only 10-15 minutes before another complete cool down.

The third run should see slightly higher rpm with light to medium power loading using short bursts of acceleration to help seat the rings. Again 10-15 minutes of running should do it and again avoid top gear. A forth run should consist of light to medium engine loads with a few more bursts of medium-high rpm, and lasting just 10-15 minutes varying the engine load and again avoiding top gear. Next while the engine is still warm drain the oil and change the filter. This gets out the new metal particles that are being worn away. Most of the metal particles will break away within the first 50 -75 miles. To ensure the rings seat well, use the same high quality oil and don't be shy about short duration high rpm blasts through the lower gears after the oil has been changed.

A few more 15-20 minute sessions should be used to work up to the engine's redline gradually increasing the engine loads. After some definite hard running and 250-500 miles it's a good idea to check the valves. After 500 miles re-torqueing the head is suggested. Switch to synthetic oil but not before 500-1500 miles. Most of the engine experts warned of the danger of breaking in the engine too easily and ending up with an engine that will always run slow whether it is from tight tolerances, inadequate ring seal or carbon buildup. Engine load is more detrimental than rpm because of the head created internally, so avoid lugging the engine but rev it freely especially in the lower gears. Basically, be sure not to get it too hot but be sure to seat the rings properly.

So that's it, sure a lot different than keeping under 4000 rpm for 500 miles then under 5000 rpm for 1000 miles. Maybe bike manufacturers are being super cautious at the expense of your motor's performance? I think that they take the cautious route that works over time (1000 miles, or about 20 hours of break in) versus a faster route that can be more easily screwed up."

Last edited by morphman; 06-03-2011 at 12:32 AM.
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post #2 of 49 Old 06-03-2011, 10:08 AM
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The 2011 Honda manual doesnt say to baby it. What kind of engines are they talking about in this 20 year old article? V-Twin, I4, Inline or opposed twins, racing engines?
Actually who cares, do what Honda says. Even if you dont, whats gonna happen, nothing.
I was more happy that after 50 miles or so my brakes seated in and worked much better. Break in period is not just geared at the motor. Trans, brakes, tires, chain along with the motor all need that break in period.
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post #3 of 49 Old 06-03-2011, 10:48 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by madd-trapper View Post
The 2011 Honda manual doesnt say to baby it. What kind of engines are they talking about in this 20 year old article?
LOL. What kind of engine? The same kind in your new Honda! Is there a new kind of engine in the last 20 years?


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V-Twin, I4, Inline or opposed twins, racing engines?
Makes absolutely no difference. They all produce power in the same exact way.

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Actually who cares, do what Honda says. Even if you dont, whats gonna happen, nothing.
A lot of people care. People who want to get the most out of their bikes care.. Since you asked the question, you obviously don't care.. and yet you felt the urge to respond.. I think deep down you care.. I think deep down you would like to get the most out of that little engine in your new CBR. Of course you care!

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Break in period is not just geared at the motor. Trans, brakes, tires, chain along with the motor all need that break in period.
LOL!! No they don't !! Break in has nothing to do with anything you just said.

Word to the wise. It's always a good rule to keep quite when you don't understand the subject.
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post #4 of 49 Old 06-03-2011, 10:50 AM
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Im no motorcycle engine expert in the least, but I'm just going to ride my new bike (when i get it) at normal operating speeds and methods. I've never tried to be a lead foot in new cars and i'm not going to be trying to set any 0-60 speed records on a new bike. This should be good enough for a Honda engine! If not, then Honda sucks. And I do not believe they do.

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post #5 of 49 Old 06-03-2011, 11:29 AM
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For interest sake...this cbr250 does have a new design engine...with nine new patents. Perhaps this is why people are invested in how the engine should break in. My dealer mechanic actually said much of what morhman's article contained, so there is no need to baby the engine, or rev rpms too high or lug the engine which he said was worse that reving too high. Vary the speed. However....im not a mechanic.

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post #6 of 49 Old 06-03-2011, 11:41 AM
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Originally Posted by morphman View Post
For those of you who think the best and only proper way to break in your bike is to baby it like the manual tells you
The manual doesn't say to baby it. Why are you lying about the manual... again?

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LOL. What kind of engine? The same kind in your new Honda! Is there a new kind of engine in the last 20 years?
Yes, for example the new CBR250r engine is the first of its kind and has nine new patents on it. I expect that you don't know much about things like engines though.

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Makes absolutely no difference. They all produce power in the same exact way.
They are totally different engines, with totally different mechanics, that's what matters.

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LOL!! No they don't !! Break in has nothing to do with anything you just said.
Tyres don't need to be run in? lol.

You need to put that in your sig, make every one spit their coffee with laughter.

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Word to the wise. It's always a good rule to keep quite when you don't understand the subject.
I concur, wholeheartedly.

Have you ever owned a bike before?
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post #7 of 49 Old 06-03-2011, 06:29 PM
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(Most) Motorcycle Magazine writers are not the 'pros'. Mechanics are not the 'pros'. The only pros are the engineers and their tester co-workers who actually design the motors. Give a mechanic a cylinder block that has had a minor change in the alloys used in the bores and they would not know what to expect from the difference. Only the engine designers really know what's going on. Everyone else, including me, are just ignorant users of their creations. I would follow the manufacturers specific recommendations for the specific bike, and no, the instructions are not all the same, likely because the engines are not all the same. We're lucky that the CBR250R doesn't have break in rev limits, so enjoy it..

BTW, I had an interesting conversation with a fellow ignorant user who's big hobby was building serious drag bikes. Of all people, HE has an interest in getting the most power out of his engines. He says that the engines last for one racing season and he rebuilds them fresh each year for the start of a new season (now there's a guy who really has to break it in carefully or else lose the races !)...
Thing is, I asked him how long the engines last. He said 'one season, that's about 20 runs'...
OK, so that's a careful 'pro' breakin for an engine that's mean to run for 5 miles and then get rebuild because it's worn out :-)

We can be a little more lenient with our engines because we (or at least I) won't be making those kinds of demands on them...
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post #8 of 49 Old 06-03-2011, 06:42 PM
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This morphyman needs to go back and ride on his electric tricycle. Oh hes probaly eating hot pockets now in his parents basement while he reads all his 1990's motorcycle articles, you know the ones with the 2011 CBR250 engine in it. Morphyman go back to spankit.com.
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post #9 of 49 Old 06-03-2011, 11:49 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Redline View Post



Yes, for example the new CBR250r engine is the first of its kind and has nine new patents on it. I expect that you don't know much about things like engines though.
LOL, A liquid-cooled single-cylinder four-stroke is the first of it's kind?.. Yea I'm the one who doesn't know "things like engines"..



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They are totally different engines, with totally different mechanics, that's what matters.
Right, The whole first engine of it's kind thing, right!







Quote:
.

Have you ever owned a bike before?
Not one with a brand new one of a kind engine with totally different mechanics....... LOL!! This is too easy.
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post #10 of 49 Old 06-03-2011, 11:58 PM Thread Starter
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(Most) Motorcycle Magazine writers are not the 'pros'. Mechanics are not the 'pros'. The only pros are the engineers .
Right, like the professional engine builders interviewed in this article? You know the engineers!
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