I am supposed to be getting my CBR250R this Thursday. When I pick it up I will take care to ride it smoothly, at various speeds, and at various rpms. This won't be inconsistent with the manual. No rapid accelerations - mainly because I have no need to do so anyway.
I wonder though. Honda is a great company that builds high performing, incredibly reliable bikes. Are their bikes really so fragile and mechanically vulnerable during their first 600 miles that breaking them in "incorrectly" will invariably make them run poorly and bring about future reliability problems? I think if this was the case - any prudent manufacturer would just break them in themselves, as they wouldn't be able to control for all the people that might otherwise inconsistently break-in and damage their bikes - which could lead to expensive warranty repairs. Motorcycles are incredibly robust machines. Honda can't control how new owners will treat their bikes. I'm sure many go on long trips and don't vary their speeds right after their purchase. Heck most people probably don't even know what "lugging" their car engine involves - yet it occurs and likely during the break-in period as well. Many drive their vehicles without warming them up, even in below freezing temperatures, and accelerate hard when cold, idle them incessantly for long periods of time, don't get their oil changed until the low oil pressure light appears on their dash and they have to ask their friend what it means (many people I know don't even know how to check their oil), drive mostly in the city with lots of stops and starts, bumper to bumper, with the air conditioning on - in the scorching midday sun. Yet - if engines are so sensitive to break-in procedures where are all the engine problems? Engines are more reliable than ever based on vehicle long-term reliability studies. It wouldn't make sense to produce an engine that wouldn't ultimately run fine if a specific break-in procedure wasn't followed. I would like to see data from Honda on how many bikes have run poorly due to "inproper" break in procedures. How many of their bikes actually run poorly off the showroom floor - and out of these how many were due to inproper break-in? Maybe there are slight variances in performance caused by variability in break-in methods - who knows - but would these variances be measurable or even relevant to everday riders? Bikes are made so much better with respect to overall quality and production tolerances, I suspect that they are so robust that they will run well no matter how hard you treat them (right now for some reason I am getting a flashback of a Honda Cub being launched off a building in a Discovery Channel episode). See link below.
YouTube - Greatest motorcycle ever
Having said that, I am waiting for an organization (A prominent motorcycle magazine? Mythbusters? Or perhaps Consumer Reports?!) to test the Motoman method systematically. It would certainly garner lots of attention, as break-in procedure threads on motorcycle forums are about as controversial as online discussions of loud pipes, helmets, politics, and religion. I'm sure the motoman site has lots of hits. But extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Such claims need to be tested. For starters, I would like to propose a test that includes:
1. The purchase of 20 CBR250Rs from a large dealership (all the same color). Using a rigorous experimental procedure, have a technician (not directly involved with the study) label each bike with a number hidden out of sight on the bike. Only the technician is privy to this number. Then have 10 of the 20 bikes randomly selected to be subjected to a precise, consistent, and repeatable motoman method procedure by a test rider. The other 10 bikes would be ridden by the same test rider, on the same closed circuit, on the same day, using a precise, consistent, and repeatable manufacturer recommended break-in procedure.
2. Then have all the bikes tested in random order on the same dyno on the same day to yield rear-wheel power. A simple t-test to compare means should suffice to see if there is a statistically significant difference in rear-wheel hp between the motoman treated bikes versus the convention break-in bikes.
Understandably, the above test wouldn't be completely conclusive. For instance, it is just one test, and the findings might not be generalizable. As we all know "one swallow doesn't make a summer". Hopefully other magazines would conduct their own follow-up testing for replication purposes. And the above test wouldn't address the possibility that inproper break-in methods might yield shorter engine life-spans over time. Also - a statistically significant result (e.g., a reliable .2 hp difference between groups) might not even be meaningful in the real-world. But let the testers sort this out.
For what it's worth,