Option Two: The second method to consider is a little less rigid than the manufacturers recommend. If you live near a canyon or a race track, they are both good places to work in a new motorcycle engine. First, never lug the engine around at low rpm and don’t cruise around at the same revs for long periods of time. You should be fluctuating the revs and engine speeds consistently. It’s probably best to ignore riding on the freeway for the first 500 miles as more often than not you’ll be riding at a constant speed and rpm for long periods of time, which is not good for a new engine.
For the first 500 miles you should stick with conventional mineral oil in the engine SAE 10W-40 is the best option and if you’re not sure what oil is in your new bike change it out for this and replace the filter too. You can change out for synthetic oil at 1500 miles.
Before riding your new bike make sure you have read the owner’s manual to see what specifically the manufacturer recommends. Check the oil level is correct and start the engine, but allow it to reach proper operating temperature before actually getting on and riding off.
Try and find a road with light traffic and a place where you can actually open the bike up a bit, at least in the lower gears. Make sure you vary the engine speed as often as you can from the low mid-range to the upper mid-range for around 20 miles. Essentially you’ll want to be in first 1/3 to your mid rev range. For example, with a bike which red lines at 15,000 rpm you need to be fluctuating between 4,500 to a maximum of 7,500 rpm.
After 10 miles, stop the bike and turn off the engine. Let it sit for 20 minutes and then start it back up again. Then continue with how you have been riding previously varying the engine speed in the low to mid range, but this time raise the rpm to 8500rpm and try to use engine braking as much as possible.
Some people recommend changing the oil on a new motorcycle after that first 20-mile ride. Then again at 50 miles and at 200 miles. You can choose to do that. There’s no harm in doing it but it’s time-consuming and costly. The most significant point is to change a new motorcycle’s oil and filter at 500 miles.
With the running in process you should try and follow what you did on the first ride but increasing the amount of miles you do, still stopping for a short while in between and each time adding 1000rpm to the rev range and more importantly consistently varying the engine speed and revs throughout.
At 500 miles you should change the oil and filter when the engine is still warm but not baking hot. Inspect the oil for any metal debris. Don’t be alarmed if there are some metal flakes as this is perfectly normal. Once you’ve passed the 500-mile mark you can start heading out on the freeway but still mix your ride with plenty of street riding too.
At 1500 miles, change the oil and filter again. You can opt to use a good quality synthetic oil that’s appropriate for your engine and weather conditions where you live or if you prefer stick with a mineral oil. It’s at this point that your new engine is considered to be broken-in. Now just get out there and ride that bike.
There are no hard and fast rules here. As with most things it’s a case of common sense. Read the owner’s manual. Understand what the manufacturer recommends and take your time breaking in your new bike.
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