What's The Best Way To Break-In A New Engine ??

Discussion in 'Crazy-Awesome almost Dakar racers (950/990cc)' started by Northyork, Feb 6, 2013.

  1. Northyork

    Northyork Been here awhile

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    Has anyone try this method? What do you think about it? I have to break-in my bike and do not know if I should follow the manual or otherwise.
    http://www.mototuneusa.com/break_in_secrets.htm

    What's The Best Way To Break-In A New Engine ??
    The Short Answer:
    Run it Hard !
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    Why ??
    Nowadays, the piston ring seal is really what the break in process is all about. Contrary to popular belief, piston rings don't seal the combustion pressure by spring tension. Ring tension is necessary only to "scrape" the oil to prevent it from entering the combustion chamber.

    If you think about it, the ring exerts maybe 5-10 lbs of spring tension against the cylinder wall ...
    How can such a small amount of spring tension seal against thousands of
    PSI (Pounds Per Square Inch) of combustion pressure ??
    Of course it can't.

    How Do Rings Seal Against Tremendous Combustion Pressure ??
    From the actual gas pressure itself !! It passes over the top of the ring, and gets behind it to force it outward against the cylinder wall. The problem is that new rings are far from perfect and they must be worn in quite a bit in order to completely seal all the way around the bore. If the gas pressure is strong enough during the engine's first miles of operation (open that throttle !!!), then the entire ring will wear into
    the cylinder surface, to seal the combustion pressure as well as possible.



    The Problem With "Easy Break In" ...
    The honed crosshatch pattern in the cylinder bore acts like a file to allow the rings to wear. The rings quickly wear down the "peaks" of this roughness, regardless of how hard the engine is run.

    There's a very small window of opportunity to get the rings to seal really well ... the first 20 miles !!
    If the rings aren't forced against the walls soon enough, they'll use up the roughness before they fully seat. Once that happens there is no solution but to re hone the cylinders, install new rings and start over again.

    Fortunately, most new sportbike owners can't resist the urge to "open it up" once or twice,
    which is why more engines don't have this problem !!

    An additional factor that you may not have realized, is that the person at the dealership who set up your bike probably blasted your brand new bike pretty hard on the "test run". So, without realizing it, that adrenaline crazed set - up mechanic actually did you a huge favor !!




    On the Street:
    Warm the engine up completely:
    Because of the wind resistance, you don't need to use higher gears like you would on a dyno machine. The main thing is to load the engine by opening the throttle hard in 2nd, 3rd and 4th gear.

    Realistically, you won't be able to do full throttle runs even in 2nd gear on most bikes without exceeding 65 mph / 104 kph. The best method is to alternate between short bursts of hard acceleration and deceleration. You don't have to go over 65 mph / 104 kph to properly load the rings. Also, make sure that you're not being followed by another bike or car when you decelerate, most drivers won't expect that you'll suddenly slow down, and we don't want
    anyone to get hit from behind !!

    The biggest problem with breaking your engine in on the street (besides police) is if you ride the bike on the freeway (too little throttle = not enough pressure on the rings) or if you get stuck in slow city traffic. For the first 200 miles or so, get out into the country where you can vary the speed more
    and run it through the gears !

    Be Safe On The Street !
    Watch your speed ! When you're not used to the handling of a new vehicle, you should accelerate only on the straightaways, then slow down extra early for the turns. Remember that both hard acceleration and hard engine braking (deceleration) are equally important during the break in process.

    3 more words on break- in:
    NO SYNTHETIC OIL !!

    Use Valvoline, Halvoline, or similar 10 w 40 Petroleum Car Oil for at least
    2 full days of hard racing or 1,500 miles of street riding / driving.
    After that use your favorite brand of oil.
    <hr> Viewer Questions:

    Q:
    If break- in happens so quickly, why do you recommend using petroleum break- in oil for 1500 miles ?? A: Because while about 80% of the ring sealing takes place in the first hour of running the engine,
    the last 20% of the process takes a longer time. Street riding isn't a controlled environment, so most of the mileage may
    not be in "ring loading mode". Synthetic oil is so slippery that it actually "arrests" the break in process before the rings can seal completely. I've had a few customers who switched to synthetic oil too soon, and the rings never sealed properly no matter how hard they rode. Taking a new engine apart to re - ring it is the last thing anyone wants to do, so I recommend a lot
    of mileage before switching to synthetic. It's really a "better safe than sorry" situation.

    Q: My bike comes with synthetic oil from the factory, what should I do ??

    A:
    I recommend changing the factory installed synthetic oil back to petroleum for the break-in period.

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    #1
  2. marcone

    marcone V-Stromer

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    #2
  3. bbjumper

    bbjumper Been here awhile

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    I did and overhaul on my cherished 82 GS850G last March and used MotoMan's recommendations in addition to the attached link.

    http://www.calsci.com/motorcycleinfo/NewBike.html#BreakIn

    I now have about 8k on the engine and everything is great, compressions are all in the 160+ range, the engine uses anywhere between 8 and 12 oz. of oil between changes and she is a strong runner.

    I use Rotella in this engine and change it every 2k.


    Good Luck
    [​IMG]
    #3
  4. Stkmkt1

    Stkmkt1 Been here awhile

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    I did this on my new BMW 1200 GSA. Left the dealership with 3 miles on the speedo. Hit the interstate and rode it 125 miles in forth and sometimes 5th gear. Ran the "piss" out of it. Bike now has about 35K on it. Runs like a top. Typical BMW oil usage when new was at a minimum. While I do change the oil & filter about every 3-4000 miles, I have not seen any oil usage since about break-in. Mechanic at dealership says it is one of the smoothest running boxers he has ever seen. And it runs like crazy.
    #4
  5. LocuL

    LocuL Gnarly Infantry

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    ride it...:evil
    #5
  6. Stkmkt1

    Stkmkt1 Been here awhile

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    I better add that my wife followed behind me on the interstate to help protect me from other drivers with the sudden decelerations. I would drop it down in speed and then get back hard on the the throttle. Back and forth and back and forth. I will admit that sometimes I hit 100 MPH and one time 105. But I mostly kept it down around normal highway speed limits which is 65. Slow downs were dropped to about 40, depending on how much traffic was near me.

    Don't do this without someone following you who is aware of the process and who will keep a watchful eye on you and the traffic around you.
    #6
  7. Northyork

    Northyork Been here awhile

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    Can't wait to ride it, I am just waiting for the streets to be clear of snow and salt. It was delivered around 3 weeks
    ago. The odometer still reads 0KM.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    #7
  8. Northyork

    Northyork Been here awhile

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    Thank you bbjumper and stkmkt1 for sharing your experiences. Your advice is appreciated.
    #8
  9. Northyork

    Northyork Been here awhile

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    Nice bike!!! I found very interesting the article you pointed me to. Thanks
    #9
  10. bbjumper

    bbjumper Been here awhile

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    You gotta nice ride there, Enjoy
    #10
  11. pdxmotorhead

    pdxmotorhead Long timer

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    FWIW,,, I support several race cars, one with a Cosworth twin cam.. Turns about 10,500 at full song on track..

    We used to do the 15 minutes of idle then a half hour at about 1/2 throttle etc..

    We had a race and ended up with a cracked piston.. We had to replace the pistons and rings and hone it.. But had a race that day, no time for break in.. We ran 125 laps that weekend and the engine NEVER had made that good of compression and leakdown before.. And the thing ran sweet all season and not near as much methanol in the oil.. Drive em like ya stole them... !

    Porsche used to do a 60 minute 6500 rpm dyno run before installing a engine in their cars.. (Good old days...)

    Mercedes did a test back when the 190's came out (I was told this by a factory rep) that they pulled 100 engines off the line. Ran them all over 9000 rpm on the dyno.. then installed them in cars that were going to commercial fleet customers.. They thought it was going to show up as shortened life, turned out a high percentage went more miles than normal wihtout any bottom end problems.. (Of course the 190 motor was one of MB's high points, despite the cars electrical issues.. :) )


    Good stuff..

    Dave
    #11
  12. kamanya

    kamanya Andrew to most

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  13. Gimme 2

    Gimme 2 wheels , with nobs

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    Seems to be waffling about rings alot, but the bearings and gears are'nt mentioned. These are important load bearing surfaces that marry up to each other over time , breakin time helps this .I rekon follow your manual, and use the recommended oil.
    #13
  14. alongat

    alongat Long timer

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    For what it's worth (and granted - you'll get no fewer than 1000 opinions on the subject), for me, break-in is all about avoiding a constant engine rpm and load. Vary your throttle input and keep moving through the gears. Mix up highway versus city and ride the shit out of it. KTM does a hell of job building these engines - the LC8 is a well developed and refined engine. It just simply works...

    By the way, for servicing, if you're planning to take it to GP Bikes (noticed that's where you bought it), ask for their lead KTM tech Peter. He's fantastic and meticulous.
    #14
  15. alongat

    alongat Long timer

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    Oh...and if you decide that you need more engine/throttle smoothness and power, Z1 Cycletech is an outstanding tuner with his own Dyno. He's in Thornhill on Green Lane...
    #15
  16. kirb

    kirb should be out riding

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    Can we merge this into a Break-in, oil, and tire thread?
    #16
  17. RedRupert

    RedRupert Brit in the Soviet Union

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    Thank you Northyork, the info is interesting.

    I wonder if you can help diagnose my high(?) oil consumption.

    My bike is a 2004 950 with 90,000 km (about 56,000 miles).

    During it's early life, oil consumption was acceptable - I mean, it needed topping up with <1 litre between 6-7000 km oil changes. So about 2 litres per 14,000 km (8700 mile) season. (0.14 litres/1000 km).

    Over time the oil consumption became worse: 4 litres over 12,000 km, so 1 litre/3000 km (0.34 litres/1000 km).

    At 74,000 km, I had to strip the engine in order to replace the selector drum. While the engine was apart I replaced the (serviceable) piston rings and honed the bores lightly. After honing the ring end-gaps were all around <0.30 mm (limit 0.5 mm). I did not have the correct tools to measure the bore and piston accurately.

    I also changed the oil seal in the ignition casing (the balancer shaft oil seal).

    I ran-in on semi-synthetic oil for over 1500 km on twisty roads not being too gentle - using plenty of acceleration and engine breaking - but oil consumption remains hight.

    16,000 km after the rebuild, I measured compression and found 16.5 BAR (240 PSI). And carried out a leak-down test and found around 30% leakage, front and rear.

    KTM state:
    0.3 - 0.6 litres/1000 km: normal.
    >1.0 litres/1000 km: there MUST be a serious technical defect!

    My bike is ridden hard, but 0.34 litres/1000 km does seem a bit steep! Is it, despite what KTM say?

    Looking at the leak-down and compression test results, could it be that the bore/piston/rings are at fault, or should I be look for another reason for the oil loss?

    Any info will be gratefully received.

    Thank you.
    #17
  18. Northyork

    Northyork Been here awhile

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    Yeap, GP is where I bought it. Thanks for the tip.
    #18
  19. Northyork

    Northyork Been here awhile

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    Sorry Rupert, I do not know enough about engines or this bike in particular to help you out
    #19
  20. TheNaker

    TheNaker El Vagabondo

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    #20