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Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by leonphelps, May 16, 2007.
oops, a stock 99 SE is non-cush.
maybe just worn chain & now sprockets
No, the most important part of breaking in ring is to open the throttle. Read this: http://mototuneusa.com/break_in_sec...tmhttp://mototuneusa.com/break_in_secrets.htm
This talk of chain and sprockets reminded me that I wanted to report on how my zero-maintenance approach to chain wear has worked out for me.
I replaced my chain and sprockets this past weekend. When I installed a new x-ring chain and sprockets 8,745 miles ago, I made a decision that I would not clean, lube, or oil at all. Not once did I ever do a single bit of maintenance to the chain. Come rain or mud or dirt or riding on the beach in Mexico, it never saw one drop of lube. Ever.
I chose this approach for two reasons. First and foremost, I was tired of lubing the chain, having lube fling off, mess on the sprockets, etc. Second, I wanted to see how long a chain would last that I treated in such a manner.
My previous chain and sprockets had lasted 12,050 miles (same brand of chain and sprockets). This set had been lubed very regularly. I will say that this set was more worn out at 12,050 miles than my no-lube set at 8,745 miles. I could have run the no-lube set longer, but I'm getting ready for a big-ish trip and didn't want to risk a failure.
In the end, lubing the chain regularly bought me 3,305 additional miles. Lubing cost me the price of lube, my time to lube the chain, and the hassle of dealing with the mess that even good, modern no-fling lubes still create.
Was not lubing the chain worth it to me? Yes.
What will I do with the chain and sprockets I just purchased? I'll happily continue down my merry path of no maintenance, ever. :>
now that's a hard one to judge for me. that 385 I just finished didn't feel much different than my 350 but I didn't ride it enough. I really only notice vibes when I am droning down the highway though. the 441 might have more vibes but I can only notice it on my footpegs. if I put the droopy rubber mounted street model pegs on it would probably fix that though
If I had a dollar for every time someone linked to that "break-in secrets" page... well, I'd have quite a few dollars. Not saying it's wrong but just because 1000 people keep repeating it doesn't make it right either - especially as it (at least partially) contradicts what pretty much EVERY engine manufacturer says.
I discussed this with a guy who has spent 40+ years successfully building race engines. He said it's a good way of getting a rebuilt engine race-ready fast (he has even faster ways), but not necessarily the best for longevity. I know there are dozens of people saying "I did it like that and my engine burns no oil after XXX thousand miles" but there are just as many people, I suspect, with the same outcome from any other break-in methodology.
I've been running dupont chain saver on my DR650 chain this time. It's hard on chains. This one is hanging in better than with the oil based lubes I've used. Doesn't fling off either if you let it dry before riding.
I think lubrication has more impact on sprocket wear than chain wear. However when the sprockets wear that causes chain stretch.
Ahhhh... Those were the days... Ignore chain maintenance on the old, unsealed chains and they could be destroyed within a few weeks of winter or offroad riding. So you would oil your chain every day, then remove it once a month to clean in kerosene and then put it in a bath of hot wax with graphite (or some other "magic" lubricant") and still end up replacing it every couple of years; or you could install an automatic lubing gadget that drips on the floor in your garage and covers the back end of your bike with oil and still replace the chain every other year. Modern X-ring chain technology has indeed come a LONG way. I asked the guys on the Orange crush forum about chain maintenance on the powerful KTM twins and it seems everyone is getting 25K+ regardless of how/where they ride and how/if they maintain their high-end modern chains. Some did say the odd shot of light lube keep the chain a bit quieter.
Every motorcycle engine manufacturer will get sued if they tell people to open the throttle on new bikes they are not familiar with, especially when most motorcycle buyers are clueless riders. Open the throttle, crash the bike, sue Suzuki/Yamaha/BMW/Honda/Kawasaki/ whoever else is involved. No brainer, tell them to keep the throttle closed.
Airplane engine manufacturers always tell you to open and close the throttle on a new piston engine, I asked why and they explained pretty much what's in that article. Since I heard this about 30 years ago I've been doing it on every engine, car, boat, airplane, motorcycle, lawnmower, it works very well. Have owned a few bikes with very low compression with absolutely no wear at all in the cylinders and rings, most recently a 1978 GS 750, with about 10,000 miles on it. They probably babied the engine at first. Honed the cylinders, put the original rings back in and made no other changes to the engines, ran the heck out of it, an hour later the compression is very high. I have done this on about five old Suzukis, it worked every time. Have also had several people who rebuild motorcycle engines for a living refer me to this article, they all say do as he says. None who build engines for a living have ever told me to baby the engine.
You will do what you want. So will I.
heres what i've been doing chain-wise:
every so rarely i'll wipe down the chain (hot from a ride) with a diesel-soaked rag. then wipe it off a bunch. and then maybe a light coating of teflon spray.
this is maybe once a year. the chain is a DID vm?-x ring with 16.5k miles now. it was used on a dr650 & dr350se & now the 350R.
never has needed adjusted with the low power of the 350, cant detect any kinks yet.
Of course, you can speed up the break in process by riding the bike hard after a very short run-in time, maybe a few complete heat cycles. That's how it's done at the racetrack. Or, you can assemble the cylinder/piston completely dry, and it supposedly is broken in and ready to ride hard within a minute of start up. I heard that one before too.
On a newly rebuilt engine - that's not going to be used for racing, and thus rebuilt again, maybe soon - I don't think I'll follow either of those approaches.
I did NOT say I recommend babying the throttle. I was commenting that a million links to the mototune article (most from people who have never built an engine themselves) don't make it gospel - whether it's right or not. I used to rebuild high performance 2-stroke engines. In my estimation, most of the break-in for the piston and bore occurs in the first few minutes. My only advice was to warm up the engine before wringing the throttle (i.e. not full throttle max rpm from cold.) Most young riders of 2-strokes do exactly the opposite of that and they were always the best repeat customers.
Airplane engines can not be run at super light loads or reduced rpm for the first so many hours - they have to operate in a certain way and need to be able to do it right out of the crate so not a valid comparison.
I have witnessed a tech at the Ducati factory taking each bike straight off the production line and running it to red-line through the gears on a rolling road while tweaking the tuning - so I don't think the "baby it" approach is advocated by them - but their manual does not repeat mototune's "secrets" either.
I think we're on the same page here, of course warm it up thoroughly before winding it out, that's in his article too. I have seen techs at many motorcycle dealerships wringing the shit out of new engines, doesn't seem to hurt them any. What the techs do and what the manual recommends are just about opposites.
Airplane engines could all be run easy the first few hours, if it worked better they would recommend it or even require it. They don't. They say warm it up and haul ass.
As long as they don't actually blow it up, they have no investment in doing it any other way. I have stripped too many engines with evidence of cold seizure to ever treat an engine in ANYTHING I own like that (even after what I witnessed at Ducati.) Have also seen what happens to stationary diesel engines when someone uses too much ether to start them - the sudden burst of power on a stone cold engine leads to scored bores which reduces compression and makes them harder to start next time - so the operator reaches for the ether again.
I don't detect any kinks, either. In fact, the side plates on my x-ring chains always hold up very well and never show signs of failure (at least not at the mileage I change them at). My sprockets also remain in really good shape with not a lot of wear on the teeth. What wears for me are the rollers on the pins - where there is zero x-ring (or o-ring) protection. Every once in a while, I use my needle-nosed pliers to grab a roller and wiggle on the pin it to see how much wear there has been on it. Once I "feel" like it is too much, I order a replacement.
I might be too conservative with my chain/sprocket replacements. But, I do not want to be stranded out the in the middle of the desert with a broken chain...or delayed for a couple of days ordering new parts during a big trip.
I also suspect that the dusty/rocky environment in which I ride, combined with the very high summer temperatures that tend to liquefy any lubricant I've tried, perhaps yield a shorter lifespan than other usage scenarios.
Isn't cold seizure from not warming the engine first? Seems everyone is agreeing on warming it up first.
I've broken in one engine in my life, so I'm not bringing a lot of experience to the table, but I'm enjoying this conversation immensely. Also about to break in a new 2t top end.
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MrPullDown, thanks for the link. I bought these and got them installed on my bike last night. For $18, they are a "steel"... I just wonder why I didn't do this sooner??!?!?! If you are still riding with bicycle pegs, do yourself a favor and buy these things!!!
Now I need to make some time and do my valves before the SLAP rally.
And, that kind of thing right there is the reason that none of my bikes have gone to a dealership to have their mechanics lay hands on it since an experience I had in 1981. It was a reassembly error that could have been really bad, as in my ass sliding and tumbling down the road, if I hadn't caught it.
Yes, if you run the bike really hard from cold, the piston expands faster than the bore and can press tightly enough against the cylinder walls to partially weld itself there, leaving heavy scoring on the piston and often cylinder walls too. I watched a tech at an independent shop demonstrating a newly rebuilt European 2-stroke, with a REALLY expensive new OEM piston installed, to the owner: Kick... ring-a-ding.. ring-a-ding.. zzzzzziiiiinnnggg!... "There you go. Just like new!" We pulled the top end apart that evening, before the bike had even been ridden and the piston was already scored up.
No one anywhere is advocating running any engine hard when it's not thoroughly warmed up!!
Only a complete moron would do this!!
How did that even get into the conversation?