FAQ: Should I warm up my bike before a ride?

By Chris Dabbs -

 22 May 2009 16:21

MCN expert Chris Dabbs is here to answer any questions you have on anything bike related.

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Q. Could you please clear something up for me? My DAS instructor always told me to let my bike engine heat up before riding off. He claimed it was safer to start off with a heated engine.

On the other hand my employer has just issued advice to all employees stating that letting engines idle to heat up causes excess engine wear and wastes fuel.

It sounds to me that both are right but whose advice should I follow?

Ewan Brown, e-mail

A. Both arguments have merits, but I’d go with your employer now you’ve passed your test.

The Instructor’s advice would have been taking into account your relative lack of experience, and having the engine thoroughly warmed up means there’s less chance of it stalling suddenly and catching you out.

Now, of course you are more skilled and will use the engine appropriately while it gets up to its peak operating territory.

Newer models with fuel injection systems look after you better anyway, and for a catalyser to work properly you should start, then ride off so that the exhaust gases get it up to its operating temperature quickly, cutting down on any environmental damage.