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Mar 12

Posts: 4

enkidu says:

Truth about breaking in?

Hello everyone!

I'm quite interested in some expert opinions about an article I read covering the breaking in of a new sport motorcycle. Here is the link to the article:

It does have some logic. The interest I have in this matter is linked to the fact that I am going to buy a new 11 ZX-10R in august. I'm still not convinced what method of "running in" should I use. The easyest would be to stick to what the manual and the dealer recommends. Apart from that, it's pure curiosity.
Looking forward to hearing your opinions.

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  • Posted 3 years ago (13 April 2012 07:55)

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Apr 08

Posts: 3042

AdieR says:


I'd stick to whats in the book.

The two points that stand out for me are a) Manufacturers spend £m on R&D, have facilities that your average mechanic / engine builder / tuner can only dream about, their engineers have access to a wealth of data unattainable by us mere mortals, and have years of experience setting these things up that they work reliably, day in day out, for a mass market. Your average mechanic / tuner (call them what you will) is, in my view, highly unlikely to improve upon this.

b) Engines get test run before they get fitted to a bike anyway, therefore part of the bedding in process has already taken place.

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Sep 07

Posts: 2825

James600zx says:


Interesting article which I've seen before, but if it was my hard-earned new road bike I'd run it in according to the manufacturer's instructions. The lengthy text makes a bit of sense to this non-expert (the target audience?) but where is the evidence beyond a few pistons of uncertain history?

"By following the instructions on this page, you'll find that your oil is cleaner and the engine will rev quicker.
Plus, you'll have much better torque and power across the power range from the vastly improved ring seal."

Where are the independent, comparative dyno plots?

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Mar 12

Posts: 4

enkidu says:

Point taken

Yeap, both your answers make a sound point, as I expected. I tend towards the manuals/factory recommendations as well. Thank you guys. Hey, anyone from the Teesside area? :)

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Feb 08

Posts: 817

Andy949494 says:

Just do it....

I'm with the follow the manual, don't try too hard camp. Particularly with such a capable (and liquid cooled) bike you should just keep your revs down and don't labour it too much too quick. Try several longish journeys so that its not always warming up...
My bikes have loosened up quite noticeably after many 1000 miles (e.g. at about 8000-10000 miles or so) although I don't think I would notice on a ZX10 - I am talking 250s, ER6Fs and Deauvilles!
The fact is almost every demo bike doesn't get run in at all (ragged from new) and most of them are okay...

[This Reply has been modified by the Author]

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Nov 07

Posts: 2424

smidget says:


running in schedule is there for a reason, which is not the engine manufacturer being awkward.

Having worked in the engine R&D industry for many years and having carried out a large number of 'Butch Tests' (engine fitted to test bed, immediately set to run full throttle at maximum load for 30 minutes, remove engine strip and inspect piston, rings and cylinder walls condition).

Some complete the test run, but then when rebuilt and put on test and compared to an engine which has been run in correctly it is the 'butch test' engine which loses power and torque first and in general fails whilst the comparison engine goes on to complete many more hours of service either on a durability test or performance test.

Most people who risk not carrying out the running in schedule do not retain the bike for to long and therefore pass the problem on to other unsuspecting riders to pick up the peices, in some instances literally.

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