How to “Break” your bike in, Without Breaking Your Bike!

Posted by Tim Technical Support Specialist on

How to “Break” your bike in, Without Breaking Your Bike!

Posted by Tim, Technical Support Specialist on March 3, 2018.

Welcome to this week’s tech talk at Venom Motor Sports.

This week we are focusing on the best practises to “break” your new bike in!

Almost every bike owner I have ever known has their own method for breaking in their bikes. This is also true for various manufacturers, however there are many common themes and we are going to work with those. I am also going to share my own experiences on this topic as well as some planned maintenance tips to help you keep your bike in top shape!

1) Before starting your bike ensure that the “shipping oil” that your bike came with is at the proper level for your bike. Shipping oil is the oil that the engine comes with from the manufacturer. Shipping oil is ok to use but I would change it to a good synthetic motorcycle oil after three hours of use which will be equal to about 100 miles of driving.

2) As you get ready take your first ride on your bike check the tire pressure, brake fluid level and adjust your side mirrors as required. Purchase the best gasoline you can find with the highest octane level available. Your bike has a single cylinder air cooled engine operating at high rpm. Using high octane fuel will ensure that the air/fuel mixture never pre-detonates or causes a “ping” sound in your engine. Remember a good rule of thumb is to let the bike run for three minutes at idle speed to warm up before you ride away. You can set the idle speed on your bike to 1500 rpm using the idle speed adjustment screw found on your carburetor. It is the only gold colored spring loaded screw on the carburetor body. Turn the screw inwards to speed your bike up and outwards to slow the idle rpm down.

3) During the first three hours of operation never open the throttle above the ¾ mark and operate the engine gently. Speed up and slow down, do not hold the engine rpm at a constant rate. Do not “lug” the engine, this means do not operate the engine at a low rpm, down shift your bike instead to the appropriate gear to increase engine rpm. The engine parts need to wear into each other and develop a good fit, this occurs well under varying load conditions. This is a critical process and the first three hours of operation are very important. Three hours of operation equals approximately 100 miles depending on your speed. Always ensure that you are wearing appropriate personal protective gear. Remember that personal protective gear is like life insurance, you can never have enough! The absolute minimum is a DOT certified helmet and gloves. Never, as in never ever operate your bike without a helmet! Safety First Please!

4) After the first three hours of operation change the motor oil. The new motor oil should be a “Synthetic” Motorcycle oil. Either 15 W 40 or 10 W 40 are fine. Your bike will require anywhere from 700 ml to 1 litre of oil…or ¾ to 1 quart of motor oil depending on the model. If your bike has a sight glass, ensure that the bike is upright and add oil in the fill spout on your bike until the oil is right at the top of the sight glass. Remember to drain the old used oil out of your bike first before adding new fresh oil. If you overfill the crankcase with too much oil your bike will burn off the excess oil giving you a dense blue colored very smokey exhaust. Too much oil in the crankcase can damage the engine and the catalytic converter located on your bikes exhaust system. So it is very important not to overfill the engine oil in your bike.

5) After the first oil change your bike is now good for 300 miles. As the engine is still “breaking in” I encourage you to continue to ride it gently. You can take the engine up to full power now, but not for extended periods of time. It is still wise not to operate the engine at a constant rpm for an extended period of time…slow down and then speed up often. During this phase also check your brake fluid and brake operation. Check for any lose nuts and bolts and retighten as required. Checking for loose fasteners is a good habit. All bikes vibrate and the vibrations will work to loosen the fasteners and is very normal.

6) Once you have driven your bike for 300 miles it is time to change the oil again. Moving forward from this point I recommend that you change your engine oil every 500 miles. However, that only applies if you are using a good quality “Synthetic” motorcycle oil. If you are cheeping out and using whatever 10 W 40 oil that is on sale this week…then change the oil every 300 miles. Why change the oil so frequently you ask? Your bike engine works much harder than your automobiles engine. This will cause the lubricating oil to fail and break down at a greatly accelerated rate. So…you need to change the oil in your bike much more often than your car. Again…it’s only one quart of oil, so buy your bike the very best synthetic oil! I am very confident that if you follow this frequency for oil changes your bike will last for many years. It’s up to you! Worst case I have seen was a bike with oil that was heavily contaminated and as black as coal. Also the oil level was less then ½ full on the dip stick. What amazed me was that the bike still ran…as the owner had never, not once in a year of driving in Florida changed his oil. Yes, I know it is hard to believe but that’s a true story!

7) I recommend that you check your brake pads every season for wear. Once you are in year three with your bike it will soon be time to replace your brake pads. If most of the pad is worn away, contact us for a replacement. Never allow a worn out brake pad to scratch the brake disk. If that occurs you will need both the brake pads and discs as well. By year three it is also good practice to change the oil in your braking system. DOT 3 brake fluid is fine. Open the master cylinder and the bleeder valve on the brake caliper to drain the oil. Then close the bleeder valve and top off the oil in the master cylinder.

8) If you are storing your bike for the winter season drain the fuel system via the drain plug at the bottom of the fuel bowl on your bike. Or…you can cheat and add fuel stabilizer to keep your fuel in good condition until next riding season. I would also recommend changing the fuel filter at the end of your second driving season.

9) Your tires may need replacement around year four. Again this depends on the amount of driving you do. Check the wear bars on the tires. If you need a new set of tires we can provide them to you. I suggest that you check your tire pressure often…as in weekly, when the tires are “cold” and have not been driven. Nothing wears out tires faster than being under or overinflated with air. The operating pressure is stamped right on the sidewall of the tire typically in the 32 psig range.

10) Turn on the ignition key and try the lights and horn. This is a good safety check and also proves that both are working before you go for a drive. If the lights and horn do not work check your main fuse. It will be located on the “Red” wire leaving the positive terminal on the battery in a fuse case.

I wish you years of enjoyment with your new bike!

If you have any technical concerns with your bike please feel free to email me:

ts@venommotorsportscanda.com

Enjoy the ride!

Tim

Technical Support Specialist

Venom Motorsports Canada

1-855-984-1612

 

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