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4 tips for breaking in a new motorcycle

Not too sure how a brand new motorcycle should be broken in? Here are a few tips.

Brand New Harley Davidson

Ensuring that your brand new motorcycle is well taken care of can be a very instinctive feeling—after all, we only want what’s best for the motorcycle which was bought with our hard earned cash. As such, perfecting the break in process is something that many owners put a lot of attention to during the first few months of motorcycle ownership. However, breaking in a new motorcycle correctly can be a bit difficult given the amount of hearsay and contradictory information people throw around. If you’re looking to simplify things a little bit and give yourself an easier time with the break in process, here are 4 super tips on breaking in your new motorcycle.

Dealership inspection

Kawasaki Ninja Brand New

Before taking the motorcycle home, it will be good to first inspect your new unit at the dealership. Fire the engine up and leave the motorcycle to idle for about 5-10 minutes in order to allow engine oils to properly lubricate all parts of the engine. While this is happening, simply inspect the motorcycle and pay attention to any traces of smoke, unpleasant smells, electrical issues, and weird noises. By doing this at the dealership, any issues found can be immediately addressed by service personnel before the unit is released.

Watch the tires

Triumph Street Triple

Once your unit is released and is good to ride, the first thing to keep in mind is that a new motorcycle also comes with new and fresh tires which will need a bit of scrubbing in for added safety. Brand new tires can be a little bit more slick due to the smoothness when released from the factory. As such, breaking in your tires should be one of the first things to attend to when buying a new motorcycle. You can practice u-turns or figure 8 maneuvers in a safe location, or simply go out for a short ride in a familiar area. The point is to make sure that your tires get roughened up a bit before any serious riding thereafter.

Use the brakes

Honda CBR Sport Bike

Apart from the tires, your brakes would also need some bedding in. Brake pads often come with a protective film which has to be worn away in order for your motorcycle to gain a full braking force with the rotor disc. Before going out on any serious ride, get some heat into your brake pads by going for a short ride in a familiar area. The key would be to heat up your brakes—try riding at about 50kph and attempt stopping as fast as possible using the front or rear brake only, and repeat 4 to 5 times for the front and rear brake each.

Riding variety

Triumph Trident

After your tires and brakes have broken in, your motorcycle should generally be good for a longer ride out—and this is where your engine’s break in process begins. While there is a lot of debate going around on whether or not a hard break in will be better than a soft break in, it is still recommended to follow the recommended method of your dealership so as not to void your warranty. However, regardless of the break in method you believe would be right for your engine, there are still a few key tips to follow which would be helpful for any break in process.

The first important tip would be to avoid lugging the engine. When an engine is lugged at low revs, imbalances within the bore can cause your pistons to sway ever so slightly during each stroke. This imbalance can cause too much pressure to build between the piston ring and the bore walls which can permanently damage an engine in small ways. The same logic applies when revving your engine too far up, and high combustion pressures can cause these imbalances to work against your engine’s health. Overall, it’s important to keep a happy medium when breaking in the engine—simply keep your engine in the middle of your rpm range and vary your riding style between cruising, acceleration, and deceleration for best results.

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