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Cruizin

The infamous "Motoman" Method of breaking in an engine.

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Cruizin
While factory manuals always state to break in an engine very carefully, alot of people (Including Myself) use the Motoman method of breakin in new engines.
 
It is controversial, because it breaks from what the factory says to do. But, so many guys on ADVrider.com and other Forums have done it this way and their bikes have lasted well over 100,000 miles and some much further! Also, many Dyno shops have compared engines broken in the factory way vs the Motoman way and shown results where the motoman engines have more compression and power because the rings seated properly and the factory method breakins provided engines that had less power and pistons in bad condition due to the rings not seating properly and the cylinders getting scored all to heck.
 
I always use the Motoman method, and my bike's engines pull hard and last a long time.
 
I give you the MOTOMAN Method of engine breakin for your consideration and discussion.
 
Disclaimer: FZ07.org does not promote or officially recommend breaking from factory instructions. Do not use my personal experiences as a guide of what to do.
 
Make up your own minds.
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Cruizin
Quote from article. Note, this is what to do starting with the FIRST 20 miles on a new bike! Including, oil change at 20 miles!
 
On the Street:
Warm the engine up completely:
Because of the wind resistance, you don't need to use higher gears like you would on a dyno machine. The main thing is to load the engine by opening the throttle hard in 2nd, 3rd and 4th gear.
 
Realistically, you won't be able to do full throttle runs even in 2nd gear on most bikes without exceeding 65 mph / 104 kph. The best method is to alternate between short bursts of hard acceleration and deceleration. You don't have to go over 65 mph / 104 kph to properly load the rings. Also, make sure that you're not being followed by another bike or car when you decelerate, most drivers won't expect that you'll suddenly slow down, and we don't want
anyone to get hit from behind !!
 
The biggest problem with breaking your engine in on the street (besides police) is if you ride the bike on the freeway (too little throttle = not enough pressure on the rings) or if you get stuck in slow city traffic. For the first 200 miles or so, get out into the country where you can vary the speed more
and run it through the gears !
 
Be Safe On The Street !
Watch your speed ! When you're not used to the handling of a new vehicle, you should accelerate only on the straightaways, then slow down extra early for the turns. Remember that both hard acceleration and hard engine braking (deceleration) are equally important during the break in process.
 
Q: What is the most common cause of engine problems ???
A: Failure to:
Warm the engine up completely before running it hard !!!
 
Q: What is the second most common cause of engine problems ???
A: An easy break in !!!
 
Because, when the rings don't seal well, the blow-by gasses contaminate the oil with acids and other harmful combustion by-products !!
 
Ironically, an "easy break in" is not at all what it seems. By trying to "protect" the engine, the exact opposite happens, as leaky rings continue to contaminate your engine oil for the rest of the life of your engine !!
 
 
What about running it in the garage ???
 
Maybe you have a new snowmobile and it's not quite winter yet, or a new bike and it's snowing...
 
The temptation to fire up a new vehicle in the garage just to "hear"
the new engine run can be very strong.
 
This is the worst thing for a new engine, in fact, my advice is:
don't even start it up until you're ready to warm it up for the first ride.
 
The reason is that brand-new rings don't seat all the way around the 360 degrees of their circumference. The gas pressure from hard acceleration forces the rings to contact the cylinder around their entire circumference, which is the only way the rings can properly wear into the exact shape of the cylinder to seal the combustion pressure.
 
Now, imagine if the engine is run in the garage. There is no load on the engine, so the rings are just going up and down "along for the ride". Only a small portion of their surface is actually contacting the cylinder wall. The ring area that does contact the cylinder wears down the roughness of the honing pattern on the cylinder walls. Once the roughness of the cylinder is gone, the rings stop wearing into the cylinder. If this happens before the entire ring has worn into the cylinder and sealed, you will have a slow engine no matter how hard it gets ridden after that point.
 
The difference between what happens in an engine running in the garage, versus one being ridden is a hard concept to put into written words, so if I may use the sounds that we all can relate to: it's the difference between "zing-zing-zing" and "bwaaaaaaaaaAAAAAA"
 
During "zing-zing-zing" the rings don't get loaded for more than a split second, whereas during "bwaaaaaAAAAAA", the engine is in 100% ring sealing mode.
 
 
BreakInF3Pistons.jpg
 
 
These Honda F3 pistons show
the difference.
 
Although these pistons came out of engines which were raced for a full season, they weren't set-up with any special clearances or other preparation.
 
These engines were never worked on prior to being raced. They were totally stock as built by Honda.
 
The only difference was the break in method they used...
 
The one on the right was broken in as per MotoMan's instructions. per MotoMan's instructions.
 
After a full season of hard racing:
 
- Perfect Ring Seal ...
- No Scuffing ...
- Lots of Trophies !!!
 
 
The one on the left was broken in exactly according to the owner's manual. The resulting leaky rings have allowed pressure to "blow by" down into the crankcase on acceleration, and oil to "suck-up" into the combustion chamber on deceleration.
Needless to say, this bike was slow !!
 
 
 
Q: What's the third most common cause of engine problems ???
A: Not changing the oil soon enough after the engine is first run !!
 
Change Your Oil Right Away !!
The best thing you can do for your engine is to change your oil and filter after the first 20 miles. Most of the wearing in process happens immediately, creating a lot of metal in the oil. Plus, the amount of leftover machining chips and other crud left behind in the manufacturing process is simply amazing !! You want to flush that stuff out before it gets recycled and embedded in the transmission gears, and oil pump etc...
 
Why do the manufacturers recommend waiting until 600 miles to
flush out all the loose metal ???
 
This is a good question ...
 
3 more words on break- in:
NO SYNTHETIC OIL !!
 
Use Valvoline, Halvoline, or similar 10 w 40 Petroleum Car Oil for at least
2 full days of hard racing or 1,500 miles of street riding / driving.
After that use your favorite brand of oil.
 
 
 
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Cruizin
Again, all the info above is just an FYI. I personally believe in that method, but do your own research and make your own choices. Either way, I do recommend chainging the oil and filter at 20 miles to get any metal shavings and other crap out of your engine and away from your gears and oil pump.

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Guest brickst3r
That definitely sounds like a funner break in then taking it easy haha.
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mjh937
Here is another article in engine break-in. It is a similar system to the MotoMan one. Just adding some fuel to the fire :)
 
link
 
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Guest montana07
I'll probably go with the yamaha recommended break in, I figure they have engineers whose job it is to research this stuff. But I do like the idea of an early oil change.
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Guru
I had a long discussion with the chief mechanic at the dealer when picking up my bike last week.
He was trained in Japan by Yamaha and was quite knowledgeable. He discussed breaking in the engine with engineers there and they told him that they were considering rewriting the manual because it made no sense to keep the revs under 5k. He basically said the manual was wrong and Yamaha admits it.
 
The main reason that they are hesitant to change the manual is not engine risk but the fact that a new bike comes with fresh tires with silicone coating that makes spirited driving risky when new. Other (oil) seals also need time to set, but it doesn't take 1000km.
The problem to is that if they don't give (overly) safe guidelines, people will drive the )(@#$ out of it and blame the factory if something goes wrong. And of course the new pilot needs to get used to the new bike so taking it slow makes sense from a risk point of view.
They said that with the level of technology, the quality of the metals today and the tolerance they use it is best to drive it as if you are not breaking it in from day one. So revving it is no problem. There are a few thing to keep in mind during the first km's: Don't drive with the same rev for longer periods of time, so basically vary the RPM's, don't pull hard a low revs (don't bog it) Use engine braking to get a good seal and give it time to heat up before stepping on it.
 
It doesn't mean that you drive like a crazy man but babying it is not good and doesn't provide a good seal.
The mechanic even saw proof at the factory that engine with a harder break in were simply better and more powerful with no ill effects. (comparable pictures to the ones in Motomans article.
 
On a side note, we also discussed oil. The bike comes from factory with breaking in oil that is a lot thinner and lubricates less to help the break in procedure. So much so that some bikes have stalling issues simply because it causes more resistance and lowers the rpms somewhat.
 
I posted somewhere else that some have stalling issues (me too) A lot of these stalling problems disappear once the oil in changed. '
 
(can of worms warning!) He was also not a fan of full synthetic. He preferred semi and car engine oil was a big no-no. As far as I could tell the guy really knew what he was talking about so I believe him.
 
So as far as breaking in, I don't go crazy, I respect the new and fresh but I don't baby it like some do.
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rotaryfz07
I should have tried this.
 
I hope my bike doesn't turn out to be slow.
 
So far 500 miles. First service will be due soon.

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mjh937
Rotary, you might end up with only 73 hp. Probably won't even break 120 mph :) I think you will be fine.
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rotaryfz07
Rotary, you might end up with only 73 hp. Probably won't even break 120 mph :) I think you will be fine.
 
 
Lol I'll take it with stride !

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cassecou
From lots of bikes I have owned, I have done 2 things on all of them and never stressed the bike or myself about it.
During break-in, drive normal until warmed up. Then drive it normal without pushing it too often in the red. That's it.
After break-in, drive normal until warmed up. Then have fun with it.
It's all common sense.

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MeanMug
The mechanic who went over my bike stressed varying the rpms. He said its ok to go over 5 grand rpm. This agrees with a lot of what was said here. I worked in an engine shop in college and we broke our engines in slowly , varying the rpms for hours and then pulled takeoff power once the oil consumption leveled off. If the rings aren't seated the engine uses oil. If you don't add oil in 400 miles it seems to me your engine is broken in.
 
That said, I think that the gearbox is what needs to wear in. All those gear teeth need to mesh and seat with each other. This is where the high load could cause problems - minimal contact patches on mating drive/driven gears will stress those shafts.
 
Take it easy on your gearboxes gentlemen, and ride safe.

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weaponzero
I would have liked to have tried this with my bike, but I live in an urban area where getting the bike to higher RPM for anything other than short spurts (like a few seconds at a time) is simply not feasible. And you have to travel a good ways outside of city limits to get to a place where you can do it.

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MeanMug
What city is that weaponzero?
 

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Incognito
Here's an article on new engine break-in from RideApart (HIGHLY recommended site for all riders, old and new). Not quite as extreme as the MotoMan method, and in my opinion a very sensible compromise.
 
How To: Break in a new motorcycle engine
 

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weaponzero
What city is that weaponzero?
Pittsburgh.

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jeepinbassist
Hey guys I'm getting my bike in a couple of days. I plan on following the Motoman break in. I've read that the bike comes with break in oil should I change it to a mineral oil or is it ok? What oil do you guys recommend for the FZ07?

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bmwpowere36m3
I rode for 120 "hard" miles with whatever was in there, before dumping it.... came out really dark and metallic. Believe the factory fill is regular dino oil.

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jeepinbassist
I rode for 120 "hard" miles with whatever was in there, before dumping it.... came out really dark and metallic. Believe the factory fill is regular dino oil.
 
 
Ok thanks for the input. I'll probably just change it out around 30 or 50. What oil did you switch to?

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norcal616
From my " current " manufacturing experience I can say from my personal opinion is the " factory recommend " break in is just fancy legal speak to limit liability...they want you to take it easy during the first 600 miles so you get used to the bike and not hurt yourself...I find motomans method to be my method also..and I will only use reg Yama lube 10-40 in my motor...they built these motors to run on Yama lube and all the R&D testing was done on yam lube...you should see what engine manufacturers do to new built engines for a final test before shipping them out  (zzz)

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bmwpowere36m3
I rode for 120 "hard" miles with whatever was in there, before dumping it.... came out really dark and metallic. Believe the factory fill is regular dino oil.
Ok thanks for the input. I'll probably just change it out around 30 or 50. What oil did you switch to?
 
 
Shell Rotella 15w-40

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jeepinbassist
From my " current " manufacturing experience I can say from my personal opinion is the " factory recommend " break in is just fancy legal speak to limit liability...they want you to take it easy during the first 600 miles so you get used to the bike and not hurt yourself...I find motomans method to be my method also..and I will only use reg Yama lube 10-40 in my motor...they built these motors to run on Yama lube and all the R&D testing was done on yam lube...you should see what engine manufacturers do to new built engines for a final test before shipping them out  (zzz)
 
 
Ok and I'm assuming that you get that at the dealer? Is that a synthetic oil? Why does the Motoman method call for non synthetic car oil, couldn't that be damaging to some components?

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norcal616
I dunno why it says non synthetic car oil...I can get reg Yamalube 10-40 at any powersport dealership around here...

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jeepinbassist
I dunno why it says non synthetic car oil...I can get reg Yamalube 10-40 at any powersport dealership around here...
 
 
Ok thanks. Does anyone have a reason that they use mineral car oil?

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pattonme
You can use any "car" oil just as long as it doesn't have the extra slick modifiers in it. Look at the back of the bottle. There is a circle within a circle. the "bad" oil has text in the bottom half of the outer ring. The good oil has nothing. Pretty much anything 10w40 or thicker won't have the bad additives. run standard dinosaur oil for the first 1500 miles (1/2 a season? surely you guys should be doing that within 2 months tops) and then you can use whatever you like.
 
On my high-$$$ bikes I use full synth 10/40 or 10/50 because that's what the high-strung racing motors are designed around (aprilia and ktm). But for the FZ just use normal oil.
 
There is nothing special about Yam/Hon=Lube except your dealer gets to gouge you for your naivete. Any of the national auto-parts chains carry the proper stuff.
 
> R&D testing was done on yam lube
 
Which came in a 50 or 500 gallon drum that has any of these guys' names on the side.
http://www.paj.gr.jp/english/members/
 
 
I don't know what brands of oil are commonly avail in JP on retail shelves. But what Yamaha uses will be one of the standard suppliers.
 
 

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