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Ms. Subtle
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1,930 Posts
i would think like any other bike maybe? do your first 50 miles easy and not over 50 mph and the next 450 varying speed and rpm... so in other words dont get on the highway and do a solid ride at 70 mph.. you wanna ride around at different speeds and rpm and after that.. have at it!
 

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Part of the reason for break in is that you have new tires....need to take it easy whenever you have new tires! :thumb
 

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I {Heart} Hookers.
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Part of the reason for break in is that you have new tires....
As much as I agree that you have to be careful with new tires due to mold release agent applied at the tire factory, "Break-In" refers to the wearing in, or "mating" of machined parts, such as piston rings to cylinder walls, hydraulic lifters, bearings to their respective races, bushings, gears that mesh with one another and any moving part that has metal to metal contact.

It also pertains to heat cycles of the engine, to properly complete the fitment of certain parts, like the cylinder heads that grow with heat, and the head gaskets that are between the heads and jugs. (cylinder walls)

Read your manual.

HD, as almost any motorcycle manufacturer, suggests not lugging the engine, redlining the engine or running it at a constant RPM for long, steady periods of time, such as in highway driving for a specific amount of mileage.

It will suggest recommended RPM limits in conjunction with mileage on the bike, as well as when to change the "break in" oil, and rid the engine of micro-metal fragments that end up in the oil from the initial metal-on-metal contact.

Some people will argue that you can ride 100 miles and then "Ride it like you stole it" and while I've never really seen proof of that causing damage, improper piston ring to cylinder wear will end up causing power loss and oil consumption issues later in the engine's life. I've also seen engine damage done by people that don't properly warm an HD engine up, then rev it too high, blowing out head gaskets and having issues with upper-end oil starvation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
other than the obvious of putting in on a truck, what should i do if i buy the bike in another city nearby and need to ride (about 50min) it back? maybe just take the access road all the way with lots of break?
 

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I {Heart} Hookers.
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what should i do if i buy the bike in another city nearby and need to ride (about 50min) it back?

Not lose your mind about it....:D

Drive it. It'll be 50 less miles towards your 600 mile break-in.

If you're driving about 60 mph, let the bike vary in speed between 55 to 65 mph, with gradual, throttle-roll movements.... Variation of RPM is what you want.

If you hold it at a steady rpm for 2-3 minutes at a time, nothing's gonna happen that will end the world or result in catastrophy....

Common sense.
 

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A good hint of when it is OK to ride after starting a Harley engine is when the lifter blocks are "REAL" warm to the touch.:nod:thumb
 

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Common sense is key mostly you wanna break in your rings like Dave explained and then start riding it like you would normaly no hot doggin but you know I like to break the rings in then just ride it like I would at any speed.I just broke in my ring on my Pan and brang it up to about 80 mph just to feel and hear it.
 

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Good advice, I have a question, we just bought my wife an new 1200L and we pick it up next week. I was going to take her to the dealer on my bike then we were going to ride back together. Our dealer is 200 miles from where we live, highway all the way 65 mph posted. What would you suggest for her on this ride back to the house?
 

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Screw It Lets Ride
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291 Posts
Not lose your mind about it....:D

Drive it. It'll be 50 less miles towards your 600 mile break-in.

If you're driving about 60 mph, let the bike vary in speed between 55 to 65 mph, with gradual, throttle-roll movements.... Variation of RPM is what you want.

If you hold it at a steady rpm for 2-3 minutes at a time, nothing's gonna happen that will end the world or result in catastrophy....

Common sense.
Just what he said....
 

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The Northern *******
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get at least 1,00 miles on it till you ride it like you stole it....not a bad idea to do an oil change at 500, then another at 1,000 miles, cause there are particles of metal from the breakin...check your plugs at 500 to see how the mix is too....and look for leaks...Brand new Harleys are known to spring a leak...
 

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Ive broken in the rings and rode em like I stole mostly all my life and my small block strokers never a problem.
Not sayin you have to do it like that but Im just trying to let you see the whole picture.no matter how you break it in if its gonna break it will if it dont your good to go.
Ive had motors Id break in the cam and beat the snot outta it not even seat the rings and last for years of abuse.
 

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I {Heart} Hookers.
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*cough*I put 300 miles on my race bike, before changing the oil and flogging it at the track....*cough*
 

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BREAK-IN PROCEDURE

1. Make a test run at 30 miles per hour and accelerate at full throttle to 50 miles per hour. Repeat the acceleration cycle from 30 to 50 miles per hour at least ten times. No further break-in is necessary. If traffic conditions will not permit this procedure, accelerate the engine rapidly several times through the intermediate gears during the check run. The object is to apply a load to the engine for short periods of time and in rapid succession soon after engine warm up. This action thrusts the piston rings against the cylinder wall with increased pressure and results in accelerated ring seating.

Following that,
Drive vehicle normally but avoid sustained high speed during the first 100 miles.
At no time should the engine be lugged. Lugging is said to exist when the engine does not respond when you twist the throttle.

Taken from Hastings piston ring website
http://www.hastingsmfg.com/ServiceTips/breakin_procedure.htm
 

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STAND AND FIGHT!
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IMHO, anybody who is even going to ask what's the right way to break in the motor,
couldn't possibly do it wrong. If ANYBODY can do it wrong.

Max ( for any noobies who don't know, Max is the creator of this website and the V-Rod forum ) is a career long, certified professional mechanic,
he scoffs at regimented/cautious break-in procedures and said he was doing 100' burnouts
with his new V-Rod as soon as he was out of sight of the dealership.

That said, 10 seconds of pushing it hard aren't as ill-advised as an hour at 70 mph steady cruise would be, IMHO.

Lugging an engine makes each power stroke do too much work, as compared to spreading the load over many more lighty loaded power strokes.

Lugging implies low RPMs, and adding heavy load, a chance to push the oil film out of the way on bearings.
 
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