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I should be picking up my 300 soon. I've been deciding if I should break it in like what the dealer recommends or just ride it normally. I've read all sorts of arguments and it seems to be 50/50.
 

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your going to get people that say both.. I think the manual has a 400/600 break in totaling a 1000 miles of babying the engine.. That is just overkill in my book. I will probably take it easy for the first 400 and then ride normally for there on out. But keep the "racing" at bay probably until at least 100 miles.. And by racing I mean long periods of high revs in the mountain roads and such..

Got about 140 miles on it now.. I am trying to ride it as much as possible its just hard to get free time.. I actually have been going riding on my lunch breaks at work just to get a few more miles put on it haha!!!
 

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This is a good topic that i'll be watching closely! =D I agree as above, you'll hear many different things....

I am going to follow manufacturer specs for now... but that really limits me from going on highway.. so I'll just be trying to put as many miles on it carefully as possible keeping below 4k-5k rpm's and no heavy accelerating.
I'll probably do that for 500 or so miles.. but! it does limit me form going on highway.. so after a few hundred miles I will probably venture on the the interstates on short stretches at first, then longer.

The one size fits all break in that Kawasaki puts on ALL their bikes means ziltch on this bike IMO. This bike, because of the gearing, type of bike, and its small engine it will break in much faster than a larger bore bike like a 1000. exactly for the reason above.

My 300 will be at 4k rpm's and only go 40 in 6'th gear.. however a larger bike will be in 4'th gear at that speed. so the miles dont really add up considering this. The larger bike will put on more miles than the smaller bike faster.

So because of this theory, I think the bike will break in technically faster aka meaning less miles than a larger bike. I would say instead of the 1000 miles that the manufacturer says.. 400-500 should be plenty.

but no matter the age of your bike you should always be careful and not abuse it if you dont wanna lose it. =D

I have liek 50 miles on my bike =( i got it a few days ago and only went out riding once.. I work a TON and its been raining almost non stop... =/
 
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I'm going by manufacturer. Someone put it to me this way...

You can listen to the person who owns a motorcycle.
You can listen to the person who owns a few motorcycles.
OR... You can listen to the company that engineers them for a living.

The choice is yours, but do you honestly think they just slapped the "4k rule" in there because they are lazy...? That company does this for a living.
 

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Going off of what the dealer says is always the wise choice, heck even overkilling it by a bit is even fine too. After all they did build and tune the engine, so why not go off of their recommendations.
 

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The choice is yours, but do you honestly think they just slapped the "4k rule" in there because they are lazy...? That company does this for a living.
Beginner bike, they want you to take it slower and learn it, majority of people that buy them are newbies? If all the newbies are crashing them who would want to buy them, just a thought that came to mind hahah..

I was talking to an engine builder a couple of weeks ago, builds performace car engines for a living and even has his own personal dyno at his house.. He has taken 100% stock cars and broke them in according to mfg specs and it works great.. Then he has took the exact same engine and broken it in according to his own personal method on his dyno machine.. The engine he breaks in his way is dyno proven to make more power than the mfg. broken in engine.. He explained the whole science behind it and it went over my head, it had to do with heating and cooling cycles and getting it to heat up and cool down as fast as possible.. He said the the mfg way is the play it safe way no way you can screw it up, but he said with his method he if doesn't do it just right he just wasted the whole engine..

I asked if it would work on a motorcycle and his response was who knows I don't even know what a motorcycle engine looks like haha..


As for the dealer.. I bought my bike directly from the sales manager and he has been selling bikes his whole life and is also a mechanic for a motorcross team on the side. He specificly told me the break in procedure for these little engines is BS, and as long as you dont rev the **** out of it and vary the RPM for the first couple hundred miles you will be good..

That all being said I am still taking it easy for at least the first 400 miles..
 

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The dealer I bought it from said don't worry about the break-in period. Don't ride for a long time at the same RPM and don't ride it wide open if I can avoid it.

I have riding normally just trying to stay below 8k unless I really want to get up to speed.

I have never had a problem with any of my new bikes and the most knowledgeable engine guys I know have said that the break-ins are BS.

Kawi is covering their butt when they put that in the manual because I am sure if you rode it near redline for a long time you could toast it.
 

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You aren't going to loose anything by following the manual but I haven't heard of any problems from people who DON'T break in their bikes. Personally I'm going to ride normally without any redlining for the first 100 miles and after that I do whatever I wish.
 

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I'm just going to follow the manufacture recommendation. Theirs no rush, plus driving it on the streets, I can't get pass 45 when I have to stop every block. So I'm ok, plus it's my first bike and I'm for sure not ready for highway nor high speeds on a bike even though I use to race and track a lot. But I rather play it safe with a bike as its more of a risk then a car.

But it does suck sometimes when I'm trying to speed up on passing a car and I can't because I'm hitting 5k rpm and I know I can't go beyond that.
 

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Just talked to a buddy of mine who has been building engines all his life. Manufacturer break in is not total BS, meaning you do have to be fairly gentle with it for a hundred or 2 miles. But the most important thing is to not to keep it at one rpm range too much. This being for more than say...a 45 minute trip holding one rpm range. at least not in the break in period. and of course as I said, be gentile, dont rev it up super fast, take it easy and dont reline it. But because of the size of the engine and gearing, you dont need to break it in for as long as the manual says.

Also I would like to add, by following the manual, they dont say anything about varrying rpm's... so even if you take it easy liek they say, its still runs a good chance of messing up your engine if you dont put on miles at many different rpm ranges
 

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Me personally, I like to take it easy for awhile, and especially since I'm a new rider i'm not going to ride "all out" immediately. I think the post above about listening to the manufacturer's suggested break in makes sense too.
 

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I'm now at 280 miles. I made it to 250 miles and now I'm letting the bike hit 5k and go up inclines (which usually the bike will sit around 4k, but you can feel the engine doing work). I did this after noticing a difference in the sound and feel of the engine around 250. It almost spoke to me as "I'm smoother now."

I guess most would consider me still babying the engine, but I still want to take it as easy as possible until 1,000 miles .
 

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I'm all for doing what the manufacturer says, but I'm a newbie, so it's pretty easy to scare me into taking it easy. A guy in the parts department of the dealership where I bought my bike said he talked to a guy who's been building engines for some sort of racing said to break a bike in the same way you plan on riding it after the break-in period. I'm not too hip to that idea. When I did get to take the bike out, I took it up to 55mph several times and steadily for about a 15 minute stretch and it was perfectly happy. So the break-in route I'm gonna take is kind of a happy medium between the manufacturer and the recommendations I've gotten from the experienced riders I know.
 

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Just do NOT keep it at one rpm level too long, aka 45 minutes, break in has to do with the engine heating up and cooling down to seat its parts.

Talked to a lot of engineers and mechanics recently to settle on this. =D

Just remember the manufacturer has to deal with idiots who dont understand anything about a bike..., so the engineers constraints for break in are going to be different from what they actually market for their bikes. Its all about safety, liability,a and marketing. money is the common denominator in these equations influencing all decisions. If they put a more strict break in to save their asses form idiots, thats why.
 

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Generally everyone agrees that you shouldn't keep the RPM at the same rate for too long. Try to shift around and get the engine going up and down without bringing it to a extreme level.
 

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I do the hard break in...

There is huge discussion over this kind of stuff. Majority of experienced motorcyclists, car drivers and dealers recommend a hard break in.

I have owned a ninja 250 brand new and read ALOT on this topic and concluded to do hard break in procedure this year.

Here is a link that breifly explains what it is:
http://faq.ninja250.org/wiki/Do_I_really_have_to_follow_this_break-in_period?

Manufacturer is not exactly BS but they would choose the most safest answer that would ensure the bike would be in working order, even for the bad engines that left their factory.
I think if you got a bad engine, it should be broken in the first year and get your manufacturer warranty done.
I have yet to find a bad story about hard break ins online.

There is a lot of misconceptions about hard break in. It is not riding like you stole it straight off the bat but a faster gradual process to push the engine to its peak forces.
Main aim of break in is for a tight piston seal and effectively breaking off bits of the engine cylinder wall that are obstructing movement. It is also to start making even oil reservoirs along the engine cylinder walls to house oil (please look at images in link) . It just so happens that hard break in believed to be the best way to do this effectively.
http://www.mototuneusa.com/break_in_secrets.htm
http://www.ntnoa.org/enginebreakin.htm

From what I read, key to hard break in is to not run it too cold or too hot.
Gradually lengthen the distance, slowly pushing towards the strongest forces onto the engine pistons.
The procedure promotes even breaking and prevents glazing of the engine cylinder wall. Glazing is when you break in too lightly or too hard(hot) that the engine cylinder wall cannot hold oil properly, causing more metal to metal contact. Uneven cylinder wall breaking happens because of non-varied revs and not providing enough force when it is needed.

Read the links .Read other car/bike forums and draw out your own conclusions. I originally wrote a lot in this reply and realised the information is better explain elsewhere.

I would be hard breaking in my ninja 300 next week. I've found no problems from doing on the ninja 250.
 

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Also another key point. Most of the engine bits are broken off during the first couple of hundred km.
It is believe that the engine should get up to its strongest forces within towards the end of that time to prevent glazing and promote breaking of metal bits evenly.
 

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Your never going to win one way or another.. Its a 50/50 thing. I have never read anything wrong with either method..

But I something I have not seen it long term effects, of someone that keeps there motorcycle for its entire engine lifespan. The majority of people never keep them this long though so that is the problem.

My 300 motorcycle will be in my family a LONG TIME.. After I am done with my 30, it will get passed onto my wife and I will buy something new for myself. She is happy with the hand me downs because the come pre-modded and because she is not devoted enough for something brand new. I chose to do a easy break in because of this I want to have the most life from the bike as possible, will light break in do this? I dont know, but I will find out within the next 10 years haha.. I am going over 4000rpm but not for long periods..
 

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It would be hard to keep up with traffic unless you were on a busy city street. You sure couldn't use any secondary roads and keep the rpms down. I owned a 50 cc scooter that had a similar break-in. They said to keep it below 20 mph and use only half throttle for the first 500 miles. Of course there are really only two throttle positions on a 50 cc scooter. open and closed. I jumped on it and rode it wot from the beginning. The engine seemed to love it. It purred like a kitten the whole time I owned it. I have to admit I once owned a Suzuki GZ250 2009 model. I was in a hurry to get home from the dealer so I ran it 55 mph right after I bought it. No tach on that bike but at 55 it is working hard. There was a knocking noise in the engine, but it went away. I traded that bike in after just a few months out of concern I may have damaged the engine. Now I do keep the revs down for the first 100 miles.
 

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People might say this is crazy, but when i build car engines from scratch, I run a non detergent sae 30 oil, and run the engine at idle for about 20 minutes, and then go put about 50-60 miles on it. After that I drain it out and refill with transmission ATF. Run for about 15-20 minutes till it gets hot, then drain it out and fill with the Oil of your choosing.

Why you ask?

The SAE 30 ND is a rough oil and seats rings very well in a short amount of time. It works in bearings and rotating assemblies very efficiently without having to run crazy miles on it.

The transmission fluid trick is an old one. I'm sure some of the older guys are nodding about now. The fluid is very thin, and gets hot quick. This is why it doesn't stay in the bike for a long time. Because it's thinner then oil, it gets in places where oil doesn't and loosens any last little bit of debris. When you drain the ATF, it's usually so hot and thin, that you get about 99% of it out just from the drain plug. You can run the engine for about 5 seconds or so and you will clear out anything left in the oil pump if your concerned.

Once the fluids are all out, replace the filter with one of your choosing, hopefully it's not a Fram. Fill with high grade conventional oil or start your synthetics as you see fit.

Do not bring your bike home and drain out the factory oil and fill it with synthetic right away. The full synthetic oils are so effective that it actually impedes the break in of the engine parts if using from the get go.

Now some history on my reasons. We took 2 brand new Subaru STI's, back a few years ago, and did this sequence on 1 of them, and on the other went straight to full synthetic.
After 2 days of driving and putting miles on them both, we ran a dyno test, and got 14.7 hp more on the one we broke in. Now, that's not that much in a 300hp car. Perhaps coincidence? We thought it might be, so we drained the other car, and did the same thing. After a day or 2 of driving it after the new break in, the car made 12.5 hp more then it did 2 days previous.

I'd be happy if my bike got 2hp more. That's 2hp I didn't have :)
 
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