Factory Break-In Instructions, All Wrong? - Kawasaki Ninja 1000 Forum
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Old 08-26-2019, 12:16 PM Thread Starter
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Question Factory Break-In Instructions, All Wrong?

I was talking to a motorcycle engine expert the other day about getting my bike dynoed and he told me that Kawasaki's break-in instructions were all wrong.

He said to run it hard and within 15 minutes to use high load and high RPM to seat the rings.

He said he has been building motorcycle engines for 40 years.

I'm inclined to go by what he said.

Years ago I build a kit plane (RV-6A for the curious) and the new engine called for high RPM and high load for the first 25 hours.

My manual says only up to 4000 RPM for the first 500 miles and then only up to 6000 RPM for the next 500.

This seems so low...

What do you think?
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Old 08-26-2019, 01:19 PM
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I would say if Kawasaki is giving a warranty I would go by there break in specs. I have never seen issues going by the owners manual.

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Old 08-26-2019, 02:35 PM
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Piston rings & bores do need the high RPM to break in. But the camshaft need a slightly longer, gentler break in. Same with the brakes. Not sure about transmissions.

Just follow factory recommendations up to 600 miles. Then let it rev up near redline to 1,000 miles. Just make sure you fully warm up the engine/oil before you let it rev, don't go WOT, try not to load the engine too much. It's not really hard to do on the N1k. Without WOT or even letting it rev passed 6k the bike goes pretty fast already.

Basically don't beat on it like you stole it. I would believe Kawasaki more than an engine builder for 30 years. Was he involved in Kawasaki's racing teams that tore down race engines or bikes used in endurance racing? Did he work with Kawasaki's R&D teams when designing and testing their engines? If not then he's giving his opinions.
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Last edited by OCLandspeeder; 08-26-2019 at 02:40 PM.
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Old 08-26-2019, 03:20 PM
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This is as controversial topic as you will find. All I can do is show what I've done. Your results may vary.

I also have talked to a few race team engine builders. Two of them were part of the Muzzy 90s team building their Sprint, Enduro and Endurance engines. Those two were the ones that designed and built the initial seven prototype gear drive ZX7R engines with all new Factory Works supporting parts. They stated a similar process mentioned earlier. Get the new engine stable, up to oil pressure and hit it hard and often to seat the rings. Change the oil and filter after the first hour of running, again at 500 miles and again at 1000. Constantly vary engine RPM for the first 1000 miles, and never just cruise during that time.

I have used the above procedure on my last three new engines with no issues. You have to decide for yourself what procedure you will use.
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Old 08-26-2019, 04:28 PM
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None of this can matter, very much. They sell too many motorcycles to people who have no idea it even needs breaking in. I think there's this feeling that nothing violent is happening, inside the motor , at low revs. I think personal feeling has a lot more to do with this than facts.

There's no way they would ever give us I instructions that ended up costing them money. If there was any significant mileage or rpm figure, this could easily be programmed into the ecu and we would be limited until these limits were removed. BMW does this.
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Old 08-26-2019, 06:01 PM
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Its called a hard brake-in and there is a fair amount of info on the net regarding this alternate break-in procedure,,. Some of the articles include engine piston and rings verifications samples and pictures,. The whole idea get fairly involved as I recall,,.
I broke in both of my recent two bikes by following this hard brake-in method which included running up RPM as well as a wide range of RPM's both of which exceeded recommendations by a considerable margin,,. I have never had a mechanical problem with either bike,,.
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Old 08-26-2019, 06:27 PM
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Years ago, one of the UK magazines had a dyno day. They asked for any and all GSXR 1000 owners to show up. That meant they had a decent sample size of all the years, and all kinds of different mods. I believe this was in 2008, so they had bike years from 2001-2007, and miles driven was all over the place.

They featured a handful of those tests. Most bike made more power, after a few dyno runs. These were bikes with 5-10,000 miles on them, and even those picked up a few hp after being run hard, like you could do on a dyno.

One in particular had been owned by a older, more conservative rider, and it gained power, on every run, despite already having 7000 miles on it. This bike was never going to be "broken in" with this guy riding it. What you could see is these powerful engines never work hard under normal, legal riding conditions. You get to use full power on very few occasions. Even then its for such a limited time
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Old 08-26-2019, 06:42 PM
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I seat the rings by using the engines back pressure, I find the biggest, steepest longest hill I can find and gear down and let her eat without much throttle, my engine builder on my race car taught me that trick using regular dyno oil.
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Old 08-26-2019, 11:36 PM
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For the owners of 2017+ N1Ks, page through your owners manual to find a specific statement about the ECU storing data which can be accessed later for post-event investigations. I read that as, among other things, a brand new motor developing a problem during hard dyno pulls might get some manufacturer push-back on a warranty claim. Maybe a LOT of push-back.

Your ECU can testify against you, as this FoMoCo troubleshooting flowchart demonstrates:
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Old 08-26-2019, 11:53 PM
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What Rickifumi said, that is a game changer if you care about warranty, especially if you got an extended warranty. I’m sure if they seen pulls on the dyno it’s lights out on the warranty.
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Givi rack and topcase
Puig smoked wind screen
oem gel seat set
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SW Motech ninja 1000 quick connect gps mount with navi bag
2014 air filter and holey bottom plate
Go Cruise Throttle lock
Ivans ECU flash
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