How did you break in your engine? - Kawasaki Ninja 1000 Forum
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post #1 of 36 Old 02-10-2020, 06:35 PM Thread Starter
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How did you break in your engine?

Just reading through the Manual and it seems that the manufacturers instructions are to have a maximum RPM of 4000 up to 800kms (500 miles), and then 6,000 from there through to 1,600kms (1000 miles).

Please correct me if I'm wrong, but at 4,000 isn't the bike doing under 100kph (60 miles per hour)?

I've got in the back of my mind that the freeway I'd be traveling on to bring the bike home is 110kph (and I'm most likely going to be 4hrs away from home) - it seems like I'm going to have a slower trip home with cars overtaking me if I'm going to be sitting on 85-90?

Also reading the manual it seems as though information is logged as well (for the event of a crash, but I would also expect for warranty issues as well).

Just wondering what people's previous experiences were. Did you break in your bike as per manufacturers recommendations and ride below the speed limit, or is my expectations wrong?

I'm wondering if it's worth taking a few days off work instead, finding some lazy twisties that I wouldn't exceed the revs on and ride that until service, get serviced and then ride some more to ensure that I don't get excited on my usual riding stretch (which is a little more 'spirited' and breach the limit).
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post #2 of 36 Old 02-10-2020, 06:52 PM
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Originally Posted by sportstourer View Post
Just reading through the Manual and it seems that the manufacturers instructions are to have a maximum RPM of 4000 up to 800kms (500 miles), and then 6,000 from there through to 1,600kms (1000 miles).

Please correct me if I'm wrong, but at 4,000 isn't the bike doing under 100kph (60 miles per hour)?

I've got in the back of my mind that the freeway I'd be traveling on to bring the bike home is 110kph (and I'm most likely going to be 4hrs away from home) - it seems like I'm going to have a slower trip home with cars overtaking me if I'm going to be sitting on 85-90?

Also reading the manual it seems as though information is logged as well (for the event of a crash, but I would also expect for warranty issues as well).

Just wondering what people's previous experiences were. Did you break in your bike as per manufacturers recommendations and ride below the speed limit, or is my expectations wrong?

I'm wondering if it's worth taking a few days off work instead, finding some lazy twisties that I wouldn't exceed the revs on and ride that until service, get serviced and then ride some more to ensure that I don't get excited on my usual riding stretch (which is a little more 'spirited' and breach the limit).

I would say it's probably more important to vary the rpm, use some engine braking, don't lug the motor and get some full throttle stints in on your trip home than worry about the rpm limit. Riding at a constant speed on the freeway for a prolonged period of time wouldn't be the best thing to do, even if you are within the rpm limit of what the manual says.

Last edited by Kratos109; 02-10-2020 at 06:56 PM.
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post #3 of 36 Old 02-10-2020, 06:59 PM
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Congrats on your new purchase! There are previous discussions on this topic here, on the web and probably every model related forum. You will get a divergent amount of views from follow the manual up to "my friend builds engines and says to run it max, change the oil, Rev it again to max" and so on. I have a group chat of seven riders and also got a variety of views on this topic.

I personally stuck with the owners manual because I don't feel that they tell you something that would be "bad" for the engine. Plus, they have a warranty and I'm not going to do something that would blatantly differ what the manual says. Mind you, the sales guy who I know rides and works on engines said to just ride it like you would normally.

However, I did go slightly above the RPM range to keep up with the flow of traffic. I figure that if it comes between fucking the engine or getting steam rolled over by an Escalade in So Cal, fuck the engine.

I did find that the best condition to follow the manufacturer recommendations is to ride the canyons. You will almost always be in the right range for break in. Plus, it's way more fun.

Either way, do what makes sense to you. It's your bike.
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post #4 of 36 Old 02-10-2020, 07:23 PM
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I stuck with the manual for the most part. In the manual I believe it says to maintain the speed limit on freeways. That's what I did. I'd become a hazard and a nuisance if I did less than 60 in our 70mph zones.

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post #5 of 36 Old 02-10-2020, 07:43 PM
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One thing I did, that made me happy was to drain the oil and change the filter at 50 miles.

I dont know if it helped anything, but it was rewarding to see 3 or 4 tiny flakes in the drain pan. I never found any more, since that first oil change. I bought a new kawasaki filter,, and the motorcycle oil was 25.00. I felt good for 35.00. That's a good deal.

You've really asked the impossible question. Theres probably nothing anyone will say that changes your mind on what you already want to do. In addition, theres really nothing bad that happens to this bike, no matter how you break it in. I dont believe I've ever heard of a new ninja 1000/versus 1000/z1000 with any sort of engine trouble.

A few transmission issues. Especially after people added quick shifters. I dont know of any issues that would have been helped by a special break in procedure.

If theres no evidence, then why not do what you want to, or follow the manual?
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post #6 of 36 Old 02-10-2020, 07:48 PM
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I broke in my 2018 cruising below 6k on the highway, not exceeding 7k during acceleration for the first 600 miles. I upped that limit to 7k RPM on the highway and 8k during acceleration for the next 400 miles. Then I let her rip!

I don't remember there being a 4k RPM limit. If there was I didn't follow it. Ridiculous in the real world. The motor really prefers to shift at 6k RPM anyway in the first 3 gears.
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post #7 of 36 Old 02-10-2020, 08:11 PM
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I was able to get almost 600 miles in the first 2 days on county roads.
I did my best to keep it under 5k but the little devil in my ear won out on a couple of occasions. But nothing remotely considered rough on it. Think the biggest deal is dont lug the bike and dont set the cruise and a slab it just to get your miles in. Changing the oil to check for contamination a little early couldn't hurt and most of all...... enjoy the bike.
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post #8 of 36 Old 02-10-2020, 08:43 PM
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I followed the manual, for the most part, I probably exceeded the recommended rpms a couple of times but no over revings. My theory is the other parts of the motor are breaking in also, so progressive increase is most likely favorable. The motor now has about 18000 with no issues........i ride a 2014 model, all stock..
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post #9 of 36 Old 02-11-2020, 02:15 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys. It's not a new purchase yet. I am planning on purchasing one - but read the manual online from Kawasaki's website for the current model - and that was the instructions.

4,000rpm's seemed a bit low - especially for highway traveling. With any luck the limit will be more around 6,000 which would be more usable.

Either way - it seems that I should plan on NOT commuting this bike home, but find some twisties/canyons and do some low rev easy riding in there to give a variety of throttle instead of one constant one on the highway, and then hit 1,000kms and get it serviced, and then get home. After that I'll be close enough to 1,500kms I'm guessing that it shouldn't be an issue from now on.

Never purchased a new vehicle before in my life so the whole breaking-in thing is a bit new to me. :-)

I wonder how the ex-demo's go with warranty. I could only imagine that demo riders would have exceeded 4,000rpm's on those!
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post #10 of 36 Old 02-11-2020, 02:36 AM
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It's like questions about what oil brand, tire brand, etc. You will get as many responses as the the people responding. I took it easy for 50 miles and rode it like I stole it. I constantly varied the RPM. I did oil and filter changes at 100, 500 and 2000 miles.

The only thing I find more consistent among people is to stay away from synthetic oil in the beginning, which I also do.
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