Engine Break-In Methods

The purpose of engine break-in is to allow the rings on the pistons to "seat" properly, so that the rings fit and match correctly to each cylinder.

There are a few thoeries on engine break-in. The primary two are:
  1. Follow the owner's manual to a "T".
  2. Run it like you're racing it.

METHOD 1 - Follow the owner's manual
By this method, you use the break-in guidelines of the owner's manual. This generally states that:.
  1. No excessive load in the first 600-1000 miles.
  2. Do not operate at cruising speeds (read high heat) above 6,000rpm for the first 600-2000 miles.
  3. Variate the rpm as often as possible, but not exceed the specified limit.
As claimed by the manufacturers, this will ensure proper engine break-in, and to not cause reason for voiding possibly warranty issues.

METHOD 2 - Run It Like You Are Racing It
By this method, you follow the general idea that if you want to have a fast and still reliable machine, don't be gentle on break-in. Use the whole rev-range and etc. This method is best done using a dynometer to allow for load variations and cool down cycles.

Since I hate to "re-invent the wheel," the MotoTuneUSA website has great information on this break-in method here:
The MotoTuneUSA Guide to Engine Break-in

Which One to Use?

Good question!

I personally was *cough* brainwashed by the dealers and manufacturers into thinking that their way was the best and only way to do it. With the information I have seen about the more dramatic break-in methods has caused me to question the manual guidelines.

There have also been suggestions that the manufacturers do this to protect themselves in case of component failure in the early stages of engine-breakin, being that thier way would cause less damage and costs of a warranty repair. Is this true? Are the other rumors for them using this method true? I, for one, do not know.

So, back to the question, which method to use? You will have to make an educated decision and decide on one for yourself.