quick break-in question - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-24-2018, 07:23 PM Thread Starter
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Question quick break-in question

Hi All,

just got my new Versys 650 and I have a quick question about the break-in period.

while in phase 1 (<600 miles) the OM says to keep RPM at 4000. Although possible, will it harm the engine if I go a little bit over, but no more than 5000?
I am trying to use the engine for breaking (downshifting) as much as possible and I don't over rev or race it.

any other things to watch for?

regarding phase 2 (600 - 1000 miles), will I be able to start riding it on the freeway?

p.s: I hate break-in periods. it's a torture. why can't they just sell motorcycles that are already broken in.
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post #2 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-24-2018, 08:00 PM
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Originally Posted by rob8861 View Post
Hi All,

just got my new Versys 650 and I have a quick question about the break-in period.

while in phase 1 (<600 miles) the OM says to keep RPM at 4000. Although possible, will it harm the engine if I go a little bit over, but no more than 5000?
I am trying to use the engine for breaking (downshifting) as much as possible and I don't over rev or race it.

any other things to watch for?

regarding phase 2 (600 - 1000 miles), will I be able to start riding it on the freeway?

p.s: I hate break-in periods. it's a torture. why can't they just sell motorcycles that are already broken in.

I've never broken in a motorcycle the way the manual says to..I ride them all the same way from day 1 ......my 2016 has just under 30k on it now and I've had zero problems... and many many bikes before this one also problem free...

break it in any way you please, but it wont make a bit of difference..that motor was wound up to redline before you ever got it.

I would just ride it normally ,change the oil at 600 miles and again at 3000 then whatever interval you feel comfortable with as long as it's not more than the manual recommends.
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post #3 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-24-2018, 08:16 PM
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The conventional wisdom is to run the engine at a variable rpms during break in, not at a steady speed. I personally don't think you will damage the engine if you have relatively brief periods where it is between 4k and 5k rpm. Like if you are commuting to work and have a 5 mile stretch where you can't safely go slower.

My knowledge of breaking in engines is well informed about aircraft piston engines but I am not sure that makes me an expert on motorcycle piston engines. With that disclaimer, the concern in the old days was the piston rings seating properly. It takes relatively high pressures to do that. But running at high rpms could cause excessive wear on parts that aren't yet fully polished to each other. Bearings, cams to followers, etc. The good news is you can accomplish high cylinder pressures with generous use of the throttle. Just keep the rpms down so that you don't cause unnecessary wear. The manufacturer wouldn't recommend their break in unless there was some reason for it. But I don't think you need to worry about going over the 4k limit as long as it is not for long periods.

I would also be careful not to lug the engine at too low an rpm. That's not good for it either. The engine seems to have a rough spot at about 2800 - 3200 rpm, and it will lug if you give it much throttle in there. It kind of forces you to ride gently during the early break in.

There are those who advocate for the "ride it like you stole it" for the very first few miles method of breaking in an engine. My opinion is that this works to seat the piston rings due to high cylinder pressures because of using a lot of throttle. But I would worry this may cause unnecessary wear, too. I believe you can accomplish a good break in without abusing the engine!

I always change the oil and filter in a new engine at ridiculous intervals, like at 500 miles and then again at 1000 miles. Then once per year even if I didn't put on the miles the manufacturer recommends for the oil change interval. Getting the metal bits out of the engine seems like a good idea and an oil change doesn't cost much at all.
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post #4 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-24-2018, 09:41 PM Thread Starter
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I would also be careful not to lug the engine at too low an rpm. That's not good for it either. The engine seems to have a rough spot at about 2800 - 3200 rpm, and it will lug if you give it much throttle in there. It kind of forces you to ride gently during the early break in.
I will certainly pay attention to that. I usually try to avoid lugging by quickly downshifting.

what about highway/freeway riding after the 600 miles oil change? the book says I can bring the rpm up to 6000
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post #5 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-24-2018, 10:32 PM
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Yes to the freeway. 5000 rpm is about 65 mph. 6000 rpm is about 75 mph. Just be sure to vary the rpms somewhat until you get to that magic 1000 miles on the odometer.

If you can safely keep your speed to 55 mph you can run on the freeway now and still be at or very near to 4000 rpm.
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post #6 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-24-2018, 10:52 PM
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I have run in more than a few bikes with no problems and never need oil top ups between changes. I run in using part throttle while allowing the engine to go above the "limit", and repeat frequent on/off throttle applications - and a few heat cycles as well. That said my riding rarely includes extended WOT.

I also perform my first oil/filter change at 200 miles, adding an extra oil change to the schedule at around 1,000 miles.

The factory recommendation for my X-300 was abysmal, and I defy anyone to run one in according to the book without incurring lugging the engine which in my opinion is far worse for the engine than over revving.
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post #7 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-24-2018, 11:54 PM
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The advice I got was stick to the rev limits most of the time, but do give it a solid spanking every now and then when the engine is hot.
Quick dash to 7-8k (I went to 9k once or twice) for a few seconds, then back to the limit. Running it to 5k occasionally under 600mi certainly won't do it any harm.
After all, Japanese made these puppies for that purpose and they certainly know their engines better than most.
Break-in period appears to be more for the sake of the novice rider rather than the bike, so they don't kill themselves until they get used to the power. lol
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post #8 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-25-2018, 08:19 AM
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quick break-in question

In my opinion the "break-in" period for ALL modern, precision built, piston engines is the same. It is for the operator to learn how the engine/equipment handles in a controlled fashion.

One should consider that the "brand new" vehicle you've just taken delivery of has been run by a number of others before it is delivered to you. Some manufacturers run their bikes on chassis dyno's as a final QA step, and they are anything but gentle with them once warmed up. With cars and trucks, there may have been 10 or more different people who have driven it before you. It may have been started and run briefly anywhere from 10 to literally a hundred times before you take delivery.

The scrub-in mileage for new tires is the same thing. It is for you to get familiar with your bike's new/different handling characteristics. The tire was ready as soon as it was installed.

Don't be confused by the owners manual. It was drafted by engineers, but edited by lawyers to minimize liability.

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post #9 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-25-2018, 02:27 PM
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Break In Secrets--How To Break In New Motorcycle and Car Engines For More Power

I broke-in all three of my V650s that way, on the ride home from the dealer (and then the oil/filter changed!), and have had NO problems w/ any of them. The '08 has 79,042 miles; the '09 had 62,790 kms when it was written-off for frame damage; and the '15 has 57,7xx kms.
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post #10 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-25-2018, 07:21 PM
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I have a 2018 SE I bought almost three weeks ago. When I picked it up, the tech told me to run it between 4000 - 6000 RPM with lots of varying speeds for the 1st 1000 kms (600 Miles). That's exactly how I broke mine in. Changed the oil right at 1000 kms. Now has almost 2900 kms and I will do a 2nd oil change at 4000. Then 4000 km intervals.
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post #11 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-28-2018, 11:14 PM
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Originally Posted by 17A View Post
I have a 2018 SE I bought almost three weeks ago. When I picked it up, the tech told me to run it between 4000 - 6000 RPM with lots of varying speeds for the 1st 1000 kms (600 Miles). That's exactly how I broke mine in. Changed the oil right at 1000 kms. Now has almost 2900 kms and I will do a 2nd oil change at 4000. Then 4000 km intervals.
Wow! are you sure?

For my 2017 x300 the owners manual says oil and filter at 1,000km, then at 12,000km and every 12,000km thereafter.

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post #12 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-28-2018, 11:36 PM
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I was so astounded at your oil change intervals that I downloaded the 2018 Versys 650 Owners Manual here: https://ownersmanuals2.com/kawasaki/...s-manual-72912
It clearly states 1,000km, 12,000km and every 12,000km thereafter.


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post #13 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-29-2018, 01:30 AM
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Don't worry on break In of motors.. Just ride with varying speeds/gears and drop oil at 1K than every 4k interval.
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post #14 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-29-2018, 04:00 AM
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I was so astounded at your oil change intervals that I downloaded the 2018 Versys 650 Owners Manual here: https://ownersmanuals2.com/kawasaki/...s-manual-72912
It clearly states 1,000km, 12,000km and every 12,000km thereafter.
What's astounding is the 12,000 km interval recommendation. There's only 2.25 liters of oil handling the engine, clutch and gear box. If you value the health and life expectancy of your engine, you'll cut that interval down to attain a reasonable level of mechanical sympathy... Like fasteddiecopeman mentioned, the best possible break-in is the Motoman way. I was pulling acceleration runs to redline on the first day of riding, followed by a good oil change right away which was well worth it.
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post #15 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-29-2018, 05:48 AM
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Wow! are you sure?

For my 2017 x300 the owners manual says oil and filter at 1,000km, then at 12,000km and every 12,000km thereafter.
Sure I'm sure. I will change my oil at 4 - 5000 km intervals.

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post #16 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-29-2018, 06:21 AM
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Originally Posted by rob8861 View Post
I am trying to use the engine for breaking (downshifting) as much as possible


Avoid engine breaking. Strictly stick to engine braking. You'll have better results in the long run.


Just my two cents.







Other'n that, in my slender experience, those who later complain they use oil, if you ask them, they broke their bike in too timidly. Doesn't mean you have to spin it fast; but you do want to ride in muscular motorcycle manner, throttling hard, so's to press the rings against the cylinder walls.



Besides, it's more fun that way.

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post #17 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-29-2018, 07:01 AM
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Avoid engine breaking. Strictly stick to engine braking. You'll have better results in the long run.

Just my two cents.



Other'n that, in my slender experience, those who later complain they use oil, if you ask them, they broke their bike in too timidly. Doesn't mean you have to spin it fast; but you do want to ride in muscular motorcycle manner, throttling hard, so's to press the rings against the cylinder walls.

Besides, it's more fun that way.
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post #18 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-29-2018, 07:34 AM
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The main reason I bought mine was to commute to work. Its a 25 mile ride all 2 lane highways. Had I kept it under 4,000 rpms, I would have been run over. I didn't ride it hard the first 600 miles, but I also didn't take it easy. I don't think I revved it much over 6,000 RPMs during that period.

I don't care what you ride, just ride.
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post #19 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-29-2018, 09:59 AM
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The main reason I bought mine was to commute to work. Its a 25 mile ride all 2 lane highways. Had I kept it under 4,000 rpms, I would have been run over. I didn't ride it hard the first 600 miles, but I also didn't take it easy. I don't think I revved it much over 6,000 RPMs during that period.
I'm almost in the same boat you are, but my commute is about 10 miles/day on surface streets, with a 40+ MPH stretch on the way home. If I need to get on the freeway, I keep up with traffic. As I'm getting used to the transition from my F800 ST to the V, I'm letting it rev a little higher between shifts. Quite frankly, that makes things a bit smoother. The bike is very happy. So am I.
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Last edited by txcyclist; 06-29-2018 at 10:04 AM.
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post #20 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-29-2018, 11:04 AM
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I'm almost in the same boat you are, but my commute is about 10 miles/day on surface streets, with a 40+ MPH stretch on the way home. If I need to get on the freeway, I keep up with traffic. As I'm getting used to the transition from my F800 ST to the V, I'm letting it rev a little higher between shifts. Quite frankly, that makes things a bit smoother. The bike is very happy. So am I.
This is one of the very few things to not follow in the manual, and that is break in RPM. I was told not to baby it also to use engine braking, which changes what is happening in the cylinder, also not to ride at a constant RPM, he also told me to not be afraid of going to 8,000 / 9000 RPM for short blips, another important break in point.
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