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Thread: "How To" Engine Break-In Website

  1. #1
    gened12
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    Question Braking in a new RT your tricks?

    Hi

    I succumbed to the RT side... I sold my GS and am now the proud owner of a beautiful brand new 1200RT. (ohhh the comfort! and that same engine!)

    Ok I read the manual and am keeping the revs below 4000, I also modulate the throttle a lot and use a higher gear than I would normally to get into the 2500-3000 rpm range (real boring but...)

    My question to you esteemed colleagues is : What are your tricks to break in a new bike?

    thanks in advance

    Cheers

    Denis R1200GS (oops RT I mean)

  2. #2
    Registered User MOTOR31's Avatar
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    Lots of throttle, keep the revs changing and pull power from the engine to help the rings seat. NO synthetic oil until after break in. Frankly, given my aircraft mech, experiance I'd rather run straight motor oil, no detergent, forthe first 600 miles then change to detergent oil but that would be very difficult and might have warrantee problems. If you do regular dino juice you should be ok. That's up to about 5,000 miles too. You should notice a reduction in oil consumption once the rings seat and it does break in.
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  3. #3
    Ambassador Pat Carol's Avatar
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    Well to be honest with you. I ran the crap out of my 1100rs. I figured if I have such a limited warrany for the price of the machine. I'll try to brake it. Well at 15k the red rocket threw a rod.
    BMW did warranty the bike and repairs were done. The bike has operated fabulous ever since the engine melt down. I did have a rough time with BMWNA over the engine oil but, that was solved with the threat of a Honda ST-1100.
    Good luck with your RT. It is a fabulous machine along with the rest of the motorcycles BMW makes.

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  4. #4
    BUBBAZANETTI
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    two schools of thought on this:

    do what the manual says

    beat the snot out of it from the get-go


    personally, i think the reason my S STILL burns oil at 46,000 miles is that whoever owned it from 1999 till 2005 and put the whopping 3900 miles on it in that time really babied it.

    here's ONE method


    not saying i endorse it, but worth a look. i would say a steady diet of ever increasing revs and keep away from the synth/heavy detergent oils. heat IS your friend in the break-in process (but don't get too much of a good thing)

  5. #5
    gened12
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    Question OK how wimpy is wimpy?

    Thanks for your posts

    I must admit that breaking in a new boxer engine is painful... I was used to ride closer to 5-5500 rpm (just feels right) so it takes real discipline to keep the revs under 4000. I try to combine to rev-up rev down regimen (2500-3000) and (3000-4000) by playing on which gear I ride. i notice that eve by slowly turning down the throttle I experience the occasional backfire. I do not recall this on my previous 1200GS. Is this normal?

    thanks for your input

    Denis !200RT

  6. #6
    A bozo on the bus deilenberger's Avatar
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    Moved to the correct forum - hexheads.

    And a comment or two on break-in..

    There are lots of ideas floating around the web on how to break in a bike.. and even anecdotal evidence that the ideas haven't done damage - but the evidence is not proof the ideas have "done good"..

    I figure BMW has teams of engineers who design engines for a living. They run them on test-beds, engine dynos, track and beta-bikes. They see engines that have run at the track. Somehow I have some confidence in what they're telling me to do - so I do it.

    The recommendation for a hexhead motor is don't exceed 4,000 RPM for the first 600 miles, and use a wide range of engine speeds and loads trying to stay under the 4K.

    I did this with my '07 R1200R (same engine as your RT) - once in a while I'd momentarily go over 4,000 RPM, but I never did any sustained riding at more than 4k. I did lots of back-roads riding using a range of engine speeds and loads.

    The engine felt good - it went in for the 600 mile service - came out feeling good. I ran around on it for another few weeks - putting about 2,000 more miles on it - but gradually increasing my max sustained RPM.

    I then took a 2 week trip to the RA Rally in North Carolina. One the way down I planned to ride all back roads and the twistiest ones I could find. I did - about 900 miles of back road riding - including some of the best West Virginia and North Carolina had to offer. By the time I got to Asheville - at around 3,500 miles - the bike was down a tiny bit on oil (about 1/2 the window) which I topped up - and it hasn't used ANY oil since then. It's now on BMW synthetic - switched at the 6,000 mile service, and it still isn't using any oil at ALL.

    The engineers know what they're doing - and it probably helps once the engine is bedded in - to really seat the rings with some great backroads rides - using the engine from 2,000-6,500RPM. On some of the roads I was on - I never got past 2nd gear - 1st and 2nd gear switchbacks, lots of RPMs for control and I had a blast. The bike seems to have loved it.

    YMMV..
    Don Eilenberger http://www.eilenberger.net
    Spring Lk Heights NJ NJ Shore BMW Riders New Sweden BMW Riders
    '07 R1200R (current ride) and some bimmers.. and a Porsche

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by gened12 View Post
    Thanks for your posts

    I must admit that breaking in a new boxer engine is painful... I was used to ride closer to 5-5500 rpm (just feels right) so it takes real discipline to keep the revs under 4000. I try to combine to rev-up rev down regimen (2500-3000) and (3000-4000) by playing on which gear I ride. i notice that eve by slowly turning down the throttle I experience the occasional backfire. I do not recall this on my previous 1200GS. Is this normal?

    thanks for your input

    Denis !200RT
    I also broke mine in per the manual and occaisionally experienced the backfiring - but it almost never happens now that I've got about 18,000 on my '06RT. Personally, I think the hexhead is flexible enough to cruise as low as 2,500 rpm in the lower gears and from about 3,300 in 5th & 6th. Naturally, if you need more power, that's what the gearbox is for - and it won't be long before you've broken the bike in and have that wonderful world of 4,000~8,000 revs to explore!

    Enjoy!
    Tom

  8. #8
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    My dealer told me 4500rpm max for break-in. I followed this for the 170 mile ride home, then read the owner's manual and found the 4000rpm figure. Hmmm. Sticking to that--got 430 miles on at this point. Been varying my speeds, doing some accelerations up to 4000rpm in each gear and avoiding lugging the engine. I've had a couple of backfires so far and during the first 40 miles, on a 90 degree day, the engine quit at a traffic light. I have an R1200R, btw.

  9. #9
    Megalodon fish's Avatar
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    Purely anecdotal evidence

    There are probably as many opinions on break-in as there are bikes. And yes, I have my own.

    deilenberger's is probably a good compromise of the best of them.

    I've got experience breaking-in four oilheads, one KLT, and one hexhead.

    I babied my first '97 R11RT and followed the manual to the letter. At 29K miles I ended up with a slow pig that used a ton of oil and never really smoothed out, despite the fact that I flogged it pretty good in the last 2/3rds of those miles. I traded for a '98 RT and was more aggressive in my break-in. At 12K miles I had a smooth-running bike with no surge, but it still used some oil. When I bought my 2000 GS, my dealer told me to be careful during the first 100 miles, primarily to bed in the brakes correctly and let the rings burnish the sleeves, then beat it to within an inch of its life after that. Dealer said the worst thing was to do tons of highway droning right away, and to use all the gears, all the throttle, and bounce it off the rev-limiter once in a while. I did that. And a little more . At 17K miles, my GS is the smoothest boxer I've ever ridden, uses zero oil between changes, and doesn't have a hint of surge. In fact, it runs so good, I'll probably keep it for a good long time. I broke-in my 2002 RT the same way, and while it never used oil and was quite fast, it surged like a pig. I did everything I could to reduce the surge, including adding a couple more sparkplugs (thanks SJBMW) and the jumper wire. Those changes reduced the surge to manageable levels. So. That's all anecdotal. Your mileage may vary. Obviously, I'm of the opinion that you should ride the bike fairly aggressively after the first 100 miles. It's probably okay to even wait until after the 600 mile service, although nothing really changes at that point...it's not like a Triumph, where they use a break-in oil.

    Now to my hexhead RT. This bike felt different right out of the chute. It feels tighter and more refined than my oilheads. Due to various factors, including probably my advancing age, I was a bit gentler on it through the first 600 miles, avoiding highway miles and spending all 600 miles on the twisty backroads here in the foothills. I don't have a ton of miles on it, so it will be some time before I'm able to tell how the break-in worked, but I think you can probably be more gentle on this bike and still come out with a good running machine.

    One interesting anecdote about this bike...on the last leg of my first long ride (450 miles), I found myself heading east on highway 20 from the coast. The road was wide open, clear, clean, with fast sweepers, and I just couldn't hold back. I ran the bike just like all my others, running it right up to the rev limiter in 2nd through 4th, and needless to say, I had a blast. The outcome was that on the way home, I noticed that the bike started running considerably smoother. Really noticeably smoother, as though a switch had been flipped. I think that was at about 1300 miles.

    Of course this is all anecdotal experience, so take it with a grain of salt. YMMV. Don't blame me if it doesn't work for you. I could just be an Idiot.

    One last thought: the shocks are almost dead. Damping is gone. I've got the settings all the way up and it still bounces around when I ride it hard. So...I'll be in the market for some Ohlins pretty soon...probably in the spring. You'd think for the money these bikes cost, they'd put some better shocks on them. One more last thought: the stock seat is waaay better than the seats on the previous RT, but are still a bit soft. I'll get a custom job done someday, but it's not as painful as my other bikes, so it's not critical that I get it done right this instant.

    Bottom line: the hexhead is a marvelous engine and short of running it out of oil, I don't think there's a lot you can do to break it, so ride it the way you intend to ride it through its life and you'll be fine.

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  10. #10
    Megalodon fish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TomfromMD View Post
    Naturally, if you need more power, that's what the gearbox is for
    I have to disagree with you on this point, Tom. The gear box is to keep the engine in the ideal torque range for the road conditions and speed, as well as providing an overdrive (6th) gear to lower the revs/vibrations when droning down the freeway. The twisty thing on the right handlebar is for more power.
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  11. #11
    gened12
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    Thumbs up finally partially broken in

    Hi thanks for the tips,. I was nice to my new RT and kept the revs below 4000 with plenty of shifting and powering up and down. I went for the first oil change, and noticed a big difference in how smoothly the bike runs. I am now in Phase 2 of the breaking in. Keep the revs below 4700 and still plenty of powering up and down smoothly. I think this method will pay off, judging from the the first run in ritual.

    At least now I am able to get some decent speed out of the bike.

    Cheers

    Denis R1200RT

  12. #12
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    Thumbs up "How To" Engine Break-In Website

    FWIW -

    For those wanting engine break-in advice and info, please check out this website:

    http://www.mototuneusa.com/break_in_secrets.htm

    Used their method to break-in my R-12s, and couldn't be happier with the results. First oil change after 180 miles, and then per BMW schedule. Went to Symtex at 6,000 miles/BMW Service. Hasn't lost/used oil since the BMW Run-In Check, at 1,200 miles. Currently, I have 9,600 miles.

  13. #13
    A bozo on the bus deilenberger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JK View Post
    FWIW -

    For those wanting engine break-in advice and info, please check out this website:

    http://www.mototuneusa.com/break_in_secrets.htm

    Used their method to break-in my R-12s, and couldn't be happier with the results. First oil change after 180 miles, and then per BMW schedule. Went to Symtex at 6,000 miles/BMW Service. Hasn't lost/used oil since the BMW Run-In Check, at 1,200 miles. Currently, I have 9,600 miles.
    As the author of the website said " There are a lot of myths about engines..." and I'd consider his complete lack of scientific background and generalized statements to be contributing to the myths...

    Sorry - in my book - the guy is FOS..

    YMMV (and I'm absolutely certain it will..)

    BTW - I've merged this into the thread on break-in that already exists. Please - try to keep threads intact and not take off with a new one addressing what is currently being discussed.
    Last edited by deilenberger; 09-04-2007 at 04:20 AM. Reason: Merge info
    Don Eilenberger http://www.eilenberger.net
    Spring Lk Heights NJ NJ Shore BMW Riders New Sweden BMW Riders
    '07 R1200R (current ride) and some bimmers.. and a Porsche

  14. #14
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    Hey Don -

    Guess webBikeWorld's endorsement and linkage to this website is "FOS," too.

    Having an extensive engineering background, with four and a half years of Air Force flight test experience, I wouldn't be too quick to dismiss the practical, real world, hands on, wisdom of T-LAR (that look's about right).

    Given my own recent experience and outcome of employing this break-in method, all I can say is that it worked for me.....

    Cheers

    JK (#20881)
    ___________

    BMW's: R-90S, R-90/6, R-1200S, 750iL, 535is

  15. #15
    A bozo on the bus deilenberger's Avatar
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    Hey JK..

    Quote Originally Posted by JK View Post
    Hey Don -

    Guess webBikeWorld's endorsement and linkage to this website is "FOS," too.

    Having an extensive engineering background, with four and a half years of Air Force flight test experience, I wouldn't be too quick to dismiss the practical, real world, hands on, wisdom of T-LAR (that look's about right).
    More experience than the BMW engineers?

    Given my own recent experience and outcome of employing this break-in method, all I can say is that it worked for me.....
    I agree - that's all we can say. Breaking mine in by the book seems to have worked for me and quite a few other people. In this case - I defer to the recommendation of BMW's engineers vs a self-proclaimed expert. When I see a website that YELLS at you like that one does - I immediately question the validity of what is being said. His premise on cross-hatch MAY have some validity on regular engines with steel/iron bores - on a Nikasil engine - IMO - it has no validity. The cross-hatch on Nikasil engines is done before the Nikasil coating, and never goes away, it's still very easy to see and feel on engines with > 300k miles on them.

    Cheers

    JK (#20881)
    ___________

    BMW's: R-90S, R-90/6, R-1200S, 750iL, 535is
    Don Eilenberger http://www.eilenberger.net
    Spring Lk Heights NJ NJ Shore BMW Riders New Sweden BMW Riders
    '07 R1200R (current ride) and some bimmers.. and a Porsche

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