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I'd like to hear what you guys think about breaking in a new bike. I need to decide how I want to break in the 400 when I get it!
 

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I'd like to hear what you guys think about breaking in a new bike. I need to decide how I want to break in the 400 when I get it!
Find a nice twisty road and ride it. That lets you constantly vary the RPM without having to think about it. Going too easy and possibly lugging the engine is bad but spinning the engine to fast also isn't the best as it will generate too much heat and possibly soften the rings and create the same issue as lugging the engine. Also staying at the same rpm isn't great as it only "teaches" the engine one speed. So in my opinion, the best way is to vary the rpm on a nice twisty road. You still don't want to lug the engine but taking it close to redline occasionally is fine. Just take frequent breaks to let the engine cool off and repeat.
 

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Make sure the engine is warmed up. Go through the gears and occasionally get close to red line. Change the oil at 100 miles and install magnetic plug at this time. Repeat at 500 miles. Start riding normal after that. They say, first 20 miles are the most important, so make sure you do all of the above, including getting to the red line. Cool down the engine after that before continuing on.

Do it at your own risk. :D
 

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Is an oil swap after the first 100 miles common practise? I see that the break in method is far different for bikes than it is on new cars. Thanks for the suggestions, would never have thought that the early stages were so specific and rigid.
 

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Is an oil swap after the first 100 miles common practise? I see that the break in method is far different for bikes than it is on new cars. Thanks for the suggestions, would never have thought that the early stages were so specific and rigid.
Some people change it even sooner, depending on how hardcore you want to go. :)
 

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People often believe there's a special blend of oil from the manufacture so with that comes the need to stick to the recommended schedule. On the flip side theres the fact that getting rid of metal shaving sooner is better for your engine if there are any.
 

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I'm gonna chuck in a bit of technical info here from the perspective of someone who has spent 20 years working in the engineering industry and is a believer of the benefits of a hard break in. I'm not saying I know it all or am 100% correct tho :D
Hard vs soft break in can be a contentious topic on forums.

The procedure for a hard break in is to use varying revs (up to redline) under hard acceleration then decelerating again. Particularly within the first 100 miles or so while the bores still have their rougher machined surface finish and will wear against the rings to form a perfect match thus ensuring higher compression in the future thru less blow by and subsequently ensuring you achieve max HP from the engine.
The reason you need to give it full (or close to it) throttle is to put load on the piston rings which pushes them out against the walls of the bore and promotes the aforementioned mating process.
There's no point in using expensive super slippery fully synthetic oil during this process as it will only inhibit what you are trying to achieve and it's going to be dumped early anyways.
On my last two brand new bikes I dumped my OEM oil when I got home form the dealer after a hard ride of 250 miles then put semi synthetic mineral oil in and kept riding it hard till the 600 mile first service then started my own personal 3000 mile service cycle after that and rode the bike normally.
I dont feel you need to be dumping oil after only 100 miles but it definitely wont do any harm. The main thing is to change the filter at every oil change to avoid contaminating the new oil.

I will be giving my bike the hard break in for sure.

More info here for those interested: Break In Secrets--How To Break In New Motorcycle and Car Engines For More Power
 

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I'll be breaking in my new Ninja 400 at a 2.5 km. track exclusively. I'll be keeping the revs < 6,000 rpm for the first 500km, but I won't be nursing the throttle. The revs will of course vary all the while. The brake pads will also bed in and the tyres properly scrubbed. Then I'll increase the revs progressly till first service at 1,000 km.
 

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From my experience in breaking in my Ninja 300 a good option is commuting (provided your not droning on a long motorway trip). Plenty of stop go, engine breaking, braking, gear changes and tyre scrubbing. When you park up the bike has a chance to cool completely before you head off again, so heat cycles are ok as well. Of course my shortish commute is suburb, motorway, suburb and includes up hill/down hill.


The only down side is that your break in period is a bit longer, haha.
 

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My old ass ninja 250 was broken in rough asf, had 80k on the clock and never had a single problem. infact I would always destroy my uncle who had the same bike at the traffic lights, I know people always say "keep it under 4k rpm" but for me I have always found my bikes to run better when having a little bit pf a harder break in, not redlining or anything but hitting way above 4k rpm lol, To me I find letting the bike idle for a couple minutes to heat up before riding is more important but to each there own.
Not to mention, on smaller bikes like the 400, that basically means you can't ride it considering normal in town speeds here (40-45) mph are already pushing the supposed 4k limit.
 

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Not to mention, on smaller bikes like the 400, that basically means you can't ride it considering normal in town speeds here (40-45) mph are already pushing the supposed 4k limit.
Yeah I cant believe they have that keep it under 4K line in the little book of words. That's almost lugging the engine. These things are designed to rev! Like Emud said, warming the engine up properly beforehand is more important.
 

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Thats what my dealer said as well. 600 mile is the important one.
Yeh im glad I waited for 600 miles anyway as when I did change it the oil that was inside was decent and clean, didnt have any metal specs that could be seen by eye so im glad i wait until 600 miles some people wait double that, my dealership said bring it in at 1000 miles haha i just went by service manual though, hate people servicing my bike so i do myself
 

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Yeh im glad I waited for 600 miles anyway as when I did change it the oil that was inside was decent and clean, didnt have any metal specs that could be seen by eye so im glad i wait until 600 miles some people wait double that, my dealership said bring it in at 1000 miles haha i just went by service manual though, hate people servicing my bike so i do myself
I told my dealer I was going to do the 1000k (600mile) service myself and he was cool with that. Saves me a 250 km round trip. And $$$.
I got 750km on it already after my weekend riding :)
 

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I told my dealer I was going to do the 1000k (600mile) service myself and he was cool with that. Saves me a 250 km round trip. And $$$.
I got 750km on it already after my weekend riding :)
well I sold my car so the ninja is my daily commute now, so i have already 1700km on it haha I recently got a sv1000 for 2k AUD but needs some work aka new chain, oils ect so will see which ill use as my daily
 

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@AZFox Food for thought. It's a bit like climate change, you will find differing supporting info depending on what theory the presenter of said info subscribes to. :D

Personally I think it's OK just to ride the bike how you want to. Kind of frustrating to have to baby your new toy when really you just want to have a good play with it. Maybe I'm impatient!

My previous two brand new motorcycles showed no ill effects from me not doing a soft break in procedure by the book. I like to base my opinions on experience rather than what I hear or read.
 

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well I sold my car so the ninja is my daily commute now, so i have already 1700km on it haha I recently got a sv1000 for 2k AUD but needs some work aka new chain, oils ect so will see which ill use as my daily
@emudhshit Off topic but do you miss having a car and are you not planning to get another one any time soon? The last time I had a car was back in 2015. I didn't miss it since I can take the train, uber/taxi, or rent a car as needed. Since I moved, I don't need a car in NYC but eventually I'll move and I'll want more than one form of transportation.
 

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@emudhshit Off topic but do you miss having a car and are you not planning to get another one any time soon? The last time I had a car was back in 2015. I didn't miss it since I can take the train, uber/taxi, or rent a car as needed. Since I moved, I don't need a car in NYC but eventually I'll move and I'll want more than one form of transportation.
New York a car isn't really needed, I have been driving for 9 years and riding only for about 3-4, there are times I really do miss my car, having the music loud and just sitting back relaxing, though whats good about western Australia is the weather, its always motorbike weather as we dont have snow and I think last year it only rained a total of 12 days? and that rain was mostly at night, though the heat here is insane, example summer is over yet today was a 104f degree day... and its safe to say my helmet was more wet than Kim kardashian in heat. So yes I do miss my car but I dont miss the 60$+ weekly fuel fill ups, the traffic, the registration, the insurance ect bikes are great but im going to make sure my next car takes little no no fuel :) one good positive about not having a car is no one ever asks for lifts or favours ;) "can you please drop me off at the pub" ect
 
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