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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everybody,

Davide here, a retired Coast Guard aviator who just moved into the north Ga mountains 18 months ago. I currently have a Honda CB500X and a Yamaha XT250. I sold my Honda ST1300 as it was too heavy for these twistys here. The riding here is awesome, but the Honda doesn't feed my soul as a Ninja does.

So, I have a Ninja 400 coming in a week or so, I needed the rush they provide as it's so quick and nimble (I rode a friend's bike a month ago, had a smile the whole time, and had a hard time relinquishing it back to him afterwards), it was absolutely amazing for 400 cc's.

When it comes to break-in, I'm not going to ride like I stole it, but not like riding it like some scooter either. I'm a maintenance junkie, so changing the oil out several times the initial few hundreds of miles is my plan. Nobody around carries "break-in" oil (high zinc) mineral oil anywhere here. What have you all done to ensure proper seating of rings/pistons and what steps did you take regarding riding the first 800 miles or so? There's a lot on the internet obviously, but you all are the Ninja specific forum, so your input is much appreciated. Thanks!
 

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2017 Suzuki GSXR1000 2010 Suzuki GSXR600 x2 2018/19 N400
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it's a N400 not a 30k duc or beemer....kawi's break in is a joke.. 1st 500 with kawi oil then 1k with full syn...they really don't need much break in
 

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Hi Davide, there is an existing thread on this topic (link below) but you will probably come away more confused than before you started if you read it all lol.
Every one has there own personal spin on it so if you are of a cautious nature regarding maintenance and such like then you are probably best to follow your gut feeling and do it either by the book or how you want to so you feel assured that your doing the best by your bike.


My 2cents: If there actually is much of an effect on the engine due to how you operate it for the first 1000 miles then this would show up at the end of the engines life rather than in the first 50K miles. The regularity of the oil and filter changes will have way more of an effect on an engines life than it's run in period. Lets be honest, who hangs onto these bikes that long anyways despite initial honeymoon period thoughts about it being a 'keeper'. I dont baby my engines from ground zero because I cant be bothered. I just want to ride it as it's my new toy and I want to see how it performs. Even my dealer said to me (direct quote) "Just ride it normally".

Completely up to you my friend, enjoy yourself regardless of how you run it in, great little bike. :giggle:
 

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Ninja 400 2018
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Hi Davide, I did mine by the book with some occasional pulls on the highway to top speed for the engine to stretch his legs, did some mountain too to put some load in the engine going up and then in the engine breaking coming down the mountain, never gone to the redline or at too high RPM, also dont stay at the same RPM all the time just move it around under the initial 4000rpm and then 6000rpm periods. Also, i only get out of my driveway when the bike is at operating temp that is 3 bars. First oil change in kawi dealer at 1100km with semi-synthetic, then every year HF303RC filter and Motul 7100 10W-40 and all maintenance at home, dont like stealerships using the impact gun in every single bolt and nut and overcharging simple stuff.

That is it, this was my break-in method.

I am going to keep this bike all my life, i have a CBR1000F 1993 in the garage already but this ninja is different, cheap in maintenance and gas, reliable, plenty of power for the streets and very nimble that is what i love about it.
 

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I worked at a major automotive assembly plant and we did a 10-15 minute 鈥渨arm-up鈥 then the drivetrain test. That was 3/4 throttle minimum to 85 mph twice so the computer could test the transmission shifts and brakes. We had a couple of tires blow but never an engine or transmission so don鈥檛 be over worried about rpm just don鈥檛 max it out or hold it steady- it needs the deceleration to seat the rings more than anything else. But be sure to warm it up good first. Enjoy it.
 

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Welcome from Kalifornia :p
Break-in threads are like oil threads, so buckle yer seat belt! :LOL:
I did it the boring way...By the manual. I'm in E. TN and occasionally ride south into GA. How close to the state line are ya?
馃悏
^THIS^ is what did too. I believe in Kawasaki. (y)
The clutches on these bikes is weak sauce, so you'll wanta add stiffer springs found HERE
 

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I worked at a major automotive assembly plant and we did a 10-15 minute 鈥渨arm-up鈥 then the drivetrain test. That was 3/4 throttle minimum to 85 mph twice so the computer could test the transmission shifts and brakes. We had a couple of tires blow but never an engine or transmission so don鈥檛 be over worried about rpm just don鈥檛 max it out or hold it steady- it needs the deceleration to seat the rings more than anything else. But be sure to warm it up good first. Enjoy it.
Yes my engine tuner guy was telling me about this. Said he prefers to run bikes in on the dyno so he can use the dyno brake to accentuate deceleration and really load up the back side of the piston to get more even bedding in. Interesting.
 

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I ride south down 68 to the crossroads at Ductown pretty frequently then hang an east toward Murphy or west through Reliance coming back to the Maryville area.
馃悏
 

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shell T4 15w40 diesel oil. I had a Honda st1300 myself, and thought about the cbx500, but chose the ninja. Ive ran this oil in all my bikes. it works well and saves money. I change every 3k miles
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
shell T4 15w40 diesel oil. I had a Honda st1300 myself, and thought about the cbx500, but chose the ninja. Ive ran this oil in all my bikes. it works well and saves money. I change every 3k miles
Wow, 15w huh? Not too thick for start-up? Once it's broken-in I'll go with the usual Rotella T-6 5w-40 full syn. Been happy with that for years.
I too change it at 3k miles, it's cheap and piece of mind as I ride hard.
 

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2021 Kawasaki Z400
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I just got my 1000km service last week on my new z400!

My history in terms of engines comes from many different mazda rotarys, So i am definitely no stranger to rebuilt engines and run in periods! Rotary engines and bike engines are very different and so do not take my word as gospel, because at the end of the day i can only offer you my experiences (and in this case, just because everything is perfect now, doesnt mean i might not run into issues at 20k, 50k, 100k ect ect)

But, in my experience with run in engines, it doesnt take many heat cycles before the major parts are more or less "broken in", and as modern manufacturing has advanced, so too have the tolerences on new parts. Its not like the old days where you are literally expecting a significent amount of metal shavings in the oil pan during run in because the parts have huge differences in tolerences.

So the way i ran in my z400, was basically just "dont hit rev limiter every gear, everywhere!". The biggest thing i took care with, was actually limiting the RPM to under 6k until the engine is up to operating temp. Also making sure that the majority of my first 1000kms was "around town" riding, meaning im going up and down the gears/rev range. I avoided sitting at constant revs for hours at a time.

This was quite easy for me as i commute to work on my bike towards the CBD. So lots of 60kph/80kph speed limit roads with lots of traffic and traffic lights. My bike more or less saw 6-10k rpm 1st to 5th gear riding for 45-90 minutes at a time for its first 1000kms, and all is well. I absolutely did not follow the run in period "by the book", i just ENJOYED IT, just making sure i wasn't going above 6k rpm until the bike is up to temp, and making sure i wasnt hitting rev limiter all the time. :)


also side note, people are absolutely correct about these engines just getting smoother and smoother as the miles roll on. When i first got my bike, it was definitely full of vibration trying to sit at 6-8k rpm in 2nd or 3rd cruising down the road coming up to traffic. But now, its sooo smooth. it'll sit at 8-9k rpm in 2nd gear and feel fine, it doesnt feel like its trying to avoid blowing up or trying to shake itself to death. if anything it feels like its begging for that last few thousand rpm so we can hit the next gear in the peak power band!
 

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15w40 is fine yes. 20w is gay, and 0w is gay. I say Nay Nay. Does it matter....NO. any oil is better than no oil. Just put the darn crude in there, and get on the road
 

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I run all my bikes in the same way. Out of the shop, long idle warm up, then run her hard for around 5 miles. Let her cool off, then up to redline again. Cool off, then redline once more. Change oil and filter 3 times in first 500 miles.
You must bed those rings and bore in the first 20 minutes of running. Same with race and road bike motors. Been doing it this way for years now. Never had any problems.

S.
 

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also side note, people are absolutely correct about these engines just getting smoother and smoother as the miles roll on. When i first got my bike, it was definitely full of vibration trying to sit at 6-8k rpm in 2nd or 3rd cruising down the road coming up to traffic. But now, its sooo smooth. it'll sit at 8-9k rpm in 2nd gear and feel fine, it doesnt feel like its trying to avoid blowing up or trying to shake itself to death. if anything it feels like its begging for that last few thousand rpm so we can hit the next gear in the peak power band!
True and the engine gets cooler over time as it gets "a little more loose" and less friction, full synthetic oil helps a lot too with gearbox for smoothness.
 

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2021 Ninja 400 ABS
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15w40 is fine yes. 20w is gay, and 0w is gay. I say Nay Nay. Does it matter....NO. any oil is better than no oil. Just put the darn crude in there, and get on the road
You got to be careful with that 0w and 20w oil! My friend got a little on his arm once and told me he was suddenly fixated on some guys jogging down his block.

Then, he saw Underworld and looked at Kate Beckinsale, and thankful to him the gay oil effect rubbed off right away! If you use that stuff, use extreme caution! ;) 馃槣馃槅
 

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You got to be careful with that 0w and 20w oil! My friend got a little on his arm once and told me he was suddenly fixated on some guys jogging down his block.

Then, he saw Underworld and looked at Kate Beckinsale, and thankful to him the gay oil effect rubbed off right away! If you use that stuff, use extreme caution! ;) 馃槣馃槅
馃槃馃槃馃槃
 
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