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  1. #1
    Sr. Engineer FergusonT's Avatar
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    May 2010
    Southwest Michigan

    Default How to break in a new motor

    In 2007 I purchased a brand new Kawasaki Ninja ZX6R (which I recently traded for my '99 Suburban). I found there were many different opinions of how to ride and treat the motor during the break in period. From "keep the RPM down until x amount of miles" to "drive it how you want it to drive", I finally found a reasonable theory. I found this theory online and It had pictures of a piston from a motor that was broken in according to the manual, and a piston from a motor that was broken in according to this theory.

    This theory says not to dry rev the motor, make sure there is a load on the motor. in other wards you want the "buuuaaaaahhh" sound of the motor really working to pull the vehicle up to speed, instead of that top end rev, or revving it in neutral. It said it didnt really matter what RPM you were at, just keep a load on the motor and it will help break in the piston rings better. And in the pictures of the pistons the one that was broken in according to their theory looked 100x better than the one broken in according to the manual.

    So I tried this theory on my motorcycle, and I have to say that by the time it was broken in, it was a beast! 170mph for a 599cc crotch rocket. It had a full stainless exhaust and Power Commander III fuel management system, but even before I did those mods you could tell, it was sounding good and just pulled so smooth.

    So I want to hear some of your experiences with breaking in motors, the good, the bad, your own theories? I have only broken in 1 motor so I don't have any first hand experience with any other method. It seems like a highly debated subject so lets hear it.
    1999 Chevrolet Suburban LS K1500
    1991 Chevrolet S10 4.3L 4x4
    2005 Suzuki Forenza (GM/Daewoo)

  2. #2


    Change the oil often and just drive it like you would normally. If the engine is properly built, it will break in pretty quickly.

    Don't really hammer it till you have about 2500 miles on it though.

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