Concours Owners Group (COG) Forum

Concours 14 Discussion (C14 / ZG1400 / 1400GTR) => Concours 14 / ZG1400 General Chat and Tech => Topic started by: Downhill on April 25, 2012, 11:50:57 pm

Title: New C14 break-in
Post by: Downhill on April 25, 2012, 11:50:57 pm
Ok, so it's been a little cold and wet here in upstate NY but I've managed to baby the 1st 400 miles to date.  The manual says not to exceed 4000 rpm in the 1st 500 miles and not to exceed 6000 rpm in the next 500 miles.  Tonight for the 1st time, I shifted out at 4000 rpm in every gear through 6th. I look down and Holy ...t I'm at 85 mph.  :-\ So the bike makes max torque and hp at 7000 rpm.  I'm wondering if I'm going to have to take it to track day just to complete the break-in.  I know, I know...I don't have to keep it at those rpm's long to break it in...but sure was fun.


                                                                              :)) Can't wait to try 6000 and 7000 rpm's.
Title: Re: New C14 break-in
Post by: Mettler1 on April 25, 2012, 11:55:37 pm
   Just too much fun!!! :)  Careful,I hear performance awards are expensive in NY. :o :o
Title: Re: New C14 break-in
Post by: Don557 on April 26, 2012, 09:47:13 am
This will probably be a subject of heated debate, but IMO break-in is largely a myth.  With the quality and manufacturing tolerances in today's bikes, they don't really require much break-in.  I'd say change your oil and filter, run 'er however you please, and forget about watching the tach.  Drop the hammer and enjoy.
Go to the Cal Sci website.  Mark has a nice write-up on break-in, with the solid reasoning behind it.  Basically just what I've been doing for years. 
They'll be cries of shortening longevity, etc, but I've owned and seen many bikes that have been broken-in with this method, and they made as much power at 25K or even 50K miles as they did at 1K. (All properly maintained ,etc).  Unless you're a total knucklehead, you almost can't hurt these things.
Title: Re: New C14 break-in
Post by: ProfessorKonk on April 26, 2012, 10:01:01 am
To throw more fuel and speculation on the fire, I offer this link: http://www.mototuneusa.com/break_in_secrets.htm (http://www.mototuneusa.com/break_in_secrets.htm)

Yup, controversial. I am not an engineer nor do I play one on TV. I do have a lot of tools, many of which I know how to use correctly. Empirically (or spiritually) I think MotoMan may be on to something with his recommendations.

+1 to Don's link too.

I'll be wearing my Nomex suit for a while. . .
Title: Re: New C14 break-in
Post by: ChipDoc on April 26, 2012, 10:27:57 am
Unless you're a total knucklehead, you almost can't hurt these things.

I suspect the break-in period is there for the same reason we get all of those Lawyer Labels on the things these days - the percentage of total knuckleheads seems to be higher.  One of the most amazing consumer warnings I ever saw came from the owner's manual of a friend's Wing:

Do not attempt to inspect or adjust the air pressure of the tires while the vehicle is in motion!

I really can't help but wonder just how many people actually tried this in order for it to become a big enough issue to include in the owner's manual.  They certainly wouldn't have changed the manual for just one idiot - there had to have been a rash of these at some point.  Think about that...

Speaking of knuckleheads, I was sitting at a light about to head home from the Daytona madness one year.  Behind me were a group of 10-15 sportbikers, and they were all revving their engines at the light - you know the type.  One of them actually blew his engine up sitting there at the light.  It whizzed really high and suddenly made clunking noises before going very very quiet as everyone seemed to come to their senses. 

Mama Kaw is trying to let you know that the machine, capable as she certainly is, does actually have limits.
Title: Re: New C14 break-in
Post by: Fred_Harmon_TX on April 26, 2012, 10:43:55 am
I'd highly advise that you follow the manuals recommended break in procedure. There are more parts to an engine than just the piston rings. Every single bearing surface and gear in both the engine and transmission are breaking in, and using the wrong technique or too high of an RPM can cause hot spots on various bearing surfaces. Every gear tooth face and all the crankshaft, camshaft, and rod bearings are all wearing in and need time for the surfaces to bed in. Same thing applies to the brakes. A few short rides (10-20 miles) with long cool down periods inbetween (4 hours) early on will also help heat cycle the engine and can help relieve any stresses built up in components. Commuting back and forth to work on a new bike for a week is a great way to do this, and if you take the bike out to lunch during the day, you can get three heat cycles on it in one day.
Title: Re: New C14 break-in
Post by: 46Alpha on April 26, 2012, 11:17:59 am
I won't get into the whole argument of "is break in needed?" I've read a few posts where there were some heated words exchanged over the topic. Seems some people feel very strongly about it. I've even seem some suggest that the break in was for the rider to adjust to the bike  ::) Like it's some wild 1000cc MotoGP machine that will break the rear loose every time you go WOT  :rotflmao:

As a new owner myself, I did it. Followed the manual with precision (and hated every minute of it). I did what Fred said and commuted to work for a few weeks. It goes quick and now I'm over a 1K and I can be a bit more generous with the throttle. It might not be fun, but it's a small price to pay for the peace of mind.

YMMV and all that jazz. It's your bike. Ride it safely and be happy.

FYI, where in Upstate NY are you? I've got inlaws and friends in Utica, Syracuse and Rome. I ride out there all the time.
Title: Re: New C14 break-in
Post by: ConcoursKZ on April 26, 2012, 11:37:23 am
I think the break in period is really for the rider and not the bike.
Title: Re: New C14 break-in
Post by: Don557 on April 26, 2012, 11:51:54 am
Don't get me wrong here.  I'm not suggesting starting up new bikes and hammering on them from Day 1.  As Fred says, get some heat cycles in there, for sure.  But the key, as noted in the articles sited herein, is to stress the engine a bit, not just float around at 10% throttle for 1500 miles.  The example of the Daytona squid fragging his engine is a perfect example of what NOT to do.  That's probably the one thing that can kill these bikes:  high rpm & no load.  Alternatively, redline while pulling 150 mph?  No worries.  (BTW, you didn't happen to get video on that, did you ChipDoc?)
I don't think there will ever be total agreement on this issue, but there's plenty of empirical evidence for a quick and hard break-in.  I have yet to see any credible evidence that this is bad.  The myth is based on, as mentioned, Mama Kawi, Honda, whoever, getting the lawyers to protect the corporation from the 1% that are so incredibly idiotic that they shouldn't be allowed to buy and ride the product.  Since Kawi can't decide who they can or can't sell the latest hardware to, this is their only option of protecting themselves.
Title: Re: New C14 break-in
Post by: Scott Bechler on April 26, 2012, 12:18:53 pm
When a race engine is put on an engine dyno, whether it be NASCAR, NHRA, F1 or what ever, it's not immediately put at full load. It has a set procedure it is put through. And these engines have a much finer cylinder finish than a production engine therefore not requiring as long a break-in time.

just a thought
Title: Re: New C14 break-in
Post by: RideBellChain on April 26, 2012, 12:23:40 pm
I think the break in period is really for the rider and not the bike.

It's not just the engine itself, but the rest of the systems...at 2000 miles, the brakes feel better for example...transmission is happier...the bike doesn't feel as "tight" now...maybe I'm more broken in, too...
Title: Re: New C14 break-in
Post by: joe in calif on April 26, 2012, 12:36:51 pm
I agree with a break-in period. I have done it with all my vehicles, cars, bikes and SUV. I have never had a failure of any kind related to any part of the drive train. It might be old school but it works. How many of you change your oil at 3000? That's old school also. The book calls for 7500 miles.
Title: Re: New C14 break-in
Post by: Fred_Harmon_TX on April 26, 2012, 01:07:26 pm
I agree with a break-in period. I have done it with all my vehicles, cars, bikes and SUV. I have never had a failure of any kind related to any part of the drive train. It might be old school but it works. How many of you change your oil at 3000? That's old school also. The book calls for 7500 miles.

The first oil change is supposed to be done at 600 miles. There is also a note in the service manual concerning oil changes that says:

"Service more frequently when operating in severe conditions: dusty, wet, muddy, high speed, or frequent starting/stopping"

The 7,500 mile number is under absolute ideal circumstances. Also, due to several reports of fuel dilution occurring on this bike, I think you'd be wise to change it more often.
Title: Re: New C14 break-in
Post by: Gypsy JR on April 26, 2012, 01:16:43 pm
I don't know who's right, the manual or the ride-it-like-you-stole-it gang.

I broke my ZX14 in 100% according to the manual. Which was very hard to do, especially the first 600 miles, because she just wanted to go go go. Never a problem with that bike, and the guy who purchased her is quite happy.

I broke my ZX11 in about 60% according to the manual. I got impatient and started exceeding 4,000 rpm quite often. Never a problem with that bike.

I think back in the day I broke my Z1R in by drag racing it on weekends. That bike ran like greased lightning.

But those posters, above, talking about modern tolerances etc. are correct. Before a lot of bikes get to dealers, they are run hard for a short time at the factory.

So I guess with my 2012 C14, I'll just run it up and down through the gears and keep it generally below 4,000 until I get the initial service done right before going to Deals Gap on May 17th.... I have an appointment for May 14th.
Title: Re: New C14 break-in
Post by: Downhill on April 26, 2012, 10:43:15 pm
Thanks everyone.  I'm in the Fred H camp on break-in, always have been.  I always follow the oem's suggestions when it comes to any toy.  I have a 2005 ski-doo w/ 600 sdi and it starts on the first pull every time and pulls triple digits down kevlar lake after 7 years of enjoyment.  I'm sure when we are done with break-in we will be very happy we took the time to do it right. 

46alpha...I'm half way between Syracuse and Rochester in Waterloo.  If you decide to come out this way, send me a note and we'll show you the finger lakes. 

Anyone in the area going to the Newburgh meet & greet on May 12th?  If I can get my 600mi service done before then I plan to run down.
Title: Re: New C14 break-in
Post by: Cap'n Bob on April 27, 2012, 07:31:29 am
Thanks everyone.  I'm in the Fred H camp on break-in, always have been.  I always follow the oem's suggestions when it comes to any toy.  I have a 2005 ski-doo w/ 600 sdi and it starts on the first pull every time and pulls triple digits down kevlar lake after 7 years of enjoyment.  I'm sure when we are done with break-in we will be very happy we took the time to do it right. 

46alpha...I'm half way between Syracuse and Rochester in Waterloo.  If you decide to come out this way, send me a note and we'll show you the finger lakes. 

Anyone in the area going to the Newburgh meet & greet on May 12th?  If I can get my 600mi service done before then I plan to run down.


I do question the break in procedures. Like many bikes I have had. I took the time on the C14 and followed the break in restrictions. Of course this means that I had very restrictive fun for the first 1,000 miles. But the Yamaha had no break in. So it was fun right off the bat. If anything, I think they both runs fine with no motor issues of any kind. So I do wonder.   But would probably do what they suggest.

Anyway, I'll be at the Newburgh Meet & Greet.
Title: Re: New C14 break-in
Post by: wayne_jenkins_CT on April 27, 2012, 09:42:33 am
OK, don't put air in tires at speeds over 50mph.Wayne's way to break in anything is to watch the temp gauge, do not over heat. Scrub in the new tires, take the slick off. Use the brakes easy, yes they have to seat in.Do a very good walk around inspection, yes every one does not check what they should at the dealer and things get loose. Do this a few times. Do not drive a steady speed, If on the road slow down and run it through the gears, all the moving parts should be allowed to seat in. Change the oil at 500 miles and the filter and the rear gears too. At this time your bike  will be broken in. AS with most things a little common sense goes a long way.
Title: Re: New C14 break-in
Post by: RideBellChain on April 27, 2012, 02:07:59 pm
I think the break in period is really for the rider and not the bike.

It's not just the engine itself, but the rest of the systems...at 2000 miles, the brakes feel better for example...transmission is happier...the bike doesn't feel as "tight" now...maybe I'm more broken in, too...

What I forgot to say was that I rode it "normally" from the minute I left the dealer.  Normally means not winding it out, but also not saying "uh oh - 4000 rpms, shift!" either.  Don't drop the clutch, try wheelies, etc, but ride it normally and in traffic so your shifting frequently. The first 20 miles is the most important.
Title: Re: New C14 break-in
Post by: Mad River Marc on April 27, 2012, 02:48:54 pm
My break in procedures are as follows:

1) Fill with gas/oil etc
2) Ride

I do take it easy for the first 1k miles, and by "take it easy" I mean I don't wind out the engine needlessly or do hard braking needlessly, I also avoid staying at a high RPM for periods of time,  other then that just ride it normally

Title: Re: New C14 break-in
Post by: Gypsy JR on April 27, 2012, 03:46:04 pm
I am pretty much like Mad, I guess.

My mc is riding to Quantico to tour the Marine Corps Museum on the 5th of May. We are slabbing it so we have time to actually tour the museum rather than back roads.  So I guess I have to ride on the end as sweep and just speed up and slow down, get behind and catch up, and shift up and down as much as possible, since I only have a mere 120 miles on her.

Going to Flying J for the NE (MD/VA/WV/PA) meet and greet on Sunday the 6th, so at least I can do that and not hold anyone up.

Then on the 12th (Sat) is the meeting and greet at the Crabby Pig, and the short ride after, where I can vary the speed and gears easily (mountain roads).

Then on the 14th I'm having the initial service done before we leave for Deals Gap on the 17th.

So by the 14th so far I'll only have 450 miles on her. Guess I better ride some this coming weekend.    :motonoises:
Title: Re: New C14 break-in
Post by: breaker19 on April 27, 2012, 05:48:15 pm
   Just too much fun!!! :)  Careful,I hear performance awards are expensive in NY. :o :o

That's a good one, "Performance Awards!"  :))
Title: Re: New C14 break-in
Post by: breaker19 on April 27, 2012, 05:59:49 pm
I am pretty much like Mad, I guess.

My mc is riding to Quantico to tour the Marine Corps Museum on the 5th of May. We are slabbing it so we have time to actually tour the museum rather than back roads.  So I guess I have to ride on the end as sweep and just speed up and slow down, get behind and catch up, and shift up and down as much as possible, since I only have a mere 120 miles on her.

Going to Flying J for the NE (MD/VA/WV/PA) meet and greet on Sunday the 6th, so at least I can do that and not hold anyone up.

Then on the 12th (Sat) is the meeting and greet at the Crabby Pig, and the short ride after, where I can vary the speed and gears easily (mountain roads).

Then on the 14th I'm having the initial service done before we leave for Deals Gap on the 17th.

So by the 14th so far I'll only have 450 miles on her. Guess I better ride some this coming weekend.    :motonoises:

I'm heading to DG this July, when you get back, kindly post any information like problem areas, road issues, etc... please.. that would be most helpful!

On the break-in thingy, you whack it up a few times to the 4-6K range, keeping closer to 4 until > 500 miles, that's what I did. I'm a bit over 1K now, bike runs fine. It only smokes when I'm in the vicinity with a good Cusano cigar... lol
Title: Re: New C14 break-in
Post by: BamaCOGer on April 28, 2012, 12:09:41 am
I'd highly advise that you follow the manuals recommended break in procedure. There are more parts to an engine than just the piston rings. Every single bearing surface and gear in both the engine and transmission are breaking in, and using the wrong technique or too high of an RPM can cause hot spots on various bearing surfaces. Every gear tooth face and all the crankshaft, camshaft, and rod bearings are all wearing in and need time for the surfaces to bed in. Same thing applies to the brakes. A few short rides (10-20 miles) with long cool down periods inbetween (4 hours) early on will also help heat cycle the engine and can help relieve any stresses built up in components. Commuting back and forth to work on a new bike for a week is a great way to do this, and if you take the bike out to lunch during the day, you can get three heat cycles on it in one day.

+1 on Fred H's comments.  I just recently got past the 1k mark in my new black C14.  Love it so far.
Title: Re: New C14 break-in
Post by: Don557 on April 28, 2012, 04:02:03 pm
I guess everyone can decide for themselves on this one.  All I'm sayin' is that there's solid evidence for doing a "stressed" break-in, and no evidence to suggests it does any damage.  Fred is "the man", but I havbe to go counter to his opinion on this one - things other than the piston rings (gears,etc) I suspect don't really need a break-in.  It's Japanese machining, bathed in modern oil.  These are parts which probably don't exhibit measuable wear after thousands of miles, so how could going easy for the first 600 matter?
As for brakes:  this is off on a tangent, but since it was mentioned above -  bedding in new pads gently is absolutely not the way to go.  The best way is to find an open stretch of road or a large parking lot.  Run up to 40-50 mph, and give the brakes a firm pull, slowing to maybe walking speed.  Turn around, run back to starting point, which allows cool-down time for the pads / discs, and repeat.  Brake progressively harder with each run, but be sure to allow ample cool-down.  The object is to bed-in the pads, mating them to the discs without over-heating and glazing them. Just riding normally on the street won't do as good a job.  Tried and true method.
Title: Re: New C14 break-in
Post by: XLR8 on April 28, 2012, 05:12:57 pm
It's very difficult to follow the break-in procedure with an engine this powerful so I occasionally exceed 4000 when shifting but I'm not too concerned. I try to stick close to what the manual says and I think everything will be fine. I'm only at 500 miles. Uggg.

That being said, I did do the motoman procedure in the past on my GSX-R1000 and FJR 1300 and both performed flawlessly for many miles. In fact, the buyer of the gixxer put it on a dyno and it got some of the highest numbers they've seen for that bike. Was it chance? Will the bike fail early? Probably and probably not.

Title: Re: New C14 break-in
Post by: arjay2 on April 30, 2012, 12:37:16 am
Bought a new 2012 a week and a half ago. Breaking in per the manual. 4,000 rpm is 85-90 mph in top gear. Feel I can keep it below that as I get more familiar with the bike.
Title: Re: New C14 break-in
Post by: elektra on May 01, 2012, 01:49:03 am
The biggest myth expounded in this thread is that bearing surfaces require break in. I'v read this time and time again and this is just an incorrect assumption.

Babbit bearings DO NOT REQURE ANY BREAK IN. Bearing are designed to run on a film of oil that cannot be compressed.  Any metal on metal contact, except at rest, would destroy the bearing, main or rod instantly. In addition, the surface of a babbit bearing is as soft as lead. The purpose of this soft metal layer is so that any metal fragments in the oil supply will embed into the soft bearing surface, leaving the crank unharmed.

Ball bearings are among the most closely dimensioned parts in the world of manufacturing. The balls and races are polished to 1micro inch or 1,000,000th inch tolerances. There is NO BREAK IN REQUIRED ON ANY ROLLER BEARING.

Even gears and valve seats are so finely polished in today's manufacturing techniques they require NO BREAK IN.

Due to the vastly improved metal casting and machining technologies which are now used, tight parts in new engines are not normal. A manufacturing mistake causing a tight clearance is an extremely rare occurrence. But, if there is something wrong with the engine clearances from the factory, no amount of gentle running-in will fix the problem.

The only break in on a modern engine is piston ring to cylinder wall. The very reason the cylinders are cross-hatched honed is to facilitate mating of the ring and cylinder wall and provide the tightest possible seal in the combustion chamber. The majority of this seal, whether successful or not, happens in the first 50 miles of riding. The tighter the seal the higher the compression the more power and less oil contamination.

Contrary to popular belief, piston rings don't seal the combustion pressure by spring tension. Ring tension is necessary only to "scrape" the oil off the cylinder walls to prevent it from entering the combustion chamber. The rings seal from the actual gas pressure itself !! The pressure gets behind the rings forcing them outward against the cylinder wall.

New rings are far from perfect and they must be worn in quite a bit in order to completely seal all the way around the bore. If the gas pressure is strong enough during the engine's first miles of operation (open that throttle !!!), then the entire ring will wear into the cylinder surface, to seal the combustion pressure as well as possible.  If the rings aren't forced against the walls soon enough, they'll use up the roughness before they fully seat.

With less than a perfect seal in the combustion chamber you have less power and a lifetime of leakage contaminating the oil with blow-by gasses which contain acids and other combustion by products.

Title: Re: New C14 break-in
Post by: elektra on May 01, 2012, 05:29:35 pm
And it wouldn't hurt to do an extra oil change very early, like after the first 50-100 miles. With the metal being scrubbed off the cylinder walls and rings, the last thing you want is that metal floating around your engine. The cam chain will act as a conveyor belt moving that contaminated oil up into the valve train. Not a good thing. Worth the extra couple of bucks. And stick with Kawi petroleum based oil for at least the first couple of oil changes before, and if, you switch to synthetic.
Title: Re: New C14 break-in
Post by: Don557 on May 04, 2012, 12:33:13 am
Elektra, I have to say (and not just because it supports my opinion) that your second to last post above is likely the best written post I've seen on this or any forum, ever.  Great job.
Title: Re: New C14 break-in
Post by: Old Man on a Connie on May 04, 2012, 12:57:31 am
My .02. It's all about the heat cycles like Fred Said (Sounds like a boy band). Bringing all the dis similar metals, alloys and plastics up to temp and allowing to cool several times and to set and seat. +1 on the bearings. In industry we rebuild motors and gear boxes and right back into service. Also +1 on the quick oil change to clean her out. Ride it like a rented mule for 10 minutes and let her cool or ride her with a tender hand for a half hour and cool. Same Same. Me, I did the rented mule, then the tender touch, then the rented mule just to mix it up. Used that on all my motors and no worries so far.
Title: Re: New C14 break-in
Post by: elektra on May 04, 2012, 01:10:23 am
Thanks Don glad you liked the post.  I'v been riding, touring, breaking, wrenching, and enjoying motorcycles for over 40 years. Although I don't claim to be an expert by any means, I do have some knowledge that I like to share on occasion. I spend a lot of time researching things that interest me. And as a novelist I enjoy an opportunity to write about complicated and intricate details when I am sufficiently educated on the matter, although sometimes I may get a bit carried away. I hope this helped someone out there who may be mystified by what goes on inside their C14 engine.