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If you have recently purchased a new motorcycle which has come straight from the manufacturer, you will probably be quite keen to hit the streets. However, it is important that you take steps to break in your new machine during the first 500 to 1000 miles on the road. Breaking in your bike can help to protect the engine, increase performance and improve your motorcycle’s fuel efficiency. Below is a guide to the actions you should take to break in a new motorcycle.
Check the fittings
Although assembly standards in modern manufacturing plants are very high, some things may still get past the quality control team. You should take the time to look over your new machine. You should check the bolts, fittings, cables and nuts to ensure they are tight and in place. If you can tighten the parts, you should do so. However, if the parts will not tighten, you should contact the motorcycle dealership and request a repair.
Take it easy on the throttle
While it can be very tempting to open up the throttle on a new bike so you can see what the machine is capable of, you should resist doing so at first. When an engine is new, the moving parts undergo a lot of internal friction. With use, this friction reduces as the parts of the engine bed in. For this reason, you should only open the throttle 1/3 of the way over the first 500 to 1000 miles. Once the engine has bedded in, you can open the throttle fully and let your machine go.
Avoid the motorway
When breaking in your engine, it is useful to drive at a range of speeds, as this increases the rate at which the parts will bed in. For this reason, you should avoid long rides on the bike during the first 200 miles or so. Riding in a town or city is ideal during this early period, as it will involve travelling using a variety of engine speeds.
Bed in the brakes
As well as the engine, you will also need to bed in the brakes. Brand new motorcycles brakes may feel spongy when you apply them, and you may notice that the effectiveness is reduced. This is because the brake pads are covered in a protective coating during the manufacturing process. You should take the time to take your bike out on a quiet stretch of road where you can brake without creating a hazard for other road users. Accelerate away and then firmly apply the brakes. Once you have applied the brakes, you should allow them to cool off before repeating this process, alternating between the back and front brakes.
Check the drive chain
The drive chain on your motorcycle can stretch during the first few hundred miles on the road. During the breaking in period, you should regularly check the chain tension. If you notice that the drive chain is slack, you should take your motorcycle to a bike service centre.
By taking the time to break in your bike properly, you can make sure you can enjoy all that it has to offer.