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Bike break-in before race

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#1
Looks like I will be picking up my 2004 450 EXC on Friday of next week (October 3rd). I know that I need to run it through a couple of heat cycles before I even ride it, but I was planning on riding this bike in a Hare Scramble on October 11th. I will have 3 or 4 chances to ride the bike before the race.

Does anyone think it may be risky to race the bike so soon after picking it up? My first few rides will obviously be on the mild side to get everything broken in properly.

If anyone has any additional ideas for break-in before the race, just let me know.

Thanks in advance for your help. I can't wait to get this bike!
 

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Strick

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#3
I may be a little rogue on this topic, but I would just ride it, race it, whatever. I used to be real careful after a rebuild, and then later when I would rebuild a bike (as $$ was more plentiful in my life), I would ride it like I race it during break-in. I have yet to have an issue.
 

Shaw520

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#4
The only thing different I do when breaking-in, is allow it to cool every 15-30 minutes during the first tank of fuel.
 

rfs mike

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#5
When I got my new KTM, the owners Manuel was very explicit on break-in. You might want to read it first. I know its hard not to just jump on and ride but it’s in the manual for a reason.
Ride on.
Mike
 
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#6
Originally posted by Shaw520
The only thing different I do when breaking-in, is allow it to cool every 15-30 minutes during the first tank of fuel.
I'm not trying to be a smart @$$ here but.... What will letting it cool every 30 minutes do for the bike( heat cycling)? You aren't trying to quench or surface harden any parts here. Can you say wives tale?

Ride it like you are going to race it if you want it to have power. Put it under load for a few minutes, load it but don't rev it to redline. Go back and check everything for oil/water leaks and loose fasteners. If all is well go ride the piss out of it. Break-in is over.
 

Shaw520

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#7
Originally posted by OCCRA_Racer


I'm not trying to be a smart @$$ here but.... What will letting it cool every 30 minutes do for the bike( heat cycling)? You aren't trying to quench or surface harden any parts here. Can you say wives tale?

 Put it under load for a few minutes, load it but don't rev it to redline. 
The idea behind 'heat cycling' is that the heated components expand and contract in smaller intrevals while new, to allow the close tolerances of a new engine to seat in more gradually. Can you say cold seizure? (not trying to be a s-a) :thumb:

but don't rev it to redline.
Why not?
 
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#8
I'll start this with cold seizures. If you allow the motor to come to full operating temp you won't have a CS. The cylinder and piston will have expanded at apporx. the same rate.

The heat cycling is bonk. If your motor is at operating temp it's not goig to get any bigger and do anything funky. Cooling down isn't going to change it.

Why not go to red line on the first outing. Just to look it over and make sure you aren't blowing oil or water out or nothing has come loose in the motor. It's really not that big of a deal. The big deal is loading the motor to seat the rings.
 
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#9
The guy that hopped up my friends RFS said the only thing he SHOULDN'T do for the first tank of gas is rev it out. This guy definitely knows his motors so there must be a reason.
-When I bought my new work van I noticed that for break-in they said not to exceed 55 miles per hour for the first 300 miles so there must be something to this.....
 

Shaw520

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#10
Originally posted by OCCRA_Racer
If you allow the motor to come to full operating temp you won't have a CS. The cylinder and piston will have expanded at apporx. the same rate. [/QOUTE]

That may be true if all the new components, (not just the piston & cyl.) expand at the same rate, and that the "full operating temp" doesnt vary much in any given situation. 

 
The big deal is loading the motor to seat the rings.
Thats a given,....

My experience with KTM 4st's is that they tend to run a bit on the warm side while new, possible due to tighter tolerances when new.......(shrugging shoulders) 

There are some personal preferences when 'breaking-in'.
 
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DougRoost

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#11
The other "given" that's not been mentioned is to change the oil and filters after a couple of those first rides, before that race.
 
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#12
This topic is a pandora's box. Much like what is the best oil or how do I care for my chain. I suggest to follow the owners manual.
 
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#13
Thanks for the advice guys. I have about 4 hours on the bike so far and I'm planning on changing the oil tonight so I'm ready to go for the race on Saturday. I picked up the two stainless steel oil filters by Scott's as well as the Honda GN4 4-stroke oil. They recommended running Petroleum based oil for the first few oil changes and then moving to either a Petroleum/Synthetic or fully synthetic oil. Hopefully my first oil change will go smoothly.
 

Shaw520

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#14
Kwidude,

Congrats on the new purchase, as you will soon see, you made a very wise investment, these bikes are race ready in stock trim.
Sounds like you and your new bride will do just fine together :thumb:

All the best!   Shaw
 
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#15
Thanks for the advice guys. I'm happy to report that I finished my first oil change without anything terrible happening. I didn't strip out the lower screen bolt and everything went smoothly. I replaced both oil filter with the Scott's filters and everything is working perfectly. Man, I love this bike!