Break-in Procedure - Road Glide Forums
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-30-2018, 10:56 PM Thread Starter
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Break-in Procedure

From what I understand HD wants us to break-in new bikes sorta like this:

first 50 to 100 miles, ride like a grandma...

then don't redline it until after 500 miles...

I've heard many different stories and preferences... I bring up this question because a popular moto-vlogger on YouTube said he rides his new HD from the very beginning like he always rides, which often includes lots of acceleration. He basically said he also knew people who followed the recommended procedure and they ended up with engine issues. He wasn't telling everyone to do it, he basically said to do whatever you want with your own new bike. But just said he doesn't baby his new bikes...

It got me thinking. New HD bikes on the showroom floor that get taken for test rides... They can't/don't control how people ride those. A month or so ago, I took a new RGS out for a ride and it had under 50 miles on it. And they didn't tell me to ride it any certain way. And someone is probably going to buy that as 'new'...

Anyway, I'm just curious what you all do as far as how you ride your brand new bikes?

Also, if you get a stage 2/3/4, would you get that done right at 0 miles, or would you wait until the 1k mile service (after the break-in)?

Last edited by Prolific; 12-30-2018 at 10:58 PM. Reason: typos/clarification
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-30-2018, 11:04 PM
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I have a two month old '19 Glide and I followed the procedure for the most part. Didn't take long to get to 500 miles and that was that. Most PITA was varying speed on the interstate. Someone else can chime in on the Stages as I haven't completed the Stage 1 yet although I have Street Cannons. Good luck.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-31-2018, 09:02 AM
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I break mine in hard. Just bought a 2019 RG. It had 7 miles on the ODO when I picked it up at the dealer. After a few minutes warming up in the parking lot I got out on the road, put it third gear and accelerated and decelerated as hard as I could from 2K-3.5K RPM 10 times. This loads the piston rings from above and below which is necessary for a good ring seal. I broke my 09 RG in the same way. On my 04 Ultra I babied it during break in and that bike never could get out of it's own way, when I hit the throttle it made more noise but had very little acceleration.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-31-2018, 09:16 AM
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I believe there is more to the recommendation than just engine break in. It is also meant for the rider to get used to the bike before pushing it harder.

For me it is all about acceleration and engine braking without revving too high. Load the engine in both directions and don't keep a steady RPM which means constantly shifting if you have to maintain a certain speed.

My latest Harley came in off the truck and immediately had the tin swap so the only person to rode it besides me was the tech/porter persons.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-31-2018, 09:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stickman View Post
I break mine in hard. Just bought a 2019 RG. It had 7 miles on the ODO when I picked it up at the dealer. After a few minutes warming up in the parking lot I got out on the road, put it third gear and accelerated and decelerated as hard as I could from 2K-3.5K RPM 10 times. This loads the piston rings from above and below which is necessary for a good ring seal. I broke my 09 RG in the same way. On my 04 Ultra I babied it during break in and that bike never could get out of it's own way, when I hit the throttle it made more noise but had very little acceleration.
+1 I've owned a LOT of brand new bikes and always broken them in the way that I intended on riding them, which was NOT like a grandma.

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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-31-2018, 09:49 AM
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the dealer near me is off a highway exit ramp. I pull out of the dealer with a new bike and within 5 minutes I'm doing 80. I take the acceleration a little slower at first but I never baby them. I'm really not ever what you'd call a hard rider so I just ride like I normally do.

As far as stage upgrades, get it when you want it. If you wanted to wait and get it done during 1 K tune up, that's not a big deal. I went stage II at 3K and did an oil change 1K later just to be on the safe side.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-31-2018, 09:50 AM
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break-in

I agree with stickman, I just got a new 2019 Freewheeler after 10 miles warm up leaving the dealers I ran it in 3rd. gear 30 mph WOT to 60 mph coasted to 30 back up to 60. repeated 10 times, broken-in. then rode home (350 miles). I have done this on my last 3 bikes, never a problem, no burning of oil, and they all ran like scared rabbits. The Harley GURU, Joe Minton recommended this many years ago.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-31-2018, 11:04 AM
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i think it's more about heat cycles and not lugging the engine.

when i had my 113 built the builder put it through 3 heat cycles of varying length and rpm.
there was an overnight cool-down after each cycle.

getting everything to line up and work together needs a few easy cycles.
after that it doesn't really matter, imo
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-31-2018, 11:27 AM
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The suggestions the MoCo makes for breaking in the scooters are partly engine break in, and partly covering ass.

They want you to ride easy at first, because if something fails, they don't want it happening at high speed. That includes tires, brakes, suspension, powertrain, everything on the scooter.

The second part is break in. They want the trans to run in under light load, and same for the engine. And should something fail, failing at 2500 rpm is less likely to result in a complete write off.

The lower rpms reduce loads, and also reduce cylinder temps. The varying of your speed helps to insure that all the splash/carryover lubed parts get oiled.

With all of that said, I doubt is really makes 2 cents worth of difference on 95% of the scooters built. Its the rare one that had something set up tighter than spec where it might make a difference.

The most important thing is to get the breakin oil out of it as soon as feasible. It will be carrying a lot of metal buffed off of the cylinder walls and probably has an additive package that is not really advisable for long distance use. Copper and low detergent levels are great for running in, but not so much for long life. And when you look at oil samples, the break in oil always tests high for copper. The MoCo says to do the first service at 1000 miles. IMHO, 600 to 750 miles is more than enough time for it to be in the motor.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-31-2018, 11:33 AM
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here's an interesting article from MotoMan on "There are a lot of myths about engines...easy break-in is one of the biggest "

Break In Secrets--How To Break In New Motorcycle and Car Engines For More Power
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