Don't Baby It
Over the years, several experts have warned that people are too easy on their new engines. "If they baby the hell out of it, it will never break in," one manufacturer's rep told me. Part of break-in is putting enough pressure on the rings to seat them. To do this, you must run it up to redline every so often and apply full throttle. Bigger cylinders seem especially sensitive to this. The manual's conservative recommendations are written with an eye on liability. Parts that break will probably do so when new, so the manufacturers would rather have you riding slowly when that one-in-a-million failure occurs. But unless you put some pressure on the rings, by occasionally using full throttle and high rpm, your engine may never get fully broken in. A babied engine eventually glazes the cylinder walls, and that's that. This doesn't mean that you should run everywhere wide-open during those first few hundred miles, and you should not overheat it. The cycles of heating and cooling are part of break-in. If running that new engine hard concerns you, take a tour of a motorcycle factory. Every bike coming off the line is run to redline.