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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm about to buy a new SV (I sold mine this last may back in Spain) but I was wondering if there is anyway, apart from a dyno run, to know if a used motorcycle has been correctly broke-in (whatever that means, hehe).
 

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No. I'm not even sure how you think it would be possible on a dyno?


Most engine builders aren't even in agreement on how to 'properly' break in an engine. One builder will say 'Drive it like you stole it' and the next one will say you have to 'Drive it like a grandma' for the first 3000 miles.

Both will have 300 page documents proving their theory.
 

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When you break in an engine from zero miles or after a complete rebuild, you are seating the valve faces to their seats and the rings to the cylinder walls to name a few parts that need to wear into their respective interfaces in the engine. Not all engines are created equal either when it comes to how many miles it takes for the parts to seat themselves. A BMW boxer engine can burn oil and require 15K-20K to break in and the gearbox as well. Most would agree that varying the load(rpm) and not lugging the engine is the proper way or rule of thumb for breaking in an engine. But once again, a high performance engine with tight tolerances may require a different protocol.

The most that you could do would be to perform a leak down and compression test to gauge the condition of the engine. But, a good test ride would tell you just as much about the state of the engine, gearbox and clutch. Obviously, a motor that is blowing smoke out the exhaust all the time is not a good sign. I think you would have to go out of your way with a new motor to ruin it.

You can however, purchase a bike that has either been babied too much and not revved very high accumulating carbon or one that has been run to red line all the time wearing out parts faster than normal. Knowing the service history is probably the best indicator of how well the motor and bike has been treated. Knowing that the oil/filter has been changed regularly is a big plus for any engine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Most would agree that varying the load(rpm) and not lugging the engine is the proper way or rule of thumb for breaking in an engine. But once again, a high performance engine with tight tolerances may require a different protocol.

The most that you could do would be to perform a leak down and compression test to gauge the condition of the engine. But, a good test ride would tell you just as much about the state of the engine, gearbox and clutch. Obviously, a motor that is blowing smoke out the exhaust all the time is not a good sign. I think you would have to go out of your way with a new motor to ruin it.

You can however, purchase a bike that has either been babied too much and not revved very high accumulating carbon or one that has been run to red line all the time wearing out parts faster than normal. Knowing the service history is probably the best indicator of how well the motor and bike has been treated. Knowing that the oil/filter has been changed regularly is a big plus for any engine.
Thank you RMAN, most helpful!
 

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Look for oil leaks, signs of neglect, and have a mechanic look it over if you're unsure.

A well documented service history is the best. You could always have a compression check done if you're really skeptical.
 

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Well it's been 3 days now. If the cops haven't come knocking...

...but I'd still lay low for a week or two.



:p
 

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My SV took 4000 miles to loosen up. Power, vibration, and fuel consumption all got better during this period. After that, no further improvements.

What you're really concerned about is engine wear. If you save oil from the first three oil changes, you can get them analyzed to see how they are changing.
If there's no change, it's broken in. If they get better, it's still breaking in. If they get worse, it's breaking down.

Or, just ride!
 
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