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First Service, how low can you go?

Discussion in 'Technical and Troubleshooting Torque' started by Freeform, Jul 29, 2010.

  1. Gday guys,

    Got my two little vtr 250s booked in for their first service tommorrow morning, been working really hard to get the km's up on them.
    It needs to be done tommorrow because we have to leave for sydney from melbourne on sunday.
    So... I know that the first service is meant to be at the 1000km mark, but is it going to affect my babies break in etc. if it gets done at say 600km or 850km?
    (which is what each bike is respectively up to)

    I spoke to a mechanic at Peter Stevens and he said that it shouldnt matter at all, that most of the break in happens at 500km and the rest is a formallity to make 1000km a nice round number.

    My logic is that the rough break in oil that honda puts in its bike would still probably be doing its job by 600-1000km, and if the oil is switched over to silky smooth stuff too soon the engine won't finish breaking in. Also from a safety perspective of bolts not having enough time to shake loose....

    Am I being anal? Do I stay up all night getting them closer to 1000? (especially the 600km one). Or it doesnt matter?

    heh, cheers everyone :)
  2. It's more you won't flush all the particulates out.

    Do a quick oil and filter change yourself at about 1500 or maybe a little more.

    Easy job and if you haven't done it before someone here will be able to help.
  3. Don't sweat it. Following ibast's suggestion won't hurt, but otherwise all will be fine. Modern engines require very little running in and most of the chunkies should have been worn off by 5-600km. Like the man said, 1000km is used because it's a nice round number.
  4. the most important thing is to go round tightening the bolts that have come loose....
  5. No worries then,
    Might go pick up a torque thingo tommorrow and check it all before we leave, even after the service (gotta for warranty). Ive got absolutely no idea about bike mechanics though... :D

    Might be a good idea to check the tire pressures too 8-[
    Ill run the low km one up to 600-700 tonight and then hand it over to the boys at the service centre tmrw morning then
  6. It's a Honda. Apparently you never have to put a spanner on them.
  7. No point. All the bolt heads will go circular or shear off the moment they're touched :twisted:.
  8. Rough break-in oil? Silky smooth stuff? Mate, despite what certain companies will tell you *cough* Penzoil *cough*, oils certainly are just oils. Some have some more technology than others, but all are fine for your bike so long as they are the proper weight (10W-40, 20W-50, etc). The most important thing to remember is your change intervals, otherwise you risk running the engine on deteriorated oil that will not protect it from wear.

    There is a myth along the line of engines needing mineral oil, rather than synthetic, for the break-in period. It is just a myth - run whatever you want. If mineral makes you feel better for the first 1 or 2 thou kays, then run it...but there will be no advantage.

    There is also a myth that bikes should be 'babied' for the first 500~1000 kilometers. This, in my opinion, is also false. Piston rings only have a short time to properly bed into the freshly honed cylinder bore, and to do this they need a range of conditions... conditions that include full throttle, acceleration to redline, and decceleration from redline. I (and others, such as the Yamaha engineers for sprint karts) recommend you stage it so the initial 10min are 1/4 throttle use, then 10min 1/2 throttle, and then the final 10min including full throttle and acceleration to (and decceleration from) redline.

    This regime could easily be achieved by riding (at 1/4 throttle) to fill up with fuel and check tyre pressure, then (at 1/2 throttle) getting to a nice bit of riding road before unleasing full throttle through the twisties. I would also suggest that after the regime above you change the oil & filter at around the 50 to 100km mark. This will ensure that any small particles that have freed themselves during the break-in will not cause damage or excessive wear.

    I really should start up a 'break in myths' thread, shouldn't I...

    Cheers mate, and enjoy your bike! - boingk
  9. Yes, you should! Your bike nerdiness makes me feel like even more of a newb! But learning is good so post away!

    I didn't even realise the dire importance of running a new engine in properly... 8-[
    Not that important for me at this stage though...no shiney new bikes on the horizon any time soon.

    What kind of damage can you do to a bike that isn't 'broken in properly'?
  10. The difference between doing what I've described and doing what the manufacturer recommends isn't enormous, but it is certainly significant. The 'rush-stepped' method described above gives you better sealing of the piston rings, thus giving more effective containment of the hot gases inside the combustion chamber. The upside of this is more power.

    When not sealed properly the rings can allow the hot gasses past, reducing power. This will depend on the severity of the problem, but normally its not an issue as everyone gives their bike a fang now and then. The gasses that go past the rings are called 'blow-by'.

    Blow-by can also cause increased engine temperature and oil usage, and long term problems include prematurely fatigued pistons and rings. You will also experience poorer fuel economy compared to an identical bike with better-sealing rings. Again, the difference isn't enormous, but is generally accepted as up to 5%. So, a 100hp engine with manufactuer run-in may well be a 105hp engine if 'rush-stepped'.

    So why would manufactuers recommend you do something that causes these things? I'd say liability. Imagine them telling you to go out and do what I'm recommending - sooner or later some idiot thats gone from a commuter 125 to a race-replica 1000 will injure or kill himself, and the company will be under a mountain of litigation. It pays for them to tell you to 'progressively use more power', as you're gaining riding experience and familiarity with the bike at the same time.

    Cheers - boingk
  11. I'm doubtful about this. Manufacturers' running-in recommendations haven't changed significantly in essence in fifty years or more. Certainly long before the need for arse-covering became as pressing as it is now.

    I'd also question whether procedures appropriate for a competition two-stroke (eg the Yamaha karts you mention), that will see top-end rebuilds at relatively short intervals, are applicable to a roadgoing four-stroke which might be hoped to see 160,000km without the lid coming off. After all, once upon a time, the procedure for a racing two-strokes was to thrash it 'til they seized, dismantle the top end, take the shiny spots off the piston with a dead smooth file, reassemble, rinse and repeat until it didn't seize any more :shock:.

    Most of the non-factory running-in advice that I've seen over the years has been not so much to baby the engine, but to avoid big throttle openings (ie big loads), particularly at low engine speeds. The odd burst of revs has generally been regarded as quite acceptable as long as attention is paid to engine temperature. Certainly, a range of conditions is required, with both acceleration and overrun. Just sitting on the highway at the handbook rev-limit for 1000 kms will definitely not benefit the engine.

    Personally, I tend to just ride as I normally would, on varied roads, maybe curbing the high cruising speeds a bit and not being lazy about changing down to avoid labouring the engine. Mind you, it's only in the last couple of years that I've owned anything new enough to have to worry about it.
  12. I have read extensively about the 'rush step' method made famous by that Motoman fella.
    I decided in the end this being the first time on the road on a bike to worry more about learning to control the bike then how to break it in.
    It was delivered with 22km on the clock, and after a bit of car park practise everytime I took it out for the first say 300km I made a point of varying speed and acceleration with engine braking and anything else I could think of, but never really took it over 6000rpm for any extensive period of time.
    Sandra didnt do anything in regards to breaking in, kept it at the same rpm for ages, just rode normally.
    The funny thing?
    Her bike is much smoother and vibrates less, especially at about 5-6k rpm where mine likes to buzz so much it makes my right foot numb...
    Gotta remember to ask the mechanic about that tmrw morning...

    Thanks for the interesting discussion, both views elaborated on what I already knew.
  13. Just got a message from the service center...
    437.40 FOR EACH BIKE...
    WHAT THE $%#!%!!!!!

    I was quoted $250...what should I do? Sounds like bulldust...

    edit: I just got of the phone with them, and they said it was because they have to do a valve clearance check on new vtr 250's...
    So hes offered to meet halfway...
    Is he being reasonable or full of crap?
  14. well surely if he quoted 250, he quoted 250.

    ask around at other mechanics and see what they give you :) unsure about valve clearance...
  15. According to the owners manual they do need to check valve clearances at 1000ks, then at 12000, 24000 and so on. Expensive little bastards to maintain eh?
  16. haha yes...yes they are, they didnt tell me that when I bought them...

    As for shopping around, a bit late, I sent in to get serviced this morning and picking them up tommorrow morning, but im sure I can come to an arrangement with them, I dont mind paying extra for the valve check but I WAS quoted 250...so you know.

    Welcome to the world of bikes eh shem 8-[ , its an expensive form of transport, thats for sure :D

    so..so worth any amount of money though.


  17. Yes, valve check/adjustment can be a very time consuming (costly) task. When you get a quote, make sure you know EXACTLY what is being quoted on, it would have been nice if the mechanic had made an effort to give you a call to advise that the work required was going to go over the quote.

    Did you sign anything that may have permitted him to go ahead with any work, other than what you thought was being done?

    Hope you sort it out ok.

  18. Though there is only a total of 4 valves and they are easy to get to.

    It does annoy me that they went to shims however
  19. Well the guys at PS were very helpful, ended up paying 330 for each, at the end of the day that was quite reasonable as they did a really good job on the bikes, very good attention to detail and they run much better then when they were new.

    Im happy to pay a small premium to take them back there, as they really look after the bikes, and dont skimp on anything.

    @ ibast I agree they shold have called before they went ahead with the pricier work, but they were very apologetic about the mix up in quotes and I can understand how it happened, and it was good of them to discount the price for me.

    Sydney here we come!