Engine Run-In Period for Dummies

Previous articles related to this topic

  1. The Itch To Upgrade!
  2. Brainstorming on My Next Upgrade!
  3. Yamaha R3: The Booking Experience
  4. Yamaha R3: The Delivery Experience

So once the R3 was back home, I was excited as a puppy to ride it out. At the same time, I was also super tensed about completing the Engine Run-In period and about the first oil change. Here, let me give you a short background about what engine run-in period is and what is the importance of the first oil change.

In a layman’s terms, engine comprises of a piston that moves up and down in an enclosed chamber (called as a block). To reduce the friction between the piston and block, the circumference of piston’s head is covered by piston rings. These rings are responsible to reduce the friction and to create a seal between the upper area of the piston (where the petrol burns) and its lower part where the engine oil resides. If the seal is damaged, then you have loss of power and engine oil burning which is bad place for the engine to be in.

Now for a brand new engine, the clearance between piston rings and that of the walls of the block is close to negligible (literally). This means, for the first initial kilometers of the engine’s life, the piston rings are rubbing against the walls of the block. This friction causes tiny groves on the walls of the engine blocks. The piston rings together with these groves form an airtight seal required for the engine to perform flawlessly. This process is called Engine Run-Period.

The by product of this process is metal chippings from the from walls of the engine block that get accumulated at the bottom of the engine. Also, due to high friction, the engine generates a lot of heat which is absorbed by the engine oil. Due to these 2 reasons, the first oil change is so critical.

Now, during this process can you take it easy (Soft Break-In) and ride the bike\car within a certain RPM limit and gradually increase it or you can go all out (Hard Break-In) and use the vehicle the way it needs to perform for its entire life, and at this is the exact point where the entire motoring world is divided into 2 types!

Feel confused? Next, I will be telling you guys, what method I used for my R3 and why? Stay tuned.