So in my last blog post, I wrote about what engine run-in (break-in) is and its importance. I also touched upon the 2 types of approaches towards it.
- Soft Breaking: This the most common approach wherein, you don’t cross 50% of the RPM (let’s call it X) band for first 1000 Kilometer on the odometer. It is also suggested that you run each gear upto this X RPM and then close the throttle to load the engine. Occasional higher revs are acceptable though. Post 1000 km mark, oil change is recommended and then you can utilize 75% RPM band for next 500 km before going all out. These pointers are just for reference and the numbers can vary. But the important point is, you don’t use the engine at it’s full potential from Day 1 or until there are couple of thousands of kilometer on the odometer. Most of the User Manuals also suggests this approach. So it should be a safe bet.
- Hard Breaking: This approach turns all the caution and numbers mentioned in the Soft Breaking approach on their heads. Except the oil change interval of course. You can ride the bike hard and enjoy the engine to it’s full potential from day 1, without any hesitation. If something with the bike breaks, then it should happen during these initial days and during the warranty period.
Before talking about the approach that I took, let me give out some details of mine as a rider.
I have been riding bikes for past 13 years, I have a full time IT job that needs 2 hours of commute time. I am married and have a toddler. R3 is my second bike besides my Karizma. So if you can imagine, TIME is a luxury for me!
As I mentioned earlier, I am graduating from Karizma (19bhp of Power) to relatively powerful machine the R3 (43bhp). So I wanted to take it slow and easy, gain confidence over the machine by gradually pushing it.
R3 has relatively sportier seating stance compared to Karizma, so getting used to maneuvering it, filtering it in the city traffic and changing directions in ghat areas required some getting used to.
I am a sedate rider, speed doesn’t fancy me much. Effortless cruising on long tours is what I crave for. In that sense, I was in search of that soft spot on the power range, where in I can cruise fast enough, comfortably and safely.
Also I am very well accustomed to the Disc brakes, but they feel completely different on both the bikes. Since R3 is capable of accelerating fast, my usual laid back braking skills of Karizma were less of a use.
So if you can picture now, my run-in period was more of a Homework than going out there and having fun! No, I don’t mean that I didn’t have fun, but it was different kind of it. Being an over thinker and tend over engineer things, my brain needed to work twice as much as I would do on Karizma. Trying my best to not go out of control and do stupid things, trying hard not to crash or fall on my new machine.
In short completing the run-in period had become more of me getting confident and accustomed with the bike than the earlier thought of breaking the engine. In my experience, the run-in period when graduating to a powerful machine is less to do with the internals of the bike and more to do with the internals of your brain and the muscle memory in your limbs.
I needed to be alone for all these leanings and experience to be able to soak in. So my run-in period would usually include 2 or 3 short night rides to the toll plazas on the highways or to near by ghats. Alone, because, I didn’t wish to be pressured to push my limits on the new bike of mine by a fast rider buddy or to be hold back from trying to push it by slow one. And to be able assess every move, every input and every feedback and every feeling by taking to myself by taking my own sweet time.
I did this for 2 months. And after 2 oil changes (1st at 1000km and 2nd at 5000km), I guess I was ready to dance with her in the upcoming early morning concerts!