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I run them day 1 as I would day 500. I have always felt the low break in stuff was to help get the OEM's past warranty. I do believe in preventive maintenance and it is more important than the break in period.
 

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Watch the video attached and tell us how you broke in your new engine.
I took the gently gently approach as I've been involved in the mechanical engineering game for many years.
Easy warm up, varied the throttle position often, not rev above 6k rpm until 1k service and oil change.
Baz
Baz I followed the low revs riding until the engine was up to operating temp. then used varied throttle as much as I could but taking it on a 643 klm ride should have done more around town riding as I was mostly in the 4.000 rpm range even trying to slow down to allow the revs to not stick on the one range did not work as much as I would have liked. I did, however, manage to get into the higher rev range a few times by bringing them down on some of the sharp bends so too late for me to worry but I can live with this as long as I do my services I am sure it will be fine. ****, I never keep my bikes longer than 1 or 2 years so I am sure it will be fine. I never went over 5,000 rpm and to be honest, did not need to the bike was way above the speed limit most of the time regardless. I did try and tell it to slow down but it would not listen,:unsure::cool:
Last, of all, I have told by a race mechanic a few years ago that most of the run-in should be based on warming the engine to operating temps. before getting on the throttle so if you do that you should be fine. To date, his been right in my book I have never had an issue but even after a run-in I have always taken it easy until the engine was warm regardless, then change my oils and filter every 5,000 klms that could be seen as over servicing by some.
 
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Nice video I have to rebuild my top end race engine every 10 hours bottom end 20 hours. Usually break them in on a Dyno but a few times I broke them in on a race track. Never noticed a difference so this video makes sense.

Ian
 

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Mr.Fix It
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There are MANY threads and hundreds of posts on the forum WRT breaking in a K1600 motor...

Duane
 
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Modern engines are so well computer controlled that they no longer exhibit the effect of an engine not broken in. In the old days, most new engines won't hold an idle worth a crap, until the rings seat properly. Nowadays, engines have active idle speed control, coolant and intake temp sensor feedback, cold start fuel enrichment control, dynamic lambda feedback (fuel mixture) control, on and on and on. The ECU has so many sensors and so many feedback loops that it can compensate for - and smooth over - every permutation of operating conditions. The result: perfect idle from the very first start at 0 mile right off the assembly line, regardless of ambient temp. Because of this, folks make the misguided conclusion that since the engine runs so perfectly from the start, it must mean there is no need for initial engine break in.

If one were to strip away all that computerized feedback control, and just slap a bank of dumb carburetors on the K1600, I can just about guarantee it would run like shi-ite when cold and won't hold an idle, until the rings bed in a bit.

Ari can say that they couldn't find any measurable difference between the two engines broken in differently. The fallacy is assuming there are differences that can be measured. Anybody ever tried measuring piston ring seating? I have. Not on automotive engines, but on RC airplane engines. I've done that between an out-of-box engine that won't idle worth of darn, and after it has been properly run through the mfr recommended break-in procedure, some of which these RC engine mfrs can be very very specific on. The difference in engine compression I can feel turning the crankshaft over by hand is night and day. Not to mention the RPM increase and the power gain that are very measurable. Yet, there wasn't anything I could measure with the best NIST-traceable micrometers I had access to at the time.

No doubt metallurgy and mfg processes have improved over the years, but to say that any engine straight off the assembly line require no break-in is just plain fantasy.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Modern engines are so well computer controlled that they no longer exhibit the effect of an engine not broken in. In the old days, most new engines won't hold an idle worth a crap, until the rings seat properly. Nowadays, engines have active idle speed control, coolant and intake temp sensor feedback, cold start fuel enrichment control, dynamic lambda feedback (fuel mixture) control, on and on and on. The ECU has so many sensors and so many feedback loops that it can compensate for - and smooth over - every permutation of operating conditions. The result: perfect idle from the very first start at 0 mile right off the assembly line, regardless of ambient temp. Because of this, folks make the misguided conclusion that since the engine runs so perfectly from the start, it must mean there is no need for initial engine break in.

If one were to strip away all that computerized feedback control, and just slap a bank of dumb carburetors on the K1600, I can just about guarantee it would run like shi-ite when cold and won't hold an idle, until the rings bed in a bit.

Ari can say that they couldn't find any measurable difference between the two engines broken in differently. The fallacy is assuming there are differences that can be measured. Anybody ever tried measuring piston ring seating? I have. Not on automotive engines, but on RC airplane engines. I've done that between an out-of-box engine that won't idle worth of darn, and after it has been properly run through the mfr recommended break-in procedure, some of which these RC engine mfrs can be very very specific on. The difference in engine compression I can feel turning the crankshaft over by hand is night and day. Not to mention the RPM increase and the power gain that are very measurable. Yet, there wasn't anything I could measure with the best NIST-traceable micrometers I had access to at the time.

No doubt metallurgy and mfg processes have improved over the years, but to say that any engine straight off the assembly line require no break-in is just plain fantasy.
Great write up Volfy, you're obviously a man in the know.
 

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Modern engines are so well computer controlled that they no longer exhibit the effect of an engine not broken in. In the old days, most new engines won't hold an idle worth a crap, until the rings seat properly. Nowadays, engines have active idle speed control, coolant and intake temp sensor feedback, cold start fuel enrichment control, dynamic lambda feedback (fuel mixture) control, on and on and on. The ECU has so many sensors and so many feedback loops that it can compensate for - and smooth over - every permutation of operating conditions. The result: perfect idle from the very first start at 0 mile right off the assembly line, regardless of ambient temp. Because of this, folks make the misguided conclusion that since the engine runs so perfectly from the start, it must mean there is no need for initial engine break in.

If one were to strip away all that computerized feedback control, and just slap a bank of dumb carburetors on the K1600, I can just about guarantee it would run like shi-ite when cold and won't hold an idle, until the rings bed in a bit.

Ari can say that they couldn't find any measurable difference between the two engines broken in differently. The fallacy is assuming there are differences that can be measured. Anybody ever tried measuring piston ring seating? I have. Not on automotive engines, but on RC airplane engines. I've done that between an out-of-box engine that won't idle worth of darn, and after it has been properly run through the mfr recommended break-in procedure, some of which these RC engine mfrs can be very very specific on. The difference in engine compression I can feel turning the crankshaft over by hand is night and day. Not to mention the RPM increase and the power gain that are very measurable. Yet, there wasn't anything I could measure with the best NIST-traceable micrometers I had access to at the time.

No doubt metallurgy and mfg processes have improved over the years, but to say that any engine straight off the assembly line require no break-in is just plain fantasy.
You do not seat the rings in a modern engine the way you did in the 60's. They would add Bonami to diesel engines after rebuild to seat the rings maybe we should try that? Better change your oil after 5 minutes if you make it that far. These engines have been run on the dyno and are most likely seated already the worst thing you can do in a modern engine is idle it or lug it for long periods of time. Run it normally after warm up, that doesn't mean thrash it but I wouldn't worry about it either. We run every thing from 1300 HP diesels to 2.7 liter Fords and don't break in any thing new or rebuilt. The engines that get the longest life are the engines that run the most hours continuously at a high percentage of max HP. Even small gas gen sets fall into this category. Run the engine hard and continuously you will get the longest life. Run it short periods with lots of time sitting between start ups and you will reduce the life and it will cost double in maintenance on a per hour basis. I believe that is why some of the low hour bikes that were purchased used have oil usage problems. They were not run hard or long enough. Run an engine at 25% and it will cost you double an engine running at 90%. Run it like you stole it as long as it is warm and you don't red line it, change the oil when or before you should :{)
 

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Way too many reports of excessive oil usage to suggest little/no break-in required...

Duane
 

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It isn't about mfg tolerances. Even the most precise manufacturing and machining processes leave the bearing surfaces with some microscopic imperfections. More importantly, the very machining processes (casting, forging, cutting, grinding, etc.) leave residual stresses in the substrate. It takes some time - and repeated heat cycles - for the residual stresses to work themselves out. That perfectly round cylinder bore may not stay perfect round as machined, once the residual stresses relieve themselves out... even if it is only ever slight so. This is why many engine builders often prefer to work with engine blocks that have good run time on them, instead of green components.

With any engine, the only thing that keep the mating surfaces from crashing into each other and creating accelerated wear is a thin film of lubricating oil. The integrity of that thin film lubrication depends on a lot of factors. One of the biggest is ENGINE LOAD. The higher the load, the more force/pressure is acting on that thin film, which leads to higher shear stress, which leads to higher localized temp in that thin oil film, which leads to localized reduction in oil viscosity and film strength, which leads to higher likelihood to localized breakdown of the thin film lubrication, which leads to accelerated wear.

Granted, the very process of "breaking in" involves some wear of the mating surfaces - smoothing over microscopic imperfections, and honing over stress-relieved microscopic undulations. The question is: whether it is better to do in a more controlled manner over a longer period of time at low engine load. Or... get it over quickly - and potentially rather violently - at high engine load. Which you should choose has become almost a matter of religion. Racers can't afford to do it slowly, so the latter is what they choose. To them, it is a better compromise. So if it works for Formula 1 racing teams with multi-million budget, is it the best for the regular Joe Schmoe who just bought a street bike?
 

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Discussion Starter #14
It isn't about mfg tolerances. Even the most precise manufacturing and machining processes leave the bearing surfaces with some microscopic imperfections. More importantly, the very machining processes (casting, forging, cutting, grinding, etc.) leave residual stresses in the substrate. It takes some time - and repeated heat cycles - for the residual stresses to work themselves out. That perfectly round cylinder bore may not stay perfect round as machined, once the residual stresses relieve themselves out... even if it is only ever slight so. This is why many engine builders often prefer to work with engine blocks that have good run time on them, instead of green components.

With any engine, the only thing that keep the mating surfaces from crashing into each other and creating accelerated wear is a thin film of lubricating oil. The integrity of that thin film lubrication depends on a lot of factors. One of the biggest is ENGINE LOAD. The higher the load, the more force/pressure is acting on that thin film, which leads to higher shear stress, which leads to higher localized temp in that thin oil film, which leads to localized reduction in oil viscosity and film strength, which leads to higher likelihood to localized breakdown of the thin film lubrication, which leads to accelerated wear.

Granted, the very process of "breaking in" involves some wear of the mating surfaces - smoothing over microscopic imperfections, and honing over stress-relieved microscopic undulations. The question is: whether it is better to do in a more controlled manner over a longer period of time at low engine load. Or... get it over quickly - and potentially rather violently - at high engine load. Which you should choose has become almost a matter of religion. Racers can't afford to do it slowly, so the latter is what they choose. To them, it is a better compromise. So if it works for Formula 1 racing teams with multi-million budget, is it the best for the regular Joe Schmoe who just bought a street bike?
Another nice write up Volfy, I agree with everything you say.
 

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I don't pretend to know the final answer. My 2018 GTL engine was replaced (under warranty) do to excessive oil consumption. I was the second owner, and based what I learned about the first, I'm not sure the bike was ridden according to BMW break-in recommendations. I don't know for sure, and at this point it doesn't matter.

I did everything in my power to break the new engine in properly. I constantly varied elevation, gears and the RPMs, and only rode on highways when it was absolutely necessary. Even when I had to ride highways, it was for very short distances, and then I constantly shifted up and down just for the sake of break-in. So I basically kept the engine revs at the high end of BMW's break-in recommendations, while going overboard with shifting and RPM variances. My Service Manager, also a BMW Master Mechanic, basically said don't take it on the I-15 to Las Vegas and back for the 600 mile break-in. That would be very bad for the engine. So I did the opposite in hopes of doing everything right.

I was anxious to see how I did after the initial 600 mile break-in period and oil change. In the first official 6000 mile interval, my check oil light came on at the 5300 mile mark. I topped off with 3-ounces that got me to the 6000 mile mark without further topping. So I ended up using just a little more the than the 0.5 quarts BMW internal documentation says is acceptable consumption. I would have preferred zero, but this is acceptable to me, considering what I went through with the first engine.

I'm about 2,000 miles into my second interval and I'm down 25%-30% on the dip stick. Maybe I won't have to add oil before 6000 miles this time, but some is being consumed. I wish I understood what I could have done different to have brought consumption to zero.
 

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I did a fly and ride. Picked my bike up at the dealership in DFW area and rode 500+ miles home. Almost 3 years ago. I did the best I could to vary the RPMs but I-35 is only so variable. I was able to keep the RPMs below the recommended top but then barely kept up with the ol' gal in the Cadillac all the way to the OK border.
 
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Another nice write up Volfy, I agree with everything you say.
Thanks. I sometimes catch flak for being blunt, but I'd rather put what I know straight out there, not sugar coat it.

IMO the biggest problem mfrs have is how to instruct the new owner to break in properly. Again, keeping ENGINE LOAD low to moderate and varying it regularly is the key to a good break in. Unfortunately, a lot of folks don't understand what that means. It is actually a parameter that any OBDII reader can display. I wish everybody would get an OBDII bluetooth adapter, download an app like TORQUE, and monitor it for some time to get a feel of what "engine load" really is.

Too often, all mfrs say is to keep it below certain RPM. Mfrs just figure if they tell you to keep the RPM low, most folks will tend to take it easy and not yank a handful of throttle, and that's probably mostly true. However, under some circumstances, low RPM could actually INCREASE engine load. Like trying to accelerate from too high gear at too low speed. At least a one-liner everybody heeds is still better than a 10-page essay that nobody bothers to read/understand/follow.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thanks. I sometimes catch flak for being blunt, but I'd rather put what I know straight out there, not sugar coat it.

IMO the biggest problem mfrs have is how to instruct the new owner to break in properly. Again, keeping ENGINE LOAD low to moderate and varying it regularly is the key to a good break in. Unfortunately, a lot of folks don't understand what that means. It is actually a parameter that any OBDII reader can display. I wish everybody would get an OBDII bluetooth adapter, download an app like TORQUE, and monitor it for some time to get a feel of what "engine load" really is.

Too often, all mfrs say is to keep it below certain RPM. Mfrs just figure if they tell you to keep the RPM low, most folks will tend to take it easy and not yank a handful of throttle, and that's probably mostly true. However, under some circumstances, low RPM could actually INCREASE engine load. Like trying to accelerate from too high gear at too low speed. At least a one-liner everybody heeds is still better than a 10-page essay that nobody bothers to read/understand/follow.
Very true.
As the old saying goes -
"You can't argue with mathematics" and engineering is a whole heap of mathematics.
 

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Too often, all mfrs say is to keep it below certain RPM. Mfrs just figure if they tell you to keep the RPM low, most folks will tend to take it easy and not yank a handful of throttle, and that's probably mostly true. However, under some circumstances, low RPM could actually INCREASE engine load. Like trying to accelerate from too high gear at too low speed. At least a one-liner everybody heeds is still better than a 10-page essay that nobody bothers to read/understand/follow.
I intentionally never rode in lower RPM's. An App might be nice, but you don't need one to know when you're operating in too low of an RPM range. Not if you're already experienced with a K16. Actually, for most of the BMW recommended break-in, you're allowed to ride up to 6,500 RPM's. In the upper gears, that takes you to speeds that far exceed legal limits. So in reality, you have a lot of latitude. BMW says to avoid highways if possible and do most of your riding on twisty and fairly hilly roads. It makes sense if you want to give your engine a workout. I did exactly this while keeping the RPM's higher within the defined acceptable range rather than lower. So why am I experiencing any oil consumption at all, even if it's relatively low?

Unless there are manufacturing variances that I have zero control over.
 

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Way too many reports of excessive oil usage to suggest little/no break-in required...

Duane
So it has to be the break in and not the engineering? If my bike uses 30% of the oil before the 6000 mile oil change its getting replaced or sold so I can buy an inferior jap bike or maybe even the dreaded Harley.
 
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