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Digital Subscriptions > Fast Bikes > 338 > RUNNING-IN THE MYTHS, THE TRUTHS, THE REASONS


We’ve all heard of the ‘running-in’ process, but why is it necessary and what’s the best way? Here’s what you need to know…


Not to be done in the first 100 miles.
Look after your pistons and they will look after you.

Got a new bike? Then you’ll have seen that wee sticker on the tank telling you to keep the revs down for the first thousand miles or so. Delve into the owner’s manual, and you’ll get more details on what they want from you. Basically, they’re asking you not to leap on this zero-mile machine, hit the limiter from cold, and travel the first half a mile with the rear tyre spinning through the first three gears…

Why though? And what happens if you don’t bother? We’ve asked race techs, frontline mechanics, engine builders, oil boffins and bike firms what the score is, and their answers are pretty interesting.

Because there’s a lot of BS out there about this area of bike life. Guys in bars up and down the land are full of advice on how to treat a brand new bike. ‘Thrash it from cold’, they’ll opine, swigging from a pint of Carling. ‘Opens up the clearances, stops the bores glazing, makes a load more power.’ Meanwhile, your mate Cautious Dave is panicking that you’ll blow up your new wheels. ‘Go really steady’, he offers. ‘Keep it under 5,000rpm for 500 miles, or it’ll burn oil, lose compression, and make 20bhp less than it should.’

As ever, the truth probably lies somewhere in between these two extremes. But why do we need to ‘run in’ an engine at all?

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About Fast Bikes

In this month's issue of Fast Bikes ... - 2018 Yamaha R1M ridden tech it to the max - ZX-9R: Bargain Bullet tested living with a £2K Kwacker - Best of British Triumph's speed triple RS - Win bike transport to Toulouse worth £600 - MOTOGR is go! Season preview - SX appeal Kawasaki's Supercharged sensation - How to clean your leathers - Challenge your limits - Run your bike in - Buy used ZX-10R