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I'm just curious if everyone followed the break-in procedures to the tee. I recently bought a 2002 ZX-6R and have about 420 aggravating miles on it so far, I say aggravating because the "break-in" for the 1st 500 miles says not to exceed 4000 rpm. Then of course from 500 to 1000 miles you're not supposed to exceed 6000 rpm. Is this absolutely essential or can you "cheat" a little?

//SLAPSHOT//
 

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Depends...

If you plan on keeping your bike (long term) you should follow it. If you do not plan on keeping your bike (selling within 4-5 years) I say rip it to all hell, you will not see any ills affects from it =)

If you think its tough to break in the ZX6R you should go out and try it on a ninja 250....

4000 RPMs in 6th and your going a whopping 35 mph...
 

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I tried to break in my zx6r as by the book as possible, but that only lasted for 150 miles, then I was taking it on the highway. I now have 550 miles on my bike and have yet to break 6000 rpm, but like I said, I was taking it to 5500 rpms after only 150 miles. I have yet to race it and I still ride it like a granny. I'm not sure how its going to effect my bike and I'm not near the bike guru as localbar is, but I just didnt' have enough self disipline to keep it under 4000 for that long.
 

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I think Kawasaki just puts that in the manual to make new owners suffer :) It is just not possible to keep it under 4000 for 1000km. Period. Anyone who says otherwise is either lying or is just not cut out for a sport bike :)

Fortunately , I have been doing some reading and asking around, and the consensus is that babying the bike is actually not necessarily a good thing. The mechanic at the dealer when explaining all the basics, etc, did tell me: take it easy, but have fun. Vary the RPMs, that's important. If you are passing, or going up a hill or whatever, and have to go over 4000.. no big deal. Actually, some guy (who made a lot of sense), suggested that it is GOOD to ride it hard the first few miles to use the pressure to seal up the rings, etc.. so now I am affraid I actually might have rode it too easy and perhaps might not have the engine all seated in right for max HP.

Basically what I am doing is trying to keep it at max 4000 for steady travel (not that steady.. i.e. 4000 rpm on the highway for 2 hours is a BAD idea. I mean steady between say traffic lights), but to accelerate it past the 4k in bursts when necessary. I have been to 7000 a few times, but never kept it there long.. just for a quick acceleration, etc.

Bottomline, my $0.02 is have fun, don't go crazy since the advice above was from a not necessarily reliable source (just some guy), but do vary the RPMs and spike it as needed, without taking it to 14k rpm of course. I feel comfortable with this I think. In my opinion, the 4000 rpm thing from Kawasaki probably has ulterior motives beyond the "proper" break in of the bike. Maybe it's a way to reduce chances of newbies killing themselves :) or, maybe it's to cover their asses in case there is some assembly problem with the engine. Who knows.
 

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Hi.

On my Yam' Fazer 600 I did it all by the book. It's boring, I know, but I did it in one week.

And by the book I mean just what Homer said: do not ride long periods in the break-in limit (4000 rpm, right?). You can burst a few times, but never too hard. It's worse making quick rises on the rpm than slowly ride to higher rpm. Ride smoothly, not at constant speeds, shift a lot, and by the 3/4 of the break in period start pulling it harder and harder... but gently!

In 6 months I've put 16000 km (10000 mi) in my bike. Everybody says I ride a lot, and that's why I'm "tired" of the Fazer. Maybe... but I just can't wait to put lots of km in the ZX-6R!! <img src=icon_smile_big.gif border=0 align=middle>


______________S_y_n_d___

Edited by - Synd on 09/30/2002 06:16:06

Edited by - Synd on 09/30/2002 06:16:29
 

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I used "Schmidtastic's" method for my break in - refer to it @ www.mototuneusa.com. - I have a 2002 ZX-6R.

I went as high as 9k rpm's during the 1st 200 miles, and beyond after 500. No "hard" riding, just smooth controlled revs as prescribed. I have yet to take it to redline though. Broke 1k miles last night and the bike's got smooth, rev happy power. This is my 2nd new Ninja within the past year (1st being a ZX-6E) and followed this "aggresive" break in method this time around.

Any regrets? Heck no Man! Hey, if this screwed up my Baby I'll defintely let you all know. But seriously - I ride hard so the theory is sound. Sure I want the bike to last but to baby it before and after break in makes no sense either. Race bikes are broken in on dyno's in controlled heat cycles and those bikes immediately see nothing but speed. If you only ride hard occasionally then break it in per the manual but do vary the revs. If you are a Road Warrior then follow the advice of the race mechanics. I am sure I did the right thing - I wouldn't have pulled away so hard from the 6-E I raced last night if I did something wrong. Yeah I'm supposed to be faster but not THAT fast. One last thing - I warm up the bike and don't even begin riding 'till I hit 150 degrees, after that I don't open her up till she's seem a couple of miles. That's probably THE most important thing for a hard rider next to a correct break in.

"It's not the size of the Gun but the caliber of the Bullet that makes the biggest hole!" -SDF
 

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Hey Guys,
Just bought a new green 02 6r last month. The first 500 miles seems like forever but after that its not that bad. Ive owned lots of new dirtbikes and broke them in as stated in the manual. I run a dirtbike hard and never had a top end failure. My wife always goes with me on the ninja and she was ready to go nuts after 500 miles at 4000 rpm. Last sunday I turned 600 on the odo and ran her up to 10 grand in top gear. Awesome! I plan to continue to go by the book for the next 400 miles. I just love this bike!
 

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My comments are based on the similar break-in limits for the Kawasaki 500R: From many sources I found the recommendation that break-in (always with a well-warmed-up bike, including idling it a couple minutes following shut-offs, even if you were gone a couple minutes, to assure oil distribution) should include:
Riding under different speeds and loads, a mix of street and highway, a little steady running, but a LOT of variation. As, I think HOMER said, not to keep it at a steady highway run for extended miles.
And, to assure a good "mate" among all meshing surfaces, a lot of Wide Open Throttle (WOT)acceleration. This does NOT mean exceeding the R.P.M. limits, but rather putting load on the parts during acceleration. I was such a newbie, and so timid, that I did almost no WOT during early break-in, and I think my reward was a grumbly drive train. Once I developed some skill and confidence, and began grip the tank, hang on, and to TWIST! that throttle, the bike appears to have smoothed out some. The hard acceleration seems to be a healthy thing for the mating parts.
ALSO: do not switch to a super-slick, or synthetic oil during break-in period. It will inhibit the (oiled) pressing together of parts that must form to one another for best operation. After a strong break-in, you may wish to change to another oil, but use "standard" motorcycle oil during break-in. (Synthetics are not ideal in all situations.) In the old days, when synthetics were new on the market, they supposedly could cause leakage in some engines. I recall a Popular Mechanics, or somesuch, auto-advice column which cautioned that synthetics would not induce the swelling of engine seals and gaskets that standard oils were formulated to do, or that the seals wouldn't "absorb" the synthetic well, so the seals could leak. This was in regard to a Honda car question, as I recall.
Yes, the break-in lengths of 500 and 1000 miles are annoying, but plan a few long rides that will cover a lot of non-highway miles. (I did a few 350- 375 mile weekends)You'll get to develop skill in your shifting, get familiar with the bike under a lot of conditions, etc., and get to do a lot of accelerations from stops. I don't know about the 6R, but the 500R owners' manual has ridiculous shift "speeds" that keep the bike in a grumbly, lugging range. It gives incredible gas mileage (I got 74 mpg once) but is miserable. I now run it in the 4,000 - 5,000+ rpm range and the bike is much happier. And those WOT's are a blast. This little Ninja can fly!

"Abandon All Sloth, Ye Who Enter Here!"
 
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