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Running in

3314 Views 11 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  Pen15uk
A few simple questions.

Do you bother limiting the revs?
What's the worst that can happen if you don't?
Is it a tad boring to ride if you do the proper running stuff?

Surely the demo bikes don't get run in and they seem fine. I just want to get on and have some fun!
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Ride it like you stole it! Has a 2yr unlimited warranty.
Ride it like you stole it! Has a 2yr unlimited warranty.

It has a 2yr LIMITED warranty.

It also has an ECU that can tell the manufacturer that you exceeded rev limits during breakin.

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It also has an ECU that can tell the manufacturer that you exceeded rev limits during breakin.
Think what you want...

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To answer Pen15uk's question: you can still go fast and do so quickly keeping it under 5.5k RPM.

I also came tonight to post about running in, so I guess I'll join this thread. It's about running in, and also about what to expect from a twin. Take these questions from the perspective of someone who has never owned a new vehicle, has been using 30-year old carb'd bikes as daily drivers for ten years, and hasn't even owned a car in seven.

I had a 290 mile ride home on my new Scrambler. There was plenty of stop and go traffic on the way out of Houston (there was a freeway accident, but for various reasons I elected to stay on the interstate). I figured this would be alright, as it gave me the opportunity to vary my revs and gears throughout the range, as recommended by the dealership.

That said, the stupid amounts of torque meant that on the way home, I was having a lot of trouble riding at "only" 65mph. Every time I thought to look, I was suddenly at 6-6.5k revs and 87mph or so. Each time I caught myself, it was an oh crap moment. Did I just ruin my bike? Am I about to get pulled over? Hopefully MotoMan isn't crazy?

I figure the manual recommendations are probably over-specced so that one high rev jaunt isn't going to hurt anything, but there were probably two dozens of these moments on the first half of the trip home.

It wasn't until about hour three where I felt like I was able to hold the throttle "just right" and keep it at 70mph. Even then... I had moments.

A week has gone by. I've put another 60 miles on the clock, so I am probably right around 340-50 or so. Small city highway driving, so mostly in the 35-55 range. I can comfortably keep revs between 4-5k.

Now my current observations: it is super easy to maintain speeds of 45-65 now. In fact, that jerky throttle that had me pretty terrified? It's no big deal at all to me anymore. Between test ride and pick up, I was ready to buy a Termi w/remap and a throttle tamer, as those seemed to be the most consistently praised fixes for the throttle. Dealer messing up screwed the first option, and laziness on my part excluded the second.

But now? It's nothing. City riding is a breeze, and I can keep any speed I want, no problem. On the long ride home, I was frustrated that the difference between 65mph and 80mph was nearly imperceptible to me. Now, I can pick my speed without a thought.

But that troubles me. Have I quickly developed some competency with the throttle, or have I ruined the engine's performance to where it happens to "feel" better (if only for now)? Am I a savant, or just an idiot? Or neither, and the engine just mellows after a little break in?

Last thing: I've only ever ridden inline four UJMs. I don't think I always "get" what the L-twin engine is telling me, in respect to what sound and what level of sounds it should be making at each rev+speed range. Can someone give me a quick cheat sheet on what are good gears for "cruising" at certain speeds, in an unmodified Scrambler? IE what is an efficient, safe gear for crusing at 35mph, 45mph, 55mph, 65mph? When is the "right" time to use sixth gear?

edit: corrections, embellishments
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Basically 1st is just to get rolling. Cruise around in 2nd to avoid the snatchy throttle everyone seems to have an issue with.

My bike seems really happy at 4000rpms, but thats also where the fun starts. I usually like to cruise around a little above the 4000 mark and I shift at 6000rpms or so. But every once in a while you just hold it open till it gets to 9000rpms, and enjoy the rest of your day with perma grin. But only after properly breaking it in.

Putt, Cruise or RACE.

0-10mph =1st
10-35mph =2nd
35mph = 3rd
45mph =4th
55mph =5th
65mph+ =6th

I've got 3000 miles on my red icon and these figures are just from my observations while on the road. They are in no way scientific or sanctioned by ducati.
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No end of fun during running in. Other than 2 or 3 times when stumbling on a false neutral where the revs went through the roof, keeping below 6k was easy. This was helped by the fact that wind prevents comfort above 70 mph on the m'way. Now that its run in there isn't much change other than no longer having to keep an eye on the revs (which I find hard to read anyway). I also find accelleration far more enjoyable in high gears from slow speeds (5th/6th 30ish to 70/80) is a hoot with the Remus pipe singing well.
I am not in any way technically minded, so I read up on 'running in' periods and understood that it's just an optimum situation for components to bed in smoothly before 'caning it', it makes sense! There is lots on the net about it, some advocate riding it like you stole it from the start but I think that involves frequent oil changes?

TBH 600 miles soon passes but it's up to you whether you want to risk it. Not long after I had mine I totally forgot I was running it in going up our local bypass and opened it up to see what it could do, then was berating myself afterwards thinking I'd wrecked it - I haven't thankfully! But if you rode like that continuously from the start there may be consequences? Running in must be there for a reason :confused:
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They used to say you had to run cars in but now that advice seems to have gone out the window.

I struggle to see what the implications are if you chose just to ride normally and ignore the running in bit. I can't see a demonstrator bike ever having a running in period and they seem to be fine.

When I say "ride normally" it means just that, simple everyday riding without the worry of watching the Rev counter al the time. Here will be occasions when high revs are needed, but most of the time normal gear changes will be fine.
It's all about longevity. Flushing engine through and checking bolts are all fastened. Bikes shake a lot and rev higher so stresses are greater. Cars are smoother running than ever and oils, additives, petrol all perform better functions, taking 'care' of the car more than the bike. I think the shake, rattle and roll scenario is more of a major reason though. Nuts and bolts.
I am, though, probably talking out of my a*$e.
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Only plan to have it for a up to 3 years so I doubt I'd be affected by any consequences of not running in correctly (selfish I know, but hey how).
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