Breaking in a new motorcycle

Look online for how to break in a new motorcycle, and you will find more opinion on “the correct way” than you asked for. Of course, there is always the manufacturer’s instructions, which can be found in the owner’s manual. My best guess is that the engineers who designed it know the best method for proper break in.

So that’s the method I am following for my new Kawasaki KLR 650: keep it under 4,000 RPM for the first 500 miles, and then under 6,000 RPM up to 1,000 miles.

It requires some miles, and of course roads. Yesterday, I cruised out to the dealer, Clinton County Motorsports, just to say “hi.” And then, I managed to find a little gravel to test its stability. I was very pleased.


The more I ride this KLR 650, the more I like it. It’s going to be a great exploration vehicle.

See you on the highway.


5 Replies to “Breaking in a new motorcycle”

  1. One of the things I’ve always wondered about is why the engine break in is in steps that way. What is the technical reason (what’s happening in the engine) that requires it be done that way?

  2. Martin, it is my understanding the two-step, break-in period is to properly seat the rings in the cylinder. –Brent

  3. ah, another KLR owner! and relatively local, I’m in Wilmington, on the northwest corner.
    Now you can start farkling it up. I don’t have a Dakar unlimited budget so here’s what I’ve added to my 2011:
    SWmotech crash bars. highly recommended for protecting the delicate bits when the bike takes a nap
    Happy Trails engine protector. I’ve no confidence in the cheap plastic Kawasaki one
    Happy Trails SL equipment racks. These will give you a choice of hard or soft bags. I went with homemade adapters and have two Pelican cases on mine.
    Also added an Admore turn signal indicator bar along with complete LED changeover of the dash lights.
    Feel free to contact if any questions.

  4. Thanks, Alan, for the offer for assistance. It sounds like you have your KLR fitted out rather nicely. I’ve been riding for more than 40 years. Have put 66,000 miles on my 2008 V-Strom 650. I have a pretty good idea how I am going to accessorize the KLR for the way I ride. Since I have five Givi bags already, I installed a set of Givi racks just this morning. This way, I can move the Givi bags back and forth between the V-Strom and KLR. Crash bars and skid plate are next. I’m leaning towards SW Motech. The Sargent Low seat is already on it, and my butt is feeling fine. 🙂

    Perhaps we will meet up at CCM one of these days.

  5. Hello Sir,
    Ive been told by several auto/Motorcycle Machinist that it is crucial to observe the Manufacturers recommendation on Break in but in essence ride it like you would normally ride a Motorcycle of course unless your a racer of sorts. That’s what I’m doing to my new less than 100 miles Klr. But of course keeping it at or below 4 Grand RPM.
    Take care.
    Tom In Norman,OK

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