Disclaimer – The manufacturer (TVS Motor Company) has blacklisted Rushlane from it’s events/rides as a consequence of decisions based on restrictive practices. This blog is reliant on available UGC and customer input.
Owner of a brand new TVS Apache 160 got a shock when the technician told him that his brand new bike worth almost Rs 1 lakh, needs a new piston cylinder kit. The bike was barely five days old, had not even completed 200 kms, and it needed a piston cylinder kit replacement. Here’s why;
As per the service technician, the owner of the said bike, started racing with the brand new Apache 160, without properly doing the run-in (also known as break-in). The owner rode the Apache 160 continuously at full throttle, even crossing 120 kmph in the first 100 kms. It was during one such race that his bike died and had to be transported in another vehicle to the service station. This was a clear case of not doing a proper run-in, which resulted in damage.
This is why in today’s post we will share tips that will help you do a proper run-in of your new vehicle, that could ensure a long and hassle-free life.
Before riding the Bike:
Even prior to riding the bike, the owner should read the user manual to ascertain what the manufacturer recommends.
Fuel level should be checked and it should be ensured that oil level is as per manufacturer’s recommendation prior to starting the engine.
The rider should allow the oil to heat up a bit, before riding. This can be done by letting the bike idle for about 30-45 seconds. Do this during the first start of the day.
The First 500-1000 kms:
The average running in period for all motorcycles is the first 500-1000 kms during this period. The core moving components are manufactured in such a way that the fit precisely into each other while running but in practical terms this can be done only after a certain number of kilometers. During running in period, these parts rub against each other and get polished and synchronized and hence proper lubrication plays a vital role in lining these engine parts.
It is also during this period that controlling the engine during this period would allow clearance of any sort of micro particles which may be left over during the manufacturing process. Though all parts are cleaned of micro particles, there may still be some left over that could cause friction and higher heat generation.
There is no hard and fast rule that when the user manual states that maximum speed is 60 kmph, the rider should strictly adhere to it. Instead, the rider should resort to varying speeds which never stressed the engine. It is at this stage that engine oil plays a vital role, it not only cools the engine but also ensures that all parts such as cylinder liners, camshafts, poppet valves, and crankshaft are properly lubricated. Once the oil goes back into the sump and is filtered, it is pumped back into the system for lubrication.
At the initial stage sudden acceleration or deceleration on the part of the rider could make the oil containing these micro particles go back into piston rings or cylinder liners causing abrasion and scratches which could affect the further performance of the bike.
The initial few rides should be on smooth terrain. Acceleration and deceleration should be gradual and smooth process. Regular breaks should be resorted to and the rider should avoid a heavy pillion rider, as this would be a stress on the engine.
Further maintenance of the bike in good condition:
After the running in period, it is necessary to ensure regular servicing and maintenance of the bike in good condition for its optimum performance. We bring you the following tips to perfectly maintain the bike.
1. Regular tyre check – the condition of tyres should be maintained. Air pressure should be at recommended levels and tyres checked for cuts and scrapes. Tyre treads should be checked and wheel balance and alignment should be maintained.
2. Engine Oil – Regular checks on engine oil level and for leakage should be carried out. Riders should also note that running the bike with dirty oil will not only increase fuel consumption but will also reduce engine life.
3. Oil filter – Road conditions in India being as they are allows for a lot of dust to accumulate on the air filter. Filters should be changed at regular intervals particularly when the rider is riding regularly through dusty conditions.
4. Clutch Adjustment – The clutch should be correctly adjusted with the right amount of free play. Over tightening will cause it to slip and increase fuel consumption.
5. Clean Chain – Water should never be used to clean chain, as this will lead to rust. Certified chain lubricant should be used to lubricate the chain, but before that, make sure you use a brush and paraffin to wipe it clear of all dirt.
6. Engine – At the heart of every bike is a well functioning engine. Proper servicing and optimum tuning is required to keep the engine in proper condition. Cleaning of carburetor, valves, spark plug etc should be carried out and spark plug especially should be cleaned every 750 kms in the case of 2 stroke bikes and every 1,500 kms for 4 stroke bikes.
7. Battery Maintenance – Top up of battery with distilled water, examining for leakages and regular maintenance is a must for the battery while regular use is also necessary to keep battery fully charged.
8. Brake Maintenance – Proper spacing of brakes is required. If they are too tight, or too lose, in either case, it can cause a problem and prove dangerous for the biker. Brakes should be tightened according to user manual and replacement of brake pads should be done in the event of screeching sound when brakes are applied.
9. Bike Surface Cleaning – Last but by no means the least, the surface of the bike should be kept clean. A microfiber cloth should be used so as not to cause scratches or dull the surface while the bike should be parked out of the direct sunlight.