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Thread: Do you guys/women let your bikes warm up?

  1. #1

    Question Do you guys/women let your bikes warm up?

    Always a debate especially on Sportster pages . . .
    Do you let your bike warm up before you ride?
    I sit for about a minute before I go and then take it real easy for a
    block or two. I have always thought that metal parts need to "become familiar"
    with each other and oiled completely for the best longevity.
    So, I give it a minute or two before leave.
    My BMWs manual said to leave, right away, do NOT let it warm up! (exclamation point)
    I dont have a owners manual for my bike, Im interested to know what protocol is.

  2. #2
    Junior Member PappaWheelie's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Ludington Michigan, USA
    Hi thundercat59,

    My practice has been to head right out but to avoid substantial cylinder pressures (and thus abnormal thermal distortion) for maybe a mile. I have somewhat tall gearing (16T/40T) on my SR500, so just staying in 4th for the warmup period (when jumping onto a highway, for example) makes me feel better in this regard.

    Fwimbw, an industry pioneering expert who mentored me through college advocated substantial gas loading as the best way to break in a new bore/piston rings, as in a quick blast through the gears, but without sustaining the load to potential overheating. Sounds like perhaps BMW agrees.

    In the case of two strokes especially, too much too soon in terms of sustained loading will almost surely "collapse the piston" (creating abnormal piston clearance) and turn a fresh engine into a rattler, because of piston expansion "getting ahead of" cylinder expansion.

    The oil film needed for lubrication is only microns thick, and remains (surfaces "wetted") on the critical interfaces from your last use. I understand from this forum that improper oil change protocol can cause a dangerous loss of "prime" however; I intend to read up on the topic before undertaking that task!
    "This is war, and in war time is of the essence."

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Masterton, New Zealand
    I usually only let things warm up for minute or so, slightly longer if it's frosty - crucial time for heated grips to warm up too Always treat it gently until I've travelled 4 or 5 kms, I'd never really rev anything until over 10kms.

  4. #4
    Yes, always.

    ...'Any unnecessary items on the bike, that it doesn't really need, shouldn't be there!'. (Café racers creed). SR..

  5. #5
    Senior Member gcrank1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    South Central Wisconsin, USA
    I have NEVER heard a convincing argument made as to why one would not.
    I like all my spinning and jumping parts to be in the idea of working together and getting a good, newly delivered coating of lubricant before I venture forth into the unknown.
    '81 Yamaha SR500 Caff Racer
    '09 Suzuki TU250X 'The Silent Red Fellow'
    '98 Honda Shadow 750 ACE Deluxe
    In all things maintain your uprightness lest the road reach up and smite thee

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    murphy cove,nova scotia
    Always let it warm up .At least till the engine will hold a steady idle.

  7. #7
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Sydney, AUS
    It does seem on my EFI version, that gear changes have a different feel until the engine is 'warmer'.

  8. #8
    Always with my bikes.

    Start bike, jacket on, helmet on, gloves on.

    My former 2006 FZ6 had a digital temp gauge that flashed until it reached a temperature Yamaha determined was good to go.
    1978 SR500E 2U8

    Confused about your frame number?

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Manteca , CA
    Always, At least a couple minutes , Sportster ever longer !

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Sandpoint Idaho (almost)
    I have seen many people get on a parked bike, start it and immediately begin revving the engine mercilessly. I am certain this is not the way to go, even though many cylinder heads are manufactured with shallow depressions which the camshaft lobes dip into as they turn. My brother and I used to start different engines with the tappet covers removed so that we could see how many seconds it took for oil to reach the top end after starting the engine. As I recall, his CB 450 set the record at 46 seconds. I have not checked my SR, but suspect it is in the 15 to 30 second range.
    So, I also do as Red Dragn and put my helmet and gloves on after starting the engine. Then ride conservatively until metal parts and oil are warmed up.

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