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How to break in your pocket bike

If you're reading this article, it means that you just ordered a new mini bike, probably an x15 or an x18 pocket bike with a gas engine, or yours just got delivered. Now you don’t want to spoil the bike by breaking in the engine in a wrong way. This article helps you make sense of the breaking in period and the right techniques to use.

“Break in” period is the time for the first few thousand kilometres (not exceeding 3 thousand), during which the engine assumes the efficiency and running capacity that it will run on for the rest of its life, that is, unless it’s crucial parts are installed anew.

Breaking in starts the first time your mini bike engine. So, be sure to check the bike for any unusual sounds. These may be from loose parts within the engine or other areas of the bike. Checking for oil leaks or any unruly smoke from the exhaust can also be helpful. Although manufacturing defects are rare, they are better caught in the first few days, so can get it corrected before you actually start to enjoy the experience.

Before we move any further, it’s important to know how the engine works. So, you may know that there is a piston connected to the crankshaft that creates spinning motion, which goes to the gearbox ultimately spinning the wheels.

The piston is packed in a cylinder, where it forces a combination of air and fuel (petrol or gas) vapour against cylinder walls, compressing it to a lower volume. The gas is then ignited with the help of a spark plug. The resulting explosion the forces the piston back, which in turn, sucks more gas mixture in that is ignited again. This then becomes a self-serving chain of explosions and compressions, moving the piston up and down the cylinder, frequency of which runs in thousands per minute.

Coming back to breaking in, this up-down motion and the combustion pressure is what concerns us most. During the break in period, as the piston moves up and down,the piston “beds in” into the cylinder walls. To understand this, you need to know that although the surface of the piston and the cylinder walls is visually smooth, there are microscopic crevices and raises that cause friction and over time make spaces for themselves, or bed in, into corresponding surfaces.

Long life efficiency of the engine depends on how well this bedding in happens. When the microscopic crevices and raises line up properly the piston achieves a good seal. If during the initial period the piston is not able to bed in properly, meaning an improper seal, it leads to the combustion gases leaking into the crankcase. This causes a loss of compression, meaning that the explosion, described earlier, will be less competent, leading to lesser power generated from the same amount of fuel.

All the bedding in, and breaking in happens when you run the engine. So, naturally it depends on how you run the engine. There’s a lot of debate in the riding circle about how you should break a bike. One side argues for breaking in a newly made engine softly, others swear by breaking in hard, meaning running on higher speeds, or lower gears and higher revolutions per minute.

Both of these methods have their merits and demerits. If you go for the softer approach, the engine will become accustomed to that kind of work, and you’ll be limited with how much performance you will be able to get throughout its life. Similarly, if you go the other extreme, the engine will be inefficient in low performance scenarios where mileage is more important than absolute power.

So the answer to a good breaking in is to treat the engine with a balance of both extremes. This means that you treat the engine for the first few hundred kilometres with a balanced dose, or rather a sample, of how you’ll be running it the rest of the engine’s life.

Now you know the information that should make the breaking in of your pocket bike a breeze.If you’re careful about your bike’s engine, the engine will be more efficient, will generate more power, and most importantly, it will last you longer.

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