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I have just picked up a Fat Boy, 1 month ago. Love the bike but would appreciate any comments on Breaking in Periods. The maunal tells you to stay below 2500RPM , but as I have not got a Tach I cannot tell. Also I have heard that people reccomend changing the oil before 1000 miles etc etc Break the bike in hard etc
 

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Break in is a discussion that has as many opinions as there are people.

I think that if you just don't hammer the bike until it has at least 500 miles you are ok. I change oil at 500 miles (filter too of course) then again at a thousant. Twin Cams need to be ridden a bit more gently during the first thousand miles to 'heat cycle' the pistons and barrels, they recommend about a 25 mile run and then a 30 minute cool down, repeating this process to cycle the expansion and contraction of the metal in the pistons and barrels, but if you don't 'abuse' it during that period you shouldn't have to worry about it.

manny
 

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My stealer told me... first 50 miles... keep it 50 mph and under..... (50 to 500...miles.... 55 mph...) after that to let her rip,...... well I can tell ya... this 50-55 mph deal is so VERY hard to do...
 

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Diane: Doesn't the owners manual say to keep it reasonable until 1000 miles??? Don't know why the dealer would be telling you 500.

Macca7275: Frequent oil changes never hurt at all. Heat is the big killer on new bikes. Whoever told you to break it in hard is living in the land of dinosaurs and is full of it, IMHO.
 

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Ed Y said:
Heat is the big killer on new bikes.
The exact reason why my '03 has an oil cooler. Can't hurt with the built in thermostat ;)
 

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My dealer told me to ride the hell out of it after 500 mi. First 50 miles were most crucial, so he said. then keep it under 55 up to 500mi., always varying up and down.

Manny, Hope I didn't screw mine up! Ran 90-95mph after 600 mi. with nothing but sweet v-twin music in my ears. Is this abuse from your point of view ?
 

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50 mph or less for 50 . . .55 or so for 500 and after, keep it running under 3500 rpm [no tach . . .not over 75] for next 500 miles but dont' run it steady and for long periods at this speed. After this, let her go. One thing you can watch for is oil usage. If you don' t have to add oil in the first 800 to 1,000. . .you're in good shape and most likely not have an "oil burner" going forward.
 

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King Rider, They never warned me about the second 500 miles at 75 or less! Now you got me wondering if I did the right thing. Damn,Damn,Damn. I got 1000mi. on it now, too late for GoBack!!
 

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Little question here, guys and gals too, I guess. Don't anyone read the owners manual anymore. The break-in info is in there along with some other good to know info. Given the stories you hear about some of the things passed on at the dealerships, I would be and am very reluctant to take anything told to me by dealers as gossip, especially the salesmen. I know some good people that work at a couple of dealers within 150 of me and I trust them but have heard too much BS myself from dealer people elsewhere.

I've only had 2 new Harley's in my 46 years of riding them, both within the last 15 years. I changed oil and filter at 100 miles, 500 miles, 1000 miles and 2500 miles on both of them when new. Then kept to a 2500 mile schedule except on 2-3 week runs sometimes. I use AMSOIL. First new bike, a 1988 FXSTS had 91K on it when I sold it with the top end coming off one time to do gaskets and rings. Current bike has 61K on it with nothing done but the Cam Bearing kit before a failure.
 

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Is there anywhere online where I could get my hands on the owners manual for a '03 Heritage?
 

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cromagnum said:
Read my entire owners manual. Says nothing about breakin after 500 miles!
You're right, it doesn't. When is/was your 1st oil change?? IMHO, this kinda dictates what you do between 500 and 1,000 miles. If you are waiting til 1,000 miles for 1st oil change, then I would take it kinda easy until then. You can definitely see break-in results in the oil on the 1st two changes. If you changed at 500, no problem. A lot of guys break-in based on S&S recommendations which entails taking it easy for a lot longer than HD recommends. It's mostly common sense and avoiding extreme heat and running engine at same RPM's for any length of time.

Initial break-in also depends on outside air temp during break-in. If you're like us down south, a break-in in summer when it's hot as he** is a lot harder on the engine than in winter. If you bike is running OK now and not using oil, ride it and enjoy.
 

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Doing 95 mph with a new rice bike is standard procedure, but your big twin needs a gentle touch for a while. When I told the service manager at Bartels Harley in Marina Del Rey California I wanted to dyno-tune my 02 Heritage after I did the Stage -One upgrade, he said come back with 2500 miles on the clock, and they did 8 full power runs up to 5800 rpms to get the carb dialed just perfect. He said running a motor that hard with only about 1000 miles on it was not a good thing to do. In my opinion, you will not have any problems, unless you ride it that way on a regular basis. Later, Jefro.
 

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Thanks for this thread.
I have a Road King Classic due in May and was not aware that it needed to be run in as described above. I figured on taking it easy for the first 1000 miles, keeping the speed to, or less than 50 mph as mentioned in other threads. What I didn’t realize was not to run it at the same rpm for any length of time.
After picking my bike up I was planning on taking it home (only 80 miles) on the back roads so I guess speed and continuos rpm wouldn’t be a real problem anyway. From what I have read above I guess I will also need to keep an eye on the oil level particularly for the first 1000 miles to see how the engine settles in. From this info I plan on changing the oil and filter at 500 miles myself, then the 1000 miles by the Dealer. The other piece of information that seemed strange, to me anyway, as mentioned by Manny, was the comment of ride it for 25 miles and let it cool for 30 minutes. I thought that with engineering advancements / technologies these days that breaking in an engine was a thing of he past??
Thanks for the info, I want to make sure my bike is looked after as I plan on having it for a long time and it sounds like breakin it in properly is a way to do that.

PhilRKC
 
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