RED-LINE it babe!!!

So my GS is now at the 4K+ mark on the odometer.  As yet it's still burning oil like there's no tomorrow.  It averages about something in the neighborhood of 1/2 a quart every three weeks (no I didn't measure the amount scientifically. It's just an approximation).  I know these bikes burn oil but this is a little on the ridiculous side.  So one day, at Jaime's suggestion and reminder, I called up the BMW dealer in Pomona.  What I found out was that BMW's recommended break in of 600 miles below 4K RPM was really inadequate.  Instead, I have to start riding the power band in order to break in the engine properly.  Otherwise I will have to be on dyno oil until 12K miles.  My thoughts ... "bummer dude.  I was hoping to go synthetic by 6K."

As it turns out, I'm not the only one that has fallen prey to the soft throttle hand condition.  According to the service guy, he has seen a lot of these cases where owners of the GS would baby their bikes.  As for me, I wasn't trying to baby my GS.  Rather I was trying to get the best gas mileage I can because of recent gas prices.  Anyway, now it's time to put the GS through boot camp.  So on the trip home after the BMW service guy talk, I started riding the power band.  I figured I should get the bike up to anywhere between 6500 to 7000RPM.  I noticed the engine struggling to get up to 7K RPM.  Nonetheless, this is what the doctor ordered so I forced the issue.

My initial reaction was, "Man... this babe sure is fast."  I hadn't realize how powerful the GS was until I was force to ride it like this.  Suffice to say, everybody gave me a wide birth on my way home.  I would speed up and slow down and speed up and slow down on the freeway.  The drivers out there were probably thinking I'm insane.  Still, I'm just doing what had to be done.  I don't particularly like to showing off or anything.

I started the break in on the freeway but eventually figured the side streets are much better because I can take the GS up to 7K RPM and only reach 45-50MPH.  So I started riding surface roads that had a lot of lights.  I took the stance of "Rev whenever you can, when it's clear, and when it's safe".
I asked Jaime how long he kept up this PB break in routine and he replied "1K miles".  That's a long distance.


Approximately 3-4 weeks have gone by with a lot of refueling and a lot of revving, the engine is happy.  Very happy.  The bike treats 6-7K RPMs as no big deal and rewards my abuse by giving me more power (e.g. awesome acceleration).  Yes!  Also, riding at 40 MPH in fourth gear yields 3750 RPM as opposed to 4K RPM.  These are noticeable improvements over how the bike behaved before.  At this point I'm planning on taking the bike up between 7000-8500 RPMs for the extended break in.


Two weeks into the extended break in and I have decided to call it quits.  Why?  At 7500 RPM, the GS is humming along and at approximately 8300 RPM the limiter kicks in and convulses the bike.  The bike is so much smoother and so well behaved that I have decided to claim the break in done.  On top of that, this break in business is expensive because it burns fuel like there's no tomorrow.  The hard work out has lasted approximately 500+ miles.  The ending result is the bike no longer burns oil like a two stroke engine.  Low end RPMs are really smooth.  I now see the bike burn much less oil and less fuel.  Still, I have a quart of 20W50 in my pannier just in case.  One can never be too sure.

The next thing for me to do is change oil to get rid of all the metallic particulates.  The filter should take care of most of it but it's better to be safe than sorry.  I'm planning on staying with dyno oil until the odometer reaches 9000 before I switch over to synthetic (SG) oil.

It was actually a pain and fun bringing the GS up to red line in first gear.  Most cars thought I was racing them but in reality I was just breaking in my motor.  I even had a Toyota Corolla try to race me.  Incredible.  As I recall, the R1200GS does something like 0-60 in 3.5 seconds.  A Ferrari Enzo does 0-60 in 3.3 seconds.  Just think, I'm almost as fast as a Ferrari Enzo.  How much does an Enzo cost? I believe it's something like ... $770,868.  Id's rather buy an entire fleet of motorcycles.  All makes and model.  Riding a bike a day for a year.  BTW, what does a Toyota Corolla do from 0-60?  15 seconds maybe.  Boy, some people really have ego issues.

Written on: Feb 15, 2006
Last modified: Feb 26, 2006