XR 650R Break-in

Any advice on how to break in a new bike - XR650R '05? I have never had a new bike and I am not sure on the correct method to break it in. It also seems to idle too fast after having it a speed when comming to a stop, if I feather the clutch and load the engine a little the idle drops right down until I get on the throttle again. Is that because it is new, or built into the controls or....?


You need to uncork it.

Change the oil every 100 miles the first 500 miles. Change the oil filter the first 100 miles. Then at least every other oil change. This is real important!

Don't hold to the same RPM for any long period of time for the first 500 miles.



There are tons of links on these pages to get you started in all you need to know about the BRP (Big Red Pig) XR650R.

There are things that need to be taken care of right away.


Two possible issues for the high, hanging idle are: 1. (sometimes) the throttle cable is routed in such a way from the factory that it will bind a bit and 2. lean idle fuel mixture- adjust the fuel screw out a bit and see if the 'hanging idle' persists. Keep in mind that there is an "idle air bypass" circuit in the carb that holds engine speed up a bit to prevent stalling; your description sounds like a hanging lean idle however.

I too noted this return to idle problem, but it seems to have gone now. (2 months old, 1000 miles) Not sure if it's someting I did or it just goes away.

I read somewhere that they tend to do this only when new. I tried disabling the air-bypass thing and in my opinion it ran terrible, even after messing with the mixture screw. Luckily I only did the temp mod and I have now put it back to standard. It did return to idle quick when modded though.

I am very happy with it's starting and general running now, it starts first kick from cold (well most times!) It tinkers along nicely and providing you don't give it a big handfull really quick, it takes off just fine. I can still blip it to lift the wheel over ruts and stuff in 1st and 2nd so I'm very happy.

I'm fussy about the fuel I use and have found that it starts easier on one brand than it does on all the others (Oz fuel remember), it took bit of experimenting to establish that and it is entirely repeatable...ie: switch back and I'm up for 5-10 kicks.

I've also experimented with the mixture screw in 1/8 to 1/4 increments to fine tune it. I know there are methods on here, but i could get any discernible difference at idle so I just kept moving it a bit at a time until it run sweet. I found that it seems to affect "hunting" at very low throttle openings, ie: when cruising at 40-50 k's (road).

Hey Mark what oil are you using? Some one said to use Mobil 1 red cap but i don't think it exists in AUS.

By the way Mark i got your message but i don't know if you got mine cheers.

Hi Fordskin

I didn't get a message, but happy you got mine.

I haven't really settled on an oil as yet, I read the classification suggested in the manual and bought that. ie: API service classification SE SF SG. As long you stick to that you'll be fine.

Purely a personal thing but I'm using mineral oil for a while to settle everything in. I'll possibly switch to synthetic down the track but I'm always a bit wary with anything that has a wet clutch, what you achieve in reducing friction on the engine can have the same effect on the clutch..not always what you want.

Like I said, stay within the classifications above and you'll be fine.

Good info above with one caveat: all good quality motorcycle oils have additives to promote long gear tooth life, lacking in automotive engine oils. I have had apart bikes run on auto oil and there often is spalling type gear tooth wear evident, caused by the teeth breaking through the oil film and trading metal. Remember, the oil is lubricating the transmission also as well as absorbing fibers worn from the clutch. This makes it doubly important to use a good motorcycle engine oil and change it often.

Had the same problem with my new 650R about a year ago. Honda dealer told me if the idle is bumped down the problem will be solved. They had it idling very low but the the problem ceased. Soon thereafter I uncorked and I havn't seen the idle hanging in 500 miles now.

With oil. Tons of opinions here. After a few hundred I switched to Mobil 1 red cap. Now using M1 15w50 Extended Performance. Same stuff as the red cap but more of the good stuff (zinc/Phos) More moly too but not enough to cause slip in my bike.

The debate about MC specific oil causing trans wear? Doesn't seem physically possible. I'd say dirty, broken down oil whether MC or auto will cause that. Clean oil that is changed often regardless of MC or auto will do nothing but good to the bike.

I might get flamed for this, and I'm certainly no expert on the XR650R, but I followed this break in procedure to the letter:


My bike runs close to 100mph with stock gearing (uncorked) and burns zero oil between oil changes, so I'm pretty confident it didn't hurt. I broke it in on a closed MX track.

My idle was funny at first, too. Bike would also stall at idle, but it all went away after the first few hundred miles.

I'm still experimenting with different oils, currently using Shell Rotella synthetic Diesel oil per recommendations I found on here. My clutch is not grabbing as well as I'd like when feathering it under much load, so I won't use it again. I'll try the Mobil Gold Cap next, the Red Cap is no longer available.


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