How to Break in a New Dirt Bike Properly?

Written by

James Stevens

Fact-checked by

Robert A. Verdin

how to break in a new dirt bike

Having a new dirt bike is exciting, but before you go on and ride it due to your excitement, it needs to undergo a break-in procedure first. This allows the engine, rings, and piston to settle in.

Thus, to break in a dirt bike is to ensure that its parts and engine work well during your regular rides. If you want to learn the steps on how to break in a new dirt bike, read on for more details!

Steps to Break in a New Dirt Bike


Breaking in an engine is very recommended if you have a brand-new dirt bike. Also, it’s an important procedure after rebuild or if your dirt bike has a new engine to ensure its optimal performance.

In addition, the break in period for a motorcycle is said to last for about the first 500 miles to 1000 miles of your dirt bike. After this, your dirt bike is expected to run well.

Check below for the detailed steps of motorcycle engine break in.

Step 1: Check the bolts and fluids


Checking the bolts of your motorcycle and dirt bike engine and ensuring they’re tight is an important step before you break in on your dirt bike.

You also need to make sure that your dirt bike has enough fluids such as oil, gas, and radiator fluid. This way, everything will be on course.

Step 2: Three heat cycle


After checking that the bolts are tight and your dirt bike has enough fluids, you may employ the three heat cycle, which is the most common way to break in a dirt bike.

  1. For the first heat, all you need is to start the engine and let it idle for around 10 minutes or until you feel the cylinder getting hot. Afterward, allow the dirt bike to cool down completely.
  2. For the second heat, start the engine again and let it warm up for a while. After, you can give it a couple of revs, probably half throttle. You can then turn off the engine and let the dirt bike fully cool down.
  3. For the third and last heat, allow the engine to warm up again by giving it ¾ throttle. Do this for about 10 minutes and shut your engine down.

Step 3: Take it for a ride


After the three heat cycle, you may now take your dirt bike for a ride for a couple of laps.

  1. Start slowly at first and then go through all the gears to let the pistons or rings settle in completely.
  2. You can ride for between 5 to 10 minutes while giving it various throttles. For instance, for the first run, you can go from the first to the last gear while giving it ¼ throttle.
  3. After around 10 minutes of riding, you can gradually ride faster to further break in your engine. Please keep in mind that lugging or allowing your dirt bike to idle for a long time is actually not a good idea, as it will only strain your engine.
  4. Once you’re done going through all the gears for around 3o minutes, let your dirt bike cool down completely before taking it for some aggressive riding.

Step 3: Change the oil


After the first few rides, it’s recommended to change the oil on your motorcycle. As your dirt bike is new, it’s possible that metal shavings will be in your oil. Flushing out is an essential step to properly break in your dirt bike.

Step 4: Inspect your dirt bike


After you have broken in your dirt bike, check it for damages such as leaking fluids. You may also inspect your spark plug to check if it’s working fine, as well as the nuts in your cylinder to ensure that they’re not loosened up.

If you find any issues, have it fixed right away.

If you need more guidance on how to break in your dirt bike, we suggest checking this tutorial video. Remember, by breaking in your dirt bike properly, you’ll benefit from its optimal performance.

How to Break in a 2 Stroke and 4 Stroke Engine


The process of breaking in 2 stroke dirt bike versus a 4 stroke one is almost the same. However, when replacing the fluids of your 2 stroke motorcycle, it needs to have the right oil/fuel ratio.

In contrast, the 4 stroke dirt bike only needs new fuel. In addition, to warm up 4 stroke dirt bike, you need to let its rings seat, or else your dirt bike will smoke excessively. It’s also important not to use synthetic oil when breaking in your 4-stroke motorcycle.

Frequently Asked Questions


What are the tips to properly break in a new dirt bike?

Now that you know the detailed steps, we’d like to show you some tips to ensure you’re successful in breaking in your dirt bike.

  • Allow your engine to cool down completely to avoid it from overheating
  • Avoid riding on steep hills or thick sand during the first few rides
  • Change the gearbox oil after the first few rides
  • Don’t put your dirt bike in sustained higher rpm levels while riding


Although it’s tempting to take your new dirt bike for a ride immediately, breaking in a new engine is a must to let the engine parts sit before your regular rides.

To break in a new dirt bike, you need to check the parts and fluids first and then let the engine warm up through three heat cycles and by riding it through the gears.

Overall, it’s crucial to learn how to break in a new dirt bike to avoid having a damaged dirt bike just after its first ride. Let us know how it goes!

5/5 - (2 votes)

James Stevens

James Stevens is an expert bike mechanic who knows everything from basic repairs to custom modifications. What sets him apart is his ability to explain complex concepts in a way that's easy to understand. Check out his content on Speedway if you need help with upgrades or modifications for your bike.