Break-In Period: Everything You Need to Know About the Break-In on Your ATV or Side-by-Side

Every manufacturer may be different in what they recommend, but every single one has a break-in procedure.

This is a set of steps and rules that the buyer of a new machine is supposed to follow to make sure that their machine runs properly for its entire life. The general sense you’ll get from all of these instructions is that you should run your machine gently when you first get it home.

No two manufacturers are the same, so it’s important to look into your own owner’s manual and see exactly what is recommended. Now rather than generalize these steps, here are all the specific instructions from each brand:

Can-Am Defender Break-In

A break-in period of 10 operating hours or 300 km (200 mi) is required for the vehicle. During the break-in period:

– Avoid full throttle operation.

 – Avoid pressing accelerator pedal more than 3/4 of the stroke. 

– Avoid sustained accelerations. 

– Avoid prolonged cruising speeds. 

However, brief accelerations and speed variations contribute to a good break-in. New brakes will not operate at their maximum efficiency until their break-in is completed. Braking performance may be reduced, so use extra caution. Belt A new belt requires a break in period of 50 km (30 mi). During the break-in period:

– Avoid strong acceleration and deceleration.

– Avoid pulling a load.

– Avoid high speed cruising

Yamaha Viking Break-In

Prolonged full-throttle operation or any condition that might result in excessive heat must be avoided. However, momentary (2-3 seconds) full-throttle operation under load does not harm the engine. Each full-throttle accelerations sequence should be followed by a substantial rest period.

0 to 10 hours – Avoid continuous operation above 0.5 throttle. Allow a cool down period of 5 to 10 minutes after every hour of operation. Vary the speed of the vehicle. 

Kawasaki mule

Kawasaki Mule Pro FX Break-In

The first 20 hours or 200 km of vehicle operations designated at the break-in period. Do not exceed 0.5 throttle during break in period. If the vehicle is not used carefully during this period, you may end up with a ‘broken down’ instead of ‘broken in’ vehicle.

Polaris Ranger XP1000 Break-In

The break-in period for your new vehicle is the first 20 hours of operation, or the time it takes to use the first 2 tanks full of gasoline. 

No single action on your part is as important as a proper break-in period. 

Careful treatment of a new engine will result in more efficient performance and longer life for the engine. Perform the following procedures carefully. 

Excessive heat build-up during the first 3 hours of operation will damage closefitted engine parts and drive components. Do not operate at full throttle or high speeds during the first 3 hours of use. 

1. Fill the fuel tank with gasoline. Always exercise extreme caution whenever handling gasoline. 

2. Check the oil level. Add the recommended oil as needed to maintain the oil level in the safe operating range. 3. Complete the New Operator Driving Procedures. 

4. Avoid aggressive use of the brakes. 

5. Vary throttle positions. Do not operate at sustained idle. 

6. Pull only light loads. 

7. Perform regular checks on fluid levels, controls and areas outlined on the daily pre-ride inspection checklist. 8. During the break-in period, change both the oil and the filter at 25 hours or one month. 

9. Check fluid levels of transmission and all gearcases after the first 25 hours of operation and every 100 hours thereafter. 

Apply only moderate braking force for the first 50 stops. Aggressive or overly forceful braking when the brake system is new could damage brake pads and rotors. 

A proper break-in of the clutches and drive belt will ensure a longer life and better performance. Break in the clutches and belt by operating at slower speeds during the break-in period as recommended. Pull only light loads. Avoid aggressive acceleration and high speed operation during the break-in period. If a belt fails, always clean any debris from the PVT intake and outlet duct and from the clutch and engine compartments when replacing the belt.

Honda Pioneer 1000-5 

Help assure your Honda SXS’s future reliability and performance by paying extra attention to how you drive during the first operating day or 15 miles (25 km). During this period, avoid full-throttle starts and rapid acceleration.