To warm up or not to warm up - Wrist Twisters
View Poll Results: Do you warm your bike up before a ride?
Yes, full warm up to 160. 2 3.77%
Yes, but for less than 5 min. 30 56.60%
Yes, only when it's cold out. 7 13.21%
No, never warm it up 14 26.42%
Voters: 53. You may not vote on this poll

 
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post #1 of 35 Old 12-03-2012, 09:11 AM Thread Starter
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To warm up or not to warm up

After 04Hornet919 got his thread hijacked a bit I figured a new thread was in order. As the tittle says, should you warm up your bike before riding or not? There are good points on both sides and I wanted to see a more general consensus.

Here are some of the highlights from the other thread:

Quote:
Originally Posted by nd4spdbh View Post
... dont let the bike warm up... start it, put your helmet on and ride.
Quote:
Originally Posted by zaq123 View Post
no no. It's very important to warm any bike up. Very important. Always warm up the bike, even if it's 100F outside.
....
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheBeeDeeGee View Post
I thought it was generally agreed upon that the bike warms up best under a LIGHT light. Just take it easy for the first few miles, no hard accelerations and what not, everything doesn't really get warmed properly at idle anyway.
Quote:
Originally Posted by nd4spdbh View Post
warming up a motor with no load on it is bad.... its during this time that condensation builds up inside and will literally wash the walls of the cylinders from oil. You need to put a load on it to get it to heat up properly and quickly so the least amount of condensation occurs.

The whole idea of letting a vehicle warm up stems back to carburated vehicles... where they literally could not have a load on them what so ever untill they were somewhat warm. With the advent of fuel injection a stone cold motor should have no issues with load after just being started. So like said as soon as your able to ride it get on it... untill the temp guage starts to move, just be nice... no WOT runs....
Quote:
Originally Posted by zaq123 View Post
not sure how much condensation do you have in your oil for it to wash your cylinder. IMO, if there is a condensation on cyl. walls, it is better to burn it off with lower rpms.
Also, condensation commonly develops when things cool down, not when they warm up.

Anyway, IMO there are two elements to the warmup process, one having to do with how the engine runs, and one concerning clearances/thermal expansion of metallic parts, lubrication, and wear. Aluminum pistons Must be at close or at the operation temp to work as designed, even hypereutectic ones.
I run forged piston in my thumper and warm up is a must there. Piston slap can F-up the cylinder in no time.
I agree that idling for a long time is bad for the engine and fist of all for the environment, however simple 5 min warm up is pretty important IMO.

YMMV

The only engines I do not warm up are my diesels. They are so darn efficient, they never warm up without any load.
Quote:
Originally Posted by zaq123 View Post
Don't get me wrong: piston slap is not much a factor under high rpms ( another reason not to lag your engine). However if you load your engine without enough rpms and while cold it will be there. Therefore if you must to ride it without warming up, I wouldn't run it in low rpm range. Another factor to consider for warm up is a trapped fuel between piston rings which goes away once piston warmed up. I've always been a believer in 1st - warm it up, 2nd - engine likes rpms
So what do you think???

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post #2 of 35 Old 12-03-2012, 10:11 AM
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Paging ldh and rob... they have commented on this subject before.

Truth be told with a modern engine and modern oils warm it up how ever you wish... but its best practice to ride it as soon as the motor is able to handle a load... in the case of the 919 that's almost instant just after you start it.

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post #3 of 35 Old 12-03-2012, 10:41 AM
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With FI bikes, I start the bike and by the time I throw my gear on I take off and the bike seems to be warmed up and ready to go by then, usually takes about 30 seconds.

With Carb'd bikes, I start them and throw my gear on but usually I don't have any gear on so it takes about a minute or so to get ready and then I take off. They seem ready to go after a minute or so.

Obviously this is when the bike is cold, when it's warm I start and go.

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post #4 of 35 Old 12-03-2012, 10:50 AM
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I pretty much start it, put it in gear, and go within about 30 seconds. Not saying it's right, but no engine related issues in almost 54K miles on the 9'er.

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post #5 of 35 Old 12-03-2012, 11:20 AM
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I usually start her up before strapping down my bag and putting on my jacket. Usually let her warm up enough to idle perfectly. Could be 5 seconds in 80 weather or 2-3 minutes in 15-25 weather. As long as the combustion chamber gets some heat in it I'm good to go.

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post #6 of 35 Old 12-03-2012, 11:42 AM
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About the same here. Start her up, throw on the helmet, gloves, and shades and off to the races. All in all, maybe 1-2 min usually.

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post #7 of 35 Old 12-03-2012, 11:45 AM
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I start it, put on gear, put in a chew, get some rock & roll in the ears. I have a mile + of dirt road to navigate before the tar, so I guess I warm it up a little - less than 5 min.

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post #8 of 35 Old 12-03-2012, 11:50 AM
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Warming up your engine - Ninja250Wiki

Quote:
One of the more enduring automotive myths is that you have to let a vehicle idle to warm up for a while. This is the worst way you can get your motorcycle (or car) to the proper operating temperature. Your bike should be under a load (moving) to get it warmed up well, and also to extend its life.

There is zero harm to starting a cold engine and putting it under a LIGHT load right away. On a bike this means choke it, start it up, and then as soon as you can give it throttle without dying (usually just several seconds) ride away. This does not mean bash the hell out of it as soon as you're out of the driveway.

Close the choke (enrichener) as soon as you can. There are lots of good reasons for this, but just do it. You may have to turn the choke down in increments during the first couple minutes of your ride before the bike will run fine without the choke. This can often mean having it applied halfway for the first few minutes, but if the bike is in a good state of tune you shouldn't need more than a few minutes before you can turn it off for good. Just remember that it is a manual choke and you have to remember to shut it off.
Why shouldn't I let it warm up while I'm putting on my gear?

Engines warm drastically faster when under load than when under no load (idling). The evils of idling are ultra low oil pressure at a time when the oil is at its thickest and doesn't flow very well. That means that right after starting is the point where you have the worst lubrication. By riding you're forcing the oil to move more and provide lubrication to the points that aren't bathed in oil (think heads). Using a good synthetic oil with a low 'cold' number, such as Shell Rotella T 5w-40, will mitigate this as much as possible.

The engine also needs a higher concentration of fuel to air at startup, as the atomization of the gasoline is poor in a cold engine. This means that the sides of the cylinders are getting hosed down with gas, which washes off the little lubrication that was there (and isn't being replaced at idle, due to the factors discussed above).

The last, and most important, issue is that you create localized hot spots by idling. The engine does not warm evenly. When a mass of metal is bolted together, as an internal combustion engine is, it heats rapidly in some places and not in others. This makes it more susceptible to warping and seizing/galling, which is where two metal surfaces stick/weld together, then rip apart, leaving both surfaces weakened.

So, take it easy until you can see that the engine is warmed up; then you can ride like your normal squidly self.

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post #9 of 35 Old 12-03-2012, 01:14 PM
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I warm up for a minute or 2 on the Hornet. Anything more is just wasting fuel.

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post #10 of 35 Old 12-03-2012, 01:54 PM
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I use to warm it up until I've read Rob's post. Made sense and 15k+ miles later, engine is still alive with 0 warm-up time. On the colder nights, I use partial 'choke' for the first mile. I keep her under 3500rpm until it's reached the operating temp line.

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post #11 of 35 Old 12-03-2012, 01:59 PM
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Given a stock setup with hypereutectic aluminum alloy pistons warming up an engine by idling is not only not necessary, it can shorten the service life of the engine.

Many studies done by multiple manufacturers have confirmed the "Fire it up and drive (ride) gently until the engine is up to operating temperature." procedure. Why?

It's basic physics. The primary byproducts of internal combustion are carbon dioxide (CO2) and water (H2O) . When cold starting the fuel / air mix is rich to compensate for deposition of fuel vapor / mist on cold engine components such as the intake ports, piston crowns, and cylinder walls. Additionally, until the temperature of the cylinder walls passes the dew point H2O will deposit on the cylinders as condensation. Combined liquid fuel and water, pushed by the piston rings, drives any oil out of the crosshatch grooves. According to Honda's research this washing out happens within 20 combustion cycles, and the longer it continues the less oil is available to lubricate the piston rings and skirts. The inevitable result is the now unlubricated rings and piston skirts start to scrub against the cylinder walls, at best causing excessive wear to the cylinders, rings and pistons, and at worst creating linear scratches on the cylinder walls which will compromise ring sealing.

Starting up and riding off right away brings the internal temperatures past the dew point considerably quicker than idling, and it also heats the oil faster.

There are counterarguments, mainly "The oil takes time to get to all the bearings -- taking off too soon can damage the motor.", and "The pistons need time to heat and expand in their bores -- too much load too soon can cause the piston to expand in the cold bore too fast, causing seizure."

In order:
With a very few exceptions modern engines use plain bearings for the crankshaft, rods, cams, balancer shafts, and cam followers. In short, all the most heavily loaded parts. If upon starting they don't get pressurized oil within 2 seconds or so the resulting wear would trash the motor within 10,000 miles or less. Any remaining bearings are usually rolling element types that need little lubrication.
An exception is some twin cam Desmo Ducatis, which take forever to get oil to the top ends. Fortunately the desmo setup imposes considerably lighter loads at idle than conventional valve spring type, so follower wear isn't as much of a problem as it could be.

There are very few motors that come with anything but cast aluminum pistons hypereutectically alloyed with silicon between 15 and 20%. The advantage to this type is their expansion rate is very close to the cylinder's and therefore can be brought up to temperature quite quickly without worrying about seizing. As an example the cold piston to cylinder clearance for the 919 is 0.0007", or 0.018mm. That's not very much, but it obviously doesn't cause a problem. That is unless you light it up and immediately do a burnout. They do say "Ride gently" for a reason.
The exception in this case is when forged pistons are used. There is no way to forge pistons with anywhere near the silicon content as cast pistons, and this lower silicon content results in much greater thermal expansion than cast pistons, requiring much greater cold piston to cylinder clearance. Trying to heat forged pistons too fast can and often does cause seizure.

Last point: for 30 years and over 500,000 miles I have been doing the "Gear up completely, sit down on the bike, fire it up and go as soon as it will respond to the throttle without falling on its face." In that time I have not had one lubrication related failure or excessive oil consumption (evidence of cylinder damage). Remember that the average mileage on my bikes is well in excess of 100,000.

The rest of you are free to choose how you want to do things.

Rob

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On the other hand, if it has not been done never assume it is impossible to do it.
------- Rob --------
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post #12 of 35 Old 12-03-2012, 02:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nd4spdbh View Post
that wiki was written by geniuses like you and I.

my carb'd bikes - I warm them up until they run solid without choke.
FI - warm it up until I put my gear on and the engine feels warm.

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post #13 of 35 Old 12-03-2012, 02:29 PM Thread Starter
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Very informative Rob, thank you. Do these tests use a variety of ambient temp? I could just be talking out of my ass here but isn't starting in beautiful SoCal weather different that starting in 20-40 degree F winter riding?

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post #14 of 35 Old 12-03-2012, 03:17 PM
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Very informative as usual, Rob. I always warm up my DRZ with forged piston for the reasons you provided except I start it on choke and run it at the lover midrange to avoid the piston slap. What is you take on base gasket premature failure Hasquarna linked to short warm up time on their bikes. Have you come across that?

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post #15 of 35 Old 12-03-2012, 03:18 PM
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I usually get the bike out & ready and put on everything except my helmet & gloves then start the bike put my helmet & gloves on and ride. It only idles for about a minute.

Four wheels move the body ... two wheels move the soul.
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post #16 of 35 Old 12-03-2012, 04:12 PM
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I usually back it out of the garage, hit the starter, fumble withe the starter button and throttle (it is a 9er after all) go back inside, throw on my jacket and helmet lock the door and ride off. All told maybe 3 minutes idling


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post #17 of 35 Old 12-03-2012, 04:53 PM
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If it's got oil pressure it's ready to go in my book. No full throttle/high rpm until its up to operating temp.

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post #18 of 35 Old 12-03-2012, 05:04 PM
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Here's another question:

Is the coolant gauge a good way to tell if the engine's in full operating temp? Or a better way to ask would be: With the coolant temp just getting above the line, is it safe to assume the oil is ready for WOT?

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post #19 of 35 Old 12-03-2012, 05:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andrewebay1 View Post
Is the coolant gauge a good way to tell if the engine's in full operating temp? Or a better way to ask would be: With the coolant temp just getting above the line, is it safe to assume the oil is ready for WOT?
its good enough for me... once the temp guage hits that lil cut in the line... its game on for me, just so happens that usually happens just before the onramp from my area going south to westlake to hit the canyons... its like a precursor to fun!

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post #20 of 35 Old 12-03-2012, 09:51 PM
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I always warm up for bout 5 min, when I start it the oil pressure is right at 90psi, after the warm up it drops to about 70psi, when fully warm it stays between 50-60psi

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post #21 of 35 Old 12-04-2012, 12:10 AM
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I pull the bike out of the garage, start it up, gear up and go. I never want to go fast right after leaving my house anyway. It takes me a few minutes to get to those roads

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post #22 of 35 Old 12-04-2012, 12:30 AM
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What kind of oil pressure do those "9'ers" run?

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post #23 of 35 Old 12-04-2012, 01:31 AM
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Optimum if you run diesel oil. Lol

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post #24 of 35 Old 12-04-2012, 09:24 AM
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lololol oil thread commence!

as far as oil pressure, who cares, as long as the light on the dash is not on with the 919 running, it works for me.

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post #25 of 35 Old 12-04-2012, 11:35 AM
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RE: Zaq

I can relate to the base gasket leak. I took my Kawa Zepher in for a warrenty job on the last day of warrenty. They called me to inform me the bike was ready. The day was in the 20s. They told the bike gopher to bring my bike around from the impound area. A minute later it fired and the squid pegged the tack in 1st gear around to the front. He walked in grinning and I told him in front of the manager if he ever touched my bike again, he would get cold cocked. The manager told him to act like he worked there and apologized. About spring time when the miles started piling up, the gasket started weeping. The old owner went out of business, and the new owner wouldn't honor the fault since he didn't witness the incident.
I don't warm up as it takes me several blocks to exit my neighborhood and get on a decent road. In fact, I've only used my choke one time.
Car or modern bike, if you turn on the key and wait for all the lights and beepers to go out, the puter has everything set right for today's start up, cold or hot.

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post #26 of 35 Old 12-04-2012, 11:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nd4spdbh
lololol oil thread commence!
Nooo! I didn't mean to do that!

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post #27 of 35 Old 12-04-2012, 12:44 PM
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I run my ZX10r Motor until the digital thermometer begins climbing. A little after that, it's off smoothly until I get about 20 or 30 degrees behind me.

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post #28 of 35 Old 12-05-2012, 10:20 AM
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I start it, put my jacket/gloves and helment on then go. all and all 1-2 mins, never had any issues on the last 9er, with almost 20k. Will most likely do the same on this one.

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post #29 of 35 Old 12-06-2012, 02:48 PM
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I start it and go. But the main reason for me is that I park in an alley, under someone's bedroom window, and I leave asap so as to disturb them as little as possible.

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post #30 of 35 Old 12-06-2012, 03:08 PM
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Sorry but I warmed up my truck for a good 10 min. Before heading out for a Christmas tree merry X-mas all!!

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post #31 of 35 Old 12-09-2012, 04:39 PM
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warm it up for few mins while putting helmet and gloves on , under 5 min always. At the moment its 3 degress tommorow feels colder.... morning when i leave.. freezing last week ..not nice.
I pull the choke fuel inricher thing out and its back in under a min. Runs a bit rough without it.... I get lots of exhaust smoke in bad weather morning time till its warmed up

That's chopper reid

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post #32 of 35 Old 12-09-2012, 06:14 PM
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Well, after my thread was derailed, I thought I should post in here then...

I do warm up for 2-3 minutes every time, ride somewhat decently for a mile and then hit the 8-9k rpm mark a couple of times before keeping it between 4-5k rpms for cruising!



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post #33 of 35 Old 12-09-2012, 07:25 PM
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I think I may start letting the clutch out before my right thumb is off the starter button. I'm a believer in get going as soon as your brain has registered that the oil light is not on. Take it easy for the 1st couple miles, though I wasn't very good at that.

My comute is also between 2 and 7 miles depending on which offfice I go to. No issues. When I took my engine apart after i broke the frame my cylinders were in very good shape and my combustion chambers were clean. This was at nearly 80,000 miles.

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post #34 of 35 Old 12-09-2012, 07:59 PM
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Well I think I'm gonna start starting the gixmix in gear so when the first cylinder fires I can dump the clutch and be the first one to work

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post #35 of 35 Old 12-09-2012, 11:40 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
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That's chopper reid
Good call, he's a true bad ass and despite some of his actions a hero of mine along with Sam Childers. People like to say they're bad ass these guys really are

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