frequent short rides

Discussion in 'Sportster Models' started by hdrocks, Sep 24, 2009.

  1. hdrocks

    hdrocks Active Member

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    I take my bike to the train station daily, which is about 10min away. I try to put some long miles on the weekend, but i am just wondering these short rides can not be good for the engine, especially when it's got about 600 miles on it now and also now that the weather is about to get cold. What are you experts' opinions?
     
  2. Breeze3at

    Breeze3at Well-Known Member

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    I prefer not to use my bike for trips that don't get it up to full operating temp. Condensation can develop in the oil tank, it can usually be seen as small drops on the filler cap, sometimes looks like chocolate milk. Also the battery does not get fully recharged in 10 minutes.
     
  3. paulmack

    paulmack Active Member

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    I was wondering that myself. I take some short trips to work. I hope wwe can get some more opinions so we can get an overall idea.
     
  4. davewingman

    davewingman New Member

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    I have heard that short heat cycles make the engine break in better. It allows all the parts to generate small amounts of heat and wont over stress parts.
     
  5. glider

    glider Veteran Member

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    Heat cycling is a practice by some engine builders when they assemble a new engine. It must be adhered to strictly in theory for it to work and it generally doesn not include riding the bike but running the engine for a pre determined amount of time and cycles.

    Heat Cycling A New Engine. - Harley Davidson Community
     
  6. FLHXTom29715

    FLHXTom29715 Active Member

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    I've always heard short trips for any engine is not good, not being able to get fully warmed up, condensation, etc. If I take my bike on a short trip, it's because I know when I return to my bike later I plan on taking the long long way home.
     
  7. ugocon

    ugocon Active Member

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    The problem of short trips with the consequences mentioned above is real for most of bikes, especially water cooled.

    For a 1200 HD, instead, 10 mins are enough IMO: HD engines get hot after very few minutes.
    The only problem could be in the exhausts, being them quite long thus better cooled (the stock ones: if you have a shorter one the problem is reduced).
    Condensation with possible rust problem in mid term is behind the corner, but I'd see this mostly in cold outside air, not for summer.
    One minute (no more) of engine idle before starting the trip should reduce this problem to almost zero also in winter.

    Regarding the battery recharge, you just need a longer trip at weekends, and not necessarily every weekend, and everything is ok.

    Ciao
    Ugo
     
  8. Hoople

    Hoople Account Removed

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    It has very little to do with how hot the Cylinders gets. It's how hot the OIL gets. Unless the oil gets to the 220 degree range, you won't be vaporize off much water. Cylinder temperature & crankcase temperature are two different things. It takes time for the crankcase assembly to really heat up to temp. If I subjected the bike to short trips, I would make it a point to change the engine oil more frequent.

    Hoop!
     
  9. hdrocks

    hdrocks Active Member

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    Ugo, you hit on another thing i was wondering about, the idle time. I understand with the newer HD models, it does not require idle time. Now I start and go. When the weather gets cold, I should idle for about a min. Why do you say no more than about a min?
     
  10. ugocon

    ugocon Active Member

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    Because it's a waste of gas! :s
    Usually you need few seconds to pump the oil in the engine but, since you start for a short trip, a little more time could be useful to heat it up a bit more.
    That's it.
    Ciao