Do New ATVs and UTVs Need A Break-In Period?

September 19, 2022

Do You Need To Break In A New ATV or UTV?

So, you just bought a new machine and you're super excited about it. But they did tell you one thing at the dealership, that you're supposed to break it in. So, do you? Do you not? Do you break it in soft or hard? Obviously, these questions get asked a lot by people who are buying brand new machines and understandably don't want them to lose performance right off the bat.

So, we're gonna cover all these questions today - keep reading below to see if there's a break-in period for your ATV or UTV, what you should be doing during it, and how long it should take. Let's jump in!


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2021 Polaris RZR Pro with Method MR401 wheels

What To Focus On During the Break In Period For Your New Machine

When it comes to any powersports machine, there is definitely a break in period that you need to adhere to - now, some guys will break their machines in really hard, and some will baby it the whole time, and others do a mix of both. And obviously, there are a lot of different things to get warmed up before your machine is fully ready to go, so we want to touch on the top three to keep an eye on: Brakes, Engines, and the Drive Belt.

How To Break In ATV and UTV Brakes

When it comes to brakes, most manufacturers will recommend that for about the first 50 braking points you'll do, that you just take them lightly. Don't get really high speed and slam on the brake or smash it - just some light braking to a stop is all you really need to do here, which makes this a pretty simple braking period.

How To Break in the Drive Belt on your ATV or UTV

Now it's time to break in your belt, and this is probably the one that we'd most recommend to stick to a process, as it's definitely important. It's a singular rubber belt at the end of the day, and rubber does have its quirks, mostly about heat. When it comes to breaking in the belt, it's mostly about heat and doing the right procedure is important here.

This means that you'll need to break in your drive belt around 5 to 10 miles at a time at a low gear and varying speeds. It needs to cool, then it needs to heat up, then cool down again - it can't get too hot, and that's the big thing. If you get rubber too hot, you'll start having problems with the belts, so keep your ATV in a low gear, vary the speeds a bit, and within an hour your belt should be good to go.

How to Break In Your ATV or UTV's Engine

Now for the big one - it's the engine break-in. When it comes to your engine, the biggest reason that you'll need to break that in is that there is cross-hatching on the cylinder walls, and the piston rings need to seal to those cylinder walls to create a nice seal. That's the biggest thing with that, but some people think that you should baby your engine during that time, while others thing that you should drive it the way that you normally would. Others adhere to a "drive it like you stole it" principle to get the rings sealed, but whatever you do, one thing is super important: Change your oil.

You need to change your oil during the engine break-in period because if there are any metal flakes, specks, or anything from the machining process that are left in the motor, an oil change is gonna help get that out. So, get your fresh oil in and get ready to ride the trails.

2021 Polaris RZR XP 1000 with OEM wheels


Read More: What Are The Best Performance Mods For Your ATV or UTV?


Shop Wheels and Tires For Your ATV or UTV at Function Powersports

Once you've got your machine ready for the trails, you'll want to get a good set of wheels and tires to help you keep moving forward with control, performance, and of course, great looks. So, check out our store and build your wheel and tire package today - shipping is free to the lower 48, so there's no reason not to!