PISTON RINGS:A QUICK GUIDE
A piston is the powerhouse of any motorcycle. It can be considered as the heart of any motorcycle. The piston drives the crank shaft connected with a connecting rod in forward direction therefore the vehicle moves. A piston resides inside the cylinder and moves up and down inside the cylinder due to combustion(igniting of the gasoline inside the cylinder). This moving of piston can increase the friction between cylinder walls and the piston which can lead to serious damage to the piston.But to reduce this effect a piston is equipped with circular metal rings that surround the piston.This rings are made up of cast iron and steel. The duty of piston rings is to save it from unusual friction between the cylinder walls and piston itself.
- Riding : When the motorcycle is new then it has a defined break in period for piston rings to settle down and seat well inside the cylinder. This break in period can be from 310 mile to 621 miles or more. You should refer to your motorcycle’s manual to find that limit. During this period the motorcycle should be handled very carefully, and should be ridden with normal speed at any cost. Over revving the engine between this limit is not recommended. Most beginners commit this mistake and they forget that this period decides the entire life of the motorcycle. So handle your motorcycle with care during this time. Ride slowly without giving much throttle and accelerate slowly.
- Starting The Engine : Do not use throttle while starting the engine and allow the engine to be idle for few minutes. The purpose is to let the engine oil circulate throughout the engine. If you follow this then you are saving the piston from much damage. What happens actually is that when you start a motorcycle the piston and the rings are out of lubrication, the oil takes some to reach the piston and lubricate it completely. As the engine is new you won’t get any cold start problems so there is no need to give throttle to start the engine.
Bad Effects If Motorcycle Is Not Handled Properly When The Engine Is New
- The seal between rings and cylinder walls will not be good.
- You may encounter harsh riding.
- You motorcycle engine may run more hotter.
What Happens To Rings Overtime
We have learned in chemistry why a metal is heated to become red hot. This is done to make the metal harder and stronger. But in case of a motorcycle the piston won’t get red hot due to presence of engine oil. Regular heating of aluminium(Al) piston and allowing it to cool make the metal even stronger and durable, so that you can ride at top speeds. This heating of aluminium metal changes its physical properties and performance is increase. So it is worth the wait to ride some miles and break in the piston rings before riding like a racer.
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