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ORV Break-In


Vehicle Break-In Period

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. To determine the exact break-in period of your vehicle, refer to your Owner’s Manual. Perform the following break-in procedures carefully. 


Notice: Excessive heat build-up during the initial hours of operation will damage close-fitted engine parts and drive components. Do not operate at full throttle or high speeds during the break-in period. Use of any improper oils may cause serious engine damage.


Engine and Drivetrain Break-In

  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. Avoid aggressive use of the brakes.
  4. Vary throttle positions. Do not operate at sustained idle.
  5. Pull only light loads.
  6. Perform regular checks on fluid levels, controls and areas outlined on the daily pre-ride inspection checklist.
  7. During the break-in period, change both the oil and the filter at engine hours specified in your Owner’s Manual.
  8. Check fluid levels of transmission and all gearcases after the engine hours specified in your Owner’s Manual. It is a good rule of thumb to check levels every 100 engine hours thereafter.


Brake System Break-In

Apply only moderate force to the brakes during the break-in period. Aggressive or overly forceful braking when the brake system is new can damage brake pads and rotors.


Belt Break-In

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 belt intake and outlet duct and from the clutch and engine compartments when replacing the belt. 

  • Standard Belt Break-In: Drive at slower speeds during the designated break-in period. Carry only light loads. Avoid aggressive acceleration, high-speed operation and prolonged operation at a specific RPM during this period.
  • Sand/Dune Belt Break-In: Drive in low gear for the initial miles of operation. Avoid prolonged low-speed operation at high throttle. Avoid aggressive acceleration, high-speed operation, and prolonged operation at a specific RPM during this period. 


Youth Models

The youth off-road vehicle break-in period is generally shorter than the break-in period for a full-size vehicle. Similarly, youth break-in hours and miles vary by brand and model.


Electric Vehicle Break-In

For electric ATV and UTV models, pay attention to the brake system break-in section of your Owner’s Manual. Make sure to practice proper battery maintenance on your electric off-road vehicle.


Note: The provided information is a general guideline. A full list of break-in procedures, new operator driving procedures, and maintenance intervals specific to your vehicle can be found in your Owner's Manual. Polaris owners can access Owner’s Manuals by logging in to their RideReady account.


RideReady provides mobile, transport, or drop-off service options for off-road vehicles. To learn more about the RideReady program, access our frequently asked questions.