I have a 84 Honda XL350R.

I know redlining a dirt bike is not good, but what about lugging in a high gear?

When I say lugging I mean lugging.(no throttle whatsoever, can say the 4 stroke cycle suck,squeeze,bang,blow, as the engine runs.) I was just doing this to see if the bike would stall and I was impressed, also when I do this (which I do rarely so) I go from 1st gear to 4th with no throttle.

I know this cant be good but will it hurt my bike?

  • Lugging is bad in any gear, you're putting high stress on the engine. Jun 10, 2016 at 8:54
  • there are a couple questions here about lugging engines. You are typically considered to be lugging when you are so low RPM that giving it throttle will not cause it to accelerate. As long as you can accelerate you should be fine. The problem with heavy throttle at low RPM with no acceleration is you heat up the engine and the oil.
    – rpmerf
    Jun 10, 2016 at 10:58

1 Answer 1


Your oil pressure is lower

I think the big issue with lugging is a considerably lower oil pressure along with high load. You don't want your connecting rod breaking the hydrodynamic lubrication layer of oil between your connecting rod and crank pin thereby causing damage to the bearing and the pin. This could cause permanent engine damage.

Doing this at idle could be just fine as the load is relatively low but as @rpmperf indicated in the comments, if you give the bike gas and open the throttle and the engine is unable to pull you forward and accelerate then you are getting into dangerous territory of high load and low oil pressure which can cause the damage you are concerned about.

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