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Old 04-08-2008, 08:12 AM   #1
sarnali2
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Default Valve Adjustments

Has anyone ever had a valve go out of adjustment on a modern bike? I don't think I ever have, all the times I've taken them in or checked them myself they've been within spec. I've copied down the readings on 10k mile increments up to around 60k and other than minor variations which most likely were errors in reading the feeley gages there's no change. Just curious if anyone else had that experiance, are valve adjustments turning into nothing more than a cash cow for the service dept at you local motor-sikkle dealership?
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Old 04-08-2008, 08:47 AM   #2
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Has anyone ever had a valve go out of adjustment on a modern bike? I don't think I ever have, all the times I've taken them in or checked them myself they've been within spec. I've copied down the readings on 10k mile increments up to around 60k and other than minor variations which most likely were errors in reading the feeley gages there's no change. Just curious if anyone else had that experiance, are valve adjustments turning into nothing more than a cash cow for the service dept at you local motor-sikkle dealership?
You mean shim adjusters, right?

I had one valve go .001 out loose on my 81 KZ750 at about 53K miles. Aside from that I can't recall ever having to adjust a shimmed bike.

The old twirly types are a different story. Though those seldom need adjustment either if they are done and torqued properly. I think I adjusted about six valves on my GSX1100G in 70K miles. Even then they were only slightly over.

The only engine I can remember that had valves go tight were the VW air-cooled engines. Every bike engine I've ever had only went loose. While that may be non-optimum it isn't going to damage anything.

I got so that I only check them every 15K or so on any bike once I've set them and checked them a couple times. Too lazy to do them every 6K.

Are you worried about your Dyna? I suggest you check them every day!
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Old 04-08-2008, 09:09 AM   #3
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WTF? Isn't your bike equiped with hydraulic tappets?

Ditton on the Air Cooled VW motors, cylinder #3 has a tight exhaust valve most of the time, because on the pre-doghouse cooler motors, the oil cooler lays over No.3 and that cylinder runs hotter 'n the other three. Also, valve-seat recession is a problem on the VW boxer motor if it has rebuilt heads, always ran mine a 6 thousands. A little loose, but I had an Engle 120 with .50 lift and over 300 degrees duraiton.
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Old 04-08-2008, 09:21 AM   #4
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I have adjusted valves on bikes that are ridden quite hard or that have been poorly maintained. You get more wear to the valve seat (valve seat wear is the reason you adjust the valves) with aggressive riding and 25000 mile oil change intervals. Four and five valve per cylinder machines also require much less frequent valve adjustments due to the significantly lower mass of the small valves. Valves made of lightweight alloys like titanium extend valve servicing even further. (I believe some Yamahas specify 26,000 mile valve checks!)

I check valves on all my bikes at recommended intervals while the warranty is still valid. After that, I look about every 15000 miles (every 7500 on my 2-valve Ducati). I would learn to at least check the valve lash yourself. It's a pain on most bikes, but not difficult for those with some mechanical inclination.

Truth is, valve adjustments are rare, and the inspections do make for a big service department cash cow. But the severity of damage that can result and the diminished service life of the engine is the real reason manufacturers list fairly conservative adjustment intervals. Even slightly out of spec valves can eats years out of your valve train's service life.
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Old 04-08-2008, 09:58 AM   #5
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Actually I was thinking about the Suzuki, I adjust the valves on the Dyna every time I start it....

The last Bandit I had I was pretty anal about checking them and they never moved. This one has 17k on it so I was thinking I probably should at least look at them. The P.O. had them checked at 1k so I figure they're probably good from the start at least............It was just something I was running through my head while riding in this morning, I got to thinking I'd never known of the valves on a newer bike actually needing adjustment so why waste my time tearing stuff apart... by the way Pushrod Sir, 41 and raining..no electrics nice and cozy in my fleece liner and goretex outer suit...(snicker snicker)
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Old 04-08-2008, 10:14 AM   #6
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... by the way Pushrod Sir, 41 and raining..no electrics nice and cozy in my fleece liner and goretex outer suit...(snicker snicker)

Oh, hardy har-har!

Heck, even a Southerner like me could run in that for a half-hour! I was on that Sprint for 11-1/2 hours. It got chilly!
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Old 04-08-2008, 11:12 AM   #7
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Oh, hardy har-har!

Heck, even a Southerner like me could run in that for a half-hour! I was on that Sprint for 11-1/2 hours. It got chilly!

It was a whole hour thank you, and that's just ONE WAY...........


No, I agree 11 1/2 hours would be chilly, though I'd be so sore the cold wouldn't be an issue....
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Old 04-08-2008, 11:37 AM   #8
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41? Pushrod was getting out the electrics just thinking about it, much less riding in it!
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Old 04-09-2008, 08:23 AM   #9
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41? Pushrod was getting out the electrics just thinking about it, much less riding in it!


37 this morning, at least it wasn't raining...kinda' foggy though....still warm as toast, the weiner-pit windshield and fairing on the Bandit does a pretty good job of keeping the wind off your trunk. That makes a pretty big difference
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Old 04-09-2008, 10:01 AM   #10
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I have the naked Bandit and the thing doesn't block a bit of wind. Oh well. I did have a chance to put some miles on it though, and I'm impressed as hell with it. Fantastic bike for the money!
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