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Ever wondered what's involved in checking valve clearances on a sportsbike?

Discussion in 'Technical and Troubleshooting Torque' started by robsalvv, May 25, 2010.

  1. Major services typically include a valve clearance check. Ever wondered what's involved?

    Have a gander at this: http://www.calamarichris.com/zx9r/valveadj1.htm
  2. Nup, never wondered. 'Cause I know EXACTLY what's involved and what actually gets done at service time. Due to the fact that I've serviced every single bike I've owned in the last 27 years.

    By the way -thats a pretty damn small airbox for a 900cc sportsbike.
  3. Yeh, but kwaka are ram air specialists, so it's all good. :)
  4. I thought valve adjustments on _my_ bike were involved... o_O No wonder my old workmate was always whinging about paying bucketloads for his kwaka's services... IIRC there are some really expensive parts? rockers? chains?
  5. You just cured me of ever buying an inline 4.
  6. LOL @ Mole. I love my inline 4 :)
  7. yeh actually I have. I was planning on doing one myself before the year was up just to find out how. I think I'll just let the workshop do them until I actually know what I'm doing.
  8. I am going to give it a go eventually. CBR600F with 73,000kms. Pretty sure the valve clearence check is due soon. The difficulty is obtaining shims. they are VERY expensive!
  9. Farking hell talk about A LOT of work. I reckon that would take me days if not a week to do. If I could it at all that is.
  10. Hey Cam, did the pics get you nostalgic?? :)
  11. Yes they did. The ZX9 is quite a beast. :D
  12. I have a 2002 CBR600F4i (32,000km), the valve clearances of which were checked by my mate and myself 3 weeks ago. While my mate is well versed in rebuilding engines so he knew what to do, I don't think I would have had too much trouble checking the clearances myself.

    The key to all this is:

    - if you have the service manual (I printed mine out and binded it in A5 format), have a go ...

    - if you can change spark plugs on the bike, it's only one extra step to expose the cam lobes and stick the feeler gauges in there to check the clearances ...

    - you just need a spanner to turn the crank for every check, so the cam lobes rotate into position to check the clearances

    Basically, if you're mechanically adept, have a go ...

    Thing to watch out for:

    - make sure all the tubes to the fuel tank (at the bottom) go back in correctly - I would suggest tagging them in some way

    - make sure you plug the 4 air intake ports with rags etc while you're checking the clearances.

    So I say ... open the service manual, have a go ... I can't tell you how good it feels to know the clearances are fine (and the cam chain tensioner lifter changed for good measure), and I can now open the throttle ...
  13. Yikes, what a process. How long would it take to do once you've got the hang of it ?

    Times like these I'm happy to have a DR650. Not only does my licence thank me, but it takes just 10 minutes to do the valve clearances when she is already stripped naked.
  14. How long?

    Well that depends on how familiar you are with dismantling all the fairings, air box cleaners etc - I'm so adept at it now that took me about 15mins, the valve checks itself was about 30-45mins, but that's first time. Also, when one enjoys these things, time just flies ....
  15. Really ? Less than an hour ? I suppose that once you know how all the bits fit together it would be alot quicker than it looks on paper.
  16. It can't be that hard to design a hydraulic lifter that sits where the bucket and shim goes and weighs no much more.

    Either that or bring back screw and lock nuts. I don't give a rats if that limits revs to about 12,000 rpm.
  17. I used to do valve clearances on my 1975 Chrysler Galant - that was a 20minute job when dawdling! Pity it's not that for sports bikes.
  18. No they are not. You simply take your old shims into the Honda dealer with you and they will most likely swap them for free for the size you require. For all the crap people spout about Peter Stevens, I have found them most helpful and accommodating both times I have required shims. It may help that I take my own Micrometer with me and actually have some clue what I need and what I'm talking about. Usually they just point to the box of shims and leave me to it.

    Depends on the bike. I usually set aside a whole day for the process. (A nice sunny wind free day makes it a rather pleasant exercise if you wheel your bike outside so there's plenty of light to see what you're doing.)
    This gives me plenty of time to strip the whole bike (VFR400R requires it 'cause the rear cylinders are hiding under the seat) measure twice, then double check, take a leisurely drive into town to exchange shims if it's required, then button it all back up. Because the motor has been opened up, and I've removed the radiators for better access, I'll change the oil, oil filter, coolant, spark plugs, check the air filter and if it's been a while I'll replace the brake fluid whilst I'm at it. If some of your clearances were way out, it certainly won't hurt to balance your carbs for a nicer idle.
    Then you can quite happily relax in the knowledge the your bike is in top operating condition for the next 24,000kms -being a Honda. Except if the regulator rectifier decides to randomly shit itself for no apparent reason -being a Honda.
  19. He is very anal about cleaning. With all the crapping on about owning so many feeler gauges and he is not even using offset ones perfect for that job.
  20. To think the bastard mechanic I used to use quoted "minimum $900, at least 6 hours labor plus parts" for a valve clearence check on my GS500...Same mechanic that charged me 6.5 hours labor to install a clutch, a 1 hour job at my new mechanic.