Okay, When Should I Check My Valve Clearance? - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 06-28-2011, 04:44 PM Thread Starter
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Okay, When Should I Check My Valve Clearance?

I've read a lot about this, even seeing posts that say valve clearance is required to be checked at 500 miles.

According to my owner's manual, the first valve clearance check is called for at 15,000 miles if I'm reading it right, whatever (15) + (mile x 1000) means. I see nothing about it being done at 500 miles but I might be missing something.

What's the deal?



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post #2 of 11 Old 06-28-2011, 08:16 PM
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I don't know where they came up with the 15,000 mile thing. If my memory serves me correctly, the Gen1 had an earlier service interval.

At any rate, virtually all owners report that the valve clearance closes up with miles. Given that the consequences of a too-tight exhaust valve are a burnt valve, and that will necessitate pulling the head, I believe that the only safe answer is "Do it. Do it now!".

It's simple enough - pull the valve cover, roll it over till the cams are in the right location, and stick some feelers in there. If you are at least at the minimum clearance you have some time to plan for the whole job to be done.

Invest an hour in your peace of mind.

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post #3 of 11 Old 06-28-2011, 08:24 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the info. The 15,000 seemed kind of excessive to me. I've got about 3,000 on mine right now and have never checked them.



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post #4 of 11 Old 06-28-2011, 09:22 PM
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I would check them so you at least know where you are. I figure you will need to adjust them at around 10,000 if they are good now (middle of the spec).
If you can pull the shims out and record what you have in there you can order the shims you will need for when you have to make the actual adjustment.

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post #5 of 11 Old 06-29-2011, 03:25 AM
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I have a Black 09 with and checked the valves at tech day, 7500 min.
3 were out of spec and the 4th was close so we swapped them out.
My bud checked the valves on his new Blue 09 with 2200 on the clock
and all of were out of spec. He also did the Doo, it was ok but had no tension left for adjustment.
I found the same "no adjustment left" when I did my Doo at 2100mi.
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post #6 of 11 Old 06-29-2011, 06:52 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by klr4evr View Post
I would check them so you at least know where you are. I figure you will need to adjust them at around 10,000 if they are good now (middle of the spec).
If you can pull the shims out and record what you have in there you can order the shims you will need for when you have to make the actual adjustment.
Good idea. I'm going to take your advice and everybody else's and stop procrastinating on this. Obviously one of those cases where experience and wisdom trump the owner's manual, as I suspected all along.

I've got a Clymer's manual and all the tools. Anybody have any favorite online article/blog etc. that would be an aid in prepping for this?

Thanks again, everybody.



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post #7 of 11 Old 06-29-2011, 09:13 AM
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http://www.klr650.marknet.us/Valves.pdf

This is for the GEN I bike.....the body component removal will be different. You may have to adapt to your situation there.....the engine information applies, and that's what I would be paying attention to.

Hang on to this:

http://klr650.carguy.org/shims.html

Shim calculator.

Before I pulled it apart, I'd be snooping the neighborhood for shims. Why? Because every single time you pull those valve cover bolts out and re-torque them, they are silently screaming "STRIP ME". As many bolts and holes have been stripped with properly used torque wrenches as not. Go in, do your job, get out. This 29mm shim was used in the ice age KZ Kawasaki bikes, the two cylinder BMW K bikes, F650 BMW Thumpers, 2003 and older. The Yamaha Seca, Bombadier ATV and some others used this shim, including 1995 and older Ford Taurus SHO. There are kits for sale all over the internet. They offer a wide range of shims, most you'll never need or use. At four -6 bucks a pop, I ain't buying anymore than I need.

Chances are, you can swap shims from one bucket to another to gain some of the desired clearances. You might need one or two replacement shims. I'm too tight to lay out for a kit of 46 shims, 30 of which will never be useful for more than stabilizing a restaurant table leg.

Here's an example of an offered shim kit:

http://www.dual-star.com/index2/Bran...ve%20shims.htm

In my experience, the shim range used for adjustment on a KLR 650 are between 255 and 235. The rest of the kit is dead weight, at about twelve cents a gram. Having that on my shelf ranks right up there with the pride of owning blue sky....

I think its become a corporate policy for Kawasaki dealers to not even stock toilet paper. The chance of finding shims there are slim. An independent motorcycle repair shop may have their own kit, as the BMW's and KZ Kawa's required frequent adjustment, and was a standard, routine maintenance item. Usually a few bucks for their time of mic-ing and swapping will cover the cost. Have the shims mic'd. What is stamped on a used shim and what they are can be two different things. FYI: 29.5mm shims won't fit in the bucket. While the mic is out, check the diameter...

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post #8 of 11 Old 06-29-2011, 09:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vatrader View Post

...

Before I pulled it apart, I'd be snooping the neighborhood for shims. Why? Because every single time you pull those valve cover bolts out and re-torque them, they are silently screaming "STRIP ME". As many bolts and holes have been stripped with properly used torque wrenches as not. Go in, do your job, get out. This 29mm shim was used in the ice age KZ Kawasaki bikes, the two cylinder BMW K bikes, F650 BMW Thumpers, 2003 and older. The Yamaha Seca, Bombadier ATV and some others used this shim, including 1995 and older Ford Taurus SHO. There are kits for sale all over the internet. They offer a wide range of shims, most you'll never need or use. At four -6 bucks a pop, I ain't buying anymore than I need.

...

2nd time I needed shims I got the bright idea of lapping them down to the correct size. Something I learned case hardening is hard! I probably spent a good hour making figure eights on a piece of sand paper before I came to my senses, didn't change the thickness much at all.

Rocky Mt. sells shims for the KLR $6 ea. Yea it means that you have to take the bike apart to check and wait a few days for the shims or you could be sitting at the work bench making figure eights for a few days!

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post #9 of 11 Old 06-29-2011, 10:35 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks again for the info vatrader and everybody else. Information noted and filed.

I'll probably do this job this Winter when I can get the KLR in the basement where I can just leave it there and work on it at my leisure and have a well-lighted area. That way I only have to mess with the valve cover bolts once. I can just check it and then wait until I can get any shims if I need them.



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post #10 of 11 Old 06-30-2011, 02:34 PM
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I bought my 06 with 4600 on the clock...the original owner said the valves were done at 500 miles and again at 3000 miles...he said he took it in before the extended warrentee ran out...I don't trust the dealer did the 3K check.

So, I'm at 5600 miles now. The owners manual says to check them again at 6000 miles, and every 6K after that. I'll probably go to end of summer, take her down in the shop, mic and order if needed.

I do have a new to me 07 CB900 to help with ride time...
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