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I have a 2012 kLR that has reached 600 miles. When I bought it new the salesperson pushed the maintenance agreement and justified it by telling me the first two services almost pay for it. According to him, Kawasaki now recommends the first oil change at 200 mi. and then at 600 mi.

The 200 mi. service totaled $456.00 and indicated 3 hrs. of labor, not cheap but I had the service agreement. The salesperson also indicated the Kawasaki now required that valve clearance be checked at 600 mi. As that's pretty in depth it also helped sell me on the MA. Today I go in to get the work done and the cost is $32.50, basically an oil/filter change and basic checks. That's what the manual says, and the service people couldn't find anything otherwise.

I confronted the salesperson about this and he stated that the sales manager gets this info. and passes it down to the sales force (sounds fishy) I asked him to have that person call/email me with any direction that Kawasaki has given regarding checking the valve clearance on KLR's at 600 mi. Since I had the MA, the service dept. person basically said "You're a VIP with the MA, if you want us to do it we will." I do appreciate that.

Long story short, should the valve clearance be checked at 600 miles? The owners manual says 15k or two years. What say you?
 

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I would check it right now... That does not mean taking it to Kawi to have them do it as they will not. I would do the work myself as I have personally seen a bike with your mileage with tight exaust valves. I would NEVER trust a dealer to work on my bike:t1204:. You need to find a T-day and have someone walk you through this simple task.
 

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There are a lot of guys on here with more experience with valves, but this is mine:

My manual called for checking the valves at 15K. After joining this forum I determined,, based on what others said, that 15K was way too long to wait. I checked mine at about 6,000 miles. I believe one exhaust valve was completely out of spec (tight), the other exhaust valve was at the lower limit and both intake valves were more than halfway to the "tight" side. I'm too lazy to go get my work sheet right now.

I'd noticed one of the symptoms of the bike taking longer/being harder to start. So, at 6,000 miles, they were obviously due a check.

I don't know about the 600-mile interval. I was going to say it seemed unnecessary, but just noted BUGKLR posted that he's seen a KLR at those miles with tight valves.

I don't know if Kawasaki will do it now under your maintenance agreement or not, but if you plan on keeping your KLR for a long time and that agreement runs out, you'll have to do it again yourself or pay them to do it.

Trust me, if I can do it, anybody can. It's a simple task. Paying somebody to do it is a waste of money and it's actually very satisfying to do it yourself. When I had questions about shim dimensions, where to get them, cam chain/timing issues, I popped on here and had my answers in no time. I used a Clymer manual and overall it was sufficient, but didn't address a couple of things I needed to know during reassembly. The only special tools you need are a feeler gauge and a couple of torque wrenches as far as I can recall. The biggest PITA is getting the fairings off and back on.
 

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I had a Kawi ZZR600, salesman said to check the valves a 600m. I spoke with a friend who worked at a Kawi shop and he said all they do at the 600m check is change the oil as well as look over the bike, (not check mind you) for any blatant loose nuts or issues. I didn't plan on keeping the bike for a long time so i didn't care. Regarding my KLR, which i want to get 100K miles out of, I have 6256 miles on it and like Planalp, my manual (as well as the dealer I bought it from said they are good until 15Km). He showed me his KLR so I know he does ride one... and I do trust the dealer a bit as their mechanic is a little anal and proved it to me when i bought the bike(only the one dealer out of 5 we have around here though) but prefer to do my own work so I know what is done.

However, key point here, I do not trust the fact that the valves will be good for 15Km and plan on checking as well as adjusting if necessary, later this month when i get my SW motechs and have to pull the tank off anyhow. I planned on a few vaca days for this as i ride my bike daily. I have not had any problems with idle, start up ( unless you consider giving it gas at start up a problem) or power, and I ride a lot of high RPMs for the KLR (5000+ rpms twice daily). I do have to add oil occasionally, and actually added about a half Liter tonight after putting 500+ miles of 6000+ rpms on the bike in the last 1000m but i understand that a single, running constant high rpms may chew the oil like i chew tobacco. I will post after i check with what i found. I have a 2011 KLR (blue of course as they are the fastest) with 6256m on it, a 16t front sprocket, thermobob and EM doohickey as well as torsion spring. I am just trying to lay as much info out there as i can fr you Wren as I am seriously OCD about my bike and want to make sure you have all info available to make a proper decision that calms your OWN conscience.
 

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I asked this same question awhile back. Maybe this thread will be of use: As noted, checking them is a very simple job. Adjusting them isn't much work either, but at least if you just measured them you'd know where you stood. Unless I'm mistaken, no messing with the timing chain or cam caps to check the clearance: basically just take off the gas tank, unbolt and move the radiator fan, unhook whatever lines/wires are attached to the cylinder head cover, pull it off, set the engine to TDC and stick a feeler gauge in there between the four shims and cam lobes to see where you stand.

http://www.klrforum.com/archive/index.php/t-11110.html
 

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...

I have not had any problems with idle, start up ( unless you consider giving it gas at start up a problem) or power, and I ride a lot of high RPMs for the KLR (5000+ rpms twice daily). I do have to add oil occasionally, and actually added about a half Liter tonight after putting 500+ miles of 6000+ rpms on the bike in the last 1000m but i understand that a single, running constant high rpms may chew the oil like i chew tobacco. I will post after i check with what i found.

...

I'll bet your valves are tight. The bike should start with 2-3 turns of the starter without giving it gas when they are in spec.

Guess Kawasaki didn't fix the oil burning on the Gen 2s! No, it's normal to burn oil no matter how you ride. 6k rpms for 500 miles? That would be what 85+ mph for 7 hours? No police up there? :28:
 

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I'll bet your valves are tight. The bike should start with 2-3 turns of the starter without giving it gas when they are in spec.:
This is what I noticed immediately when I began starting the KLR after I did my valves: almost instantaneous starting compared to before.
 

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I checked my '09 at 600 miles and at least one of mine was at the tight end of the specs so I went ahead and adjusted them to the loose end of the specs. Glad I checked it at 600 instead of waiting. Its a great way to get acquainted with your bike. After that, you'll be a lot more confident with projects in the future. YouTube has lots of videos on KLR repairs. A Clymer manual is great for reference, too. Between them and this forum, you should be covered. Good luck.
 

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Spec, thank you for the heads up, thats been on my mind based upon my research and is why I took some days off this month. The mileage is aggregate out of the last thousand. Yes there are cops up here but they don't seem to think my bike can go that fast since its a KLR, and I also use the varying of speed in relation to those around me to always just appear a little bit faster even if it's a lot. A good cop can pick it out but most are so reliant on their radars now that it tends to be a moot point.


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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for the replies. I'll have the valve clearance checked in the next 1000 miles when I get the oil changed again. I think I said this in my OP, but the dealership was not hesitant to check the valve clearance for me if I wanted, due to having the MA, but I was picking up my bike with my trailer etc. and didn't want to leave it there, plus I didn't want to make work if it wasn't needed.

The KLR starts up with 4-5 chugs, although I've had a handful of backfires, i.e. less than five, it runs fine.
 

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The first check on mine was done at 10k miles. (Previous owner may have checked them before, but I doubt it based on my later findings.) I did it because I had to pull the cam cover to reseat the gasket. Three of the four valves were out of spec. I set them, then checked at 25k and 35k and they are still in spec.

It's such an easy job on the KLR to check them, that I'd be hesitant to pay anyone to check them. It is a bit more work to adjust them, requires a bit more knowledge and skill, but still far easier than most street bikes. My C14 is a full day worth of work to check clearances, and so help me if they have to be adjusted, where as the KLR can be done in the morning, and still have plenty of time left over to go ride a hundred miles to lunch.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
It's such an easy job on the KLR to check them, that I'd be hesitant to pay anyone to check them. It is a bit more work to adjust them, requires a bit more knowledge and skill, but still far easier than most street bikes. My C14 is a full day worth of work to check clearances, and so help me if they have to be adjusted, where as the KLR can be done in the morning, and still have plenty of time left over to go ride a hundred miles to lunch.
I've got a 3/36 MA so I don't have to do it myself. The bike runs great so far, so I'll wait another 1k and tell them to check the clearance at that time.

Wren
 

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FWIW,
I checked mine last week.
I'm pretty sure that they have never been checked before, PO wasn't the spanner weilding type.
The bike has now done 10,000 klm.
I got the following:
Left Ex. 0.19, Right Ex. 0.20, Left Int. 0.13, Right Int. 0.13. Measurements in mm.
That puts the exhausts in the middle of spec. and the intakes at the tighter end but still within limits.
I'm happy I did it and am confident that I can leave the cover on for another 10k or until there is some other reson to take it off in which case i'll check 'em again.
I gratefully acknowledge the help from members of this forum and that wonder of the modern age, the mechanic with the time and patience and expertise to do the job and film it and post it on Youtube.
iddy.
 

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Checking mine at 12000 kms and found one intake at .08 with the spec between .10 and 0.20 mm. I did notice it was hard to start but I am not a mechanic so I didn't know that was a symptom of a tight valve. Looking forward to getting it back together to see the difference ( had to order the shims)
 

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FWIW,
I checked mine last week.
I'm pretty sure that they have never been checked before, PO wasn't the spanner weilding type.
The bike has now done 10,000 klm.
I got the following:
Left Ex. 0.19, Right Ex. 0.20, Left Int. 0.13, Right Int. 0.13. Measurements in mm.
That puts the exhausts in the middle of spec. and the intakes at the tighter end but still within limits.
I'm happy I did it and am confident that I can leave the cover on for another 10k or until there is some other reson to take it off in which case i'll check 'em again.
I gratefully acknowledge the help from members of this forum and that wonder of the modern age, the mechanic with the time and patience and expertise to do the job and film it and post it on Youtube.
iddy.

The motor runs better with the valves at the max end of the spec. Noisier but better!
 

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Spec,
thanks for the reply. Your advice is noted, for now I am happy to have established a baseline.
I understand from my reading on this forum that as the miles rack up on these things the gap decreases, that is, the clearance gets tighter as the valves wear in. I guess next time I check 'em they will be tighter still and I fully expect to do some shim changing. This was kind of a practice run, I wanted to see how involved the process was.I got as far as doing the measurements but didn't lift the cams as I didn't have a torque wrench handy and the bolts that hold the cam journals ( I think that's what they're called) look a lot more critical than the cover bolts. It would have been nice to know what thickness was in there so that I could order them in advance. The local dealer was a bit vague when I rang to ask what they had in stock so I am not filled with confidence that I'll be able to swap them over in a day if I just slap the old one on the counter and ask for the next size down.
I'm planning a big trip for October and part of the preparation will be a full inspection and service. Probably do them then when the tank is off.
iddy
 

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I've got a 3/36 MA so I don't have to do it myself. The bike runs great so far, so I'll wait another 1k and tell them to check the clearance at that time.

Wren
As iddy noted above, you can't tell what size shims are in there unless you remove the cams and shims.

The shop won't know either, unless they have to adjust them but, if they do an adjustment, I would ask for the sizes/locations of the shims that are in it.

Knowing what size shims are in there would be handy if you ever have to do it yourself in the future.
 

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Keep in mind if your Kaw dealer doesn't have the size you need in stock a BMW dealer will and they will be cheaper! I was told by two local Kaw dealers the shims had to be ordered and were $14 apiece, I went to a BMW dealer and they were in stock for $6 apiece


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More miles and smiles for all!
 

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The motor runs better with the valves at the max end of the spec. Noisier but better!
From what I understand is that the original valve shim in the bike is a 2.65 mm (265) and I think the next one is a 2.55m (255), or can you get a 2.60? If you cannot get a 260 and you try in install a 255, it would put the bike beyond the maximum spec (If the reading is .13mm and the spec is .10 to .20mm, the new value would be 0.23mm) provided the original 265 shims are in the bike.

I would go another few thousand kms before checking again....
 

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From what I understand is that the original valve shim in the bike is a 2.65 mm (265) and I think the next one is a 2.55m (255), or can you get a 2.60? If you cannot get a 260 and you try in install a 255, it would put the bike beyond the maximum spec (If the reading is .13mm and the spec is .10 to .20mm, the new value would be 0.23mm) provided the original 265 shims are in the bike.

I would go another few thousand kms before checking again....
You can get a 260. I believe they start at around the 200 range and go up in "fives" all the way to 300 or above.

My original shims were two 265,s, one 270 and one 275. I was able to swap two around to different positions, but had to order two from Rocky Mountain ATV for $6 apiece: received them in two days.
 
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