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2022 KLR650
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Unless the bottle of gentleman Jack calls my name this weekend, I plan to do a valve clearance check on my gen 3. I'd like to pull the swingarm pivot bolt and add some grease as well.
My main problem is I rarely clean my garage shop after a project so I'll end up spending an hour cleaning up prior to starting another project. It's a big character flaw... Funny thing is, I was never a messy worker until about 5 years ago. It must be a senior thing in my DNA.
Oh no he didn't.... now I gotta add a Pivot Bolt grease to my "To do List"! I've seen/read here of "mods" to this area to make it "more maintenance free". Things like grease fittings (Zerk's - little know fact, this is a company not a fitting name) and passages drilled. Any thoughts on "Mods"? Something like a Bel-Ray Waterproof Grease?

My problem is once I start, I can't stop! I'll have the whole thing torn apart because I didn't like how "they" did that...

And, yes.... it (mess) can be a senior thing! ;)

Willie
 

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2022 Kawasaki KLR 650 Gen 3
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212 Posts
Discussion Starter · #42 ·
Unless the bottle of gentleman Jack calls my name this weekend, I plan to do a valve clearance check on my gen 3. I'd like to pull the swingarm pivot bolt and add some grease as well.
My main problem is I rarely clean my garage shop after a project so I'll end up spending an hour cleaning up prior to starting another project. It's a big character flaw... Funny thing is, I was never a messy worker until about 5 years ago. It must be a senior thing in my DNA.
My GF calls it, the cleaning up of the garage..."getting ready to get ready!-
 

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I have never checked valve clearance on any bike I have ever owned and have never experienced any issues.
Sooner or later that lack of common maintenance will catch up to you on bikes with mechanical tappets.

Or do you trade them/sell them at the first hint of starting issues or running just a little ragged and let the next owner figure it out? :(
 

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2022 KLR650
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1,412 Posts
Just sold my 2014 klr with 30k miles, did nothing but change the oil, chain and tires. Didn't even change the coolant.
You got lucky…plain & simple.
There’s been some burnt-valved KLR’s with only 10,000mi on the odometer. All due to overly-tight valve shim clearances.

I’m all for the “ride more, worry less” mentality…but only after the valves have been checked of course :cool:
 
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2022 Pearl Lava Orange
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Well crap.
After an hour of loosening hoses, the radiator and the wiring harness, I was able to remove the valve cover. What a PITA.

So here's what I've found:
R Intake .13mm shim 2.65mm
L Intake .15mm shim 2.60mm
R Exhaust .15mm shim 2.60mm
L Exhaust .13mm Shim 2.60mm
I'm thinking I can use a 2.60mm for the right Intake putting me at mid spec but the exhaust are needing a smaller shim.


The exhaust are obviously needing some love. I plan to adjust all of them since I now know the cams need to be pulled.
It took me so long to organize my tools and clean the garage that I tossed a towel over the head and will tackle the shim removal tomorrow with a fresh set of eyes. Now It's time to watch football and relax.
 

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I decided to reuse a 2.60 shim for the R Intake and leave the L intake shim alone. This will leave the intakes at .18mm R and .15mm L. I ordered some 2.55 and 2.50 shims for the exhaust.
I won't be worrying about the clearance for 15,000 miles.
 

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KLRs: 2013, 2005, 1998; 2017 HD Electraglide Ultra
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Go for the maximum clearnaces and that will give you more time/wear before you need to adjust again, and more safety factor if you go too long before next adjustment. I strongly recommend that you install a 255 shim on the left intake, and put 250s on both exhausts.
 

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PeteK doesn't mind a little excess tappet 'clatter'.
He knows 'what it is' on his bikes, but he doesn't know how loose fitting or how snug your feelers may have been on those valves?
Neither do I.
 

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KLRs: 2013, 2005, 1998; 2017 HD Electraglide Ultra
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That's about the right way to do it. The upper end of the spec for exhaust valves is .010"/.25mm. If that was too much, Kaw wouldn't specify it. And it doesn't make my valves clatter. :giggle:
 

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The upper end of the spec for exhaust valves is .010"/.25mm.
But a loose fitting .010" is actually beyond specs being that a perfect, lightly snug .010inch is already .254mm.

And then if less familiar riders/customers hear a new tick, tick, tick from the RH exhaust and ask about it, someone will invariably / wrongly suggest that it is the KACR about ready to self-destruct and suggest permanently removing it.
Which then can lead to excessive starter clutch wear. Which eventually causes the starter clutch to slip / then grip creating god-awful noises and eventual starter clutch failure.

I'd rather adjust to a loose .008" or a perfect .009" or a lightly snug .010" on the exhaust valves of a customers bike than adjust to a loose .010" and have to explain this All Over Again! (Which I'll surely wind up doing anyways.)

We are not dealing with whimpy ignition point springs here, a little 'traction' on the feeler gauge is a good thing.
The camshaft bearing clearance is being held Down by the cam chain.

If we write our initial measurements as <.006" or .006 or >.006 it allows us to make a more accurate assessment of how a 2 sizes thinner shim will effect the re-adjusted clearance.
 

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But a loose fitting .010" is actually beyond specs being that a perfect, lightly snug .010inch is already .254mm.

If we write our initial measurements as <.006" or .006 or >.006 it allows us to make a more accurate assessment of how a 2 sizes thinner shim will effect the re-adjusted clearance.
So your suggestion is to adjust to middle spec? Not the loosest end of the spec because, there's too much variance in feeler gauge "feel" and one can easily end up with more clearance than the maximum clearance allowed?
 

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So your suggestion is to adjust to middle spec? Not the loosest end of the spec because, there's too much variance in feeler gauge "feel" and one can easily end up with more clearance than the maximum clearance allowed?
From the top half up to Maximum is the ideal. IF one winds up with a loose fitting .008" intake or .010" exhaust and You KNOW it Might be the reason for a slight tick, tick, tick that is fine.
Valve shims are only available in .05mm / .002inch increments. And most people Do Not have the proper equipment to thin those very Hard Shims and NOT Recommended at all.

I not only have to satisfy myself, but also my customers.

How finicky am I, my customers, yourself, PeteK or anyone else?
 
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