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Old 6 Feb 2009
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BMW F650 valves / shims


I'm in Thailand (Chiang Mai at the moment) and just checked my valves. One of them is a bit tight (0.08, should be between 0.10 and 0.15).

BMW Chiang Mai don't have ANY shims in stock, and neither does Bangkok. Ordering them in takes 45 days (shame on you, BMW - this is a standard service part!!)

Question now is: Should I be able to get to Kuala Lumpur (about 4000km I reckon) without worries, or am I gonna potentially damage the engine?

Or can I maybe skim down the shim (micrometer available here)? I've got a 2005 Dakar, and the shims are underneath/inside the bucket. Local mechanic advised against this because I would damage the hardening layer. Is that true?

Thanks a lot
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Old 6 Feb 2009
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I aint 100% sure about this, and it was a Suzuki, that I had in Thailand last winter... but they said in Pattaya, that if I´d need, they could order me original spareparts from Singapore in a few days. Luckily I did not need any, so I dont know, how ´original´ those would have been... later on, I did find a genuine Suzuki oil filter in Johor Bahru (next to Singapore on Malaysia side).

Anyway, 45 days sounds too much. Last November, my friend got a new fuel pump for his 1150GS, from Finland to Chile, in just two days (probably not cheap at all, but he needed it quick, cos the bike was dead without it!)

Since there are 2 types of BMW F650GS bikes these days - single and twin - and they have very little in common, I´d advice to always notify, which one you´ve got, when ordering spares, or even discussing anything remotely related to maintenance (and sorry I dont have any experience servicing either one!)

Edit. pardon me - just saw you mention its a 2005, so it must be a single then! From 2008 onwards, it´ll still be essential to know, which model we´re talking about.
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Old 6 Feb 2009
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Shim grinding is less of an issue with shim under bucket as there is no cam acting directly on the shim itself, if works on the bucket, the shim is basically a spacer. As long as the ground shim is level, you should be okay. Measure with a Micrometer & not a Vernier.

Might be worth asking on Chaingang or Advrider to see if shims from another bike might fit i.e. Aprilia & V-Rod shims are the same size as those in KTM's 950/990 v-twins?
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Old 6 Feb 2009
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I've been surface grinding under the bucket shims for my Lotus twin cam engine to get exact sizes for about 20yrs without any problems.
Your biggest problem is going to be getting them exactly flat without some serious workshop equipment.
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Old 6 Feb 2009
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Hi Bjorn, I am in Chiang Mai now as well. Will PM my contact info. I want to have my valves/shims checked before heading off towards Europe. Hope to meet up for a . Hook.
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Old 7 Feb 2009
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2005 model is a twin spark (I think since 2004 they are twin). Also: shims inisde the buckets = twin spark.

Problem is solved now: there are 3 different valve shim specs in various repair manuals. Latest ones have bigger clearance limits than the old ones, so I'm perfectly within the limits (0.03 - 0.11 for ingoing, 0.25-0.33 for outgoing)

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Old 11 Feb 2009
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Hi Bjorn,
Next time you need a shim there is chance you can swap the shim from another valve to bring it into spec.

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Old 15 Feb 2009
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Shim availability

For anyone following this link with an F650:

When I tried to order shims in Malaysia there were none available. They order overnight from Johor Baru - (BMW´s Asia Pacific hub). An order would have to come from Germany. I got the same story in Australia believe it or not. This may be a size specific issue so it´s worth knowing what size shim is on which valve so you can plan ahead.

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