Go Back   Horizons Unlimited - The HUBB > Technical, Bike forums > Honda Tech

Honda Tech Honda Tech Forum - For Questions specific and of interest to Honda riders only. Questions comparing which bike is best etc go in the "Which Bike" forum.
Contact Overland Solutions for all your custom modifications and setup for overland travel.

LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 28 Sep 2011
Registered Users
HUBB regular
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Oregon; Qroo, Mexico
Posts: 76
XR250 Tornado valve clearance check... help

Hello, I'm hoping to find advice/help for checking the valve clearances on my Tornado 250. I've got the feeler gauges ready to go, and I think it's an easy procedure. But I've never done it, and I can't find any information... except I think the clearances should be:

intake .12mm
exhaust .14mm (or .16mm?)

The "certified Honda mechanic" (at a brand new dealership where I live in SE mexico) says he'll just "listen to the engine". I talked to him about using feeler gauges to check the valve clearances and he looked at me like I'm nuts. I think he doesn't want to, or maybe doesn't know how to check the valve clearances properly.

I'd do it myself if I could find any information on how to do it. Any help is appreciated, thanks!


ps- my tornado has 18.000 km and runs pretty good. The valves have never been checked.
Americas, '05-'06
RTW, poco a poco
Reply With Quote
Old 28 Sep 2011
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Bassett, Nebraska
Posts: 277
Hi Steven,

The Tornado has the same basic engine as the XR250 in the US. It is much easier to describe in pictures so I will point you to a pictorial essay on XR250 valve adjustment:

The Flight of the Platypus: Valve Adjustment

The main difficulties I had the first time I adjusted my XR250 is figuring out where top dead center is on the compression stroke, and getting the feeler gauges to fit into the inspection holes. While there are special made feeler gauges for the XR that are pre-bent, you can bend any feeler gauge to a 90 degree angle to fit in the confined space by folding and creasing it.

I can sympathize the difficulty of finding "espesores de calibre" (thickness gauge) in Mexico. I lost my feeler gauges years ago on a long trip to southern Mexico and ended up using a 100 peso note for the intake and a folded over note for the exhaust on my old beemer. Not recommended but it was okay at the time. This was years ago. Maybe they have feeler gauges in the bigger
Repuestos de motos (motorcycle parts store) these days.

Checking the pdf manual for your bike at:


it lists the valve clearances as .005 inch intake, .006 inch exhaust. That translates to .12 mm intake .15 mm exhaust in Mexican metric feeler gauge talk. So your above numbers are correct. The gauges you will be using are paper thin. If the tolerance is adjusted too loose, your bike will clatter like an old sewing machine. But it is better to err on the side of too loose than too tight. It sometimes takes a few tries to get the feeler gauge to glide through with just a little resistance since it tightens up slightly when you tighten down the locking nut.

It is not hard to do if you take your time. I wouldn't totally discount the Mexican mechanics ability to adjust by sound if he has a good feel for Honda Tornados. It's always better to do these things yourself and make sure it gets done right though. No better time to start than now.

Best luck!
John Downs
South America and back on a 250 Super Sherpa Minimalist Adventure http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=831076
Reply With Quote
Old 28 Sep 2011
Registered Users
HUBB regular
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Oregon; Qroo, Mexico
Posts: 76
thanks John... big help! I've got two sets of virgin feeler gauges ready to be broken in, a flat set and a bent set. I've just been waiting for a good tutorial, so this is great.

Americas, '05-'06
RTW, poco a poco
Reply With Quote
Old 28 Sep 2011
Contributing Member
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Seville (E) / Geneva (CH)
Posts: 530
In case it helps, a very good video of valve clearance adjustment for a bigger sister: Honda XR650L Valve Clearance Verification & Adjustment

Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 Registered Users and/or Members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Honda xr250 tornado 4sale anaconda moto TRAVEL Bikes for Sale / Wanted 1 20 Aug 2011 14:27
XR250 tornado ridesnotenough Which Bike? 2 11 Feb 2009 05:44
Valve Clearance hurdles tmotten Yamaha Tech 2 5 May 2006 04:39


HU DVD Summer Special!

Now that summer is here, get On the Road! Take 30% off the Achievable Dream - On the Road! 2-DVD set until August 31 only. Get On the Road! Learn the tips to staying healthy, happy and secure on your motorcycle adventure!

Our veteran travellers share their tips (and great stories) for staying healthy, happy and secure on your motorcycle adventure.

"A fantastic, informative and inspirational DVD."

"It's brilliant - thank you very much!"

Check it out at the HU Store! Remember to use Coupon Code 'ONTHEROAD' on your order when you checkout.

Renedian Adventures

What others say about HU...

"I just wanted to say thanks for doing this and sharing so much with the rest of us." Dave, USA

"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the DVD series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring! The new look of the website is very impressive, updated and catchy. Thank you so very much!" Jennifer, Canada

"...Great site. Keep up the good work." Murray and Carmen, Australia

"We just finished a 7 month 22,000+ mile scouting trip from Alaska to the bottom of Chile and I can't tell you how many times we referred to your site for help. From how to adjust your valves, to where to stay in the back country of Peru. Horizons Unlimited was a key player in our success. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world are in debt to your services." Alaska Riders

contest pic

10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!

NEW! HU 2014 Adventure Travel T-shirts! are now available in several colors! Be the first kid on your block to have them! New lower prices on synths!

HU 2014 T-shirts now in!

Check out the new Gildan Performance cotton-feel t-shirt - 100% poly, feels like soft cotton!

What turns you on to motorcycle travel?

Global Rescue, WORLDwide evacuation services for EVERYONE

Global Rescue is the premier provider of medical, security and evacuation services worldwide and is the only company that will come to you, wherever you are, and evacuate you to your home hospital of choice. Additionally, Global Rescue places no restrictions on country of citizenship - all nationalities are eligible to sign-up!

New to Horizons Unlimited?

New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!

Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80 G/S motorcycle.

Susan and Grant Johnson Read more about Grant & Susan's story

Membership - help keep us going!

Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.

You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.

Books & DVDs


All the best travel books and videos listed and often reviewed on HU's famous Books page. Check it out and get great travel books from all over the world.

Motorcycle Express for shipping and insurance!

Motorcycle Express

MC Air Shipping, (uncrated) USA / Canada / Europe and other areas. Be sure to say "Horizons Unlimited" to get your $25 discount on Shipping!
Insurance - see: For foreigners traveling in US and Canada and for Americans and Canadians traveling in other countries, then mail it to MC Express and get your HU $15 discount!

All times are GMT +1. The time now is 07:31.