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  #1  
Old 6 Mar 2012
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Valve Adjustment Interval

I adjusted my valves to the max clearance back in October (10,000 miles ago). I know the manual says that the valve clearance should be checked every 6,000 miles; however, when I did mine a friend helped me and supposedly I don't have to worry about them for a "long time." My question is: how long do you think a "long time" is and when should I check them again? [I also emailed him but I haven't recieved a reply yet so figured I would try this and see what you think.] Thanks.
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  #2  
Old 6 Mar 2012
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Er, what bike is it?

I would set to middle of clearance as with wear on the top end, clearances will open up if that exceeds valve seat wear.

Just check 'em every 10k - it ain't hard.
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  #3  
Old 7 Mar 2012
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For KLR 650 I find you can go 20,000km (12,000 miles) before the valve clearances change enough to warrant re-setting them

Hope this helps.
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  #4  
Old 12 Mar 2012
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On The Road

Thanks for the replies guys. It's a KLR 650 '07... sorry, I just assumed it was a KLR thread but that was a bold assumption.

Anyway, I'm on the road and that's why it's kind of pain to find a place to check them- I don't really trust mechanics. Looks like they're due so I'll find a place to check them... maybe in Sao Paulo.

Thanks again!
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  #5  
Old 13 Mar 2012
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I set up my 2000 KLR 650 to the loose end of spec at 10,000 miles. I t now has 66,000 on it, and while I've checked them several times, I haven't had to adjust them in all that time. They have closed up some, but still in spec. I would just ride it, unless you piling up serious miles.
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  #6  
Old 13 Mar 2012
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My KLR needed valve shims changed around 10,000, again around 70,000 miles. I checked frequently at first, less often after. Contrary to advice given in #2 above, always adjust to the loosest possible spec, not the middle of the range.

You'll notice that some seem to need adjusting more often than others. I don't know what the difference is (Different riding styles? Gas or oil? Engine? Altitude?), but once I got used to things I continued to check every 10 or 15k miles, just in case.

Mark
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  #7  
Old 13 Mar 2012
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"Contrary to advice given in #2 above, always adjust to the loosest possible spec, not the middle of the range. "

Why, exactly?

Depends on riding style, oil, oil change interval, fuel etc etc.

I don't normally dissent with your opinions, Mark, but I disagree with this one as it is erroneous - IMHO, of course!

Open to the floor..... what does TouringTed think?
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  #8  
Old 13 Mar 2012
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Better to check them too often than not often enough....
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  #9  
Old 13 Mar 2012
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Mines an 09.Easy to check takes only 20-30 minutes once you've done it a few time. Mine have change .001 on one valve (left intake I think) over the past 28,000 miles. I still check them at 6-7 thousand miles. I've seen some KLRs that tighten .002-.003 every 5 thousand miles. Go figure. I'm not sure what the difference is but engine load is probably a factor.
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  #10  
Old 13 Mar 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Docsherlock View Post
Why, exactly?
Because:

1. It works, as proven to my satisfaction by the fact that KLR's seem to run on and on without need for top end work of any sort for--commonly--100k miles/160k km.

2. It's easy, saving maybe one valve shim change out of two.

Is there more to it than that? Does setting to the loose end of the spec actually harm anything? Is there a theoretical reason why it might? Does anyone have direct experience of a time when it did? Are their specific circumstances when this shouldn't be done, e.g., if you like to accelerate hard, lug the engine, ride at high altitude or drop the bike during deep river crossings? I'm willing to learn.

I did meet a Canadian rider in Brazil who had his valves adjusted far looser than spec somewhere along the way by a "mechanic" who told him not to worry because they'd tighten up over time. His bike sounded terrible, and it's not something I would have done. I never did hear whether anything bad came of it.

Mark
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  #11  
Old 13 Mar 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Docsherlock View Post
"Contrary to advice given in #2 above, always adjust to the loosest possible spec, not the middle of the range. "

Why, exactly?
Every OHC engine I have ever worked on has had the valves tighten, not loosen over time. The theory is that the valves sink themselves into the seat quicker than any other wear takes place. Ergo, I set them to the loosest spec, assuming they will close up. I have had pushrod engines, car and bike, open up. Just more wear points? I don't know. YMMV.

FWIW, I make it a practice to not run the enigne over 5000 RPM for extended periods.
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Last edited by AndyT; 13 Mar 2012 at 19:11. Reason: added engine speed note
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  #12  
Old 14 Mar 2012
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Fair enough.

Long distance riders will likely find that valve clearances close up, stop-starters that they open or close with no pattern.

I've always set to the middle and sometimes have to adjust, but it ain't a big deal.

YMMV, of course.

In my area of work we tend not to base practice on studies of one or two cases, but that is not to say that anecdote is not useful or educational and if it works for you and your riding style, more power to you.
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Old 14 Mar 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Docsherlock View Post
Long distance riders will likely find that valve clearances close up, stop-starters that they open or close with no pattern.....In my area of work we tend not to base practice on studies of one or two cases, but that is not to say that anecdote is not useful or educational
Just to clarify: as I understand it we're all talking about KLR's. I own two, one of which I've had for a lot of miles (and valve checks). I've also talked with a lot of KLR owners about valve clearances, and participated for years in the DSN KLR forum, which includes many long-term KLR riders, vendors and mechanics.

I've not heard anyone describe valve clearances becoming looser, no matter what the riding style. Nor have I heard anyone articulate a rationale for setting valves at mid-spec which is based on experience or mechanical process. That places me somewhere in the netherland beyond "studies of one or two cases." I sure don't consider myself to have settled the issue to the standards of scientific inquiry--control groups, double blind evaluation by disinterested observers, elimination of confounding variables, publication in peer-reviewed journals, etc.

When I get a chance I'll ask in the DSN KLR forum. Just to make sure I've got this right, are you saying you've seen your KLR valves (or someone else's) loosen with use after being set and checked cold? I'm not trying to be snide: I'm hoping not to make a fool of myself by misrepresenting your report.

Mark
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  #14  
Old 14 Mar 2012
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I'm not trying to be snide: I'm hoping not to make a fool of myself by misrepresenting your report.

Mark[/QUOTE]

Not taken as snide, don't worry; I welcome debate and discussion. To answer your question, I have never serviced a KLR as they stopped selling them in Europe quite some time ago. My stance on bucket and shim valves is based on various other Kawasaki models such as kz650, 750 and GPz550, Suzuki cross the frame fours - GS550, GSX750 (might have had scre and locknut, can't remember) and GS1000 and a Yamaha CTF four; so I accept my experience is clearly not as relevant as yours.

In short, you may have a point. But I'll be setting the clearances on my XT660Z to mid-way, although with screw and lock nut tappets they are a doddle to adjust.

I agree that setting the valve clearances too wide is bad medicine.
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