How do you know when it's time to do the valves? - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
General V-Strom Discussion Talk about all things V-Strom not limited to just one of the above models

LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 5 Old 06-01-2007, 10:14 AM Thread Starter
rhbell's Avatar
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Rideau Ferry, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 593
How do you know when it's time to do the valves?

Forgive this seemingly odd question. A little background is in order - I sling my own wrenches , and did so on my three previous bikes, but am by no means a qualified mechanic. I understand perhaps a little more than the basics but rely on scheduled maintenance intervals, shop manuals and advice to maintain my "toys" (Skidoos, ATVs, boats). This forum is terrific in helping me understand the "real world" aspects. I think you'd typify me as a sedate rider and mechanic -erring on side of caution. I check oil, lube chain and check things / adjust on a regular basis.

I must however be leading a sheltered life -I've never had a breakdown (so far) or anything remote to degraded performance (other than the muskrat that chewed my livewell hoses and sunk my boat!). I haven't adusted my chain yet in 5300 kms - even had to other biker s check as well as the dealer and nope - everythings within manual spec.

This makes me suspicious or at least doubtful of my own observations. My bike seems to run fine at all speeds. Other than the obvious things that break, poor gas mileage etc - I'm curious just how you tell when your valves need adjustment - what are the key symptoms to watch out for.

I'll be coming up to the initial check at the end of the summer after my BC trip and want to know what things I should watch / measure / listen for. I'm planning to buy my own shim kit if within reason since I plan on keeping the Strom as long as it wants me.

Appreciate the advice

Thanks and safe riding,


Necessity may be the mother of invention, but desperation is it's father........... (Bell)

'06 DL650
rhbell is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 5 Old 06-01-2007, 10:48 AM
bill l's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 719
If the valves are on the tight side there may not be any symptoms until it's too late so I check mine at the specified intervals. A loose valve will make a tapping sound from the top of the cylinder head that increases in frequency with rpm and may or may not noticably affect the performance, but will usually not harm the engine.

64 Hon cub 50, 67 Hon trail 90, 68 Yam 180 twin, 66 Hon 305 dream, 71 Yam 175 enduro, 73 Yam tx500, 70 Hon sl100, 75 Hon xl250, 79 Yam sr500 , 95 Kaw en500, 98 Hon cb750, 02 Yam fz1, 06 Suz dl650, 07 Hon ST1300


Last edited by bill l; 06-01-2007 at 10:55 AM.
bill l is offline  
post #3 of 5 Old 06-01-2007, 10:53 AM
greywolf's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Evanston IL USA
Posts: 38,049
Too loose and the valves will clatter. The noise will be louder when the engine is cold and the valves are shorter. The rockers will slap the valve stems rather than push them. Too tight and there will start to be a performance drop when the engine warms up. The heat will cause the valves to lengthen, not allowing them to seat. A compression test will show a drop when warm. Too tight is the dangerous option. It doesn't take long to burn a valve and possibly damage the seat.

If valve clearances are checked and adjusted, if necessary, at the recommended intervals, the above problems won't happen.

Pat- 2007 DL650A was ridden to all 48 contiguous states. I didn't quite make it to 17,000 miles on the 2012 DL650A.
Nicknames I use to lessen typing, Vee = 2002-2012 DL1000s. Vee2=2014-2016 DL1000s. Wee = 2004-2011 DL650s. Glee = 2012-2016 DL650s

Please vote in the poll on what Strom(s) you have at
greywolf is offline  
post #4 of 5 Old 06-01-2007, 11:14 AM Thread Starter
rhbell's Avatar
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Rideau Ferry, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 593
Thanks - appreciated

Appreciate the advice and rationale. I guess there's a lot of sense to keeping to the recommended schedule as I've been doing. I'm going to call my dealer to see what they charge for a shim kit - I know my last one was $225 but that's back 20 years ago for my GS750 and GS1100. Undoubtedly an arm and leg in cost now but with more than a few V-Strom owners around here, might do a cooperative deal or something.

Again, thanks and safe riding.


Necessity may be the mother of invention, but desperation is it's father........... (Bell)

'06 DL650
rhbell is offline  
post #5 of 5 Old 06-01-2007, 12:05 PM
randyo's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Farmington, New Hampshire, USA
Posts: 10,196
Based on my experience with the SV, the 650 valves wear varies quite a bit, they always get tight, never loose, that's due to shim under bucket type valve adjustment, as the valve seats wear the the adjustment gets tight

some engines have required adjustment as early at the first 15k inspection interval and others as many as 75,000 before requiring any adjustment

as posted, follow the recommended 15k inspection interval and you should be ok

Never pay again for live sex! | Hot girls doing naughty stuff for free! | Chat for free!

IBA# 9560
07 Strom 1k (8x,xxx miles)
99 SV650 (135,006 miles)
82 XV920R
A man with a gun is a citizen
A man without a gun is a subject
randyo is offline  
Sponsored Links

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may 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

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome