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DL650 Valve Adjustment Notes and Tips

106768 Views 134 Replies 65 Participants Last post by  jeufaula
View attachment DL650 Valve Adjustment Notes.ZIP

This zipped Word document contains several pages of notes that I prepared after completing the first valve adjustment on my DL650. It is a compilation of suggestions from other posters and my own tips and observations. It is meant as an adjunct to the Workshop Manual, certainly not a replacement. It will be of more use to newbies than experienced wrenches.

In short, it is exactly what I wish I had been able to find, all in one spot, before I embarked on the valve adjustment. I hope it is of use to others.

The topics it covers are:
-Radiator Removal
-Removing the Cylinder Head Covers
-Rotating the Crank
-Notes on Measurement
-Checking Valve Clearances
-Cam Chain Tensioners
-Cam Removal
-Bucket and Shim Removal
-Shim Measurement and Installation
-Parts, Tools and Supplies
-Torque Wrench
-Shim Kits

Feel free to provide feedback or ask any questions you might have.

121 - 135 of 135 Posts
Easy one person job to loosen the cam chain & take the cam shafts out. Tricky to find just where to push on the tensioner pawl. The rear tensioner bolt is reached with a wobbly socket on a long extension. Put a wrap of electrical tape around the universal socket so it isn't too wobbly. Metric feelers make it easy to add or subtract to find the shim needed, no conversion necessary.
Because of this excellent thread I decided to tackle my 06 650 valves at 28k miles. I found all to be in range, but on the tight side. Decided to leave them alone and check them again next year. All intakes were .1mm+ and all exhausts were .2mm+. All were pretty close and makes me think the dealer did nothing more than check them at 15k miles for the previous owner.
650 valves close very slowly, especially the intakes. In 33,000 miles, I had one exhaust clearance close up 0.01mm while all other clearances were unchanged. On the other hand, .1mm is the entire range between max and min.

IN. : 0.10 – 0.20 mm (0.004 – 0.008 in)
EX. : 0.20 – 0.30 mm (0.008 – 0.012 in)

Did you mean to write .01mm+ and .02mm+?
If so, you're good for at least 30,000 miles.
650 valves close very slowly, especially the intakes. In 33,000 miles, I had one exhaust clearance close up 0.01mm while all other clearances were unchanged. On the other hand, .1mm is the entire range between max and min.

IN. : 0.10 – 0.20 mm (0.004 – 0.008 in)
EX. : 0.20 – 0.30 mm (0.008 – 0.012 in)

Did you mean to write .01mm+ and .02mm+?
If so, you're good for at least 30,000 miles.
On all my intakes a .1 mm would pass but a .15 mm would not. On all my exhausts a .2 mm would pass but a .23 would on some but not others, and a .25 would not on any. Hope this clarifies.

Super! Done for another 30k miles!
Keeping this thread going.

How many have done the valve check on a 2012+? I am having a hell of a time with the boomerang lower faring plastics...I can't figure out how to remove them and since they cover the sides of the radiator they make it difficult to get in there with them in place. So I opted to drop the whole entire faring by removing the two bolts that hold it to it's subframe. Unfortunately, I have several aux wiring that attaches to the faring, so I can't just unplug the main harness plug and detach it. My next move will be to try and flip it up and back to give me some room to work. Actually, looking back it might have been easier to drop the forks/tire/fender.

The rear valve adjustment was easy, a few extensions and a wobble and I could easily get to the tensioner bolt by going in between the swingarm and the exhaust pipe where it turns down. Both exhaust valves were at the max tight of .20mm, so I changed shims and they are now at .26mm.

*btw, I did a review of posted info after I completed the rear exhaust adjustments and this post from confuses me:

"To do the REAR cyl. you have to rotate ONE FULL 360 degree revolution around to the F/T timing mark (not R/T mark). Check cam lobe positions and E and I marks to ensure you are set up right for the REAR cylinder. This is not the position to check clearance but rather this is the position where the E and I lines on the cams will line up and ensure proper valve timing, so this is the position you must have when you remove and re-install the cams for the REAR cylinder."

I zip tied the intake cam chain to cam, then removed the exhaust cam after marking the chain and cam, but I did it in the "check" position for on the R/T mark....did I screw up?

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My rear lobes were in the same position as this guy's thread on ADV...the pic is titled "Rear cover with "journals" (things on top) taken off"

He also changed shims with the lobs in the 'check" position so I am thinking it really does not matter? Here is the thread:

Performed Valve adjustment dl650 w/many pictures (warning 56k) | Adventure Rider

Black Lab made the same mistake as I did and re-adjusted his, but he never explained how he knew he had made that mistake.

And I swear, I think I might have asked this question before on my last valve adjustment....but after a couple of years, CRS kicks in pretty hard ;)
I also took the fairing off the Glee to do engine work. It seemed the only way to do it. As far as replacing shims on the rear on the Wee, I did that in the position of the cam sprocket lines and numbers being shown in this diagram with 1R on the right sprocket even with the top of the head and not on a timing mark.

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I guess I am wondering what difference it would make as long as nothing moved and it was put back in the exact same position when doing them on the timing mark rather than on the cam sprocket lines?
I referred to the shop manual while doing the shim swap, and don't remember any reference to not using the timing mark, but I will have to take a look at it again's down in my shop. It's entirely possible I missed it..........
Alright, I went back over the official Suzy shop manual. There is no difference in position when "checking" the valve or adjusting the valve. Also, there are no illustrations of the cam wheels like GW posted, only the lobe positions. I say, "whew...I did it correctly then". Here are some snapshots of the terminology and cam diagram(hope it does not violate and rules since we are clarifying, not plagiarizing);

Bottom photo is prior to the top photo...sorry I posted them out of sequence.
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I got the front done, and I have to admit I scared myself. Since the rear cam sprockets face to the right of the bike I never looked at my marks(shown in red)after verifying I had put them back in the exact same position. I mark them like this, then also zip tie one of them to the chain:

After I finished the front(also changing both exhaust shims) I rotated the crank half a dozen times to re-check the gap. Since the cam sprockets face to the left on the front cylinder they were staring me in the face and the marks where not only no longer aligned, but way way off. Then that blanket of dread settled over me when I thought I had pooched the job. I turned to the cam position diagram in the shop manual and "yep, they were spot on in the correct position". Then it dawned in my pea brain that the crank sprocket is small, and the two cam sprockets large, so even though they are linked by a chain, the cam sprockets turn slower than the crank and at different timing so what I was seeing was normal. So I put my old helmet on and smashed it into the concrete floor for being a "moran" ;)

Btw, I know the diagram is not for the front was just showing how I mark my sprockets when they are at TDC.

*Oh, and one more thing, I know some like to remove the cylinder covers and keep the gasket with the top cover. I noticed that the rubber gasket is silicone'd to the cylinder case(the two half moon cut outs), so if you separate the gasket from the top while removing it you don't disturb the silicone'd area. Just be careful to get the gasket back in it's groove when replacing the cover and you can skip having to re-silicone at all.
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Buttoned it all back up today, hit the start button and ......"ahhhhhh":bom_sunny::party:
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I can't hear my valves at all. My bike only has 13,000 KM on it but should I do a valve check?
I got in a bit of trouble a few years ago and got my bike stuck in some deep mud. I hit the redline multiple times trying to get out. I was pretty hard on the engine.
I'd check them around the recommended mileage, that way you know where you are and can then decide whether to adjust or sit tight. I did my first check at about 15,000 miles. All were in spec, so I have sat tight. At each check since they have all been in spec but a couple are now at the limit but still staying in spec.


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Good job. I have 2 questions, as I am fixing to do mine and want to minimize down time by having shims available before hand. Not sure if I will be able to get them from a dealer. Since you mention that the factory installed shims all seem to be in the 1.60mm – 1.75mm range I was thinking of getting this Hot cams refill kit

HC-7150175 Includes 5 of each size 1.50, 1.55, 1.60, 1.65, 1.70, 1.75 mm shims $35.99

instead of the big kit that includes 3 of everything. Would this be a good bet? All of yours were in this range, correct?
Has anybody else had any outside this range? Please chime in. Thanks


When I did this procedure at 12K (miles) I was faced with the same question, I went for the check, order and replace route. All exhaust had between 170 - 172 and I was able to go down to 165 on all and still be within the tolerance. Just like I read before starting, all intakes were just fine, and all exhaust were tight. The kit would have worked for me if I had gone that route. I live in a location with no Suzuki dealer for 100 miles, and ordering them was a long process, it took 2 weeks from order being placed to shipping the shims to me. I did this in the dead of winter and start to end was over 3 weeks. Good luck, hope that helps.
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