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For whatever reason, last year I purchased a service contract at my dealer. They have a service department with a good reputation. I am getting older and justified it that I would have more time to ride and with my teenager living in the garage (that's a whole other story), oh well. Anyway, the last service was a valve clearance check, and I never got specific feedback as to how they checked out, even when asking directly. I didn't want to burn my bridges for future service, so I let it go. Now that I think about it, they probably didn't even do it...

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YES, I did on both my '81 Honda CB750K and my '00 ZRX1100. Right after I bought them new. And yes, I realize that was 19 and 38 years ago--and I still have the bikes.

The 750 uses shim-over-bucket valve actuation, and I told them that the valve tools were a condition of sale for me(along with the factory service manual). The specs for both intakes and exhausts are .002"-.005". As I remember, out of the 16 valves 9 were within spec, but on the tight side. 7 were right at the tight limit. I was able to swap shims between valves to get 4 in spec, and had to purchase 3 shims to get all the valves to .003"-.005". Yep, it was under warranty but I told the service manager at the time of sale that unless something breaks or prematurely wears out under warranty, you'll never see this bike in your shop.
My ZRX1100 Uses sliding rockers arms to uncover shims located in the top of the valve spring retainers. shims. Specs are .005"-.007" intake, .007"-.009 exhaust. 9 were in spec, 7 were way too tight at .003".
Swapped some shims, bought 4, and got them all in dead center of spec. The bike ran great before with no drivability or noise issues, but was smoother and stronger after the adjustment.
Yes, these 2 are old bikes, but I still enjoy them and still run and look like new--when the carbs(what are those?) want to pay the game. But a key thing whether carbureted or injected is to to a cafrb or throttle body sync after a valve adjustment. Valve ajustment directly affects engine vacuum, and a sync ir really nothing more than equalizing vacuum on the engine side of the throttle plate. You can equalize the readings, but the idle and low-speed power outputs wont be the same between cylinders.
 

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I did the 48.000 km service on my '02 DL1000 this week. Took me two full days. In addition to the valve clearance check (two exhaust valves too tight) I also changed chain&sprockets and front fork oil/seals. So that, and my inexperience, increased the total time required quite a bit. (Not to mention forgetting to plug in the horn connector, and only finding that once all the plastic was back on again.) But I can well imagine a dealer quoting five hours of labour for just a valve check.

But this discussion left me wondering: Has anybody ever contemplated doing the labour-intensive but easy tasks (removing the plastics, draining the oil, draining the coolant, removing the fuel tank, removing the radiator) themselves, and then trailering the bike to the dealer so that they can do the valve check/adjustment? Once the cylinder heads are freely accessible, and assuming you have the replacement seals and a box of shims to hand, checking and adjusting the valves should not take more than an hour.
 

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SNIP........Has anybody ever contemplated doing the labour-intensive but easy tasks (removing the plastics, draining the oil, draining the coolant, removing the fuel tank, removing the radiator) themselves, and then trailering the bike to the dealer so that they can do the valve check/adjustment? Once the cylinder heads are freely accessible, and assuming you have the replacement seals and a box of shims to hand, checking and adjusting the valves should not take more than an hour.

Sort of, on my Tenere, I checked the valves and my dealer was going to pull the cams and re shim if required for a good price, if I brought him the bike disassembled. I my case, they were close enough and it was not needed. Just ask your dealer.
 

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Yeah, my 09 Wee is about due for the valve check. Not sure I want to attempt it myself. I checked two local shops, one was an independant with good reputation for years but has since picked up a couple of Italian lines, the other shop is a local Suzuki outlet of a large chain dealer.
One shop said it would be about 2-1/2 hours, the other said 7-8 hours! From what I've been seeing here, it sounds like these numbers are low and high, respectively.
Anyone have a shop recommendation in / near Tucson?
 

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Seems shop 'A' has done it before, and shop 'B' hasn't, which would account for the extra hours. I had a local mech perform a valve check at about 25,000 miles on my 2006 650 - it took him about 4 hours. I'd say that is reasonable considering how much dissection is involved with accessing the valves. He replaced a few shims, and the rest were in spec. I figure I'm good for a long long while, since once a 650 wears in, and the valves are re-spec'd and check, the engine is very stable valve-train wise.

Remember, you're also paying for convenience, so the higher price may still be a good deal. Either way, consider it a 'one time hit' to the wallet.....
 
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