Expected cost of 15k mi service on V650 - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-17-2018, 08:28 PM Thread Starter
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Expected cost of 15k mi service on V650

So my 09 V650 is approaching 15k miles, and we all know what that means in Kawasaki-land.

So I wasn't able to find much recent info on the forums about the cost of this service.

Per the owners manual my bike will need

Valve check/adjustment
Steering Head Bearings repacked
spark plugs replaced
throttle body sync

What is the average cost to have a Kawi dealer do this typically?

I am comfortable doing the spark plugs myself and maybe the TB sync if I can get the tool for a reasonable price

I don't have a garage or or the necessary equipment to take the front end off the bike, so doing the head bearings myself are out and don't feel particularly comfortable doing the valve check without a garage and clean work area.

As the bike is basically 10 years old, I don't feel particularly comfortable putting the head bearing repack off too much even if there is zero play and no binding currently.
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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-18-2018, 03:54 PM
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Expect 3 hrs for a valve clearance adjustment that includes replacing plugs (probably not necessary), cleaning air filter, changing oil, filter and coolant and squirt some grease in steering bearings as well as sync. A sync takes no time as well as air filter when tank is off bike already. Same with coolant change. Air filter is designed to be cleaned with solvent and reoiled, not replaced.

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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-26-2018, 04:41 PM Thread Starter
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So the local shop quoted me $350 on the valve adjustment, $300 on steering bearing repack and $200 on the TB sync, no discount for combining them (basically $100/hr labor). They know they basically have a captive market with the next closest Kawasaki shop being 60mi away so they take full advantage of it. I'm probably done dealing with them, I lost a chain 70 miles from home yesterday because these geniuses decided that a clip on master link was sufficient, and the only recourse they offered was to file a warranty claim with DID.
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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-26-2018, 04:43 PM Thread Starter
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They also basically said they will never install a chain with a riveted master link because it is too much effort.
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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-26-2018, 04:56 PM
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Originally Posted by mrvwbug View Post
They also basically said they will never install a chain with a riveted master link because it is too much effort.


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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-26-2018, 09:08 PM
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They also basically said they will never install a chain with a riveted master link because it is too much effort.
What the F is that dealership about?! I'd go look for another place, they won't do other things right if they don't do chains that way.

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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-27-2018, 03:31 PM
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They also basically said they will never install a chain with a riveted master link because it is too much effort.
Huh? At $100/hour, they should be able to do the rivet master for about 25$, MAX!

Get the tools and start doing your own maintenance!

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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-27-2018, 07:04 PM Thread Starter
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Huh? At $100/hour, they should be able to do the rivet master for about 25$, MAX!

Get the tools and start doing your own maintenance!

-

Pretty much. To make things doubly worse, this same dealer just bought out the local Yamaha shop, so if I end up trading my V on a Yamaha (I'm strongly eyeing the Tracer 900GT) they would be the local Yamaha shop too.

I have a chain riveting tool coming with my replacement chain, definitely doing it myself now that the weather is warmer.

For valve check and steering head bearings I'm screwed there as I don't have a garage. Certainly not going to pop off my valve cover only to have the wind pick up and blow dust into my engine, doing chain replacement or oil change outside is no biggie. Might start asking around the bike groups in the region if anyone has garage space and are willing to help out with that work.

They charged $50 labor for the chain replacement with clip on master link.
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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-27-2018, 07:09 PM Thread Starter
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Seems to be a running theme with all the Kawi dealers in this area.

Inquired about a leftover '16 V 1000 at a Kawi dealer down in Colorado and they wouldn't budge on the price and massively lowballed my trade-in offer, they (a Kawi dealer) were completely uninterested in taking a Versys in on trade, meanwhile the Yamaha shop down the street from this Kawi shop in CO says he loves getting Versys in on trade because he can usually sell it in less than a week (and I am inquiring with that shop about a leftover '15 FJ-09)
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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-27-2018, 09:12 PM
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A throttle body sync takes 5min if that. That is because the parts that need to be removed to access the throttle bodies, the tank and air box, are already removed to do the valve adjustment. A throttle body sync is also normally part of the valve adjustment process anyway - they should normally be done immediately after a valve adjust. The steering bearings are normally exposed as well with the tank and air box off.

If the dealer will not admit to this or cut off time to bundle the procedures take it somewhere else.

I do not see a need to repack the steering bearings unless they are being replaced. Unless there is looseness there just leave them alone.

The sad thing is most motorcycle mechanics do not earn that much and most of that hourly rate is going to the dealership not the mechanic. The poor mechanic has to supply his own tools too.

Last edited by twowheels; 03-27-2018 at 09:22 PM.
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post #11 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-28-2018, 09:11 AM
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The sad thing is most motorcycle mechanics do not earn that much and most of that hourly rate is going to the dealership not the mechanic. The poor mechanic has to supply his own tools too.
Many years ago I worked with auto dealerships. Most mechanics were paid by the job. Dealerships had a book time for every job and mechanics were expected to do the actual work in half the book time i.e. customer pays for 1 hour labor, mechanic expected to complete it is less than 30 min., all call backs were the responsibility of the mechanic.

I suspect something similar for MC mechanics, they are pushed to get things done fast to maximize dealer profits. Of course the more jobs they do the more $ they make. Seems like a recipe to cut corners on doing the job right!
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post #12 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-28-2018, 09:35 AM
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Many years ago I worked with auto dealerships. Most mechanics were paid by the job. Dealerships had a book time for every job and mechanics were expected to do the actual work in half the book time i.e. customer pays for 1 hour labor, mechanic expected to complete it is less than 30 min., all call backs were the responsibility of the mechanic.

I suspect something similar for MC mechanics, they are pushed to get things done fast to maximize dealer profits. Of course the more jobs they do the more $ they make. Seems like a recipe to cut corners on doing the job right!
I was a service manager years ago at the local Honda motorcycle dealership. We did things the right way back then. We had 3 very experienced mechanics that did all the work. We were not a flat rate shop and did strait up hourly work.

Now days, unfortunately, this is often not the case. A shop will have one or two qualified mechanics who do all the more technical work. Then there will be a couple of gofers or apprentices who work under the "supervision" of the expert mechanics.

The gofers do things like tire changes, chain adjustments, washing and detail, oil changes, etc. Some of this gofers do a decent job but others not so much.

A riding buddy recently had a "not so much" experience at this same Honda dealership where I used to work. And yes they have devolved into the typical expert and gofer mechanic kind of shop.

Mark took his KTM 1190 Adventure in to have his bent front rim replaced. The gofer pulled off the wheel and the expert mechanic laced it up with the new rim and gave it back to the gofer to install on the bike. The gofer claimed to have test ridden it after the change.

The shop loaded it onto his trailer and Mark took it home. When he unloaded and tried to push it into his garage he discovered it very difficult to roll. When he lifted up the front end and tried to spin the front wheel it barely would move.

He took the bike back and the shop discovered that the gofer had installed the wheel spacers backwards causing the brake roters to bind in the calipers. The shop ended up having to replace one of the brake rotors and the reluctor.

Thankfully by buddy trailered the bike home rather than riding it. Could have ended in a disaster.

This is precisely why I do all my own work on my bike and cars.

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Last edited by hawkerjet; 03-28-2018 at 09:38 AM.
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post #13 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-28-2018, 10:10 AM
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Surprisingly relevant:

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post #14 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-28-2018, 11:32 AM
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...They charged $50 labor for the chain replacement with clip on master link.
I think that would be about a half-hour job. Not too much longer w/ a rivet master.

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post #15 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-28-2018, 11:39 AM
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Don't beat me up

I've had bikes all my life and never done any kind for schedule maintenance on them except oil changes. Heck...I don't check valves on my push mower, riding mower, tiller or my tractors... Some of my bikes have over 50,000 miles and still running smoothly. I refuse to pay big bucks for something that might make a difference. My local motorcycle mechanic tells his customers to just ride them and change oil once per year. I've had Harleys, Hondas, Triumphs, Kawasaki's, and Yamahas. I've never had any problems with any of them. Don't be a smart ass and beat me up on this...this is my just my experience with motorcycles.
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post #16 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-28-2018, 12:23 PM
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I've had bikes all my life and never done any kind for schedule maintenance on them except oil changes. Heck...I don't check valves on my push mower, riding mower, tiller or my tractors... Some of my bikes have over 50,000 miles and still running smoothly. I refuse to pay big bucks for something that might make a difference. My local motorcycle mechanic tells his customers to just ride them and change oil once per year. I've had Harleys, Hondas, Triumphs, Kawasaki's, and Yamahas. I've never had any problems with any of them. Don't be a smart ass and beat me up on this...this is my just my experience with motorcycles.
Almost all engines do not require a valve adjustment or throttle body sync. Harleys for instance use hydraulic lifters that self adjust and use only one throttle body, so no synchronization is required.

The engine on the Versys however is a high RPM engine, self adjusting hydraulic lifters do not work in this environment. It also uses a more efficient system of a separate throttle body for each cylinder and thus requires occasional synchronization.

Not adjusting the valves will mean less power, less fuel economy, and shorter engine life. Not syncing the throttle bodies will mean less power and more vibration.
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post #17 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-28-2018, 04:56 PM
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2009 Kaw

My 2009 has 25000 miles on it. It has power that scares me...I can pass 3 cars in 6th gear in no time flat. I've had it up to 130 mph a few times. I've passed Harleys and Triumphs running up hills with this bike. I used 87 octane. I'm very very impressed with the 650cc. I currently have a Triumph America, Honda VLX, KAW Versys and 1980 Honda TwinStar. My favorite is the Versys. I don't think I could add any performance to the Versys by adjusting the valves or anything else. I just ride and enjoy them...

Cheers
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post #18 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-28-2018, 09:37 PM
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So my 09 V650 is approaching 15k miles, and we all know what that means in Kawasaki-land.

So I wasn't able to find much recent info on the forums about the cost of this service.

Per the owners manual my bike will need

Valve check/adjustment
Steering Head Bearings repacked
spark plugs replaced
throttle body sync

What is the average cost to have a Kawi dealer do this typically?

I am comfortable doing the spark plugs myself and maybe the TB sync if I can get the tool for a reasonable price

I don't have a garage or or the necessary equipment to take the front end off the bike, so doing the head bearings myself are out and don't feel particularly comfortable doing the valve check without a garage and clean work area.

As the bike is basically 10 years old, I don't feel particularly comfortable putting the head bearing repack off too much even if there is zero play and no binding currently.

I got a quote from one dealer that was >$1000. Another dealer quoted me $565.97 if the valves needed to be adjusted or ~$390 if they did not need to be adjusted. I was floored by the difference. I asked both to give me an estimate for the 15K service.

My chain also started 'clunking' quite a a bit at right around 15K, so I also had the dealer replace chain and sprockets. Gotta bite the bullet and do that myself next time.
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post #19 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-29-2018, 06:01 AM
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My 2009 has 25000 miles on it. It has power that scares me...I can pass 3 cars in 6th gear in no time flat. I've had it up to 130 mph a few times. I've passed Harleys and Triumphs running up hills with this bike. I used 87 octane. I'm very very impressed with the 650cc. I currently have a Triumph America, Honda VLX, KAW Versys and 1980 Honda TwinStar. My favorite is the Versys. I don't think I could add any performance to the Versys by adjusting the valves or anything else. I just ride and enjoy them...
Well if you frequent the forum you will hear others state that a valve shim adjustment was required, in my case I had tight valves on the 2007, at 25,000 KM and caught it in time, my 2015 had tight valves at 11,000 KM, had the bike apart in the winter and decided to check it, glad I did, eventually you will have engine failure and a burnt valve seat in the case of the exhaust, which would have happened on the 2007, and the 2015, as to intake, you will have a loss of power. And due to the expense of doing a valve shim, there is a detailed How To on this forum Cheers

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Originally Posted by mbclark222 View Post
I got a quote from one dealer that was >$1000. Another dealer quoted me $565.97 if the valves needed to be adjusted or ~$390 if they did not need to be adjusted. I was floored by the difference. I asked both to give me an estimate for the 15K service.

My chain also started 'clunking' quite a a bit at right around 15K, so I also had the dealer replace chain and sprockets. Gotta bite the bullet and do that myself next time.
The $565 is a bargain, doing it yourself expect to save $400, cost of tools if you don't have them about $150.
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post #20 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-29-2018, 12:32 PM
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My 2009 has 25000 miles on it. It has power that scares me...I can pass 3 cars in 6th gear in no time flat. I've had it up to 130 mph a few times. I've passed Harleys and Triumphs running up hills with this bike. I used 87 octane. I'm very very impressed with the 650cc. I currently have a Triumph America, Honda VLX, KAW Versys and 1980 Honda TwinStar. My favorite is the Versys. I don't think I could add any performance to the Versys by adjusting the valves or anything else. I just ride and enjoy them...

Cheers
Iff'n the six fiddy power scares ya, stay away from a zx1400 or a Shoodaben flashed Connie 1400, yeehaw.

The adjustment of valves and synching and such is considered a tune up to help the engine run more efficiently, i.e. getting max performance from a gallon of fuel. Without valve train maintenance your engine will run just fine, until it doesn't. When it doesn't, it is crazy expensive to fix.

At 11k miles on my '15, three exhaust valves were at minimum spec and one was a touch below. Intake were in spec. I reset all valves to maximum. Checked again at about 33k miles and found virtually no movement. This in an engine ridden for performance.
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And most of Canada too, eh?
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