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I purchased my '07 (the first year Versys only available in Canada) used, with 34000 km on the clock. I'm the third owner and have no record of valve clearance checks. I rode it for 1200 km and then checked the valves, suspecting it had never been done.

I adjusted all gaps to the maximum end of the tolerance specs. The exhaust valves, as expected, were tightest, but all were at the low end of the tolerances. One exhaust valve was slightly out of spec. I adjusted all the valves to the maximum gap tolerance and haven't checked them since then.

Today, 46300 km later I checked the valves. All gaps were well within specs in the middle to above middle range. No need to lift the camshafts and shuffle shims.

I'm impressed. The Kawasaki 650 engine well deserves its bullet-proof reputation. 81900 km with only one minor adjustment to the valve clearance is impressive. Technology, metallurgy and lubrication have reached peaks never seen before. The schedule of maintenance on my Norton Commando called for valve checks at 3000-mile intervals. Granted it was a half-hour job, but it added to the endless maintenance tasks on a Brit bike of that era. I'd rather ride than wrench now.

I'm not advocating neglecting maintenance, it's important to check, if only for peace of mind.

Note: I can't credit synthetic oil because I've used nothing but regular motorcycle specific oil with the JASO rating.
 

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I had a mechanic recommend to me to not even bother... His rationale was that it is very time-consuming and costly to get at the valves on the Versys, and since the clearance tends to tighten, his feeling was you'll know it when it is too tight because the starter will struggle to turn over the engine (I've had this exact experience with some small engines). He said since no damage will come to the engine from this, just wait until you have that symptom.

Does this sound reasonable to anyone?

-dm
 

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Discussion Starter #3
It's not costly if you do the work yourself. Doing so gives me confidence that the job was done right.

Can you trust a mechanic who tells you not to follow the maintenance guidelines?
 

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I had a mechanic recommend to me to not even bother... His rationale was that it is very time-consuming and costly to get at the valves on the Versys, and since the clearance tends to tighten, his feeling was you'll know it when it is too tight because the starter will struggle to turn over the engine (I've had this exact experience with some small engines). He said since no damage will come to the engine from this, just wait until you have that symptom.

Does this sound reasonable to anyone?

-dm
A "tight" valve, when taken to the extreme, can mean it's PROJECTING into the "TOP-DEAD-CENTER" area that the piston is TRYING to be the 'solo-occupant' of.

THAT will NOT have a good ending!

LOTS of 'inmates' have checked/ adjusted their Versys valves. YES - it's time-consuming, but think of the job as "getting to know your Versys BETTER"...!

(y)(y)

:cool:
 

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I had a mechanic recommend to me to not even bother... His rationale was that it is very time-consuming and costly to get at the valves on the Versys, and since the clearance tends to tighten, his feeling was you'll know it when it is too tight because the starter will struggle to turn over the engine (I've had this exact experience with some small engines). He said since no damage will come to the engine from this, just wait until you have that symptom.

Does this sound reasonable to anyone?

-dm
Not reasonable at all. Yes, it is time consuming / costly to check the valves and the clearances do tighten with wear, but everything else written is incorrect. Actually, 100% the opposite of what happens.

I’d strongly suggest finding a different mechanic, preferably one who understands basic engine theory.
 

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Hi Smiley. When I sold my '09, I'd put 76,866 kms on it. Only one valve adjustment all that time (2 intake and 2 exhaust). And, like yours, my bike only used regular MC oil.
 
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