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Just saying here. The valve shims do not wear. They are sandwiched between the valve stem and cam follower bucket. The wear is that the valve wears into the seat so the clearance decreases. If you let it go too long the valve can be held open and then the hot exhaust gases can burn the edge of the valve. Even before they are held all the way open the time they are closed is shortened and the valve edge cant transfer enough heat so the seat and can burn.

Gain access to the valve cover and remove it. Take all of the measurements for all of the valves. See if any are out of spec. The cam has to be moved out of the way to take the bucket off the valve stem and get to the shim. Do this for all of the valve that need to be adjusted. A magnet works well as the shim will stay in the inside of the bucket as you pull it out. Now that you know what clearance you had and what shim was installed use the service manual clearance chart to see if you can swap any of the shims around and get the correct clearance. Buy the correct shim size for any that need it and put it all together again. Put the shim in with the size marking towards the valve stem, the stem will contact at the center and the marking should be outside of the contact area. Remeasure all of the clearances again. The service manual and other post on this forum give more detailed instructions. Never throw out your old shims. They may be able to be used the next time you do the job. I still have shims from my 1980 KZ550.

You should get used to undressing you bike at least to access the spark plugs and air filter.
 

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Just saying here. The valve shims do not wear. They are sandwiched between the valve stem and cam follower bucket. The wear is that the valve wears into the seat so the clearance decreases. If you let it go too long the valve can be held open and then the hot exhaust gases can burn the edge of the valve. Even before they are held all the way open the time they are closed is shortened and the valve edge cant transfer enough heat so the seat and can burn.

Gain access to the valve cover and remove it. Take all of the measurements for all of the valves. See if any are out of spec. The cam has to be moved out of the way to take the bucket off the valve stem and get to the shim. Do this for all of the valve that need to be adjusted. A magnet works well as the shim will stay in the inside of the bucket as you pull it out. Now that you know what clearance you had and what shim was installed use the service manual clearance chart to see if you can swap any of the shims around and get the correct clearance. Buy the correct shim size for any that need it and put it all together again. Put the shim in with the size marking towards the valve stem, the stem will contact at the center and the marking should be outside of the contact area. Remeasure all of the clearances again. The service manual and other post on this forum give more detailed instructions. Never throw out your old shims. They may be able to be used the next time you do the job. I still have shims from my 1980 KZ550.

You should get used to undressing you bike at least to access the spark plugs and air filter.
All good advice. I once had a 1981 KZ550. They weren't that common. I traded in the 1981 KZ550 on a 1983 GPZ750 - way more power but a heavy bike (500+ lbs). The KZ550 would pop a wheelie with easy in 1st gear where the GPZ750 was front heavy and would not lift the front wheel.
 

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The bike I bought is a 2017 300 X and has 7400 miles. Accoding to the manual the valves should be inspected. My question is when members of the forum had the valves inspected at this mileage did they actually need adjustment or were they usually in spec? Any comments would be appreciated.
Listen here Ohio,

ALWAYS get the clearances checked at the prescribed intervals.
Negative/too little valve clearance can very quickly cause
very very very very expensive damage.
 

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It's interesting that the 300 requires valve clearance checks at twice the rate of the 650. Is that do to higher RPMs?
These checks and adjustments are a royal PITA to do and expensive if you trust a mechanic to do it.
 

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It's interesting that the 300 requires valve clearance checks at twice the rate of the 650. Is that do to higher RPMs?
These checks and adjustments are a royal PITA to do and expensive if you trust a mechanic to do it.
Good question... I don't know for sure, but I wouldn't mind betting higher RPM plays a roll.
Each time the valve slams shut the operative faces of the valve and valve seat erode... which
means the valve gradualy sinks further into the head... which closes the gap between
the cam and the valve lifter... when that gap closes the valve face can not seat on the valve seat,
which allows that fiery hot "combustion" to seep past the valve and valve seat... until it burns
the valve and the valve seat... the valve seat being an integrel part of the cylinder head, means
that the cylinder head is destroyed if that process is unchecked...

I presume the x300 valves are smaller than the 650 valves which means there is less sealing
area... which possibly means more pressure per square millimetre (provided by the valve spring)
onto the valve face and seat... which may also be a contributing factor of "Valve Seat Recession"
which in turn would contribute to more frequent service intervals...

But please know Bahn Mi, what I have written above is just my hypothesis.

Just thank your lucky stars you don't own a 1993 YZF750 as they have 5 valves per cylinder
and 4 cylinders.o_O

Having said all that, if you have access to a well lit, clean comfortable work area
without distractions; optimising the vale clearances yourself is a very satisfying process.

The last time I did my 650s clearances only one exhaust valve in each cylinder required adjustment.

If you take a close look at the photo you'l get an idea of how (in part) to accurately manage the process.

The box with the "pigeon holes" is for a 4 valve 4 cylinder engine, but is fine for a twin as one needs
only to use partitions one and two.
 

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Good advice everyone. As I'd mentioned, I had a couple exhaust valves too tight at first check (about 8,500 miles). I do my own work, try to be organized and methodical; it's not rocket science, just time consuming. I think I started on a Saturday and finished on Sunday. If I paid a mechanic every time a bike needed work, well, I probably couldn't afford to own a bike in the first place. (Doh!)

My main point is, I don't know how many times I've read about this bike, and other make/models, where the lazy mechanics say, "Oh the valves on X bike NEVER move, no need to check them." Garbage. That's just wishful thinking by owners who don't want to spend the money, and hope by anecdotal evidence from the internet that it'll be OK.

LOL, we here are a dedicated group of riders, but to be honest, many people never even ride often enough to get to the first valve check interval, and the bike either just sits in the garage or gets sold later as a "wonderful, LOW mileage" purchase opportunity. :rolleyes:
 

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Good question... I don't know for sure, but I wouldn't mind betting higher RPM plays a roll.
Each time the valve slams shut the operative faces of the valve and valve seat erode... which
means the valve gradualy sinks further into the head... which closes the gap between
the cam and the valve lifter... when that gap closes the valve face can not seat on the valve seat,
which allows that fiery hot "combustion" to seep past the valve and valve seat... until it burns
the valve and the valve seat... the valve seat being an integrel part of the cylinder head, means
that the cylinder head is destroyed if that process is unchecked...

I presume the x300 valves are smaller than the 650 valves which means there is less sealing
area... which possibly means more pressure per square millimetre (provided by the valve spring)
onto the valve face and seat... which may also be a contributing factor of "Valve Seat Recession"
which in turn would contribute to more frequent service intervals...

But please know Bahn Mi, what I have written above is just my hypothesis.

Just thank your lucky stars you don't own a 1993 YZF750 as they have 5 valves per cylinder
and 4 cylinders.o_O

Having said all that, if you have access to a well lit, clean comfortable work area
without distractions; optimising the vale clearances yourself is a very satisfying process.

The last time I did my 650s clearances only one exhaust valve in each cylinder required adjustment.

If you take a close look at the photo you'l get an idea of how (in part) to accurately manage the process.

The box with the "pigeon holes" is for a 4 valve 4 cylinder engine, but is fine for a twin as one needs
only to use partitions one and two.
This thread is a X300 thread, which I have ignored since it's inception. I will dispell several theories here in relation to RPM and the Versys 650. First, the interval in the X300 is MAXIMUM distance, and in reality should be applied to the Versys 650. Follow my valve shim post, done at 11,000 KM, YES. 1000 KM below the recommended X300. And yes I had tight valves. If you follow my posts, you will find that at 36,000 KM , all my original final maximum settings haven't changed. I don't do it on purpose, but I hit the rev limiter at least 6 or 7 times each season. My extended driving sustained RPM is around 7000 to 8000 RPM - I am talking 2 to 4 hours, distances of between 350 to 980 KM per day.
I am over 42,000 KM and expect to find no change this season.
The cost doing it yourself( cost of tools and equipment), is roughly half of what a reputable / honest mechanic would charge and that would include giving you all the CURRENT DIMENSIONS of the valves upon completion. Saying they are in spec and that will be $$$$, expect it was never done. Another quick check, not guaranteed to be a accurate assessment of your valves, is doing a vacuum sync. I brought my vacuum lines out and capped them. @Steve in Sunny Fl has a video, he mentions that if your sync is off, it could very well be caused by tight or out of calibration of your valves.
 

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2022 Versys X 300
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This thread is a X300 thread, which I have ignored since it's inception. I will dispell several theories here in relation to RPM and the Versys 650. First, the interval in the X300 is MAXIMUM distance, and in reality should be applied to the Versys 650. Follow my valve shim post, done at 11,000 KM, YES. 1000 KM below the recommended X300. And yes I had tight valves. If you follow my posts, you will find that at 36,000 KM , all my original final maximum settings haven't changed. I don't do it on purpose, but I hit the rev limiter at least 6 or 7 times each season. My extended driving sustained RPM is around 7000 to 8000 RPM - I am talking 2 to 4 hours, distances of between 350 to 980 KM per day.
I am over 42,000 KM and expect to find no change this season.
The cost doing it yourself( cost of tools and equipment), is roughly half of what a reputable / honest mechanic would charge and that would include giving you all the CURRENT DIMENSIONS of the valves upon completion. Saying they are in spec and that will be $$$$, expect it was never done. Another quick check, not guaranteed to be a accurate assessment of your valves, is doing a vacuum sync. I brought my vacuum lines out and capped them. @Steve in Sunny Fl has a video, he mentions that if your sync is off, it could very well be caused by tight or out of calibration of your valves.
I've been in a position, as a professional mechanic, to say, "They're in spec, and that will be $$$$$" which is why I send the customer pics of his engine torn open. Just did a GSXR600 with 45k miles a few months back. Assured the customer that with that mileage the valves were most likely fine and was found to be correct, but he wanted the peace of mind. I have no problem providing someone with peace of mind, and proof I checked. At that level of disassembly it'd just be the acme of laziness not to swap the shims if they indeed needed it. My local Honda dealer has likewise implemented a policy of sending their customers 5-10 second video updates of their bikes throughout the repair process, showing the levels of disassembly and the worn parts or out of spec measurements. If you don't trust your mechanic, he shouldn't be your mechanic.
 

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I've been in a position, as a professional mechanic, to say, "They're in spec, and that will be $$$$$" which is why I send the customer pics of his engine torn open. Just did a GSXR600 with 45k miles a few months back. Assured the customer that with that mileage the valves were most likely fine and was found to be correct, but he wanted the peace of mind. I have no problem providing someone with peace of mind, and proof I checked. At that level of disassembly it'd just be the acme of laziness not to swap the shims if they indeed needed it. My local Honda dealer has likewise implemented a policy of sending their customers 5-10 second video updates of their bikes throughout the repair process, showing the levels of disassembly and the worn parts or out of spec measurements. If you don't trust your mechanic, he shouldn't be your mechanic.
Yep, measuring the clearances and adjusting the clearances are two different jobs.

I measured the valve clearances on my Gen I ZX10R at the specified intervals 24,000 Km
and 48,000 Km... (I sadly wrote it off before I got to 72,000km) I digress...
Both times all clearances were within spec... so I did not have to do any work apart from
the measurements. Darn good bike... wicked fast... I miss it badly.

Chris Vermeulen signed the speed hump for me... :cool:
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...Just curious, did you do that work yourself? If yes how bad was it? Asking because it's past time for the valve check/adjust on my V1K. I'm cringing at having the dealer do it due to huge bucks and not fully confident it will be done right. Was thinking of doing it myself but not sure if I'd be in over my head. The good thing is I'll have all winter to work on it 😂....
Quite a few of us in the V650 Forum 'went in' early, and found TIGHT valves, so we do NOT recommend putting it off, to check the clearances!

...With mileage running up on the X300 what happens if the valves adjustment isn't done? I assume the shims wear on the cam lobes - so with this wear what happens if the adjustment just isn't done? Loss of power? or worse like parts being destroyed? (or engine valve train will be destroyed)....
On the 650 the valves TIGHTEN up, so I assume the 300 is similar.. Eventually they will be HELD OPEN if they haven't been 'done', which ain't a VG idea...!

...Dave - for reference: I asked a local dealer what he'd charge just to do the valve adjustment job (nothing else) and he looked it up in his book for me -- it was about $440. So not cheap, but not $1K either....
DON'T forget - when the dealer checks your valves, he is checking that they are W/IN limits, while (on the 650) we recommend that they be opened to MAX to forestall the NEXT valve-check. A LOT different...! For instance: say the clearance range is .20 to .33, and he finds it at .20.

IT IS W/IN THE VALUES, but you'll need another check very soon. MOST of us found that when we had opened the clearances up, the NEXT check the valves were still very close to the MAX!

...What happens when the exhaust valves are out of spec? Does the valve not open as much? Or worse would be if the exhaust valve didn't seat on the head fully. I'm just curious as what is the downside. Or damage side of failing to get the valves adjusted....
WORST case? Valve hits a piston, TOTALING the engine.
 

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WORST case? Valve hits a piston, TOTALING the engine.
The valve clearance is from the base circle of the cam lobe.
So Eddie, the clearance (closing due to Valve Seat Recession) does not affect
how far the the valve is opened.
Ergo, a closed gap (due to VSR) will NOT cause a valve to
collide with a piston... Before you get your undies in a knot;
A valve hitting the piston is "Worst Case Scenario"
is true in as much as a valve colliding with the piston can be catastrophic; but that is a subject
of incorrect installations and/or other mechanical malfunctions, and are not
related to the routine maintenance of valve clearance measurement/adjustment per se.

VSR can cause damage and will cause serious damage if not addressed...
because the valve does not close
completely, allowing the hot gases of combustion past
the valve/valve seat interface burning the valve and valve seat
and further accelerating the VSR process... a damaging and expensive
chain reaction. One should know that the valve seat is an integral
part of the cylinder head and in some cases it is necessary to replace the
entire cylinder head... and sell a kidney to pay for it.
That IMHO Dave is the worst case scenario of your; "the exhaust valves(sic) are out of spec"

Having said all that, there are a lot of moving parts in the valve train,
and all sorts of abnormal shit can happen... hence there are exceptions
to every rule... But valve seat recession is normal and expected, that
is why the valve clearances have a routine interval for measurement.

Almost invariably, it's the exhaust valves that recess most, as they run at higher temperatures
than the inlet valves.

Just like "exceptions to every rule" there's probably caveats to every comment one
donates to the cause. ie If one was the kind of individual that just rode his/her bike to destruction,
I can imagine a number of scenarios that could contradict (in a perverse kind of way)
what I have submitted above.

For example, Bob never had his clearances checked/adjusted.
An exhaust valve became badly burned... the bike kept running
as the remaining cylinder plus the 20 percent power from the burnt
valve cylinder kept the bike moving. Despite the hideous noises
coming from the engine and exhaust pipe (and a gross loss of performance) Bob kept "operating" the machine.
The burnt valve and its "valve guide" got so hot the valve stem and guide deformed and or galled
so the assembly seized when the valve was wide open (unlikely but has happened)
having the piston collide with it as the piston approached TDC.

So taking the case study I've presented as an example,
on the route to spawning Eddies worst case scenario,
you first needed a Worst Case burnt Valve scenario,
followed by a Worst Case burnt valve seat scenario, followed
by a Worst Case overheated/galled/spurled valve guide/valve stem scenario
precipitating a Worst Case valve guide/valve stem
seizure in the open position scenario... having the top
of the piston collide with the jammed open valve.

And obviously Dave, the above is (ironically) safely above and beyond
just your "the exhaust valves(sic) are out of spec".
 

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The valve clearance is from the base circle of the cam lobe.
So Eddie, the clearance (closing due to Valve Seat Recession) does not affect
how far the the valve is opened.
Ergo, a closed gap (due to VSR) will NOT cause a valve to
collide with a piston... Before you get your undies in a knot;
A valve hitting the piston is "Worst Case Scenario"
is true in as much as a valve colliding with the piston can be catastrophic; but that is a subject
of incorrect installations and/or other mechanical malfunctions, and are not
related to the routine maintenance of valve clearance measurement/adjustment per se.

VSR can cause damage and will cause serious damage if not addressed...
because the valve does not close
completely, allowing the hot gases of combustion past
the valve/valve seat interface burning the valve and valve seat
and further accelerating the VSR process... a damaging and expensive
chain reaction. One should know that the valve seat is an integral
part of the cylinder head and in some cases it is necessary to replace the
entire cylinder head... and sell a kidney to pay for it.
That IMHO Dave is the worst case scenario of your; "the exhaust valves(sic) are out of spec"

Having said all that, there are a lot of moving parts in the valve train,
and all sorts of abnormal shit can happen... hence there are exceptions
to every rule... But valve seat recession is normal and expected, that
is why the valve clearances have a routine interval for measurement.

Almost invariably, it's the exhaust valves that recess most, as they run at higher temperatures
than the inlet valves.

Just like "exceptions to every rule" there's probably caveats to every comment one
donates to the cause. ie If one was the kind of individual that just rode his/her bike to destruction,
I can imagine a number of scenarios that could contradict (in a perverse kind of way)
what I have submitted above.

For example, Bob never had his clearances checked/adjusted.
An exhaust valve became badly burned... the bike kept running
as the remaining cylinder plus the 20 percent power from the burnt
valve cylinder kept the bike moving. Despite the hideous noises
coming from the engine and exhaust pipe (and a gross loss of performance) Bob kept "operating" the machine.
The burnt valve and its "valve guide" got so hot the valve stem and guide deformed and or galled
so the assembly seized when the valve was wide open (unlikely but has happened)
having the piston collide with it as the piston approached TDC.

So taking the case study I've presented as an example,
on the route to spawning Eddies worst case scenario,
you first needed a Worst Case burnt Valve scenario,
followed by a Worst Case burnt valve seat scenario, followed
by a Worst Case overheated/galled/spurled valve guide/valve stem scenario
precipitating a Worst Case valve guide/valve stem
seizure in the open position scenario... having the top
of the piston collide with the jammed open valve.

And obviously Dave, the above is (ironically) safely above and beyond
just your "the exhaust valves(sic) are out of spec".
Thank you for your exhaustive explanation. I've learned a lot about the importance of getting the value adjustment completed on time for my 7500-mile maintenance service. Great to know all this going forward. Now I will either need to highly educate myself to do the valve adjustments myself or get it done at my Kawasaki dealer.
 
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Thank you for your exhaustive explanation. I've learned a lot about the importance of getting the value adjustment completed on time for my 7500-mile maintenance service. Great to know all this going forward. Now I will either need to highly educate myself to do the valve adjustments myself or get it done at my Kawasaki dealer.
"Exhaustive"! Good one, Dave!
Hey now,,, I foresee an opportunity for a YouTube video on Versys-X 300 valve adjustment, like no other! (y)
 

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Thank you for your exhaustive explanation. I've learned a lot about the importance of getting the value adjustment completed on time for my 7500-mile maintenance service. Great to know all this going forward. Now I will either need to highly educate myself to do the valve adjustments myself or get it done at my Kawasaki dealer.
LOL
You do not need a high education to get the job done, but an education on
1. "Bucket And Shim" valve clearance measurement.
2. "Bucket And Shim"
valve clearance adjustment.
would be good, and it could could pay for itself.

Also Dave, possibly you may measure the clearances and find that they do not need adjustment.

Back in the days of the old 1970 Honda 750/4 (and the likes) the clearances were done
with "Screw And Lock-nut" which was dead easy... you didn't even need to take the
cam cover off as there were screw out plugs in the cam cover for measurement and adjustment access...
no cam/valve train disassembly was required to make the adjustments.
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I checked and re-shimmed all 4 exhaust valves at 7500 miles. Pain in the ass getting to the valve train. Easy to check, and moderated and time consuming to change. Will need the manual and a good torque wrench, replacement parts. gasket -O-rings, coolant Etc. and a decent set of hand tools. Good time to change plugs and clean air filter. Also a bit of experience and knowledge the manual does not mention. If one has never done a valve check / adjust it would be prudent to have a knowledgeable assistant to over see the first check. Good luck. A wise man knows what he doesn't know.

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As for TORQUE WRENCHES - I follow "Car Craft" magazine recommendation to HIGHLY recommend the 1/4" and 3/8" ones from Harbor-Freight tools.
 

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As for TORQUE WRENCHES - I follow "Car Craft" magazine recommendation to HIGHLY recommend the 1/4" and 3/8" ones from Harbor-Freight tools.
Each to his own. My experience however is; I have 1/4 inch drive inch pound wrench from Harbor freight and it is not accurate at all. I have retired it to the bottom of the tool box and repurchased a Kobalt 1/4 inch drive inch pound, from Lowes. The harbor freight wrench did not snap at the proper torque setting. Too tight. My 2 cents of advise is to spend a little more and get a little bit better tool. As I said each to his own. Buy / do what you are comfortable with.
 
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