• Do you want to post in the COG forum? Join the club (free limited trial membership available) or upgrade/renew your membership to enjoy full posting privileges.
    For simple instructions, click here
  • Can't post after logging to the forum for the first time... Try Again - If you can't post in the forum, sign out of both the membership site and the forum and log in again. Make sure your COG membership is active and your browser allow cookies. If you still can't post, contact the COG IT guy at IT@Concours.org.
  • IF YOU GET 404 ERROR: This may be due to using a link in a post from prior to the web migration. Content was brought over from the old forum as is, but the links may be in error. If the link contains "cog-online.org" it is an old link and will not work.

Anyone finding almost All valve clearances at or tighter than spec at 15,000 miles?

tbraunreiter

Big Wheel
Forum Subscriber
Just checked clearances at 15,000 miles and almost all were at or below minimum recommended clearance. Previous posts I read didn’t seem to find this. Anyone else find similar tight readings?
 

2andblue

Member
Member
What were your clearance measurements?

I am no engineer: however given valve tightening is due to compression of the head material under the seat what sort of RPM’s do you run?

It would make sense to me if you are seeing consistently tight valves at this low mileage you have opened/ closed valves more than average (higher average RPM). What is average - no idea...

Blue (my machine) is due the initial valve clearance check.
 

tbraunreiter

Big Wheel
Forum Subscriber
Five intakes were at .11mm, two were at .12, one at .14. Three exhausts were at .17, three at .18, two at .19. I do ride a lot at higher rpm because I live in Montana with a lot of curvy mountain roads, but the rest of the time I drone along in 6th gear at 70-80. I don’t feel that I ride much differently than anyone else. I do hit the redline occasionally when accellerating, but, again, not much more than anyone else.
 

danmcdermott@me.com

Member
Member
tbraunreiter,

If you mean your motorcycle just turned 15,000 miles and those are your measurements it is well to know most see movement in valve clearance in the first few thousand miles and less after that. Also, many experience valves tightening (getting more narrow) over time as well. There is a thought to move valves to the largest in spec gap at each adjustment understanding that after break in they seem to always get tighter. I choose to inspect mine at the prescribed intervals and bring out of spec valves into the middle of spec as possible.

If I misunderstood your post and question please disregard.
 

tbraunreiter

Big Wheel
Forum Subscriber
tbraunreiter,

If you mean your motorcycle just turned 15,000 miles and those are your measurements it is well to know most see movement in valve clearance in the first few thousand miles and less after that. Also, many experience valves tightening (getting more narrow) over time as well. There is a thought to move valves to the largest in spec gap at each adjustment understanding that after break in they seem to always get tighter. I choose to inspect mine at the prescribed intervals and bring out of spec valves into the middle of spec as possible.

If I misunderstood your post and question please disregard.
Thanks, that’s my plan, but obviously not cheap to change out 16 shims. Will set to upper middle of suggested range.
 

gsun

COG# 9127 CDA# 560
Member
My first check there were 15 out of 16 out of spec. Second one not so bad but still 5 or 6 out.
 

rogracer

Member
Member
At 25K miles, mine where all in Spec...but 1 valve just barely (didn't bother to adjust), but I don't bounce off the rev limiter as normal practice either.
 

2andblue

Member
Member
My first check there were 15 out of 16 out of spec. Second one not so bad but still 5 or 6 out.
gsun - what mileage was your first valve clearance check? Did you set to the looser side? Mileage in between first / second maintenance. Finally are you at the higher RPMS often, close to redline?
 

4bikes

COG#9715 AAD
Member
I checked mine the first time at 13,750 miles and I found 2 exhaust valves and 4 intake valves out of spec and tight, and the remaining 10 valves were on the tight side of the spec. They we’re loosened back to center at 0.009 on the Exhaust, and 0.006 on the Intakes. On the second check at 40,000 miles, 15 of the 16 Didn’t move at all, and one actually loosened closer to the loose end of the spec. if you don’t check them, you have no idea where they stand.
 

Daytona_Mike

Guest
Guest
Valve gaps will always get tighter.. that is normal. Valve gaps getting looser is not normal and is usually just caused by carbon build up on the valve head itself which on the older carbureted bikes were more common .. not so common on Fuel Injected bikes. This is why the propensity to always regap to the max specifications if possible to extend out the next inspection interval. High revving the engine to redline does not seem to effect valve clearances however.. maintaining a high rev over long periods will have an effect.. which makes sense.. the engine has many more revolutions on it for the same amount of miles... Bottom line.. red lining the engine is fine.. Holding it at redline...... that will shorten the maintenance intervals. Most people find doing their first 'Adjustment' at 24k miles is perfect. Many people suggest not doing inspections (unless you have the funds or do it yourself-- inspections are not cheap).. just plan on having them re-gapped at 24k miles. That is up to you. Mine were all on the cusp of 'Out of Spec' at 24k miles. All where tight. All were adjusted to the max spec as best as possible
 
Last edited:

rogracer

Member
Member
I've heard it said high RPM use doesn't effect valve clearance, and I'm sure there are anecdotal accounts where that is true. But I struggle with that conclusion as the impact loads at the valve seat scale with the square of engine speed. So I would need an explanation as to why that does not matter before accepting that conclusion as fact.
 

zrxmax

Pistons, Cams, and Valves!
Member
Valve gaps will always get tighter.. that is normal. Valve gaps getting looser is not normal and is usually just caused by carbon build up on the valve head itself which on the older carbureted bikes were more common .. not so common on Fuel Injected bikes. This is why the propensity to always regap to the max specifications if possible to extend out the next inspection interval. High revving the engine to redline does not seem to effect valve clearances however.. maintaining a high rev over long periods will have an effect.. which makes sense.. the engine has many more revolutions on it for the same amount of miles... Bottom line.. red lining the engine is fine.. Holding it at redline...... that will shorten the maintenance intervals. Most people find doing their first 'Adjustment' at 24k miles is perfect. Many people suggest not doing inspections (unless you have the funds or do it yourself-- inspections are not cheap).. just plan on having them re-gapped at 24k miles. That is up to you. Mine were all on the cusp of 'Out of Spec' at 24k miles. All where tight. All were adjusted to the max spec as best as possible
This valve adjusting philosophy mirrors that of my 05 Busa. On the Busa you can tell the valves need adjusting when the bike gets harder to start... that is... it takes more revolutions for it to fire. The good news is this... once the valves are adjusted again its often been said that if you don't beat the crap out of it you may never have to set them again. I don't know if that is true... just what I have heard from people that build these motors for performance. Like you mentioned... carbon under the valves could be an issue... so... a shot of Sea FOAM ( dam auto correct ) or the equivalent combined with some wide open throttle can be a good way to keep the valves closing like they should.
 

2andblue

Member
Member
I've heard it said high RPM use doesn't effect valve clearance, and I'm sure there are anecdotal accounts where that is true. But I struggle with that conclusion as the impact loads at the valve seat scale with the square of engine speed. So I would need an explanation as to why that does not matter before accepting that conclusion as fact.
I have always understood and accepted the premise it is cycles not necessarily speed of closure that dictates the frequency of valve clearance adjustments.

Naturally higher number of RPM’s results in more cycles per period of runtime / compressing the softer head under the seat which displaces the clearance gap by thinning the thickness of the head. After head material has compressed the denser material provides for less movement and hence less frequency in valve clearance adjustments.

Not certain policy on posting commercial articles of other sources than COG however there are good online articles in circulation explaining more eloquently what I describe above.

Given about half the 29K miles I have on my machine were always low RPM miles and not until the recent times have I enjoyed the higher RPM’s I have delayed the maintenance. Will be a late fall exercise.

To OP
1) Your measurements although a few below spec they don’t appear alarming - exhaust of course being the biggest of concern, so I would not be concerned.
2) You are right on the mark of mileage check.
3) Lastly - I have never hit redline so given higher RPMs I again would not be concerned. Set to higher end and go until 35K at least is my bet.
 

zrxmax

Pistons, Cams, and Valves!
Member
Is anybody using aftermarket shims? I see the ones from China on E Bay... given my level of buy American first I really don't want to give any more money to the CCP indirectly unless no other choice is available.
 

gsun

COG# 9127 CDA# 560
Member
gsun - what mileage was your first valve clearance check? Did you set to the looser side? Mileage in between first / second maintenance. Finally are you at the higher RPMS often, close to redline?
First one was at about 25K kms. Second about 50. I set it in the middle. I don't ride full out normally.
 

2andblue

Member
Member
Gsun I am surprised to hear at such a low mileage 15 of 16 valves were outside the specification range... Very interesting.

OP here is another low mileage testimony with practically all valves were outside spec. What you experienced doesn’t sound like it is abnormal. My guess folks who wait longer just aren’t discovering they are out of specification.

In the next few weeks when I tackle this task will post individual measurements. I have close to 30K miles so it’s overdue. To my knowledge valves have not been a chronic issue with the C14 and I am quite certain many NEVER touch their valves or do so infrequently - not right but can see how this could be true.
 

gixerhp

Street Cruiser
Member
Industry Vendor
Thanks, that’s my plan, but obviously not cheap to change out 16 shims. Will set to upper middle of suggested range.
When you are checking and measuring the shims. Record what is the size at every valve.
Then you can see what can be moved around
 

TireguyfromMA

Member
Member
The quality, or lack thereof, "metal" that comes out of China has been a problem for a long time. I've had first hand experience with parts that were supposed to be made from silver that had more junk aluminum in them than silver, looked a lot like silver though. I consider valve shims critical components, if there soft or wear out under load your gonna have a engine problem. Stick with high quality.
 

Keith S

Member
Member
I just did my first inspection at 16,400 on a 2018. 15 of 16 were below minimum, and one exhaust was right at minimum. So, they all got changed. Mic'd everything and started swapping. Ended up only needing to buy 7 shims from Rocky Mountain ATV.
 

nickrides

Member
Member
Keith S
That is almost exactly the same as what I found this spring with my valve service at 17K.
Going to check them again at around 35-40 K and see what I got then.
Happy Holidays
Nick
2104 C-14
 

viffer_pilot

Member
Member
Did mine for the first time at about 21K. Bike was running fine at the time. All valves were tight and two intake valves were tighter than my thinnest gauges. I swapped a bunch between valves and the remainder I ordered from RMATV. They sell individual shims and ship fast. Highly recommend.
 

2andblue

Member
Member
Group - I postponed until 31K miles the initial valve clearance inspection... :confused:

Below are my measurements, every valve is tight, measured multiple times each to verify. Need to pull cams, lifters then take shim measurements and order replacement shims. I guess I am not entirely surprised given the testimony of many, I would not advise anyone to go this mileage before first check.

Although no visual ware some of these measurements are well under spec., not quite to the level of others I have heard who could not get any gauge within the clearance to measure.

Cylinder/ (Valve Position)Spec. Range mm~ Median mm1 (Left)1 Right2 (Left)2 (Right)3 (Left)3 (Right)4 (Left)4 (Right)
Exhaust mm
.19 - .24​
.21​
0.127​
0.152​
0.178​
0.165​
0.178​
0.178​
0.14​
0.14​
Intake mm
.12 - .17​
.15​
0.076​
0.076​
0.114​
0.089​
0.114​
0.114​
0.114​
0.114​
 

2andblue

Member
Member
Finally got to tinker some more today - cams / lifters are out. I’ll post updated map however only one shim could be re-used.

Ordered shims through RM ATV - pricing and availability great!
 

Attachments

  • BD6A6F50-E206-45A6-935F-17F11468490F.jpeg
    BD6A6F50-E206-45A6-935F-17F11468490F.jpeg
    213 KB · Views: 36
  • B2CAE71D-780E-423F-9DD9-BB8B33A15AF5.jpeg
    B2CAE71D-780E-423F-9DD9-BB8B33A15AF5.jpeg
    149 KB · Views: 39

chrismpero

Member
Member
I'm curious to see where mine are, a 16 w/25ish on it. Its mostly commuting and spirited riding. Never has it to redline.
 

2andblue

Member
Member
Noting here today upon re-assembly... Service manual dictates replacing oil pipe O-Rings - this is not within Murph's Valve Inspection kit.

If no apparent damage what's the take - replace / reuse?

Sort of foolish to not replace since at this point of disassembly and oil is the lifeline, but also wondering if this is an unnecessary item that is also unlikely changed out by the dealers as well???

Not going anywhere anytime soon but damn I wanted to get started on putting the rest of the bike back together and the mail is terrible right now (long delay) to get parts...

BTW - Here are the adjustments needed. Still to torque and measure to confirm actual clearances.
2017 Kawasaki Concours 14 Valve Adjust Specs.PNG
 

4bikes

COG#9715 AAD
Member
I would inspect those O-rings, and if they look good you should be fine. I don’t recall anyone replacing them. If they would seep a bit, it would be no big deal. I think replacing those rubber washers on the valve cover are more important. The manual doesn’t call for replacing them. Those should be in Murphy’s 4bikes deluxe kit if I remember correctly.
 

2andblue

Member
Member
Torqued all today in place and rotated engine over to find significantly more build-up of compression. Anyone else have this immediate noticeable effect after a valve clearance adjustment?

Machine was running fine, so I thought, looking forward to hearing / feeling the first startup. I only get to tinker a bit here and there so it’ll be a couple more weeks.

Basically all measurements landed spot on where I plotted them. One was closer to mid of the spec range - will update with the final chart.

I followed service manual which states to remove cams, seen where others are trying to not remove cams. Today I had to remove and install cams three times to get timing proper but it’s right now, bit of a learning curve with the chain tension on assembly.

BTW - the way some are not removing the chain tensioner may be placing undue excess pressure on the chain - there is a ratcheting mechanism that engages as the tensioner is pulled out, prevents tensioner from reversing - tensioner must must be manually reset before reinstalling..
 
Last edited:

2andblue

Member
Member
Assembled final actual measurements added to worksheet I used to organize original measurements, shim mapping, calculations and final actual.

1613527982896.png
 

2andblue

Member
Member
I would inspect those O-rings, and if they look good you should be fine. I don’t recall anyone replacing them. If they would seep a bit, it would be no big deal. I think replacing those rubber washers on the valve cover are more important. The manual doesn’t call for replacing them. Those should be in Murphy’s 4bikes deluxe kit if I remember correctly.
Oil Pipe O-Rings were fine, lubed them up and reused.

Interestingly now buttoning up I am finding many frame bolts are, directed by the service manual, to be replaced with new ones that are pre-treated with locking agent. I think I am applying a good amount of locking agent and reusing.

Anyone else replacing the frame mount bolts? With the factory thread locker they were exceptionally difficult to back out; I used a tap / die for cleaning all the factory thread locker from bolt and internal threads.

Thanks all for the feedback on the bolt reuse or replace.
 

ron203

Southeast Area Director
Member
8 tight at 18,805 miles on my 2014. 4 of each. Not ridden hard. Just the way it was built I guess.
 

4bikes

COG#9715 AAD
Member
I did what you did on the frame bolts. I chased the threads, wire brushed the bolt threads, and applied blue thread locker. If you want to replace the bolts, I put them in this list of parts. Hope this helps.

 

2andblue

Member
Member
Chris I have 2 sets of gauges - Tusk and OEM tools. Both have their advantages (sizes) but you can get by with either...

4biked - Great thread added on here! And yup I’m reinstalling the bolts.
 

4bikes

COG#9715 AAD
Member
Here a link to information and photos covering the entire valve adjustment procedure and other maintenance tasks and part numbers while the bike is naked. Steve Smith helped to fix up the sub links that were referring to the old COG forum, so all the links should be working.

 

nickrides

Member
Member
It seems to me the first valve adjustment is important, the engine has been thoughly run in and hopefully the valves have settled in. I'm curious to what people are finding at the 30 and 45K mark? Compared to the first reset at roughly 15K
At 17 K I had 14 valves that were all too tight. I'm curious what I'll find at the 30K reset.
Nick
2014 C-14
 

4bikes

COG#9715 AAD
Member
As you can see from that link I just posted, mine had no movement at the second 40K mile check. while the first check at 14K mikes, 15 of 16 valves were adjusted.
 

2andblue

Member
Member
Nick as you may have captured from my documenting I went 31K to first adjustment, in hindsight, I would not recommend postponing this long.

Per above charts all valve clearances were, some more than others, below minimum specification.

The big unknown is how were valves adjusted at the factory? I would assume mid-specification but there is a range and to the Kawasaki service manual if the measurement is in range you are good...

When are you due for your 30? I also interested to see where you turned out since you had control of the starting point.

Overall it’s not a bad job - yes for sure takes time but I think after the first one under the belt the subsequent would be much quicker: lessons have been learned, know more what to pre-buy (or not) and respect for engineering replaces fear of destroying something (confidence). Also not to mention all the great support and resources from COG.
 

angelo

Moped
Forum Subscriber
I got my bike used with 16K on it. Spent 1.5 years debating - so valve check was done in 34K range. All were tight. It's a big job that certainly favors the organized and methodical. Bike is at 50K now. So I am thinking next winter - around 60K will be my time. That will make it 26K miles between. But, with the late initial adjustment, we will see how much they have tightened.
 

2andblue

Member
Member
Angelo if I had opportunity to do it over again, I would not have waited until 31K miles.
The noticeable compression difference of the engine tells me everything I need to know - due to valves all being below minimum specification there was wasted compression, fuel and FUN.
 
Top