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Discussion Starter #21
1. Do you need to change the valve cover gasket? Yes, each time you take the valve cover off.

2. Many people do the work in these stages:

(a) Get access to the valves and measure and RECORD the valve clearance for each valve on a paper DIAGRAM so there is no confusion about which valve had what clearance

(b) For the valves that are outside of the proper clearance range ONLY, remove the current current shims ONE AT A TIME, carefully recording the thickness of each one on the diagram, before proceeding to the next out-of-spec valve

(c) Calculate the NEW shim thicknesses needed for each out-of-spec valve and mark it on the diagram. In some cases, an existing shim in an out-of-spec valve can serve as the ideal replacement shim for a different out-of-spec valve. Determine how many new shims, and what thicknesses, are needed

(d) Buy the calculated new shims

(e) Replace the out-of-spec shims with the replacement shims

An alternative is to buy a large "set" of shims, but that is costly at OEM prices.

For someone like a typical R3 owner, who will only need to do the valve clearances once every 5 or more years, doing the valve clearance check and adjustment himself is not smart. You cannot be "good" at remembering all the correct steps and good at doing them. There are also risks - like dropping the camchain into the crankcase, or making a shim calculation error on a 12,500 rpm engine.

The $400 for the class is hard to justify for 2 reasons:

1. Since you will only be doing this once every 5 or more years, you won't remember the steps and precautions between the 25000 mile adjustment sessions

2. $400 is MORE than your dealership would charge you for this service, and the dealership mechanic, who does this a LOT more frequently then every 5 years, will be far less likely to forget a step or make an error. My dealer charges around $300 Canadian I think, which means about $300/5 = $60 per year to keep my valve clearances in proper adjustment. So, my plan is to have the dealer do it.

Jim G
I put quite a few miles on my bike, so my interval would be closer to every 2 years, not 5.

The real question I guess I should be asking myself is whether I should keep this bike or trade it for another. All the service that's coming up will cost me around $1,000 if I take it to a shop (new fork and shock oil plus new seals, valve check, steering and swingarm check and lube). There's been a lot of bikes going up for sale in the $2k range, so figuring in the cost of what I sell this for and paying for all that service, I could get something a little faster and with longer maintenance intervals (like an FZ6).

Or, I could learn how to do all the service myself and save some money in the long run and keep this bike til it dies.
 

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I put quite a few miles on my bike, so my interval would be closer to every 2 years, not 5.

The real question I guess I should be asking myself is whether I should keep this bike or trade it for another. All the service that's coming up will cost me around $1,000 if I take it to a shop (new fork and shock oil plus new seals, valve check, steering and swingarm check and lube). There's been a lot of bikes going up for sale in the $2k range, so figuring in the cost of what I sell this for and paying for all that service, I could get something a little faster and with longer maintenance intervals (like an FZ6).

Or, I could learn how to do all the service myself and save some money in the long run and keep this bike til it dies.
Jim makes some solid points, but your idea of DIY has merits. There is an online R3 service manual available on this forum you may want to check out. A paper YZF R3 Service Manual (Yamaha Part # LIT116162857) is available several places. I've seen prices from $73.61 to $89.00 US, but you may find it cheaper. The thoughts of having paper in hand is comforting to me, but then again, I still use a flip phone. So you may be just as comfortable with an on-line version. My point is, looking through the manual will either assure you that you have the tools and knowledge to complete a particular project (whether it's adjusting valves or replacing front shock seals, etc.) or you're so far behind the curve, it may be a lost cause. And no one but you can make that decision. I don't consider the time spent on working on my bike as wasted, but enjoyable. But if you value your free time at all, you may find it cheaper and more practical in the long run to pay a qualified tech to do your work. I adjusted valves on a 1983 R8RT BMW airhead engine for over 34 years, and never had a problem, BUT I wouldn't even attempt to do the same on my 2015 R3. I'm just not capable of doing the job. :nerd: Good luck.
 

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1. Do you need to change the valve cover gasket? Yes, each time you take the valve cover off.

2. Many people do the work in these stages:

(a) Get access to the valves and measure and RECORD the valve clearance for each valve on a paper DIAGRAM so there is no confusion about which valve had what clearance

(b) For the valves that are outside of the proper clearance range ONLY, remove the current current shims ONE AT A TIME, carefully recording the thickness of each one on the diagram, before proceeding to the next out-of-spec valve

(c) Calculate the NEW shim thicknesses needed for each out-of-spec valve and mark it on the diagram. In some cases, an existing shim in an out-of-spec valve can serve as the ideal replacement shim for a different out-of-spec valve. Determine how many new shims, and what thicknesses, are needed

(d) Buy the calculated new shims

(e) Replace the out-of-spec shims with the replacement shims

An alternative is to buy a large "set" of shims, but that is costly at OEM prices.

For someone like a typical R3 owner, who will only need to do the valve clearances once every 5 or more years, doing the valve clearance check and adjustment himself is not smart. You cannot be "good" at remembering all the correct steps and good at doing them. There are also risks - like dropping the camchain into the crankcase, or making a shim calculation error on a 12,500 rpm engine.

The $400 for the class is hard to justify for 2 reasons:

1. Since you will only be doing this once every 5 or more years, you won't remember the steps and precautions between the 25000 mile adjustment sessions

2. $400 is MORE than your dealership would charge you for this service, and the dealership mechanic, who does this a LOT more frequently then every 5 years, will be far less likely to forget a step or make an error. My dealer charges around $300 Canadian I think, which means about $300/5 = $60 per year to keep my valve clearances in proper adjustment. So, my plan is to have the dealer do it.

Jim G
Thank you so much for this information.

I think my bike now needs valve clearance check dearly. I will have to get and your process is really helpful for me.
 

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I put quite a few miles on my bike, so my interval would be closer to every 2 years, not 5.

The real question I guess I should be asking myself is whether I should keep this bike or trade it for another. All the service that's coming up will cost me around $1,000 if I take it to a shop (new fork and shock oil plus new seals, valve check, steering and swingarm check and lube). There's been a lot of bikes going up for sale in the $2k range, so figuring in the cost of what I sell this for and paying for all that service, I could get something a little faster and with longer maintenance intervals (like an FZ6).

Or, I could learn how to do all the service myself and save some money in the long run and keep this bike til it dies.

Up to you. I don't know what kind of space and tools you have access to but that's a factor, especially if you have to order shims and the bike is going to be sitting partly assembled for any length of time.



I don't know if $400 is a good price, but nothing compares to good hands on training. If this is something you plan on doing, with this and/or other bikes in the future which might have shorter intervals, it could be worth it. Just verify the rep of the trainers and all that.



Me? I'll be doing the checks myself when it comes. I've never done a valve adjustment, but I like doing this sort of thing and don't find it especially difficult most of the time so long as I have good instructions, but I also have a local(ish) group that's done all manner of wrenching that I can ask for help if I get in a bind. I also have a garage I can keep the bike in for the whole process, so that's taken care of.



Bear in mind, this isn't my only/primary transportation. If it was, I might be looking to have a shop do it, just in case.
 
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There was an excellent thread on the KawasakiVersys web forum on valve adjustment with many fotos. I read it a couple of times then proceeded with the work slowly. It was not difficult and I now have no hesitation to do the Yamaha valve work. Popped open the valve cover to check clearance one night. Popped the cams and changed out as needed the shims the next morning. Double checked all my work. Then buttoned it all up the next day. If you had the shim kit all of the work could be done by a DIY in a couple of 3 hours probably.
Take your time and stuff rags in all open motor spaces. Be sure to have a small pencil magnet in case you are fat fingered. I've done many conventional tappet lock nut valve adjustments prior. Most of the shim/bucket fear is fear of the unfamiliar.

Good Read is Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Pirsig.
 

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I really hate to say this but i got a 2016 r3 that i picked up in August of 2016. It's been in 14 wrecks. Technically downed 11 times and wrecked 3 times.. Anyways im at 53,178 miles and still haven't checked my valves. But i have noticed it has been clicking alot recently and slowly burning through oil. Granted the oil loss is probably from all the wheelies I've been doing.. Been meaning to check the air box to see if i get any oil in there like i do on the 2016 ninja 300.
 

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I did a value adjustment on my 2015 R3 about a year ago when i hit 23000 miles.....im now near 32000 miles....some symptoms that i had was the rpm gauge would flutter up and down abnormally and when holding in the clutch the bike had a tendency to just shut off ..its pretty dangerous. I got the valve adjustment done and the bike runs like new
 

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I did a value adjustment on my 2015 R3 about a year ago when i hit 23000 miles.....im now near 32000 miles....some symptoms that i had was the rpm gauge would flutter up and down abnormally and when holding in the clutch the bike had a tendency to just shut off ..its pretty dangerous. I got the valve adjustment done and the bike runs like new
My first valve check is coming due soon. Will you tell me the size of the shims diameter. My mechanic friend has several boxes of hot cam shims and I hope he will have the correct sizes as the dealer does not stock shims. A six week order delay here in Mexico..
 

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I really hate to say this but i got a 2016 r3 that i picked up in August of 2016. It's been in 14 wrecks. Technically downed 11 times and wrecked 3 times.. Anyways im at 53,178 miles and still haven't checked my valves. But i have noticed it has been clicking alot recently and slowly burning through oil. Granted the oil loss is probably from all the wheelies I've been doing.. Been meaning to check the air box to see if i get any oil in there like i do on the 2016 ninja 300.
I'm at 90K kms mark and have checked for valve clearance twice at 60K and 75K kms. Both times it was within the tolerance range. But I'm getting this clicking sound and a little amount of oil is also being burnt, when changing oil at 5K kms service interval. I'll be getting it checked again at the upcoming service and will update here.

Has anybody done a change of the shims for their R3 here?
 

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Checked the valve clearance. All the 8 valves were within the tolerance level.
Done with throttle body syncing - this resolved the sound issues. The bike feels more free and easy.
Throttle cable changed as it was getting stuck.
Overall, another good satisfactory service went by.
Next up is the ride to Bhutan and explore the country.
 

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Doing them when it is NOT yet recommended is not good because:

- It costs a LOT to have ti done by a dealer, because it is a ton of work

- It adds unnecessary risk: Valve clearance adjustment is one of the most demanding oeprations that ever needs to be done on a motorcycle engine outside an engine factory. It also requires EXCELLENT and uninterrupted and undistracted attention all the time for the duration of the work. What if the mechanic makes an error? What if he drops a small part into the crankcase down the valvechain cavity and is afraid to confess it to his boss and so leaves it there? What if he does not torque the camshaft retainer bolts to proper spec? What is he gets distracted during the (very detailed) job and forgets a step or two?

- The very best and most consistent assembly of a motorcycle engine is done at the factory, since those guys, unlike dealership mechanics, assemble engines all day long every day of the year, AND they have super accurate, consistent, and highest quality tools that the dealership cannot afford. No dealership mechanic can truthfully fully replciate what the factory does inside an engine.

- The R3 valve adjustment interval is so long that many (most?Almost all?) owners will NEVER have to have it done. Why pay the money and take the risks when you don't need to?

Jim G
I respectfully disagree.... I'm NOT a professional mechanic, but I've checked the valve clearance on almost every track bike I've ever owned. It's not all that hard to do. If you can read a service manual, have tools, and can take notes, it's not really a big deal. I've had some seriously high-strung motors, that required valve checks every 5 hours of use. I've never dropped anything in the motor, nor have I had a problem doing valve checks. I personally feel better doing it myself, than have some "mechanic" at the dealership, that's trying to beat-the-clock" for shop hours-
 
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