Motorcycle Club » Star 650 Classic & Custom

Valve Adjustment - How Hard, Really?

28 posts from 12 voices
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  1. Hacgzav

    Yeah, the funny thing about that...

    I called KCs and AllSport in Decatur and told them I wanted an estimate on the 600 mile service interval, but that I had already changed the engine oil and the gearbox oil.

    They both replied, "Well, since you already changed the oils, you did the 600 mile service."

    I was baffled, and didn't really know what to say except, "Well, how much do you charge to adjust the valves and resync the carbs?"

    KCs replied, "140 bucks."

    AllSport said, "144 bucks."

    I had considered telling them that the owner's manual has all sorts of things to be done at 600 miles, like valve adjustment, resync the carbs, check for loose bolts, and a whole host of other things, but I kind of got the impression that they wouldn't have listened anyway, so I said, "Thanks," and hung up.

    But you know what? That isn't what turned me off from them...It was the fact that when I asked if I could be present in the shop when they worked on the bike, they both said, "We don't allow customers in the back. Insurance reasons."

    I used to manage an auto shop, and I can tell you the "insurance" excuse is a convenient way of keeping customers out of their hair...Not because they care about safety or liability. I can also tell you that I'm pretty sure it's next to impossible to get yourself hurt standing in a motorcycle shop while 90% of the vehicles are on the ground. Cars falling off of a lift onto someone is one thing, but a bike shop? Come on...

    Edited to add:

    Oh yeah, about the oil change. On the 650, you do not have to remove the exhaust. I believe Mikey made the same observation you did about the 1100s. Sounds like you do have to remove the exhaust on the 1100s.

  2. Hacgzav

    Ordered two Erlenmeyer Flasks (125 ml) and two rubber stoppers from:

    Plan on making the Ninja carb sync tool posted earlier. Flasks cost $3.50 each and the stoppers were $0.35 each.

    Shipping was $10.00.

  3. Callibjkian

    When I did my "600" mile service, the total bill came out to about $140. That was a price of $88/hr labor x 1.5 hours and gaskets and filter (though these were changed at 600 miles, I forgot to tell them when I took it in.) They listed things such as adjusting idle, torquing bolts, etc. My Ex-wife is friends with two of the mechanics so I believe they did the work they listed. Though expensive, I'll still take it to them for the 4000 mile service for warranty reasons. Hate to have something happen later and they say No coverage because I missed a service. I will continue to do what I can myself anyway. I love to learn and feel proud to say...That's MY bike and I made it as good as it is now..


  4. lygyr

    I am going to do it this weekend, I hope.I had considered documenting the process with pictures and posting it here in case there were other new 650 owners who were curious about how easy or hard it really is.If there is interest in me doing that, I will do it.
    Count me in.

  5. gitten

    Ordered two Erlenmeyer Flasks (125 ml) and two rubber stoppers from: Plan on making the Ninja carb sync tool posted earlier. Flasks cost $3.50 each and the stoppers were $0.35 each. Shipping was $10.00.
    Thanks for posting this information. I was at Harbor Freight yesterday purchasing some tools and looking for something that would work. This will be perfect.

  6. Hacgzav

    Just finished the valve adjustment on my 650 Classic. It took approximately 3 hours. I took my time, it being my first time doing it on this bike, but I expect it to go much faster the next time I do it.

    ****This is not a step-by-step review of the process, but only hits the highlights of the job itself. I attached pictures that I thought were hepful. You should still use the Clymer manual and/or the Yamaha service manual when you do this job.****

    I will say that the Clymer and Yamaha service manuals were very, very helpful. I would also recommend to anyone who is considering doing this job themselves the following:

    1. Do not turn a single bolt / nut until you have at least read through the procedure found in the Clymer or Yamaha service manuals for this job at least once. Reading through it a couple of times is even better.

    2. If you can get your hands on BOTH of the books, then that is even better. Mikey posted the Yamaha service manual on this forum. Simply use the search feature of this forum for "Service Manual". The Clymer manual can be bought for about $25 - $35 on-line.

    3. Take your time if it is the first time doing it. Think about what you are about to do before you do it. This is not an especially hard job to do, but there is a lot of work to do just to even get ready to adjust the valves. A lot of removal of parts just to get to the valves. I'll put it this way...It takes about 5 minutes to adjust the valves. The rest of the time is spent getting to the valves, and putting everything back together when you're done.

    I pretty much used the Yamaha Service manual procedure exclusively, and referenced the Clymer manual when I felt like I wanted extra information (which was surprisingly rare). If you don't have the Clymer manual, it is OK. As long as you have the Yamaha manual, you will be fine.

    I think it would be helpful to rate the difficulty of this job. On a scale of 1 star to 5 stars (pun intended).

    * - I could do this in my sleep...
    ** - Not too bad. I could do this myself every time.
    *** - Hmm...That was a little harder than I thought, but I did it!
    **** - Damn, I ain't doing this job again!
    ***** - Take it to a service shop.

    If you are mechanically inclined, and have any previous experience working on engines of any kind, good news. 1 - 2 stars.

    If you can turn a wrench and follow even vague instructions, but have no experience working on any engine of any kind, I would rate this a 3.

    If you are not mechanically inclined, cannot follow directions, have never worked on any engine of any kind, and don't know what a wrench is why you would want to turn it anyway, 5 stars.

    So, here we go.

    1. Turn the fuel valve switch to "OFF", and disconnect the fuel line from the valve. Stuff something into the fuel line to keep fuel from leaking from the tank. Shown below is a golf tee that I used.

    2. Remove the speedometer assembly by removing the three bolts holding it to the fuel tank. Also, remove the speedometer cable from the front wheel first before lifting the speedometer cable off of the fuel tank. If you don't, you will have a very limited amount of space to work in while removing the speeo cable and electrical connections from the back of the speedo assembly.

    3. At this point, I would remove the driver and passenger seat. In both of the manuals, this step comes after removal of the fuel tank.

    4. Disconnect the choke lever from the left side of the fuel tank. Leave this bolt removed. On the opposite side of the fuel tank, there is another bolt just like the one you removed when you took off the choke lever. Remove it too. Pivot the rear of the fuel tank up, and slide it back towards you. The tank should just slide out of place. Put the fuel tank aside.

    5. Remove the air filter case as an assembly. Do not disassemble it as if you are checking the air filter (unless you want to check the air filter). The air duct it is attached to is really two pieces. It is best to separate these two pieces before attempting to remove from the bike, it just makes it easier. You will also disconnect a breather hose from the bottom side of the air duct.

    6. Carburetor removal is optional. I will say that removing the carburetor is easy, and really does make the valve adjustment job a lot easier with it out of the way. This is how easy it is to remove the carburetor:

    a. Disconnect the Throttle Position Sensor (TPS) lead
    b. Disconnect the Thermo Switch Lead, and all of the other leads connected to the carburetor on this same wire assembly.
    c. Disconnect the other end of the fuel hose (remember, you removed the fuel hose from the fuel valve. This is the other end connected to the carburetor).
    d. Disconnect the Choke cable from the carburetor.
    e. Disconnect the throttle cables from the carburetor. This is where I will attempt to make this job easier than the manuals indicate. You will notice that the throttle cables are attached to a plate that is screwed into the carburetor. Rather than loosening the nuts that attach the cables to this bracket and then removing the cables from the bracket, just remove the bracket from the carburetor assembly.
    f. Loosen the screws on the bottom of the carburetor assembly that attaches the carburetors to their respective intake ports of each cylinder.
    g. Pull the carburetors straight up, and out of the bike. Place in a safe location, preferrably on a cloth of some kind on the ground.
    h. Stuff a couple of handkerchiefs into the intake ports of the cylinders to prevent dirt, bugs, tools, etc from falling into the head of the cylinders.

    7. Remove the Cylinder Head Covers from the heads. These are a two piece deal. WARNING: When removing the lower half of the cylinder head covers, care should be taken on the rear one. This is actually a "U" shaped piece, and it is only held in with two bolts. The other two attachment points are friction fit male / female type fasteners. You WILL break this assembly if you are not careful, especially if it is "bonded" to the cylinder heads. I broke mine

    8. Remove the cylinder head cover brackets...Really? Only remove the one that is in the way of the tappet covers.

    9. Remove the camshaft sprocket covers. Next, remove the timing plug and straight plug. Bring the cylinder to Top Dead Center (TDC) that you will be adjusting the valves for. Essentially, to do this, you will line the mark on the camshaft sprocket with the mark on the cylinder head. See the picture below for the rear cylinder. There really isn't any need in verifying the timing plug mark, as the cylinder will be at TDC when the camshaft sprocket is aligned properly with its mark. The only reason I mention this is because on the front cylinder, when the camshaft sprocket indicates that the cylinder is at TDC, the timing plug will not indicate such. The camshaft sprocket is the essential tool to measure with, not the timing plug. But, if you want to look at it, by all means, just be sure that the camshaft sprocket is aligned with its mark, and forget what the timing plug says.

    10. Remove the tappet covers. I found a 10mm wrench best for removing the tappet covers, not a socket as I had been using.

    11. Finally! The rocker arms and top of the valves are exposed.

    12. Take the correct feeler gauge and place it between the rocker arm and the top of the valve. Adjust as needed. Sadly, I only found one valve that needed adjusting. I was so sad.

    13. Reassemble Johnny-Number-5 in the reverse order. I will give only one piece of advice on the reassembly. When you are ready to reinstall the carburetors, put a small film of oil on the intake ports. This will make putting the carburetors back on MUCH, MUCH easier. Also, there will be no doubt when the carbs are seated properly. You will feel a reassuring seat when they are seated properly. If you do not feel the reassuring "seat", then be absolutely sure the carbs are seated properly before moving on, otherwise your intake will leak, and your performance will suffer.

    If you have questions, just PM me.

    Have fun!

  7. virefaceone

    Well, I just got done giving the valve adjustment a go. Took me awhile but bike is back together and seems to be running ok, seems the idle is a little off now but i guess that could have gotten messed up when un hooking and hooking up the throttle cables, going to have to look into adjusting that now i guess. A couple of suggestions and points i will pass along.
    1. When putting the valve tapet covers back on, dont get over agressive tightening them back up as i found that it would be very easy to over tourque these and strip them. i am one of those people that is bad about trying to give things one more little turn after it already seems tight enough and on these i could tell i was pushing my luck.
    2. If you are not much of a mechanic go ahead and prepare your self to get frustrated with a few things so you dont end up blowing your stack. The whole process of getting the carb set up off and especially back on can get you bent up real quick as can getting the very fron and very rear valve covers off.
    3. the plastic piece that was refered to in the above step by step that is easy to break...yes, be carefull with that, I managed to not break mine but i came close and it will be very easy to do. Take your time on everything when doing this the first time.

  8. virefaceone

    Oh yeah, had a question for Mikey and the others that have done this a few times and are decent with these machines. If you have done anything wrong on the adjustment are there any very obvious signs to look for as far as how the bike will run or will it hardly run at all if you messed it up? As said above, bike is back together and i ran it up the road and got on some back streets and got on it pretty hard a few times and acceleration seemed to be real good and it wasnt missing or anything but idle does seem to be a tiny bit rough and a bit on the low side now which I guess could make it seem a bit rough. that is the only thing that seems to be different in any kind of bad way. For myself and others that will be curious, what are signs that you did the adjustment wrong or got it out of spec somehow?



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