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I have a 2004 Bonneville with 7800 miles on it. I know the manual says to do a valve adjustment at 12000 miles, but should I have them checked since the bike is 5 years old?
What would be the signs that I need to do this?
 

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Valves

I got an 04 too & all is OK! The 12000 mi is a reference pt. If its not clicking like a mombo beat- it aint broke! DONT FIX IT!! Mine runs better than ever. I feel 03-06 were the best years made on the Bonne. Hold on to it!!
 

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I got an 04 too & all is OK! The 12000 mi is a reference pt. If its not clicking like a mombo beat- it aint broke! DONT FIX IT!! Mine runs better than ever. I feel 03-06 were the best years made on the Bonne. Hold on to it!!
Yeah, almost as good as an '07! :D
 

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I got an 04 too & all is OK! The 12000 mi is a reference pt. If its not clicking like a mombo beat- it aint broke! DONT FIX IT!! Mine runs better than ever. I feel 03-06 were the best years made on the Bonne. Hold on to it!!


I've said it before and I'll say it again, you can't check valves with your ears. The only way is with a feeler gauge and taking the time to care for your bike properly.

At 7800 miles I wouldn't worry about it. Wait til 12,000 and then check the lash. It isn't difficult and only requires a feeler gauge. Adjusting them if tougher but it isn't bad at all.
 

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All 8 of my valves were over tolerance at 12,000 miles... but not by much. .001 to .002 inches over maximum. (Yes I convert everything to English measurements and just work that way... I've been doing that for more than 30 years, what can I say?). I heard a little bit of ticking, but not much. Bringing the whole set to the middle of the tolerance range required 6 new shims as I was able to move two of them to another location. The total cost was $60. (Yeah maybe I could have gotten the shims cheaper but definitely not faster) Still not a bad price for the whole valve adjustment.
Anyway I do not hear the ticking anymore. I re-checked after a hundred miles just to make sure no "settling" had occured and all of the valves had remained on dead center.
Still I agree w/ Sweat... the ears may not be the most reliable check... certainly not as good as a feeler gauge.... and.... you should not need to worry about it before 12,000 miles.
 

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Unionman,
First, 5 years old and only 7800. Dang ride that thing, it will die of old age before it needs a valve adjustment. OK just pullin your chain in fun.
Sweat is right. Even though I was an ASE master mechanic way back in 76 and have adjusted more valves than I've changed shorts, I still don't feel right until I check them. I have heard a little ticking since day one so at 10,000 I checked them. My instinct said just a little loose and low and behold all the exhaust were .03mm loose (.001") and the intakes on the left side were .02mm loose (.00079").
Since these bucket shim valves tend to get a little tighter as the valves seat I decided to let them ride and check them again around 15,000. If there still the same then, I will re-shim them. It's probably more important to check the right intakes that were in the middle of tolerance. Tight valves bad, slappy tappets=happy tappets
 

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I don't think I would be concerned with it, but if you are worried then pull the valve cover and check the clearances. That is an easy fix for peace of mind, and you may well find they don't need anything.
 

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I just bought a 2008 Bonnie with 30,000 miles. After reading this board about the ticking sound I have to say that my Bonnie does tick while idling and while riding, though I haven't checked the valves, is this a sign of some of the valves being out of tolerance? I know how to check the valves but not to fix it. How much does a mechanic usually charge to get new shims to adjust the valves? I'm relatively new to the maintenance of a motorcycle and have been learning a lot about my bike since I got it 3 weeks ago. Thanks guys.
 

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valves

I called a local motorcycle mechanic and inquired about having my Bonnie's valve clearances checked. He told me over the phone that these bikes have hydraulic valves, something I hadn't heard as yet. He wanted $400 to check them. Needless to say, I haven't called him back, I'll tackle this myself; at 8,500 on my '02 and slight ticking, all seems well, so I'm not worried.
 

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I called a local motorcycle mechanic and inquired about having my Bonnie's valve clearances checked. He told me over the phone that these bikes have hydraulic valves, something I hadn't heard as yet. He wanted $400 to check them. Needless to say, I haven't called him back, I'll tackle this myself; at 8,500 on my '02 and slight ticking, all seems well, so I'm not worried.
He seems like a top mechanic, tells you the bike has hydraulic valves (you haven't) but then quotes you for checking them.
 

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My 2007 Bonneville has less than 7000miles and some of my shims are already out of tolerance. i was replacing the rubber gasket to take care of the oil weeping problem and though i'd check the clearance. i was shocked to see they were out of range. how's that possible? one exhaust is at 0.31 and the other at 0.32.

Also, one of the inlet is at 0.19mm. I know that's at the higher range for inlet clearance and since i'm going to be opening them anyway, would it make sense to get it down to the lower tolerance level (like 0.16 or 0.175)??
From what i understand, the gap increases over time not decrease right?
If so, I would rather replace it now than deal with the same thing over again next summer. Please advice.
 

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I checked a 2007 T-100 with 10k on it last week. All but one valve was loose, the remaining valve was in spec. We'll just leave it that way until next year and see what happens. Loose won't break anything, and the bike is running great. They may tighten with time.
 

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Valves tighten over time, so they decrease, loose valves are happy valves. Gaps on the larger side aren't really a concern if close to spec.
 

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Valves tighten over time, so they decrease, loose valves are happy valves. Gaps on the larger side aren't really a concern if close to spec.
Thanks! that makes a lot of sense. the valves are probably just getting seated right? so the clearance would slowly decrease over time until the valves are fully seated (maybe around the 12000 miles). great news! i'll put it back and ride a few thousand miles before checking again.
 
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