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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've done all my own maintenance/inspections on my 2010 Bonneville. I now have 12,000 miles on it, and I'm wondering if it is necessary to do the engine valve clearance check. The bike runs great. No problems.

Might I be doing potential damage by not checking the valves?
 

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Triumph didn't put it in the service schedule for comedy value.

If valve clearances open up, you will hear a rattle. If they close, you won't hear anything until your valves burn out or worse.

Do it, or get it done, and have peace of mind for the next 12000.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks.

In my experience the is a lot of "recommended" service on all kinds of products that makes service departments money, but rarely are necessary. Yes, if perfect maintenance is the objective, that's one thing. However, as an ex car dealer I don't maintain my cars according to the manual, and they last 100's of thousands of miles.

I'll get to the valves soon.

Any other opinions?
 

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I checked my Bonneville at 12 and 24k miles and needed no adjustment. Checked my Thruxton at 12k and had to adjust four valves, which were only slightly out of spec.
So - my conclusions are that the valve clearances on these machines do not not change drastically, they probably are set at the factory not as exact as an owner may like, and that out of specfications by a small amount probably is not that bad [too tight a little worse than too loose, or so I have heard.
But then...I could be wrong...
You should check them - peace of mind is a truly beautiful condition.
 

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They are worth checking. I checked mine at 10,000 when I was replacing the cam cover gasket and they were all in spec, but some were close to the edge. Everybody's results seem to vary but it should be done.
 

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Thanks.

In my experience the is a lot of "recommended" service on all kinds of products that makes service departments money, but rarely are necessary. Yes, if perfect maintenance is the objective, that's one thing. However, as an ex car dealer I don't maintain my cars according to the manual, and they last 100's of thousands of miles.

I'll get to the valves soon.

Any other opinions?
Agreed ..... there's a lot of things in the schedule you might pass on, but valves are integral pieces, and IF they fail, it is expensive. Valve clearance checking goes back to as long as internal combustion engines have been pushing us down the highway, and unlike cars, most bikes, aside from HDs with hydraulic lifters, require that valves be looked at periodically, and re-shimmed if required.

(OK ---- you asked for the time, and we told you how to build the watch. Sorry!)

Bob
 

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I have done scheduled valve checks twice now and recorded the readings

I checked and didnt have to adjust after 12,000 miles and later at 24,000 the readings were very close to being the same, much to my surprise.

have since heard from others on this forum if you didnt have to adjust them after the initial check, chances are they will be fine for a long time, but I would never ignore regular scheduled valve clearance checks. potential for damage is too great

Oh, and managed to do it without causing the rocker cover gasket to leak. whoohoo!
 

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The 12K check is the most important, IMHO. They might not have been within specs when they left the factory. Four of the valves on my '03 were out of spec at 12K. At 24K, they measured exactly what they measured at 12K after shimming the four that were out of specs. Checking is easy and takes little time--even the dealership should only charge 1/2 hour if they don't need adjusting, IMHO.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hey thanks. It sounds a bit like the 12,000 check is a check on the factory. Seems reasonable to let the bike "settle in" and then set things right.

Appreciate the knowledgeable response.
 

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The valve check is not hard at all. At 12,000 miles, I found three intake valves needed thicker shims. I will certainly continue to check them; as I have on all my motorcycles.

If you do need to change shims, just keep everything in order and don't mix up the parts. Have paper, pencil, feeler gauges, micrometer, torque wrench, and a calculator on hand. And don't forget to lock the cam drive and backlash gear before loosening and removing the cams if you do need to change shims.

Remember that Triumph says if the valve guides or seats become worn, the head must be replaced -- no renewing guides or seats in our heads. That note should inspire us to keep on top of valve adjustment.

Regards, Chuck
 

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Valve checks on these bikes doesn't take much time. 2 seatbolts, 2 tank bolts , 4 head cover bolts to get access to the cams. Bike on a jack or stand, in 5th gear, turn rear wheel to get cams in position for check.
 

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Whenever you are working with the valves stuff a rag in the oil breather hole. Do not skip this. I did and regret it fully!
 

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I checked my valves at 20,000. They were just above specs. None were tighter. I went to the Local Triumph store & they didn't have any shims. So I put it back together & at 34,900 I haven't went back in to it. It sounds okay. As long as they are a little loose I ain't worried. The very very hardest part was where you have to let it set 24 hours to cool off. I just can't do that. Personal problem I guess. I'll work on that. Bob.



http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v125/km5gz57Bob/?action=view&current=DSCN1303.jpg
 

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The very very hardest part was where you have to let it set 24 hours to cool off.
24 hours? I haven't read the Triumph manual, but the usual procedure for valves is to do it when the engine is 'stone cold', usually before it has been started up in the morning. That's how I have always done mine. I would have thought 2-3 hours was more than enough.

Like you, 24 hours off the bike would be a hardship.
 

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I went to the Local Triumph store & they didn't have any shims.
This is the part I don't get. Why would the dealer NOT have shims? For chrissakes they should have tons of them! Basic service item.

I am fast approaching 24K miles and the one maintenance thing on my Bonnie that I haven't done myself yet is the valve lash adjustment. I don't want to leave my bike at the shop for a week for them to do it and I don't want to tear into my bike, determine what size shims I need, then wait until the Triumph dealer gets the correct (hopefully) parts ordered.

Ugh.
 

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You really must take the shims out to measure them to determine what sizes you need.
Any motorcycle shop has them - the question is will they sell them to you and possibly not have a size they need. Call around - once you know what size - and someone will sell them. I called three places - one , a Triumph shop, was really hesitant to part with any. The other two, one was another Triumph shop, said no problemo. I wound up buying at a UJM shop a mile away. The guy charged me $5 for four shims.
 

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If you're local dealer does not stock enough shims (mine does, happily) then call Carlos at TPUSA. He will have them, and this is likely the quickest way of getting them if your own dealer doesn't have them.

It does annoy me though. My local kawasaki dealer didn't have a comprehensive range of shims. Poor show.
 

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Question: I believe the scheduled maintenance says 20k kms or every 2 years to perform the valve clearance check but from what I've been reading on here it seems there's mostly talk around the 20k km interval rather than the time interval. My bike has 12k km on it but it's an 03. I bought it in 07 with 5k km on it.

The bike runs great... who thinks I should get a valve clearance check? I have no issues or suspicions anything is wrong with the bike at this time.
 
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