Valve Check

Video by Flash showing the below procedure on his GS

This writeup doesnt show any pictures for replacing the shims as mine were still fine. Text by Dailyrider photos by BSK. You can do this without having the bike on a lift as well.

If you should have to replace a shim, take a 5mm or similar size (3/16") allen wrench and on the small end, grind the sides down until you have about 1.5 mm thickness left, make this thinned down part about 1/2" deep. Take an old screwdriver and jam between the cam and lifter when the lobe of the cam is straight up from the lifter, make sure the piston isn't right at TDC, you can check with a skinny screwdriver in the plug hole. Now you stick your special tool between the edge of the lifter and the cam, it's a little figgity, but if you have nice square edges on your special tool, it'll stay in place when you pull the screwdriver out from between the cam and lifter. Now, you can take a magnet and fish the shim out of the lifter. You can't do this on an '05, as they have shim under lifter.


1. Pull the seat, the fake tank rails and the side panels, you have to disconnect the turn signals wires, they just unplug, when reinstalling the side panels, make sure you line up the signal wires with the little "U" shaped cutouts made for them, otherwise you'll end up with a short. Watch for the little rubber bumpers that are in notches in the tub, to keep it from rattling on the side covers, they tend to fall out.

2. Remove the snorkel and air filter, unclip the fuse box and remove the screw that holds the fuel filter to the tub bracket. You can also leave the snorkel connected the airbox, but while everything is apart. CLean out the airbox!HPIM0717.jpg
3. Remove the breather tube from the back of the airbox and remove the 2 screws holding the little piece at the front of the tub and remove it.HPIM0716.jpg
4. Remove the 4 screws holding the tub bracket to the frame and remove the tub bracket.HPIM0718.jpg

Wiggle the tub off the throttle body, but be careful, you can't remove it until you release the air sensor wire from the bottom of the airbox. Take a screwdriver and push in on the wire clip until it releases the sensor wire, don't pull on the wires!!


5. Remove the throttle cable and the small breather hose. If you're very careful, you can remove the little clip with a screwdriver and reinstall it with a small screwdriver and a pair of pliers, its figgity.

6. If you have compressed air, blow off any grit around the valve cover and especially in the spark plug recess. Take a rag and wipe of any grunge around the valve cover sealing area. Put a rag along the front of the valve cover to keep the oil from running down on the pipe, only a little will come out, if any.

7. Pull the spark plug. Now, release all the valve cover bolts evenly, just a couple of turns at a time (put them back on the same way). When they're all unscrewed, take a piece of cardboard and make holes in it shaped like the valve cover. Put each bolt in the cardboard just like it is in the cover. Oh, I forgot, you have to remove the little plug cap locating bracket before you can remove the valve cover bolts.

Now, you can remove the cover, set it on a rag, gasket down.PICT0027.jpgPICT0026.jpg

8. Don't worry about the crank bolt or anything like that, a waste of time. Put the transmission in 5th gear and turn the back wheel until the valves that you want to check have the cam lobe straight up from the lifter. Now you can check the clearance of that set of valves, do the same for the other set of valves.


To turn the back wheel to rotate the engine, just put your hand on the top of the tire and bang it gently back and forth in a forward motion. That's about it. You can also just leave the bike in 5th gear and push it forward slowly to move the crank

when you're turning the engine over to position the cam so you can check the exhaust valves, hold the compression release with your finger, so that it doesn't hold the right exhaust valve open a little. Look at it and you'll see what I mean.

When you're puttin' the valve cover back on, don't overtighten the bolts!

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