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lazyeye

The dreaded valve adjustment

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Who has gotten their 36,000 mile valve service done on their 8th gen by a mechanic/the dealer? How was the cost? Did the mechanic do it correctly? Changing fluids is about the extent of what I'm comfortable doing and don't intend to learn on something as complex as a V4 VTEC.

 

I'm more than a little paranoid about taking my 8th gen in this winter because I have zero faith in the local Honda dealers. One flat out said "when it gets to that mileage just trade it in", and the other managed to screw up the fairings when they put them back on after the 600 mile service and overtightened the oil drain plug to the point the edges where rounded off. Add to my paranoia when my dad got the valves done on his '14 FJR1300 the dealer completely boogered it up and ruined the bike.

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Never heard that advice before!!! VFR’s are renowned for there longevity so it sounds total BS to me. I am in the same situation with my Eighth gen, only done 24,000km  ( I am sure the first valve service is recommended at 24,000km) I will almost certainly wait another 12,000km though. Have been quoted AUD$1000 for the full service including valves.

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TBH, I intended to never ever have valve lifter clearnances checked on my 4th gen. But as she was with a forum mechanic anyway (we were goonna attempt to fit a 3rd gen exhaust system), ach why not.

At 90,000km just ONE was out of spec (just a tad too wide).

 

In your situation you'll need to look in another city since your loacl dealer is a POS.... You could consider "what is the cost of the service versus the cost of a used engine should things go wrong?"   

With 4th gen engines as cheap as 250 bucks, it was a no brainer for me.

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2 hours ago, lazyeye said:

Who has gotten their 36,000 mile valve service done by a mechanic/the dealer? How was the cost? Did the mechanic do it correctly?

 

I'm more than a little paranoid about taking my 8th gen in this winter because I have zero faith in the local Honda dealers. One flat out said "when it gets to that mileage just trade it in", and the other managed to screw up the fairings when they put them back on after the 600 mile service and overtightened the oil drain plug to the point the edges where rounded off. Add to my paranoia when my dad got the valves done on his '14 FJR1300 the dealer completely boogered it up and ruined the bike.

How do you get enough miles on the bike to need the valve adjustment? My dealer told me to trade them in when the gas tank goes empty...

 

Jokes aside, I don't suppose you'd mind sharing which dealers those were so I can be sure to avoid them? Maybe a PM if you don't feel comfortable outing them to the whole world?

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I wouldn't trade in a well running and fully functional bike just to avoid a maintenance cost ! It's not a BMW ! It's a Honda ! Made to last. Reliable. I would have the Service Manual, buy myself the needed equipment (if not already available), the spare parts (there are sites selling the original spare parts online), and try to do the valve adjustment myself. Consider this : if you break something, then who is paying for it ? Afraid to break something ? Well, that broken fairing, YOU payed for it.

 

Just checked the valves on my other bike (a Suzuki) the other day, after 24000 km : all within spec, so no adjustment needed. Why then would I expect worse from a Honda ? It may be sufficient doing the check, not having to adjust any valve, ... and have peace of mind for another 24000 km...

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Why do a valve check?  I've never heard of a VFR engine going to hell or having problems due to a valve out of spec.  There are many VFR's with over 100,000 miles on them (one for sure on this forum) with no valve checks having been done.  VFR engines are as close to bullet proof as anything comes.  Save your money and angst.    

 

BTW, having owned three BMW's, they were utterly bullet proof for me requiring nothing but normal preventive maintenance (yes, valve checks since they were in warranty, which is longer than Honda's but not as complicated a valve check operation as a VFR) and they got the shit run out of them just as my VFR does.  BMW makes some good bikes, period, as does Honda...VFR's at least.   Have nice weekend.  

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1 hour ago, Bent said:

Why do a valve check?  I've never heard of a VFR engine going to hell or having problems due to a valve out of spec.  There are many VFR's with over 100,000 miles on them (one for sure on this forum) with no valve checks having been done.  VFR engines are as close to bullet proof as anything comes.  Save your money and angst.    

 

BTW, having owned three BMW's, they were utterly bullet proof for me requiring nothing but normal preventive maintenance (yes, valve checks since they were in warranty, which is longer than Honda's but not as complicated a valve check operation as a VFR) and they got the shit run out of them just as my VFR does.  BMW makes some good bikes, period, as does Honda...VFR's at least.   Have nice weekend.  

On the other hand....both of my previous 800s (98 & 07) required shim changes, the 98 was close to the minimum shim available before she passed.

 

I think the situation has gotten better with the newer engines, but until you check, you don't know. Is it worth risking the engine? Unless you are prepared to replace it.

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2 hours ago, Bent said:

BMW makes some good bikes, period, as does Honda...VFR's at least.   Have nice weekend.

They might. Guess I must have had bad luck then. Regardless, I myself don't trust BMW's any longer, and they will be lucky if I ever do again or buy one again.

 

And oh ... not only VFR's are reliable : I once upon a time had a Deauville with nothing more than standard maintenance and nearly 160000 kms...

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I had my valves done @ 16k miles, one exhaust had closed up, I’m at 27k now and will definitely get them checked/adjusted @ 32,000

 

The cost was £750, including new brake pads all round, all hydraulic fluids changed, air filter, plus the usual oil & filter ...cost includes 20% sales tax and 3 days of courtesy bike< my choice of bike

 

This was Fowlers the main dealer

 

Like sudolea I’d never have a BMW again

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Not to seem paranoid about dealerships charging for unnecessary service and the like, but my with interactions motorcycle dealers in general has not been one to inspire trust. Out of maybe a half dozen people I have personally known who have worked in bike shops, one isn't an idiot, but he also shares my opinion of the breed in general.

 

I would be very curious to see the breakdown of people who've had the dealership check clearances and whether or not they required a shim change vs people who did their own check and whether they required a shim change...

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So am I understanding the consensus is that VTEC VFRs rarely need the check?

Either way I'm not mechanically competent to do it myself, that's why I'm asking.

 

@Marvelicious

Salem Cycle Country service writer told me: "Nobody ever gets that done because its so expensive, just trade it in."

Cycle Country tech said: "We never check the valves on any bikes"

Beaverton Bob's Honda (where I got it) screwed up the fairings and over tightened the oil drain plug when I took it back for first service.

Fred's Honda in Corvallis, when I took my high mileage CBR600rr to them for valves and plugs claimed they did the work, and then forgot to hook all the ignition components back up, stranding me in the parking lot. Later when i rebuilt the bike after a crash I found a suspicious lack of took marks where there should be them, and the original plugs.

Waterworld Yamaha Medford screwed up the valve job on my dad's FJR. It was burning oil at an alarming rate and losing water afterwards and two visits later they couldn't fix it. Bob's Yamaha ended up fixing it.

Kawasaki Honda of Medford changed the tires on my mom's Vulcan and delivered it to her to ride home with hand tight axles...

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1 hour ago, lazyeye said:

So am I understanding the consensus is that VTEC VFRs rarely need the check?

Hmmmm interesting point. My own 8gen has now done just over 65,000k's and haven't had a valve check! My previous 6gen had 94,000kms on the clock and that also had not had a valve check.

 

I have spoken to a local Honda mechanic, a maintenance supervisor and well respected. I asked him how many VFR's he's done valve checks on that needed adjustment? His answer " Very very few". He believed the bike should at least be checked once in its life and generally more frequently if you use it as a track bike. I have no doubt that there is a certain amount of Honda simply covering themselves by stating valve checks are required every 24,000k's. YMMV.

Cheers.

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1 hour ago, lazyeye said:

@Marvelicious

Salem Cycle Country service writer told me: "Nobody ever gets that done because its so expensive, just trade it in."

Cycle Country tech said: "We never check the valves on any bikes"

Beaverton Bob's Honda (where I got it) screwed up the fairings and over tightened the oil drain plug when I took it back for first service.

Fred's Honda in Corvallis, when I took my high mileage CBR600rr to them for valves and plugs claimed they did the work, and then forgot to hook all the ignition components back up, stranding me in the parking lot. Later when i rebuilt the bike after a crash I found a suspicious lack of took marks where there should be them, and the original plugs.

Waterworld Yamaha Medford screwed up the valve job on my dad's FJR. It was burning oil at an alarming rate and losing water afterwards and two visits later they couldn't fix it. Bob's Yamaha ended up fixing it.

Kawasaki Honda of Medford changed the tires on my mom's Vulcan and delivered it to her to ride home with hand tight axles...

Thanks... I'll update my mental rolodex... that about gels with the reviews I've heard on several of those though. I have heard both good and bad reviews of the Beaverton shop... Unfortunately, even the ones that aren't terrible on the sales end have absolute garbage for "techs". What's this world coming to when you can't even rely on a guy who made his career choice based on a commercial for a school on late night TV?

 

...aaaand that's why I do my own service! If a hack is going to mess my bike up, the hack is going to be me!

 

11 minutes ago, Grum said:

...

I have spoken to a local Honda mechanic, a maintenance supervisor and well respected. I asked him how many VFR's he's done valve checks on that needed adjustment? His answer " Very very few". He believed the bike should at least be checked once in its life and generally more frequently if you use it as a track bike...

Yeah, if you really push your machine, I would think that all bets are off. 

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I don’t know where people get the misconception that VFR’s don’t need valve checks, the gear driven cams give a softer more controlled valve seating, so reduce the wear, but most I have looked at get receding valves on the inlets, that is worse than increasing clearances, that just make noise & lose performance. Receding valves close the gaps & eventually burn the valve seat if you leave it too long.

 

As far as 6th/8th gens, with cam chains, they should be done same as any other cam chain valve controlled bikes. It is not a hard job to check valve clearances on any bike. If they are within tolerance then you can leave them alone, button up & job done. 

 

The Vtec makes it a PIA job, so people avoid it. But if or rather when it does go wrong, you will regret having to pull a head to replace a valve & valve seat !

 

As always YMMV.

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I guess it's mostly the VTEC valves that give the VFR valve adjustment job a reputation making most people reluctant of. On the other hand, I don't think that 24000 km schedule for the VTEC valves adjustment is that strictly necessary, knowing they remain closed most of the time. Not that I would skip the 24000 km interval altogether : I do think the engineers have their reasons to determine the maintenance intervals the way they are...

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6 hours ago, Mohawk said:

I don’t know where people get the misconception that VFR’s don’t need valve checks, the gear driven cams give a softer more controlled valve seating, so reduce the wear, but most I have looked at get receding valves on the inlets, that is worse than increasing clearances, that just make noise & lose performance. Receding valves close the gaps & eventually burn the valve seat if you leave it too long.

 

As far as 6th/8th gens, with cam chains, they should be done same as any other cam chain valve controlled bikes. It is not a hard job to check valve clearances on any bike. If they are within tolerance then you can leave them alone, button up & job done. 

 

The Vtec makes it a PIA job, so people avoid it. But if or rather when it does go wrong, you will regret having to pull a head to replace a valve & valve seat !

 

As always YMMV.

 

Been riding VFR's and put a LOT of HARD miles on them since 2005, never done a valve check and they run fine without them.  Also, since 2005, I've never heard of anyone "pulling a head to replace a valve and valve seat".  Doing that, worst case, isn't a hard job either.  But, it's OK to do what makes one comfortable.  It's all good.  I'll just ride mine into the ground which from experience is hard to do.  Putting money into a bike that isn't worth much is bad math to me but the only money I have is my money.  

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Just reading of an early 6gen having done 123,600miles, nearly 200,000k's! and never had a valve check, still running well!

 

Post Edit - Opps I think I just let the Genie out of the bottle!

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Since joining the world of VFR ownership I've been amazed at the gleeful celebration of un-maintained VFR bikes by some owners  (Obviously, it's probably true that most VFR owners quietly go about accomplishing regular maintenance and upkeep, so I'm not saying the non-maintainers are anything like a majority of the community).

 

But the phenomena of the loud-and-proud VFR non-maintainer is interesting to me.

 

I fly as a pilot for a major U.S. airline.  Having been a pilot my entire professional life I have a very strict opinion about doing maintenance on vehicles.  I wonder how a VFR non-maintainer would feel about getting aboard for a flight if the airliner was non-maintained?  Or is this a case where what's good for the goose is not good for the gander?

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53 minutes ago, GreginDenver said:

Since joining the world of VFR ownership I've been amazed at the gleeful celebration of un-maintained VFR bikes by some owners.  Obviously, it's probably true that most VFR owners quietly go about accomplishing regular maintenance and upkeep, so I'm not saying the non-maintainers are anything like a majority of the community.

 

But the phenomena of the loud-and-proud VFR non-maintainer is interesting to me.

 

I fly as a pilot for a major U.S. airline.  Having been a pilot my entire professional life I have a very strict opinion about doing maintenance on vehicles.  I wonder how a VFR non-maintainer would feel about getting aboard for a flight if the airliner was non-maintained?

I am a "non-maintainer" in your book who has owned 3 "un-maintained valve" VFR's with zero engine run-ability or performance deterioration  problems. The VFR has a better engine, apparently, than airplanes.  Taking any risk with a passenger airplane is nuts, especially one I'm on......  Ride a VFR hard where I do and you might be amazed that such "non-maintainers of valves" like me and others have VFR's that still go longer than most people want to have a VFR or longer than most are capable of riding a VFR safely.  I've never heard of anyone "wearing out" a VFR engine after being around them for over 15 years.  

 

Finding someone competent to check valves properly is a genuine issue.  Finding a VFR engine that has noticeable valve problems or engine problems due to having "non-maintained" valves is not on record anywhere.  There must be a reason.  I have a strict opinion after observing and experiencing what a VFR engine needs and doesn't need after many years.  I am going to stay off mine today after two days of mountain riding brutality on the engine, then gleefully, loud and proudly, celebrate doing it again and again and again confident there will be no "valve damage" on my third VFR.  Real life records and experience speak louder than an owner's manual in this particular engine maintenance procedure.  I suspect more damage is done by just going into the VFR engine for valve checks than just leaving them alone.  I truly respect your opinion, Greg.  Diversity is what keeps life going.  I also trust mine and other's experience.  Let's all have fun with one of the best, most durable motorcycle engines ever made.          

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I fully understand GreginDenver's concerns, especially with his background. I'm not convinced the VFR's valves should NOT be adjusted in due time, let alone that they'd NEVER have to be adjusted. After all, I trust the Honda engineers and trust that they have built me a motorcycle that's reliable. Then why would I NOT believe them when they determined the maintenance intervals ? Because I better believe people fully qualified to design an engine than some/several users telling me their "success stories" (mmm) NOT adjusting the valves.

 

To all these people NOT maintaining in due time, just this one question : which airplane would you prefer to board, the one known to be 5 times over the scheduled engine maintenance period, or the one known to have been consciously maintained ? Just asking ...

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I just moved over to an 8th Generation VFR800 from my 6th Generation VFR800 putting 124628 miles on it over 17 years and NEVER had a valve clearance check accomplished and NEVER had any problems with the way the engine worked. I replaced the cam chain tensioners in 2009 and they are STILL running strong!! This IS a TESTAMENT to the ENGINEERING QUALITY of Honda. 

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Off Topic...

A scheduled flight got cancelled due to a "technical malfunction". Thus I was denied the inconvenience compensation stated by (EU) law, because this was "force majeur". Since they have and are very proud of their maintenance procedures and schedules....

 

I requested a copy of the error and subsequent repair completion report, but got ignored twice.

Then the governnent's Transport Department asked and got ignored twice.

They ignored my lawyer twice until they received a draft invitation to come to a court.  Did they produce the documents? Hell no, they decided to pay out "as an exception". Well yippykayee KLM...

 

So yeah, I "trust" airlines because I kinda have to. Crossing the Atlantic is a bloody long swim 🙂

 

My 1st scheduled inspection was disadvised by the Honda dealership. By the next time,the cost of a 2nd hand engine was 50% of the inspection cost.  By the next 24,000t 25%

 

 

YMMV as always...

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, SSNOWDEN77 said:

I just moved over to an 8th Generation VFR800 from my 6th Generation VFR800 putting 124628 miles on it over 17 years and NEVER had a valve clearance check accomplished and NEVER had any problems with the way the engine worked. 

But you don't know how close you were to a failure either?

 

Just sayin'.  :beer:

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3 hours ago, sudolea said:

 

To all these people NOT maintaining in due time, just this one question : which airplane would you prefer to board, the one known to be 5 times over the scheduled engine maintenance period, or the one known to have been consciously maintained ? Just asking ...

It depends on who did the maintenance.  I completely follow the logic but my mind just thinks maybe the mechanic had a bad day. I could never be a pilot.

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I'm not sure what the exact worst-case consequences of not checking/adjusting the valves on a VFR might be, but I'm pretty sure it's not the deaths of hundreds of people.

 

Say a competent valve check costs £500. If the likelihood of ruining the engine by not checking was 10%, then the cost of wrecking the engine would have to be £5,000 or above to make paying out the £500 worthwhile (even assuming you could know it was being done properly). If the risk was only 5%, the cost of failure would have to be £10,000, which clearly it isn't as you could replace the bike for that.

 

Have we any idea what % of VFRs suffer engine failure because of non-checking of valves?

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