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V-Star 650 600 mile Valve Clearance (Valve Lash) Inspection

I did this work for a friend over at SquidBusters. This post is a copy of the one I posted there for our records. Any names or user names refer to members of Squidbusters (sorry if that causes confusion).

In order to check the valves on this bike you have to remove the following items:
• Tank
• Carbs
• Cam Sprocket Covers
• Valve Rocker Arm covers
• Air box pieces

Ron has one of those bike lifts that go under the rails; it made working on the bike pretty nice, since we didn’t have to lean over real far.

Ron already had the seat off the bike once Bigbean (Brian) and I arrived on scene to help RJC_Rider check the valves on his bike.

Here you can see what you will need to disconnect on the underside of the speedometer pod that is on top of the tank. There are three bolts that hold the speedo pod onto the tank.

There are two electrical connecters and the speedometer cable. The speedometer cable connector has flats for a 14mm open end wrench to fit on it. Use a wrench; it helps spare the skin on your fingers. You won’t get much room between the tank and the speedo pod, so just be patient and take your time.

After you get the pod off you can disconnect the petcock hose from the carbs and remove the tank.

Next you remove the air box piece that goes over the top of the carbs. You can reach the clamps for the rubber boots on the left side of the bike.

On the right side of the bike you will need to remove the air filter housing and the intermediate boot that connects the air filter the top air box.

Once you get everything off the carbs you need to disconnect the throttle cables and loosen the clamps for the boots that connect the carbs to the heads. After that the carbs pop right off and slide out of the frame to the right side.

Lift out the heat shield blanket that resides under the carbs after removing the carbs. You should be able to easily get to the rocker arm covers that reside in the middle of the V at this point.

Every valve check requires some form of timing marks to allow you to line up the camshaft positions and put the pistons at TDC compression. On the V-Star the timing marks are on the flywheel which resides under the cover on the left side of the engine. The large threaded plug covers the crankshaft bolt that you will use to turn the engine over (clockwise only). The smaller threaded plug above and to the right is where you will be able to view the timing marks. We used a penny to remove the small plug, and a nickel to remove the large plug. Thanks to Brian for supplying the change!

I couldn’t get a clear picture of the timing marks with the camera. There are two different marks on the flywheel edge. The mark for aligning the front sprocket is the 1 mark and the mark for aligning the rear camshaft sprocket is the T1 mark.

Here is one of the rocker arm covers. There are four of these, one over each valve.

Remove the valve rocker covers to gain access to the valve stems and adjusters. The one shown here is on the front of the engine. The front and rear most adjusters are the hardest of the 4 to get too. The ones inside the V are easy to reach.

You will also need to remove the covers on the cylinder heads that hide the camshaft sprockets. The cover on the rear cylinder is on the left side of the bike, and the cover for the front cylinder is on the right side of the bike. This is what you should see when you remove the covers (they are held on by two bolts).

The cam sprocket has an indented circle mark to show what you need to align to the pointer that is at the top of the opening. In this picture you can see the circular indent. The mark you will need to align too is the larger one too the right of the top center of the opening. The marks on the crank won’t be exactly lined up when this indent is lined up with the nub, I chose to go by the sprocket nub as the one to align as best as possible.

After that you just simply measure the clearance on the intake and exhaust valves on the cylinder that you just aligned.

Here I am hard at work checking the rear exhaust valve clearance. Ron waits patiently to swoop in an tighten down the lock nut.

The clearances are:

intake valves 0.07 to 0.12mm (0.003 to 0.005in)
exhaust valves 0.12 to 0.17mm (0.005 to 0.007in)

If the clearances are out of range you simply loosen the 10mm lock nut and use a 3mm Allen key to adjust the screw that presses on the valve. Ron had 1 valve that was below spec (if I remember right) and all the rest were at the minimum clearance.

Front valve lash adjustment:

After you finish setting the clearances, or just checking them if you are lucky, you get to put everything back on the engine that you removed. It actually took longer to remove and replace the carbs, air box, and tank than it did to check and set the valve clearances.

Of course an afternoon of wrenching wouldn’t be complete with a little Squidly test ride up the block.

Ron declares the wrenching complete since the bike didn’t explode or fail to run after the valve clearance changes.

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