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I took the bike in for its 600 mile service today ( I did the first oil change at 200, for peace of mind). I figured it wouldn't hurt the warranty any by having their records show this being done by their hands. Any way, I have a few questions... I was told the next oil change should be at 4,000 miles, which seems way too long to me, especially since I mostly joy ride on the bike and my total commute to work both ways is at best 40 miles, if I take the looooong way. I was thinking of changing it again at 1500-2000 miles, overkill or not ? They also stated that I should bring the bike in for a valve check/adjustment at 4,000 miles. The manual states 7500 miles for a valve clearance check, at what point to you check the valves? I'm not so concerned about the oil change frequency question as I am about when to check the valves. For the small amount of $$ involved in a oil/filter change, I'll probably just change it when it feels right, keeping the intervals short for at least the remaining fall months. Any opinions ???

Scott W.
 

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i also changed my own at 300 miles then dealer did it at 600 then again at 1000...then again at 2500 bike now has approx 3600 and oil change will be done in a few weeks by dealer... can never change iol enough...but then again i rarely start bike till im sitting on it and it is straight up.....call me anal...but like u said for a small amount of change ...peace of mind...
 

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Saint,

I think you've heard most the oil change opinions. More is better for the first 3k miles or so, then every 2k or so. You might do it again at 600, then maybe 2000, then...

As for the valves, I did mine at 5k and found 5 out of spec. I think others have had no problems. I don't think the valves are prone to wear that quickly, so I imagine mine were close to the limits from the factory.
 

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I don't think the valves need adjustment at 4,000 mi. I would stick to the 7,500mi. like the book says, I have found on few of my Kaws that valve adjustment is not needed often, this is just my .02 . I wonder why your dealer wants to do that at 4,000mi. when the book clearly states 7,500mi. sounds like they want more of your money. There again just my .02, in the old days valves and seats were soft, which would make for a tight valve therefor a adjustment was needed, nowadays valves and seats are much better made(not soft), with all the posts here about everthing about the ZX-12r nobody has had problems with valves(that I know of), as for oil , change it if you want :) can't hurt :wink: , save your money and maybe look around for another dealer, and again jus my .02
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks !!! All good info and I agree on the dealer wanting a piece of the pie. Just out of curiosity I asked them how much for the valve check and was quoted a price of $345.00 plus parts. Hmmm, what parts would that be ? I guess they have to make their money just like any other business on the non-wrenching clients. Overall I am very statisfied with the shop, just wanted to hear the straight scoop from y'all.

I have it pretty much set in my mind that I will send out a sample for the next change, at 1500 total miles, see what the wear metals are doing and then go from there. I know it's overkill but oil is cheap and teardowns ain't.

Thanks again !

Scott W.
 

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Parts would be shims, at dealer cost (not for sure) bout 5-10 bucks apiece, the job is total labor!!!
 

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I just got the 12 back from the dealer for the valve job. (I know the guy and trust his sevice). anyway.... he said the valves were good and tight and did not need any shims.

Heft a beer to the Kaw gods. That is one fine piece of machinery
 
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Just a point guys, when they say they've "checked valve clearance" make sure that they have actually done it! And not just done a compresion check!! A friend of mine who has been an m/c mechanic
for over 35 years told me MOST mechanics will do a compresion test
and if it is OK then they won't even take the valve cover off!!
 

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Ddub is right, mostly labor. The shims run $8 - $10 bucks ea. As for the cost, it's about right. It's a bitch to get to them, plus if you need to re-shim, you have to pull the cams. I did mine when I put the new Akra pipe on, so it wasn't too bad. Oh, and I made up a little valve spreadsheet - Excel, if anyone wants to have me email it. And also, I've got a few extra shims that I would consider swapping out, so you wouldn't have to pay the dealer.

Psycho, wow, I did not know that! Seems like if you were loosing compression, you'd already have fried a valve. I don't think mine were nearly far enough out of spec to loose compression!
 

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Quickwilly- Since I am in your area, who is the dealer that you trust :?: I usually do my own work, but knowing who is trustworthy is good.

Thanks,
 
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Vinnie, this didn't occur on my bike, we did mine at 10000km and I think
7 were out of spec, but that is what my mate told me alot of the mechanics do to take a short cut! Theory being if the compression is OK
then there is valve clearance. With the ammount of pissing around
to do the job properly(especially on a bike like ours) I can see this happening.
 

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Well, I'll tell you this - any mechanic that determines whether or not to check the clearance and pull the cover via a compression check ought to find another line of work. Walmart checker comes to mind. Any shop that condones that, should be out of business.

If the valve clearance is so out of wack that a leakdown is happening, damage is already occurring to the valve.

This is another example of why nobody touches my bike, except me.

:evil:
 

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Good call Blitz....A leak down test is performed to find out if the engine is about to grenade. Either from bad rings, valves etc... Valves out of adjustment doesn't mean your engine is on it's way out.
Just imagine some of these rocket scientist working on your engine..........YIKES!!!!
 

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Hmmm, if I found out a mechanic did a $400 "leak down test" on my bike, I'd give him a $400 nose job.

I agree with Blitz, that's why I did the valve adjustments myself. One suggestion to those who take their's in to the shop is to ask how many valves were outta spec, which ones were outta spec, and what were the sizes of the old shims and the replacement shims. Of course they could just make something up...
 
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Sometimes you get lucky. I asked my mechanic to clean and gap my plugs, as per the manual. He told me: "Too early, not needed, we do dat later!". He never tries to gouge. :D
 

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Hey Vinnie, send me that spreadsheet if you would. Or see if Easy would post it on the website. I would appreciate as I am sure others would too.
 

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OutsiderZX12R said:
Hey Vinnie, send me that spreadsheet if you would. Or see if Easy would post it on the website. I would appreciate as I am sure others would too.
i'll second that...put it on the website please! :D
 

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I've got it at home, I'll email it to Easy and see if he can find a way to post it. Otherwise I'll email it to you guys.

Couple of more thoughts...

1) If you have to reshim anyway, you might as well take a look at the shims in the "in spec" valves as well. Write down the sizes and record them so you know what's in there for future reference. That way, next adjustment interval you might be able to do a little planning / swapping from various valves, and save yourselves a few bucks by not buying new shims.

2) Measure the shims with a micrometer if possible. I was helping a buddy check his valves a few wks back, and we found that after changing the shims, the valves were out of spec in the OTHER direction! In other words, if they were too tight, they were now too loose. We measured the shims and found the sizes were not exact. Once again, by doing this and combining with item #1 above, you might be able to save a little time AND not have to give the local Kaw shop $50+ for those little tiny shims.
 
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