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Track Bike Valve Clearance- how often do you check?
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GDMFSOB
 
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Question Track Bike Valve Clearance- how often do you check? - October 9, 2012, 04:11 PM

Title pretty much says it all.
On race or track only bikes, how often do you (or should you) check the valve clearance? I know that on the street most Japanese bikes might actually need adjustment once in 20-30k miles. At least that is my experience. On a track whore, miles mean little though. Obviously, winter is the ideal time to do this but should it be done more than once a year?
Thanks!


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October 9, 2012, 04:21 PM

I would think once every winter or "off season." I have never experienced having my valves out of spec so I have been toying with the idea that I will never check them again.


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October 9, 2012, 04:21 PM

Jap bike: do you bounce off the rev a lot and not let you engine warm up and cool down properly before and after use? Then check valve clearance.

EU bike: check valve clearance unless it's an Aprilia

My 2 cents


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October 9, 2012, 04:23 PM

Its best practice to check them once during the lunch break and again at the conclusion of every track day.


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October 9, 2012, 04:27 PM

I believe its just one of those things that's good for making mechanics money. I believe if your valves were far enough out of spec to cause issues you should be able to hear one hell of a tick.


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October 9, 2012, 04:29 PM

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Its best practice to check them once during the lunch break and again at the conclusion of every track day.
*This .....

As others said (esp. with jap bikes) Once a season is more than enough, probably even overkill; but hey what else do you have to do during the winter...?


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October 9, 2012, 04:31 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by GiixerFiend7 View Post
I believe its just one of those things that's good for making mechanics money. I believe if your valves were far enough out of spec to cause issues you should be able to hear one hell of a tick.

Unless it's tight. Then you'll just hear the top end explode.


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October 9, 2012, 05:21 PM

Well, I'm definitely not an expert on this but Dodge pulled my motor out recently and showed me how to check valve clearances which I wasn't going to do for another 3K miles or so since my track only bike is at 12K miles currently. Good thing we did because 7 out of 8 valves are literally right at the tight end of the specs. So I would say if you're doing a lot of track duty then every 10K miles or so at most.


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October 9, 2012, 07:41 PM

I would normally check the clearance in the winter on street bikes, so yeah, track bike would be a why not thing. I'm just trying to get a feel for what racers/ track junkies are doing and finding spec wise. I actually keep records to compare one check to the next to see if something is going downhill fast. I'm a mechanical engineer for fucks sake!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scot View Post
Unless it's tight. Then you'll just hear the top end explode.


Quote:
Originally Posted by turkishexpress View Post
Well, I'm definitely not an expert on this but Dodge pulled my motor out recently and showed me how to check valve clearances which I wasn't going to do for another 3K miles or so since my track only bike is at 12K miles currently. Good thing we did because 7 out of 8 valves are literally right at the tight end of the specs. So I would say if you're doing a lot of track duty then every 10K miles or so at most.
This is the type of info I am looking for! You never checked them on a track whore for over 10k?!?! You like to flirt with disaster, eh? I mean, I was thinking every other year but dayum you lucked out.
I'm going to check them over the winter. I checked last year and they were fine at 11k street miles. I think I logged the gaps. That was over 20 track days ago. Anyone else wanna chime in?


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October 9, 2012, 09:29 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Evil Twin View Post
I would normally check the clearance in the winter on street bikes, so yeah, track bike would be a why not thing. I'm just trying to get a feel for what racers/ track junkies are doing and finding spec wise. I actually keep records to compare one check to the next to see if something is going downhill fast. I'm a mechanical engineer for fucks sake!



This is the type of info I am looking for! You never checked them on a track whore for over 10k?!?! You like to flirt with disaster, eh? I mean, I was thinking every other year but dayum you lucked out.
I'm going to check them over the winter. I checked last year and they were fine at 11k street miles. I think I logged the gaps. That was over 20 track days ago. Anyone else wanna chime in?
Well out of the 12K miles about 7K came from street before becoming a dedicated track bike. I gotta say I was a little concerned but hey the Japanese make some sturdy stuff lol


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October 9, 2012, 11:08 PM

On my Yamaha fzr 400 I got it 12 years ago and put 14k on it and half of that is from racing and I never checked it.the only time I had the valve cover off was to change the gasket.my ex 500 with 87k on it I never checked it also.my ducati I do get it done every year and my sv 650.my aprilia in 37k I think I did it 2 times.


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October 10, 2012, 08:11 PM

I guess the moral of the story is that it won't hurt to check this winter. If it is still well within spec, I may skip next year. I just hate opening up gaskets that aren't leaking.


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October 10, 2012, 09:48 PM

they should start putting a sensor for checking clearance so we don't have to open it


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October 11, 2012, 06:28 AM

Kinda depends on how hard you ride, how much you overrev. The issue with track bikes isn't "wear: in the sense of tolerances opening up. The issue with motors that spend much of there lives in the 14, 15 or 16000 rpm range is recession; the seats wear and the valve moves up further into the seat....which moves it "into" the cam. Over time, the valve can move enough that it now had interference fit with the cam, staying open too long and allowing leakage and/or piston contact. A half hour per season doesn't seem like too much to pay for a non-fragging motor.

Serious racers tear down and check wear after every race; it gives them advance warning of growing problem areas in the motor.

Missing a few shifts and accidentally zinging the revs to 18-20000 rpm can greatly accelerate the process.......


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