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How would I know I have valve issues?

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I've seen a lot of posts about valve issues. My bike, to me, runs well. But I am not an experienced rider and have only had the bike 5 months.

What are the symptoms to look out for regarding valve issues? The handbook says to inspect at every service point - really..? I know guys who have never checked their valves and have never had issues with their bike.

Seems the valve check is a relatively easy procedure. Should I be doing this every 600 miles like the manual tells me?

 

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First thing that you notice is it's hard to start.   Possibly a loss of power.

 

Depending on the amount of riding you do and the type, of course your mileage will vary in terms of checking, but I'd say at least once a season or year.

 

If they are out of spec, it means harder starting, more stress/wear on the cam and rocker arm, etc.

 

The check is easy and once you get good at it, you can have it done in 30-45 minutes at most, even if your taking your time.

 

Jim.

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How frequently to check depends upon how often you ride. I was on the once a year plan, but early one Fall one of our bikes became hard to start on a trip, and eventually wouldn't unless we tried pulling it but we didn't bother. 

 

So, as you can tell, the symptom of worn valves is hard starting. If it starts getting harder to start, start planning for a valve job. Once they get to the point where they're close to zero'd and you need to adjust, don't expect alot of post-adjustment rides before adjustment is needed again. 

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