valve shims

has anyone else tried to order odd size shims, ie 161 or 174, i cant believe all the dealers in my area can only get them in incriments of 5,

According to the manual, that is all that is available. I know that the increment of 5 shims can take you from being on the tight side to the loose side (and vice-versa) depending on what your clearance is. Always run loose instead of tight and call it good...........

increments of 5 equal .002 thousants,so that should be able to keep you within tolerances,and I too would shoot for the middle to loose side of the spec

The specs listed are a large enough spread that the .05mm range are fine for getting the clearance within that spec.

Someone was talking about sanding them down. Since the shims you need are always thinner (valves get tight, not loose) and the number on the shim is the thickness (1/100s of a mm?), use a caliper and 400 sandpaper on a hard flat surface and make custom shims. Only heard of it, haven't tried it.

Good luck,


I have sanded down my shims so I can keep them at the tolerances I choose. Go buy a caliper or a micrometer and some 600 grit wet sandpaper. Tape the 600 grit sandpaper to a piece of glass and sand the shim in a figure 8 motion. It took like 10 mins per shim to grind down (real hard metal) but still much cheaper than $5 a shim. Good Luck,


try a different yamaha dealer. When I adjusted my valves i traded my old shims for new ones. The dealer that i used had odd sizes from trades and new shims in increments of 5. :)

I grind them down in my shop on my surface grinder. Find a reputable machine shop in your area. They can do this with ease.

i concurr (sp?) on the sanding them down, it works great and you can taylor them to your specs, i use a digtal mic and its real easy!!!!!!jimbo

Will sanding them affect their hardness?


The answer is NO. The hardness will remain unless you use a surface grinder and get them real hot. If you hand sand them as Motoman does you will have no problems at all. If you do use a suface grinder do so in small increments wetting the shims every new stroke you take.

Have fun

Buy stainless shim stock in sheets. i've used it before to true up the bed on my Atlas metal lathe. Justcut to fit your needs. cya ian

I sanded mine down with a piece of glass and 400 sandpaper. I know that Honda uses the same shims in one of their bikes and those might be able to get in odd sizes.

the manual notes that u can get shims in 5mm intervals ,so always go on the loose side ...

and if u need 174 u can buy 175 and use waterpaper(i hope thats how u call it...) to shave it a bit...

HONDA SHIMS! Aint no way a Honda shim is going in my bike! Your mouth should be washed out with Yamabond. Sheesh... whats next? Red plastic? Maniac :)

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