valve springs question

I was doing my much needed maintenance on my wr450, including checking the valves. I've got countless miles on it. But I cannot imagine that it more than 4000, probably less. Power seems down a bit, but maybe that's just me really used to the bike now and able to control it better.

So I get the valve cover off and start checking my clearances.

On the intake all is good. The .102 guage slides smoothly under all the intake cam lobes. The .127 (or so) gets under the lobes with some pressure from me. I can't get the .152 feeler guage under the cam lobe no matter what I do... So I seem to be in spec.

On the exhaust however, I am checking for .20 to .25 clearance. I get the ..203 guage under the exhaust cam lobes, I have to apply a bit of pressure to get the .229 guage under the lobes. But then... I can apply some pressure and get the .254 guage under the lobes. Hmmm.... this is curious... :thumbsup: So I then start looking for the gauge that I cannot get under the cam lobe, but it turns out that I can get any of them under there by applying some pressure. Even the biggest one .635 fit under the cam lob with some pressure.

So what's the deal here, am I that strong that I'm compressing the valve springs.? Or are the valve springs soft enough where I could apply pressure from the top with a feeeler guage and compress the valve spring enough to get almost any size feeler guage underneath the cam lobe.

I guess I was expecting that it would be stiff enough that it would eventually reject a feeler guage of a certain size, just like the intake side. I did race (enduros) for a couple of years on this bike and ran it hot once or twice.

Can my valves really be that far out? It starts and runs just fine, although its down on power. But then again, I don't recall what great power should feel like.

Someone please help me with this.

btw... I've got another more serious problem that i'll discuss in another thread.

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