I've never checked valves before on any motorcycle I own. I've never personally even seen a valve. I was reading the manual on this and it throws you all over the place and has some of the worst pictures on the planet. I have a feeler gauge but the pictures of the wierd measuring tool they use in the manual looks nothing like my feeler guage. Also, where doyou buy new valve pads in case you need different sizes.... i take it the dealer sells them? do they come in like lots of 100 or something, i have no idea..... A couple other things that looks a little confising is making sure the piston is top dead center...... the pictures look a little vague. I figure since my bike was new in august that I could try and tackle the task of checking my own valves this winter.