Valve Shim Kit Recommendations?

I've got an '04 450 that I just recently gave a "once over" & took out after about 2 years of sitting. Bike runs as well as it ever did. I'd guess that I have less than 500 miles on it (can't be sure, as I ditched the stock odometer & some :thumbsup: stole my endurance computer awhile back). I have never pulled the valve cover, & figured that I should check the valves sometime this summer.

My question is this:

Should I buy one of the shim kits available out there, or is it not worth it? I'm fairly confident that if I find the valves out of spec, or even close to the ends of the spec range that I'll be waiting on ordered parts, instead of a local shop having what I need (this has nearly always been my experience).

If the kits are not an arm & a leg, I figure I'm better off going that direction, as I should (for the most part) always have what I need on hand.

Any recommendations on where to get the best assortment or price on a shim kit?



OK, so after more internet searching, it seems that the only shim kit out there is the Hot Cams one. The best price I found was on ebay for $73 shipped. My question is is the kit worth it, or do I just tear into the bike & order what I need.

The biggest argument I have seen against the kit is that it's shims are in .05" increments, whereas individual Honda shims can be had in .025" increments.


Call your dealer and see if they will swap you shims...the one and only time I needed a shim I swapped with the dealer (for free)

Or at least see if your local shop stocks them. They are so seldom needed $73 seems like a waste of $$ IMO.

Personally, I recommend not spending for a kit unless you can find one used from someone who has already realized he won't ever need all of it. No more often than you'll need a valve adjustment, you can generally swap a couple of your existing shims around the head and end up buying one or two to finish the job. If you're worried about availability, don't be. The CRF450 uses the same size shims. They'll have plenty on hand.

The Hot Cams kits also break at an odd place in the size range, so you almost need to buy two to get coverage. The refill kits break in a better range, but they have fewer of each shim. IMO, unless they're used, shim kits are only a good idea for a shop.

Just buy the Honda shims. I think it was something like $20 for all the shims I needed and in finer increments, too. :thumbsup:

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