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Discussion Starter #1
Well I'm torn.

With C-19 keeping us all home, and non-Essential businesses in my area closed, I'm left with a conundrum.

My 2012 has 22k miles on it. She's approaching that time to check/adjust its valves. Minimum parts to do this (gaskets mainly) is well over $100 shipped to me, not counting the shims (if needed). Local dealers are closed so it must be mail ordered. Partzilla is my friend. It will take a week to get all the gaskets. Most likely another week if I had to order shims.

I already have the fairings off, and about to raise the fuel tank to replace the spark plugs. Now that I'm not riding the bike to work, this is a perfect time to check the valves. Or is it?

I'm a bit nervous. If something were to go wrong, I won't have any local resources to turn to. I feel like I really should save my money right now as I never know what the immediate future has in store for me financially. At least for the next 6 months. Perhaps I should just replace the spark plugs and be done with it. It's the safest bet and least costly as I already have the spark plugs on hand.

What would you do?

My Partzilla Cart is ready to go but I haven't hit the send button yet. Damn!
 

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I'll swap shims with you. I'll send you what you need and you can send yours back. I've done it with several people. No need to buy individual shims.
 

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Given my experience with 25k and 50k valve checks, I'd say don't sweat it unless you're noticing an issue. Mine were all mid-range values and between 25k and 50k hadn't moved a mil. Actually, a few valves had moved a mil but were still in the middle of their range. There's always a chance something has drifted or was set wrong at the factory but I'd say it's pretty small. You probably flog the motor harder than I do so ymmv.
 

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Some dealers will also swap shims, maybe for a nominal fee. Worth asking.

In your situation, it might be better to do the minimum necessary to keep the bike operable. But, the work you are describing are all mostly labor, with only a few parts. So if you have the time, it's better than watch TV. If you go methodically, I don't really see anything major that could go wrong. If you do decide to go for it, might also consider adding throttle body balancing after the valve check.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
You probably flog the motor harder than I do so ymmv.
Maybe...maybe not. My normal shift points are between 5k-6k RPM. Highway cruising at 80-85 mph and 75% highway with very little to no stop and go traffic. I may have given it WOT a few times but that's rare. I mean in 10k miles I probably did it 5x. And then I take it easy on the engine until up to normal operating temp...or after 3 - 5 miles.

I feel like I'm easy on the N1k most times because it moves really fast if I ride beyond 6k RPM or give it more than 50% throttle. Hence I have a clean driving record so far.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I'll swap shims with you. I'll send you what you need and you can send yours back. I've done it with several people. No need to buy individual shims.
I may take you up on that. I'm dying to know if my '12 valves are in spec or not.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Unless you have a pressing problem with the bike (because of the valves), I'd sit tight...
No issues. The damn thing starts easy, idles smoothly, gets normal fuel efficiency, and has tons of power. Did my first WOT last month in a long time...in 1st gear. The front end came up and went down gently. That felt weird because I felt the front end feel vague, then when the front came back down I got front end feedback again!
 

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If it were me, I'd hold off unless I noticed problems. Seems like these engines don't need critical adjustments at the recommended intervals. However, I'd be sure to have it checked as soon as you can do so.
 

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Haveing numerous extended high rpm runs I really thought mine would have been in need. At the first inspection everything was still good and only recently at 47k did I have one valve that was nearly at its minimal clearance.
My recommendation is if you know how the bikes been ridden, maintained and you still hear valve train noise let it go at least till this none sense blows over. We know members of this site have put 80, 90 and over 100k on theirs and not done a lash job.
 

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I'm sure we could run the same oil for 2-3 years. It would'nt be a great idea, but odds are we would be just fine. Most of us dont want that risk. We can spend 40.00 for oil and filter, and never have to worry about oil quality, detonated filter, or sludge build up. The reward for skipping the oil change just isnt there.

The Valves? What can you say. You should check them.

Let's take this forum, the z1000sx forum,the sv650 forum, the concours 14 forum and the z1000 forum. I've followed all of them for years. I've never saw a post where an owner had tight valves cause them problems on a Japanese street bike forum. Never, not one. Based on that, I wouldn't worry about skipping a valve check. I have seen several owners damage good bikes because they made an assembly mistake. Even if you are 100% wrong, and the head gets damaged, a used ebay engine is not that expensive. I believe most of the reason for the check has to do with emissions more so than saving valves from damage. Notice how our mileage is different from what's suggested for the uk.

The most common issue I've seen, on this bike is gear damage. It's not like that happens often, but it's way more common than valve issues.

If you really want a good sized project to help this engine last longer, consider buying a factory pro shift spring. You have to remove the clutch to install it. That's not nearly as difficult as the countershaft sprocket nut.

Its about 50.00, shipped. Its overpriced, but it's really worth it, . It's a pain in the *** to install, but the bike shifts much better, with more accuracy, and it will help avoid the 4th gear damage some have had.


zx1000 Ninja 1000, Pro Shift kit, ecu reflash, Factory Pro 800 869-0497
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I googled a few botched valve adjustment jobs.

The most common is a skipped Cam Chain pin when they re-install the chain over the DOHC. Service Manual says you have to count (all of them do) to make sure it's right. I watched a video of a guy with a Z1000 with valvetrain noise after adjusting. Yup...skipped a tooth on cam chain installation. He figured it out after he re-did the job and counted the pins and realized he was off by ONE PIN. LOL!
 

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According to my 2019 model Service Manual, the US & CA model bikes should have the valves checked every 24,000 km (15,000 miles), yet the Non US & CA models only have them checked every 42,000 kms.

I don't know if there is even a mechanical difference between a US/CA model valve train & head versus a Rest of World head & valve train but I doubt it.

I am not sure if I will ever bother to check the valves on my N1K.
 

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According to my 2019 model Service Manual, the US & CA model bikes should have the valves checked every 24,000 km (15,000 miles), yet the Non US & CA models only have them checked every 42,000 kms.
I am not sure if I will ever bother to check the valves on my N1K.
I did my checks at Euro intervals. There was a bunch of talk about why the intervals were different. Speculation on different fuel contents etc. The most logical answer was politics. EPA vs EURO standards. Hence my 25k mile checks.
OCL: since our riding habits aren't that different my vote is definitely in the "don't worry about it" camp.
 

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You are not the guy who missed counting pins. Theres no way you would not count them 72 times, and probably have someone else verify the count, just to be sure. Then you would call the UBER driver and have him count again.

Noise is good. Quiet means tight valves. Valves at zero clearance are very quiet, but will be damaged in no time. I imagine you have a California bike? If it has not already been done, there is about 2 lbs worth of hoses and canisters you can get rid of once you are in that far. Especially if you install block off plates.

I dont really believe valves ever see "easy" duty. Even at 1200 rpm idle, its still opening an closing 600 times per minute,,, or 6 times, per second. We are lucky that its one of those components that have been perfected. if you dig into this, many of the japanese cars use this system. Do you suppose they ever get adjusted?

The only bad part about all this logic is that people who are bothered by things like this wont feel right until they see the numbers for their specific bike.
 

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The only bad part about all this logic is that people who are bothered by things like this wont feel right until they see the numbers for their specific bike.
Hey, I used to be that guy! But after 3 checks on 2 bikes @ 25k intervals with nothing to report except the loss of $3k I'm now the "if it ain't broke" camp as far as valves go.
 

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Hey, I used to be that guy! But after 3 checks on 2 bikes @ 25k intervals with nothing to report except the loss of $3k I'm now the "if it ain't broke" camp as far as valves go.
I know that there is a difference between the ZRX valve train & the N1K valve train (shim on bucket v shim under bucket) but the follow was my ZRX experience :--


  • 10,000 km = 3 exhaust shims replaced (tight)
  • 20,000 km = no shims replaced
  • 40,000 km = no shims replaced
  • 70,000 km = no shims replaced
  • 100,000 km = no shims replaced
  • 140,000 km = no shims replaced
It is interesting that Kawasaki has gone for a 42,000 km first valve check, instead of a 10,000 km check. To me, this suggests the design, metallurgy & manufacturing tolerances are so much better now and a valve check may never be required. (if it ain't broke, don't fix it)
 

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Murphy, that's a similar pattern that we found on the dirt bikes. Although the dirt bikes never made it to 140,000 km, the pattern was similar.

Valve needed an initial adjustment , early in their lifespan.

Valve stayed within tolerance for "x" amount of time without changing. On the 09 Honda, the parts were not very good. X might only mean 20-30 hours, but the valves were not constantly moving around.

At some point they tightened up. You could adjust them, but it was a waste of time because they tightened up within a few hours . If a person kept using thinner shims, the tips of the valve would break off.

Your zx never made it to that last stage , and possibly never would have.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I got the tank up now and ready to remove the air box. Hehe...... I'm working on it here and there in the mornings and evenings.
 
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