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Discussion Starter #1
...and, does it matter?

2007 B650 Executive. Had it in for 18,000-mile service...which I'd rather have a pro do because I don't like tupperware. (Destroyed some on my Burgman 400 clone when I had to get to the engine).

I get it back...and once it warms up, I can hear the valves (adjusting them is part of the service recommendation). Not loud; just there.

And the gas mileage, via the onboard computer, is down. I used to get, by the computer, about 48.5. Now I'm getting 44.2...that's in a hundred miles after the shop work.

Tires pressure is okay. Doesn't feel weaker; but then I don't run it hard.

I really hate to play Princess-And-The-Pea with these guys...odds are they just don't KNOW how to set them. It's a multi-line ship and I'll bet I have the only Burgman 650 in town. I know the shop the previous owner used...120 miles away but it may be worth it. But I can't do it now.

I'm on the verge of a business-and-pleasure trip of about 1500 miles. The business end of it can't wait much longer; so...

--Should I squawk like **** and have the shop do a rush re-adjust and hope I get lucky?


OR

--Run it this way; and take it elsewhere at my leisure, after the 1500-mile trip?

AND

--Should I just park it until it's done right? I've been told that valves a little too LOOSE, are not going to cause major harm. Too TIGHT and they can burn; but too loose, just noisy and harms performance.

Opinions?
 

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There is nothing unique about setting the valves on the 650 that a shop that has done valve adjustments on a bucket and shim type setup would not have seen before. This type setup is very common on Japanese motorcycles and has been used for decades. I would expect they have experience with it even if they have not seen a 650 before.

They likely just set them a little on the loose side. It's also possible your valves had closed up to the point they were not making any noise and when they reset them to spec you are hearing a noise that you had grown accustom to not hearing. It's normal for the gap to close up as the valve seats wear. When I had to reset the valves on my 650 they were close to the minimum spec.

Whether you take it back in is a crap shoot. If you make a big deal of it they might set the valves a little on the tight side just to make sure you don't come back. As you mentioned, valves a little loose will not harm anything. Valves a little tight can leak and burn requiring a cylinder head rebuild.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
So it's a shim type. Wouldn't regular wear increase clearance, instead of decrease?

But, all else equal, a bit too loose is better than too tight. That makes sense and is in keeping with what's been explained to be.

How about the mileage loss? I might expect a bit of a change, but nearly ten percent isn't a fluke. Same fuel from same location. Even the weather is the same; and a routine trip I've made many times before.

Other changes were lube in gearboxes and engine...nothing that should increase friction so much.

I can live with it. Should I?
 

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This is a difficult situation.
There is no evidence this is a valve clearance issue, it could be timing chain tensioner.
Difficult to advise but if it were me I would ask to speak to the Dealer Principal and share your concern about:
A. You are unhappy.
B. They took your money.
C. They do not appear to have the necessary expertise.
D. They took your money under false pretences.
E. What can he do to put things right for you and preserve his reputation?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
...Timing-chain tensioner. That's another possible. Is setting that part of routine service?

I've used this shop before...mixed bag. Not overtly incompetent; but they made a bollocks of putting heated grips on, a year ago. They did make it good but had the machine a week...a week of my vacation; when I was supposed to be on the road.

They did two other servicings before. No problems other than the heated grips.

So. A cam-chain tensioning goof could be causing all this?...
 

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Discussion Starter #7
No, it's a muffled "rrrrrrrrrrrr" that varies directly with speed. Not noticeable cold or warm start. Steady on...it's just there, above the various high-pitched whines the Burgman engine makes.

I don't do valves because the one time I tried, years ago on a Ford Pinto 2.0, they gave me FITS. And when they were too loose that's exactly what the Burgman sounds like now...louder, of course, since I had my head under the hood...
 

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So it's a shim type. Wouldn't regular wear increase clearance, instead of decrease?
The shims don't wear. Wear on the cam or top of the bucket can cause the gap to increase but that is not what usually happens. What usually happens is that the valve seat and valve face wear letting the valve sink up into the head. That causes the gap to close up.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Got off the phone to the service writer. He said he'll ask the mechanic in the morning...he'd already left. But suggested I might have gotten a bad batch of gas, which would account for the mileage variation.

That actually makes sense - mileage is exactly what I get when I run ethanol-corrupted fuel. I buy at a shop that advertises "No Ethanol in Premium" - but it's possible someone screwed up; or the manager is getting a little too clever.

Now it makes sense that they'd adjust the valves a bit loose - to allow for wear in the long gap before the next scheduled adjustment.
 

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To be blunt I would not be in the least surprised if they signed off on the 18000 mile service, charged you for it - but never actually touched the valves. But then, I am a cynic who does his own wrenching so I only have myself to blame (and trust).
 

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Discussion Starter #11
And you would be right in some cases.

They used to call those, "wall jobs" - park the car by a wall, and when the customer comes in, take his money and shine him on. I've had that done to me; and I've avoided those shops. And some of those shops, I've had the pleasure of seeing go bust and close.

These guys...I semi-trust. They did do a good job in the end on my heated-grips. They've done other work acceptably. I don't have a garage and I'm not in a situation where I'm likely to get one soon...so, for anything major (or on something that's expensive and that I value) I'm going to use a professional repair service.

All part of the cost of ownership. It costs more but owning a home with a garage would be more expensive right now, and in more ways than one.

EDIT: I know they did SOMETHING to the machine - first, they called and asked for more time; and then when I got it, it has valve clatter it didn't have before.
 

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The valves tighten on these motorcycles as they wear. They quieten when they are too tight. You can burn a valve or have a valve hit a piston without any warning when the valves are too tight. Big bucks to repair.

I do expect that what you describe is the valve noise that we grow accustomed to when the valves are set a little to the loose side (that is where I will set mine when I need to do the valve adjustment). A little valve clatter is reassuring to me when I hear it. It lets me know that I am not getting ready to face a big bill for top end engine repair.

You say this shop has done quality work for you in the past. Is there a reason to suspect that this has changed? Ask the owner of the shop, I suspect that he will tell you that they set the valves a little to the loose side to save you the cost of changing shims out when the next inspection of your valves are due.

Namaste'
Doug in Kentucky
 

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No, it's a muffled "rrrrrrrrrrrr" that varies directly with speed. Not noticeable cold or warm start. Steady on...it's just there, above the various high-pitched whines the Burgman engine makes.
Let's just hope its not something like they forgot the oil in the final drive!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
No, it's tied to the engine speed - not final drive. Valve clatter - I'm 99 percent sure.

I have a sensitive posterior - I can feel things going on on a bike or cage. For example, I know my tires are cupping. I don't know the final drive isn't dry; but it's not grinding gears yet.

I think the other guys got it - and thanks. I always thought valve shims would wear with miles and cause the valves to LOOSEN. Guess I had that bass-ackwards.

Doesn't explain the mileage drop; but something yet might.
 

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Or, more likely they have not touched them! A common occurance. :rolleyes:
I'm surprised that they would need to adjust them at 18,000 miles. Mine did not get close to needing adjustment until I was at 50,000 miles. Prior to that I just checked them and put the valve cover back on because they were still well within spec.
 

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as for a complete account of what they did on your ride.

I checked my valves for the first time at 52k miles and they were still within spec.

I doubt that you needed new shims or anything with such low mileage, but one never knows. It also depends on who did the work and whether they knew what they were doing.

good luck...
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I'm ninety-percent sure they did something. I hear valve clatter where I never did before.

From what everyone here tells me, that seems to be a GOOD thing. Okay...

The previous owner was 85 years old...lifelong rider. He'd broken an ankle when the rear scooted out on a slippery garage floor...and it took five months to heal, given his age. His 75-year-old wife made him sell it.

That'll teach him to marry a younger woman.

He was spry and informed...but old people can have funny ways of seeing things. He said he did all maintenance work; but I don't know if he ever checked the valves. I'm betting not. And if he did...he might have set them too tight.

So, now they're done; and whether or not the chain tensioner is messed up, at least I can hear that the valves are a bit on the loose side.
 
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