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Thread: valve inspection / adjustment 2013 F800GS

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    valve inspection / adjustment 2013 F800GS

    I'm new to riding and owning a quality motorcycle so please forgive my ignorance. Why must I have the valves inspected and if necessary adjusted every 12000 miles? I ride a 2013 F700GS and am very pleased overall with it but a little surprised at the upcoming service cost. My 4 wheelers don't need this and last forever and some motorcycles don't need this. Also, what would happen (in theory) if this service was ignored? Thanks for your consideration of this topic.

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    Survivor akbeemer's Avatar
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    Hello NewRider, Welcome to the forum.

    Your car likely has self-adjusting hydraulic valves; your 700GS has a much different arrangement. To follow or not follow the maintenance schedule is a personal decision, but many check the valves far less frequently on the 800 cc engines. I waited until over 24,000 miles before I had them checked on Annie's 650GS and they were in spec. Over on the http://f800riders.org/forum/forum.php there are many stories of folks going long past the scheduled checks with no problems. There are also some who did need an adjustment at 12,000. It is probably smart to have them checked at 12k or soon there after. If they are in spec or adjusted to be in spec, then IMHO it is probably ok to expand the interval to every 24k. Be aware of the signs of out of adjustment valves such as hard starting and excessive popping or backfiring on deceleration. The most likely serious result of riding with the valves out of adjustment is a burnt valve, and that would be very unpleasant. There are some better wrenches than I who will offer you advice I'm certain, but that's my take.
    Last edited by akbeemer; 12-09-2013 at 03:20 PM.
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    Still plays with trains. tinytrains's Avatar
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    Most cars have hydraulically self adjusting valves. Those that aren't require adjustment eventually.

    Why? As the valve slams closed thousands of times per second, the mating surface wears. Very slowing on the intake valve which gets cool fuel and air, but more rapidly on the exhaust valve, which has flaming fuel passing through it when it opens. As the valve and valve seat wear, the valve stem moves up removing the clearance between the valve and cam or rocker arm. Once that clearance is gone, the valve will not close completely and burning fuel will leak out during combustion eating away the valve and valve seat. Eventually, this will destroy the cylinder head and valves, costing a LOT to fix. If kept in adjustment, the valve train can last for a couple hundred thousand miles.

    See picture here (I did not embed it because it is not my picture):
    http://lkn4drt.smugmug.com/photos/463654461_Q3Duo-L.jpg

    Hope this clears things up.
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    na1g
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    Understood, but the follow-up question is: why don't m-c manufacturers use hydraulic valves? There are some but the design is not widely employed. On touring/adventure type bikes it would be/should be a given. I owned a Honda CB700SC some years ago that redlined over 10,000 RPM and it had hydraulic valves that worked perfectly and lasted forever, so it can be done. Why not on a K1600 or F800?

    And BTW, I just had the 12K service on my camhead RT and the valves were in-spec.

    pete
    2011 R12RT

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    Norm Norms 427's Avatar
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    Fortunately it's not very hard or complicated to check and adjust the valves on our RTs. Just look at some threads on this forum and dive in … the water is fine. You'll be proud of yourself for accomplishing the task ... and save $$.

    I wish more manufacturers would employ hydraulically actuated valves, at least in their lower revving motors. I do appreciate that my Harleys are hydraulic w no adjustments needed.
    Now: '12 R1200RT Midnight Blue Metallic / '11 Ural Patrol 2WD ridden to Alaska / '09 KLR 650 / '05 HD Heritage Softail / '08 Harley Sportster 1200C / '85 Yamaha VMax bought new. I wasn't ready to say goodbye: www.shaunlunt.typepad.com

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    Minnesota Nice! braddog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by na1g View Post
    Understood, but the follow-up question is: why don't m-c manufacturers use hydraulic valves? There are some but the design is not widely employed. On touring/adventure type bikes it would be/should be a given. I owned a Honda CB700SC some years ago that redlined over 10,000 RPM and it had hydraulic valves that worked perfectly and lasted forever, so it can be done. Why not on a K1600 or F800?

    And BTW, I just had the 12K service on my camhead RT and the valves were in-spec.

    pete
    2011 R12RT
    Actually, several manufacturers do use hydraulic lifters/valves. One that comes to mind is Harley-Davidson, you know the American company that sells outdated motorcycles to wannabe pirates. (tongue FIRMLY in cheek).
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    Small road corner junkie pffog's Avatar
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    the type of system the F700/800 uses is pretty stable, I think 12K is probably overkill. Bunch of posts on ADV rider claiming still good at 40K +.
    2010 F800GS Full Ohlins package, '04 R1100S Replika
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    Survivor akbeemer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pffog View Post
    the type of system the F700/800 uses is pretty stable, I think 12K is probably overkill. Bunch of posts on ADV rider claiming still good at 40K +.
    My FJR is similar I believe and the service interval is 26K. On the FJR forums it appears that many owners go 50K between checks.
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    Still plays with trains. tinytrains's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=na1g;911755]Understood, but the follow-up question is: why don't m-c manufacturers use hydraulic valves? /QUOTE]

    Because the motorcycle world mostly wants to go fast and don't seem to care about maintenance complexities or costs.

    Hydraulic lifters take up space, add complexity and tend to have several problems on high RPM engines. First, is increased valve train mass. A rocker arm is required which adds mass, and results in valve float at high RPMs. Especially with radical cam profiles on sport bikes. Second, lifters are prone to pump up. They can over pressurize at high RPMs causing the valves to not fully close. Third, the cam over bucket design works really well and is easy to make. Companies have built low maintenance motorcycles over the years, and with the exception of touring bikes and crusers, they don't sell well.

    I bought a R1200R boxer because I can maintain it myself. Valve adjustments on the modern K-bikes are way more than I want to deal with or pay for.
    1988 K75 Low Seat
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    thanks

    thanks everyone for your feedback. I probably will spend the big $$ soon for the 12K service and then wait until 35999 for the next inspection. I understand the MC engineering logic for BMW's valve design - higher RPM and thus higher HP, marketing purposes. Can you imagine a quality MC manufacturer like BMW selling a mid size bike that the owner could do ALL maintenance? What an advantage. I can't even change the spark plugs (they tell me) without a special tool. My son had a 1983 Honda Shadow 750 shaft drive, hydralic valves and you could change plugs easily. The bike ran great, almost the same mpg as my 700gs on a long fast road trip and It ran on regular gas. I wonder what it costs for a K1600 plug change and valve inspection? Are the R engines really that easy?

  11. #11
    A bozo on the bus deilenberger's Avatar
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    Hi folks,

    Great discussion.. I'm moving it to the F-twin's forum since it really fits there a bit more, especially since the question initially asked was about service on the specific model.

    Hang on while it's moved (and please keep hands and feet inside the thread until it fully stops moving..)
    Don Eilenberger http://www.eilenberger.net
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  12. #12
    3 Red Bricks
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    Quote Originally Posted by newrider View Post
    Can you imagine a quality MC manufacturer like BMW selling a mid size bike that the owner could do ALL maintenance? What an advantage.
    They did. It was called the K75.



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  13. #13
    Small road corner junkie pffog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by newrider View Post
    ................. Can you imagine a quality MC manufacturer like BMW selling a mid size bike that the owner could do ALL maintenance? What an advantage. ...............................
    Funny, I can do all the maintenance on my F800GS, aside from resetting the service light unless I spend $$ for the GS911, but it only displays for a couple seconds, so I don't have an issue.

    Yes things are more difficult to get to today, but the big problem is many people lack the skills, or have let them deteriorate. Valve jobs use to be considered maintenance, and many engines up to the 80's needed them around 70-80K miles. Points and condenser every 15K, replace leaking Valve cover gaskets on a regular basis. U-Joints, wheel bearings, radiator hoses, fan belts, carb rebuilds, ball joints, were all wear items that needed regular replacement. All this stuff now does not exist or lasts 3-4 times longer.

    Yes, change can make us feel we have been left behind, but to some so can a computer or TV remote, others have kept up. Just depends on what the motivation is.
    2010 F800GS Full Ohlins package, '04 R1100S Replika
    '01 F650GS Wife's bike
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  14. #14
    Registered User lkchris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by newrider View Post
    Can you imagine a quality MC manufacturer like BMW selling a mid size bike that the owner could do ALL maintenance?
    Not for nanosecond!

    You have to understand different cultures--the LAST thing on the minds of German automotive designers is DIY maintenance.

    Remember that the "Model T" of Germany was the Beetle. Germany doesn't make Model Ts, but Harley tries.

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    Registered User wbrownell9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by na1g View Post
    Understood, but the follow-up question is: why don't m-c manufacturers use hydraulic valves? ... 2011 R12RT
    Hydraulic lifters are fine for low-revving engines. They use engine oil as the hydraulic fluid and it simply can't flow through the tiny orifices involved fast enough to work properly at high speeds. At 10,000 RPM, any given lifter has about 10 milliseconds to refill.

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