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.
Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
"The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
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.
Anybody want a mid-engine Porsche?
'12 R1200RT, '02 R1100S, '84 R80G/S
very interesting responses. We all understand that high reving engines can't have hydralic valves, but let's be practical; when was the last time you ran your engine near the red line? My 700GS red lines about 8000RPM which has never been reached. Most of the time it sits about 4000. The ONLY reason for high reving touring or GS engines is horsepower which is a function of torque and RPM. The marketing people want that high HP number at 8000RPM just to sell bikes. I'm pretty sure that the BMW marketing folks would never read this forum, but it would be nice. They seem to think that we all want super sport touring sport bikes. Can you imagine owning one of these high reving maintenance intensive bikes in outer Mongolia? Also, what about the high end touring companies that use these GS bikes, I wonder what their maintenance schedule is - if at all.
I have about 28k miles on my F800GS. I've done my own valve check twice and they were within tolerances. I've gotten good at it. The clearances are changing however and it won't surprise me that my 36k check indicates I need to change a shim or two. I think it is do-able if I take my time. Even if I need the special BMW tools, it is worth it to me in time and (by avoiding 2-3 dealer visits) money.
I also have a K1600GT with valve checks every 18k miles. I intend to check valve clearances on this bike too. But I looked at another owners K1600GTL while it was having its valves checked at the local dealer. To actually change shims looks like a nightmare. Mostly because it looks like there are 2 thousand tiny, shiny pieces you have to keep track of. I will most likely have them do this for me. I've looked at the official service DVD for this bike and I'd spend one day just removing parts just to get to the valve covers. I figure it is worth it for the glorious power it produces.
2010 F800GS and 2012 K1600GT
Andreb, is there a Clymers repair book that provides instruction on the valve check, or maybe a disk with easy to understand instructions on how to open her up? I did my valve checks on my K1200RS so I feel competent enough to do the check, but would feel better if I had some reference material before attempting it. I just bought my bike, so I have a bit of time before the service, but would like to do it myself because I consider it a challenge to work on her and understand what makes her tick......
Amazon should have a Haynes manual.
Team Pterodactyl Montana Outpost
Canyon Creek, MT USA
I would like to do the valve inspection for my F700GS, but it's still under warranty for 2 more years. Thus I'll have to pay the dealer to do the inspection, $$$. Hope it won't need re-shimming / adjustment, more $$$. In the mean time I'm looking for a shop manual but they're not out yet. By the way, what's the cost for this service on a K1600?
I think it's all just about been said ... but I'll add two things
1) The FxxxGS vertical twin's computer stores an internal value for when IT beleives the valves should next be checked. This value is apparently calculated based on how hard the engine is run. If you have a GS-911 or if the bike is hooked up to the dealers computer for some other reason you can query this value and see when the computer thinks the next check is "actually" required based on how hard the bike is being ridden.
From my experience ... unless you are consistently riding like you stole it the computer-reported intervals are always LONGER that 12K miles between checks ... (another good reason to have a GS-911)
2) The OEM version of the manual (available only on DVD and not hardcopy) is also sold on eBay ...
you can guess which price is cheaper ...
I am a bit annoyed that if you pay the higher dealer price there is no way to get later revisions at a discount if a newer version comes out, you get to pay full price ... For the K7x series the latest revision I am aware of is Rev. 6 that came out in 12/2010.
PS: I've had two valve checks done - one @ 13K which I paid for just to "be safe".
The second one at 28K miles I got almost for free due to warranty work that needed to be performed and which required pulling the top end of the engine down (water pump gear replaced).
In both cases one valve needed a new shim as it had tightened up.
These engines do seem to "use up" clearance, so keeping the valves at the larger end of spec. seems appropriate.
Last edited by jimbob59; 12-15-2013 at 10:05 PM. Reason: valve lash data........
fwiw- I'm at 32K on my F8GS. I checked my valves at 15K (no issue), and had the dealer check them at 31K. He had the bike for some out-of-warranty warranty service, so I figured I'd let him do that and plugs as well, as he had just saved me $900 in parts.
The valve check was about $180, not bad, given what a general nuisance it is to do them. An adjustment procedure would have been not too much more than that. I have not had to have them adjusted yet.
Ride Safe, Ride Lots