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Discussion Starter #1
My question regards servicing; I've got an '04 800 Classic that runs well and other than not having fuel injection I have no complaints. In looking at my owner's manual I see many recommended changes; I stopped in at the local Kaw dealership and asked about all of this thinking it could run up to a significant $ amount if everything stipulated was performed. The cost of items such as valve clearance checks and replacing cabling and hoses etc. worries me but if needed I'll certainly do it. The dealer said they typically don't check valves unless there is a reason i.e. ping because it is a major project.
I've always changed oil and filters (air, oil) and have changed brake fluid and coolant. So: what do you do?
 

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The dealer said they typically don't check valves unless there is a reason i.e. ping because it is a major project.
?
Your dealer does not know what he is talking about.
If there is a "reason", it is too late.
This is a MUST DO service, particularly on 800's.
 

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I'm pretty new, so take it with a grain of salt, but I think I can safely back up sfair here.

I've owned my bike (2001 800 classic) for about 3-4 years now. It's been in the shop 1 time, back when I got it, for a coolant leak. I never take it in to get anything checked on it, but I may well start after what happened a few weeks ago.

Initially diagnosing a problem that I was having as a fuel system issue, I started taking her apart. When I started gently but firmly pulling the hose off of the petcock, it tore off. Had to go buy a new fuel hose.

Now, that 1 hose was cheap, but you better believe that I'm checking every hose on the bike now...

I bet if I had her looked at more often, this wouldn't have happened.

Best of luck to you!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I've looked into this and see that you are right; not being a mechanic I previously didn't understand the intricacies and precision of the valve mechanism. In looking through the service manual it looks to be a complicated job- getting to it mostly- the valve adjustment looks easy. Do you do it yourself? If so would you recommend for someone to try this? And lastly what would be a ballpark figure for the job if performed by a dealer? With the dealer's previous answer I'm not so sure I want to take it to them for service, and with so many opportunities to screw up in this endeavor I worry about the quality of the job. Thanks for your response.
 

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Valve adjustment is not overly difficult. There is a sticky in this forum that covers it in detail. You do not need any specialty tools except a feeler gauge and the 9.48mm shims. HotCams shim kit on amazon is what I used. You will take some off your bike and put them in the box.

Read through the sticky, get any tools you'll need, a pen and paper for noting the measurements and performing calculations, and tackle the job in an afternoon. It is a great way to familiarize yourself with your bike.

Shops will charge a wide range of labor costs but this should take a competent mechanic only about 2 hours ($40-100/hr), and parts/shop fees should not exceed $50. As others have said, avoid any shop that tells you this does not need done, or says "valves sound fine", etc.
 
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