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Discussion Starter #1
My 08 Custom has this odd ticking sound from the engine, I beleive it to be the valves, is it normal or does it require adjustment? I have over 15K miles on it and have done all required maintenance, also run Mobil 1 oil.
 

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I have not checked my manual but from memory i believe that valves require
a adjustment at 16000 kms, approx 10000 mikes. as part of the regular maintainence program. Check your service manual , it gives you required maintainence charts. Cheers Maurice

By the way, i rum Belray full synthetic oil and this has quietened down engine noise a lot.
 

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Well I just happen to have the manual in front of me (as it's winter and I can't ride for a while so maybe now I'll have time to read the rest of it) and Valve clearance should be inspected and presumably adjusted at 15,000 mi (24,000 km).

You said you already have over 15k miles on it and have done all required maint., did that also include the valve adjustment at 15K? And did the ticking sound start since then?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Valve Noise?

I was under the impression from reading other forum threads that the 15k mile check of the valve clearance was unecessary since the vulcan has hydraulic lifters. Anyone have experience with this?
 

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It's my understanding that they're checked at 15k, and adjusted if necessary. These bikes are notorious for this and other little noises. Mine have always been a little noisy. A lot of guys just debaffle the pipes or get louder ones. Problem solved.
 

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I have an 08 900 Classic. I thought I heard a "ticking". I took my bike to the dealer for the 2nd oil change and to get the valves adjusted even though I have 4k mi and the manual says they need adjusted at 15k. The dealer listened to the bike and said that the valves do not need adjusted. The dealer said that some bikes need the valves adjusted at the first oil change and some need adjusted often, but the Vulcan 900s really do not need them adjusted until the 15k service. The valves are not hydrolic on the 900.
 

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Good and Bad Info

I was under the impression from reading other forum threads that the 15k mile check of the valve clearance was unecessary since the vulcan has hydraulic lifters. Anyone have experience with this?
Sorry, but you have been misinformed,. The 900 doesn't have hydraulic lifters, but uses shims of appropriate thickness for correct clearance or gap.

Normally the valve stem lengthens over time and miles; clearance is reduced or eliminated entirely thereby creating the possibility of burned valves, as the valve doesn't ever close completely.

The good news, is the valve adjustment on SOHC engines is simple and the Vulcan 900 is simpler than most SOHC engines as the rocker arms just slide out of the way being held in lateral position by only spring tension.

A DIY type of project. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Valve Lash Checks

I've read alot concerning this topic and can't help to wonder why Kawi has this service check at 15K miles for US/CA bikes and 24K miles for EU/AU bikes, are they not the same engines (except for emission controls), valve checks every 15K miles just seems to me a bit excessive.
 

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Shiloh is correct, they need to be checked every 15,000 miles. The fact that yours are making noise is actually a good thing, it is when they get quiet that you need to get worried. Like mine are now. I'm approaching the 15K mile mark and will adjust mine as soon as it is warm enough in the garage to feel my fingers again.
 

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I've read alot concerning this topic and can't help to wonder why Kawi has this service check at 15K miles for US/CA bikes and 24K miles for EU/AU bikes, are they not the same engines (except for emission controls), valve checks every 15K miles just seems to me a bit excessive.
I think the EU spec is in kilometers, (14,912 miles is equal to 24,000 kilometers).
 

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I was discussing the valve adjustment with a very experienced rider. He said that regardless of when it's done, it should only have to be done once (take it for what it's worth). So on that advice I took the bike to the dealer for the second oil change (3500mi) and since I thought that I was hearing some valve "tapping" I asked them to adjust the valves. The dealer confirmed that the valves are not hydraulic and said that they would be finished with the bike the next day. An hour later, I received a call from the dealer and they stated that because of the shims, that the valve clearance was apt to be more accurate than other bikes with mechanical valves. They also listed to the "tapping" and said that it was normal and that the valves really did not need adjusted until the 15k mi maintenance.

Take it for what it's worth, but the dealer wouldn't even take my money on that one.
 

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Although I liked reading what your dealer had to say about the 900s' valves tending to be more accurate due to the shims, I'm just not sure what your experienced rider friend meant about only having "to be done once".

The Owner's Manual tells us it should be done once every 15,000 miles, so at 15k, again at 30k, 45k, etc. Wouldn't that make more sense?
 

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I agree that the tapping sound is a bit disconcerting, but it is normal. The first time I heard it at highway speed I also thought something was wrong. But a fellow on the other forum likened the noise to mosquitos. The male mosquito buzzes to attract female mosquitos but doesn't bite because he doesn't need blood to fertilize eggs. The females on the other hand are quiet, so you don't hear them approaching when they come to stick you. The valves are the same way, when they go quiet there's trouble on the way if you don't adjust them. When they're buzzing away you're safe.
 

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To Done Once.

Although I liked reading what your dealer had to say about the 900s' valves tending to be more accurate due to the shims, I'm just not sure what your experienced rider friend meant about only having "to be done once".

The Owner's Manual tells us it should be done once every 15,000 miles, so at 15k, again at 30k, 45k, etc. Wouldn't that make more sense?
I think the experienced rider is only experienced with bikes that have hydraulic lifters such as most of the push rod (maybe all) Harleys, the push rod Yamaha and Kawasaki V twins, etc. The only SOHC motorcycle engine that I am aware of with hydraulic lifters is the Victory which is a very tall engine in large part to provide room for the lifters in the head.

With hydraulic lifters, you adjust until they are just at zero clearance, and then the oil pressure maintains the clearance for extremely long service intervals.

Of course this all comes at a cost, namely money and reduced performance due to a large increase in reciprocating mass in the valve train components.

Our valves need the service as outlined in the manual, which is not excessive at all. I think that Ducati's not too long ago, required valve clearance service at about 4000 miles intervals. :)
 

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I get a tapping (or knocking type of tapping) when on decelleration, especially when down shifting. I hope that's what ya'll are talking about.
As a side note, when I had my K6 Suzuki Burgman 650, the vales need adjusting every 7500 miles and would cost at least 2 hours of labor due to the effort it took to do it. When the K7's came out, that changed to every 15,000 miles.
 

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My 2008 VN900 makes some valve noise (8k Miles) but it's nothing to be concerned about. Just follow the maintenance intervals and you will be fine. The Japanese know how to build motorcycles.
 

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I have a ticking at idle. The dealer shop advised me that that was normal, part of the intake system, not the valves inside the engine.
 

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You will hear a lot more "engine" noise when you have an intake as well..you will hear them injectors clicking like a son of a gun..sometimes u think its the valves..but its the injectors doing their thing
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Valve Adjustment

Hey all, I just read that the 09 Vulcan 900 service manual states valve clearance checks every 26K miles for US/CA, why the difference??
 
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