Valve Clearance Check Assistance

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    Well it was unfortunately that time… Time to check the valve clearances. I have been kind of dreading this since day one as it is never an easy job. I read on another thread that a few guys that had theirs done by the dealer and it costed $500-$600. That seemed awful high to me so i deiced to try and take this on myself.

    This ended up being quite the project and I learned a LOT in the process. I would love to pass on the knowledge I gained to anyone in need! I figured I would start a thread here so that if anybody out there is looking to do this themselves they can ask questions and I will try my best to help!

    I would like to note that after checking my valves, all four of them were out of spec! After replacing the shims with the correct size there was a VERY noticeable improvement in power! The bike seems to even sound a lot better!

    Anyways ,good luck to you guys out there that plan to tackle this project at home.

    Don’t hesitate to ask me any questions!!


    did you follow a service/repair manual?


    as much of the procedure as you’re willing to document would be great.


    what did you have to remove for access?

    any special tools?


    actual process of checking clearance, setting tdc, etc


    whatever you think might help would be great.


    You are able to do this without removing too much. I only had to remove the seat, the plastic shrouds and then the tank. That pretty much gets you to the top of the motor. From there I was able to remove the lid on the motor. It is kind of a puzzle trying to get the lid out of the frame but it will come out.

    Once the lid was off I made sure the piston was at top dead center by taking off the Silver plug and Black plastic cap on the left side of the motor. (I will try to get pictures of this if need be) This process is pretty much the same as any other bike. You will need to line up the line on the rotor to the point on the case. You also need to make sure the cams are lined up by looking at the lines etched in them.

    Once everything was at TDC I was able to measure the intake clearances with a standard set of feeler gauges by sliding them between the Cam shaft and the rocker arm. The exhaust valves were a little harder to get too and I ended up loosening the radiator to get the room I needed to measure these. Like I said before all four of my valves were out of spec, so I needed to replace them all.

    *Side note the shims are 10mm in diameter*

    Replacing them will be another post if it is needed. Hopefully you don’t need too. My buddy checked his KTM Duke the same time I checked my Vitpilen and all four of his valves were fine. So I think it is hit or miss.

    Hopefully this helps.

    The only Special tools that I needed are a set of feeler gauges, torque wrench, and calipers.

    Scott Emm

    excellent post.  I will be paying a pro this time around since im a pencil pusher but I will certainly ask about what they find and ensure to update you.


    Does the vitpilen use the same shims as the 390 duke?. And what is the shim diameter  10mm or smaller?.


    Sorry just read further and your side note says 10mm diameter, thanks… will do mine this weekend.

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