How-to : Valve Clearance Check & Adjustment : Yamaha R6 Forum: R6MessageNet : YZF-R6 Forums
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Old 06-02-2004, 09:20 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default How-to : Valve Clearance Check & Adjustment

Valve Clearance Check & Adjustment
Valve adjustments on the R6 can be pretty time consuming. Measuring will take you about 15-20min. The actual adjusting should take about 45min to an hour.

1. Start tearing down you bike

Remove plastics
Drain oil (not required but less messy)
Drain radiator (not required but less messy)
Remove Seat, tank
Remove air box
Remove carburetors
Remove radiator (if drained) or move down out of the way.
Disconnect ignition wires leading to your coils
Remove ignition coils
Use a 5mm allen wrench to remove the value cover bolts and then remove the valve cover.

This is what you should see by now.

2. Checking Valve Clearance

You are now going to need to remove the rather large circle cover on the pickup coil cover.

To check the valves you are going to need a feeler gauge to measure the distance between the cam lobes and the valve bucket. Try to find one that is based on the metric system, in fact we are going to keep everything in metric; because trying to figure out .005in is equal to .127mm is a pain in the ass. Also have and sheet of paper out and a pen.

Attach a 12mm socket the bolt that was behind the circle cover. With the ratchet turn clockwise to rotate the cams.

NOTE: Never turn counter clockwise, this direction is against the natural rotation of the engine and can do something really really bad; I donít know what exactly just donít do it.

Rotate the cams until the two cam lodes closest to you (cylinder #4) are facing up, and the value is completely closed.

With your feeler gauge check the valve clearance, by trying to cram that piece of metal in-between the cam lobe and the valve bucket.

NOTE: you are measuring the exhaust side currently and the clearance should be 0.21mm ~ 0.30mm so start with a 0.25mm feeler and go from there.

Find the largest feeler that will fit in-between. It is possible to cram a larger feeler then that of the clearance make sure you donít do this! The feeler should just slide nicely in-between.

Now write down the measurement on you sheet of paper, make sure you write it down corresponding to each value and cylinder.

Rotate the crank again, clockwise! Until you can check the valve clearance for cylinder #3. Repeat the clearance checking procedure then continue to cylinder # 2 and finally #1

Once youíve finished the exhaust side more over to the intake side and record the clearances there.

NOTE: Intake valve clearance should be 0.11mm ~ 0.20mm

Now look at your sheet of chicken scratch and use your common sense to determine if you clearances need to be adjusted.


Intake: 0.11mm ~ 0.20mm (0.0043in ~ 0.0079in)
Exhaust: 0.21mm ~ 0.30mm (0.0083in ~ 0.0118in)

If you decided that your clearances need to be adjusted remove the 20 bolts holding the cams in and remove them as evenly as possible.

Find a couple of clean (no lint) towels to set the cam shaft cover (cap) on. Next remove the exhaust cam and also set this on a clean towel. (I know my rags are dirty! Thats what carb cleaner is for.)

Now to make things a little easier later use a zip tie (or similar) to tie the cam chain to the clutch cable so it doesnít fall down inside the engine.

Now remove the intake cam and set it aside on a towel. Make note of which cam is which.

Now to make things easier get yourself a magnet to remove the valve buckets. Make sure you place them in the corresponding order.


Inside each valve bucket you will find yourself a valve pad with a 3 digit number on it. This number corresponds to the thickness of the pad represented in millimeters but you need to throw a decimal in-between the 1st and the 2nd number. For example a pad with the number 182 on it is 1.82mm thick.

If you canít read the number on the pad you will need a caliper, or better a micrometer. Use one of these tools to determine the thickness of each pad.

Write these numbers as they correspond to each valve. This is the item you are going to replace in order to change the gap in-between each valve bucket and cam lobe.

You can use this spread sheet to determine the new pad thickness.
R6 Valve Pad Spreadsheet

Now the hardest part is probably getting new valve pads, my local shop was nice enough to allow me to swap out the pads I needed with my old ones.

Now that you have your new pads it is time to put your engine back together. Put your new pads on top of the corresponding valves and then place the corresponding valve bucket on it as well.

Now your ready to put everything back together. Refer to this thread to set your timing.

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Last edited by ochlocracy; 11-10-2004 at 01:10 PM.
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Old 06-03-2004, 12:14 AM   #2 (permalink)

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That looks like a very good write up. I don't understand half of that but maybe I'll be up to the job one day.

A year ago I didn't think I'd go past taking off the plastics and I've already replaced the valve cover gasket (with some much needed help), but that write up looks very helpful. Good job
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Old 06-03-2004, 03:29 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!
Will you marry me!

I soooo needed this info. YOU RAT BASTARD! I AM NOT WORTHY!!!!!!!

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Old 06-03-2004, 03:50 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Nice write up, but to add.

Turning the crank CCW will not harm anything. In fact the manual states that to set the automatic cam chain tensioner to turn the crankshaft several turns counter clockwise.
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Old 06-03-2004, 04:02 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Great post. When should I be checking?

We all undertake a modicum of risk everytime we thumb the starter - it's just inherent to the sport.
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Old 06-03-2004, 05:45 AM   #6 (permalink)
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great post

WERA West Novice #831

Originally Posted by Jonathan
BTW, I don't need to take anyone to dinner to bang them. If they want food they can go get it, if they want dick they can call me.
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Old 06-03-2004, 08:40 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Wow. Nice work Ohlocracy.
"On a long enough timeline, the survival rate for everyone drops to zero." - Narrator
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Old 06-03-2004, 10:21 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by R6AJ
Great post. When should I be checking?
26000 miles is the first valve lash service/inspection...

when he says pads, he is refering to shims...if you go to your dealers parts department and ask for pads they might give you brake pads...
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Old 06-03-2004, 10:30 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Nice job! How much difference (avg) did you see for adjustment and how many miles on your ride? It seems more times than not you go to do this and no adjustment is needed? Just wondering...
JPrider. 03 black w red flames, Akra Ti.
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Old 06-03-2004, 03:07 PM   #10 (permalink)
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really good write up
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