Setting the valve clearance is recommended (according to the Honda Maintenance Schedule) every 12,000 miles (19,200 kms) on this motorcycle. I wanted to learn how to do this myself instead of paying the dealer to do it for me.

I used the Honda Service Manual as a reference to guide me through the process.

In a previous post I wrote about how we built a stand to elevate the bike and make working on it much easier. (Building A Space Saving Lift for Motorcycles) So with the bike secured, with the engine cold and the transmission in neutral,  I assembled my tools and got started.

Remove the Left and Right Rear Cylinder Head Cover

 

 

 

There are two bolts on each cover and they are removed with a 5mm hex. Carefully remove the bolts and cover making sure you don’t damage the gaskets. Tapping the cover with a rubber hammer helps loosen the seal.
The bike was centered and not leaning on the kickstand so I had equal amounts of oil that leaked out.  It wasn’t much but enough I wanted to put newspapers or a flat pan to catch what did leak out on both sides before removing the next covers.
 

 

 

 

Once the rear cylinder head cover and gasket is removed on both sides you can continue to the cylinder head cover

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Remove the Cylinder Head Covers

 

 

Remove the rubber plugs from the center of the valve cover bolts.

Remove the six bolts with a 6 mm hex socket.

 

 

 

 

 

There is a plug and wires under the front of the cover that run up the right side that need to be loosened and moved out of the way before the cover will come off. The plug is held in place with a small screw over the cap.

The left cover is unobstructed and came off easily.

 

 

 

 

Remove the Spark Plugs

This is a good time to remove the spark plugs and examine and re gap them if necessary.  With the spark plugs removed it is also easier to crank the engine and set the valve clearance.

This is a fairly easy process and well worth your time since you have access to the plugs.

Remove the rubber caps and clean around the spark plug base and be sure there is no debris that will enter the combustion chamber.

Remove each spark plug with a spark plug wrench and note what cylinder they came from in case the plug is fouled you will have this information to further investigate what may be the cause.

Examine each plug gap and general condition.  Use a feeler gauge to check the gap.  The owners manual calls for  0.8 – 0.9 mm (0.031 – 0.035 in)

If you have to adjust the gap, carefully bend the electrode to the desired gap.

To prevent crossthreading, thread each plug by hand, then tighten with a torque wrench.  The manual torque tolerance is 16 N m (1.6 kgf m, 12 lbf ft)

Reconnect the spark plug caps and you are done.

 

note: leave the plugs out until you have set the valve clearances because it will be easier to crank the engine.  I have done my best to accurately provide the tolerance and other specs from the owners manual but I suggest you double check any critical information yourself before proceeding.

 

Remove the Timing Cover

 

 

 

 

Remove the three bolts on the timing cover with a 5 mm hex socket.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rotate the crankshaft with a 17 mm socket counterclockwise and align the T 1.2 mark on the drive pulley guide plate with the index mark on the timing belt cover.

Make sure the No. 1 piston which is on the right side to the front of the bike is at TDC (Top Dead Center) on the compression stroke. An easy way to check this is to feel if there is a slight wiggle in the intake and exhaust valves. (intake valves are on top and exhaust valves on the bottom)  If not the compression stroke, rotate the crankshaft counterclockwise 360 degrees  (1 full turn) and align the T 1.2 mark with the index mark.

Right Side front to back is then 1 – 3 – 5 and the left front to back is 2 – 4 – 6

 

 Setting the Valve Clearances

 

 

Measure the No. 1 cylinder valve clearance by inserting a feeler gauge between the valve stem and adjusting screw.

 

Valve Clearances

Intake: 0.15 mm (0.006 in)

Exhaust:  0.22 mm (0.009 in)

 

 

 

Adjust by loosening the lock nut with a 10 mm wrench and use a screwdriver to adjust the screw until there is a slight drag on the feeler gauge.

Hold the adjusting screw and tighten the lock nut.

Torque:  23 N m (2.3 kgf m, 17 lbf ft)

Recheck the valve clearance.


Turn the crankshaft counterclockwise 120 degrees and align the T3.4 mark with the index mark.

Check and adjust the No. 4 cylinder valve clearance.


Turn the crankshaft counterclockwise 120 degrees and align the T5.6 mark with the index mark.

Check and adjust the No. 5 cylinder valve clearance.


Turn the crankshaft counterclockwise 120 degrees and align the T1.2 mark with the index mark.

Check and adjust the No. 2 cylinder valve clearance.


Turn the crankshaft counterclockwise 120 degrees and align the T3.4 mark with the index mark.

Check and adjust the No. 3 cylinder valve clearance.


Turn the crankshaft counterclockwise 120 degrees and align the T5.6 mark with the index mark.

Check and adjust the No. 6 cylinder valve clearance.


Replace the timing cover making sure the O ring is in place.

Replace the cylinder gaskets and covers.

Run the engine and watch for any leaks.

And your done!

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2 thoughts on “Setting the Valve Clearances on a Honda Valkyrie Flat Six

  • February 19, 2014 at 4:51 PM
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    Good pictures and nice, thorough walk through. Thanks!

  • June 9, 2014 at 7:23 PM
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    Exalent, this was lot of help , thanks Blue Goose

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