V4 Valve Adjustment

Something I get asked about from time to time is valve adjustment procedure for the V4. Here's an illustrated description of the method I use.

DISCLAIMER: I am not a professional mechanic. I have not had any Honda factory training. I am merely passing along the approach I use, which was taught to me by a mechanic, for your consideration. Use at your own risk. I accept no responsibility or liability for any consequences.

Before you begin, you can get an idea of which valves might need adjusting. Use a big screwdriver as a stethoscope. With the engine idling, put the tip of the screwdriver into one of the big chrome hex bolts that holds the camshafts -- there are two such bolts on the sides of each cylinder head -- and put your ear up against the end of the handle. Press the little flap at the opening to your ear canal closed against the handle. Now listen. You should hear a gentle ticking along with fluid swoosh. If you hear loud clacking, the valve clearance is probably loose. If you don't hear any ticking, it might be too tight. Jot down your observations for each cylinder and see how well they match with what you actually measure once you get inside. With experience, you might be able to tell whether your valve clearances need adjusting just by listening.

Let the bike cool off to ambient temperature before proceeding.

  1. STEP ONE: Gather Supplies
  2. STEP TWO: Prepare the Bike
  3. STEP THREE: Expose the Valve Train
  4. STEP FOUR: Position the Camshaft
  5. STEP FIVE: Check the Clearance
  6. STEP SIX: Set the Clearance
  7. STEP SEVEN: Rinse and Repeat

Last updated February 2002.
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