The valves! They’re everywhere!

Keeping in the fine tradition of “when it rains, it pours”, ALL FIVE of our motorcycles up and needed their valve clearances checked at the same time. I’ve got two down and three to go and I’m already having dreams of valves. Little rocker arms dancing around my head while camshafts taunt me by tossing shims and buckets all around.

Fortunately, the worst of the lot — the SVS — is now done, and I can say with complete confidence that if I ever post wanting to do that again, someone should reach through the internet and smack me. I’ve got the pictures for the write-up ready, though, and the text is almost done, so all of you masochists out there who can’t get to San Francisco for the bondage parties can instead adjust the valves on your SVs and get your pain and drama fix right there.

The nice thing about having done the SVS first is that everything else is a cakewalk by comparison. I did the first service on the XT yesterday and it took me maybe a half hour to do the valves — and that includes finding the 5mm hex wrench for the valve cover bolts. I do love rocker arm/locknut valves. Oh manufacturers, why hast thou foresaken us? Cast away these shim-under-buckets and lead us back to the rocker arms!

The XT had a pretty nasty carbon-fouled plug on her, too, so that’s getting replaced. I love that I can check the sparkplugs on the dualsports without having to, say, REMOVE THE RADIATOR (thanks, Suzuki) along with half the skin on my hand. I’m going to start inspecting the XT’s sparkplug after every ride, just because I can.

I’m thinking of working on the DR today; it’s not due for a service, but I like to give all of our new bikes a tune-up so I can kinda get under the hood a little. I already replaced its sparkplugs (two for a thumper! Good thing I checked before blindly going to the store assuming it only had one), so I’ll just do oil, fluid checks, pull the tank, check the valves (rocker arms! wooooooo!), lube up everything, etc. I hafta do the same for Dora, too, but I’m not in the mood today to pull off fairings, even fairings with quick-release bolts. Call me lazy.

All right, off to Zoom for sparkplugs (they have the best selection of plugs in stock that I’ve found; FYI, south bay kids). It’s always fun to go in there and order up a huge alphabet soup selection of plugs. DR, CR, 8, 9, E, A, H, blah blah. Whee!

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