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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,

Id first like to say that I've really learned alot about bikes using this forum - some great questions and responses from the members!

I recently purchased an '04 500R and I am really enjoying it as my first bike. Im just getting done with the break-in and although I had to keep it under 4K rpm for the first 500 miles, Im amazed with how quick this bike is.

My question is about the first recommended service. Both the dealer and the manual recommend having the bike serviced just after break-in for valve adjustment. This service is going to run around $300 and Im just wondering if it is all that necessary. I'd hate to think that this is some ploy just to take new motorcycle buyers for another $300 just after purchase. Any info. would be appreciated!
 

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I'm anxious to see what the response is to this post since I just purchased a 2004 500r myself for my 1st bike. I just took it out for the 1st time the other day and I myself was surprised with the performance of this bike. I found the throttle to be very touchy (pry just because I'm a newbie), I can't imagine what the throttles are like on bigger sportsbikes. Uncle marcus, did you fond it frustrating keeping it under 4k rpms? I just wanted to let it rip but i'm trying to be patient.
 

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All vehicles that have non-hydraulic lifters will require periodic maintenance. The valves must be adjusted properly to avoid damage and to ensure maximum power. Everyone I know that has a sportbike either performs the service themselves or has it done at the dealerdship.

Freakinout or one of the other 500r guys should will be able to tell you for sure.
 

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Uh, $300 is a bit much for a valve adjustment... buy the tools a manual and do it yourself!
 

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You should be able to get a clymer or haynes manual and you'll need a tool to measure valve clearance. Other than that a basic metric tool kit should be enough for you to do it yourself. It is very easy from what I've read if you have basic mechanical knowledge. I am getting ready in the next couple of thousand miles to adjust my valves, but that won't be for a month at least.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks to all for the feedback. Im a little reluctant to dive in and do it myself but I will get the clymer manual and read up about this proceedure. If its not too big a deal I may take a stab at it.

The dealer explained that this first valve adjust service is expensive because the technician has to pull all kinds of parts off the bike to get to the valves, so the $300 is mostly labor.
 

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the first valve adjustment is no different from the rest, but you will have to take off the front fairing and the gas tank. At that point you have perfect access to the heads and can work on it easily.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
fosta22, Yes I did find it quite frustrating keeping it under 4K rpm during break-in and to be perfectly honest there were a few times when I did twist the throttle a little more than I should have. But for the most part I stuck to the recommendation. Its a small sacrifice for the overall longevity of your new ride. Just ride whenever you can, take a couple of long cruises out into the country and you'll rack up 600 miles in no time flat. Happy riding!
 

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I have an '04 500R also and didn't follow break-in exactly according to specifications. This discussion was had in another forum www.beginner-bikes.com and this was posted about the Kawasaki Ninja 250:

"i also have a new ninja 250 with about 200 miles. i was very frustrated with the recommended break-in procedure. keeping the RPM at or below 4000 for the first 500 miles means keeping your speed at or below 35 mph. this is unsafe in so many situations. SO, i contacted kawasaki via their web site and asked them about their break-in procedure and here is the reply that i received:

'The described break-in procedure for the EX250 is pretty conservative, and
really unrealistic. The main problem is that a "universal" method and
label is used for all models.

We would reccomend not running the engine at speeds near redline during the
break-in period, and not allowing the engine to run in situation where high
engine heat would be created, such as long uphill climbs in hot weather.

We hope this is helpful.'"

Since it is good for the Ninja 250 (13k rpm redline) I figure it wouldn't be that far of a stretch for a Ninja 500 (11.5K rpm redline). I personally ran mine up to about 6000 rpms during the first 500 miles then kept it below 8000 rpms for the next 500 with the occasional run up to redline to get the rings to expand properly.

As for valve adjustments they do need to be done. My first service only cost me $200 but it took them about 3 hours. I think you should at least have the first service done by a Kawa dealer to make sure everything is running correctly from the factory and it also allows your bike to be entered into the Kawa system for warrantly purposes. I plan on doing my own maintenance from here on out but I am little worried about synching the carbs. Has anyone done this? I know I need a special vacuum tool. Is it difficult?
 
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