Valve Adustment V-Star 1100

Originally Written by Larry Marino, Text Modified and Pictures added by Tony Anzalone

Standard Disclaimer:  I take no responsibility for damage caused to your engine, if you try this project. Anytime you work on or modify, you could cause damage to your engine or fire from loose fuel lines. If you have any doubts about your abilities, consider a competent tech do it for you.


Remove Passenger seat, (1-10mm acorn nut)

Remove Rider seat, (2 12mm bolts)

Remove 3 plastic push-it pins from electronic ignition module plastic plate and pull it up and out of the way. Also disconnect the large fuel tank electrical connector now accessible.

Turn off Fuel Petcock & remove the pinch connector and fuel line from ON/OFF Fuel petcock. Use a rag to soak up the fuel in the line.

Remove the (2-12mm), Fuel Tank Bolts. Now slide the Fuel Tank up & back to remove.

Remove the plastic chrome spark plug covers and spark plugs.

Remove Air Cleaner, (2-5mm Allen bolts), 1-Philips screw holding the air duct unit.

Remove the air duct unit at the air box side, 1-Philips screw.

Remove the breather hose from the front cylinder head.

Loosen the 2 hose clamps that hold the air box to the carburetors. Remove the air Box.

Remove the plastic chrome cylinder head covers, (2-5mm Allen Bolts) on both cylinders.

Remove the 2 intake & 2 exhaust valve tappet covers, (2-5mm Allen bolts on each).

Remove the Camshaft Sprocket Covers on both cylinders, (2-5mm Allen Bolts).

Remove the Timing Plug (Generator Rotor port) & the larger Straight slotted Plug on the (left engine case). To remove the Plugs, use a large coin or very large screwdriver. (The handle end of the key works very well!)

By now you bike will look like this

Click on image for larger View

Start with the Rear Cylinder

1) Using an extension and a 22mm deep socket, on the large nut in Straight Plug access port, turn the engine clockwise until the indicator hole on the rear camshaft sprocket plate is aligned with the stationary pointer near the top of the cylinder head at TDC on the compression stroke. Make sure that the socket is a tight fit on your socket extension as it is very easy to pop the socket off of the extension as you remove it from the Straight Plug hole. If you drop it into the case, it will be very-very bad, as it will require you to see more of the inside of your engine case then you really needed to visit.

2) Check the rocker arms. There should be some free play in the rockers, on the cylinder that you are working with. If there is no free play, then you are at TDC on the exhaust stroke and need to turn the engine clockwise, 360 degrees until the mark comes up again. You should now be on the top of the compression stroke and ready to check the clearance for that cylinder.

3) For the exact TDC point on the rear cylinder, align the "|T" mark on the crank You will need to look through the small Generator Rotor, (Timing port), to see it. The fixed indicator slot is at the 11:00 position, not the 1:00 position as illustrated in the manual.

*NOTE: there are 3 marks on the Rotor.  

| = Front Jug TDC                 |T = Rear Jug TDC                  |F| = Rear Jug Ignition Timing Mark

Rotor timing Port View

4) For TDC on the compression stroke, both the cam marks and the crank mark must be in alignment for the cylinder you are working with, and there should be some play in the rocker arms. When the two markings align you are ready to measure the Valve Clearance

Front Cam Timing Marks        Rear Cam Timing Marks


5) Measure Valve Clearance on the Intake and Exhaust valves by inserting a thickness gauge between the bottom of the adjusting screw and the Valve tip.

INTAKE VALVE: 0.07 - 0.12 M.M. SAE: 0.003 - 0.005 (Inside the engine V )

EXHAUST VALVE: 0.12 -0.17 M.M. SAE: 0.005 - 0.007 (Outside the engine V)

6) If the Valve clearance is incorrect, adjust the valve(s).

To Adjust Valve Clearance

1) Loosen the Tappet locknut

2) Insert a thickness gauge between the bottom of the adjusting screw and the Valve tip. The thickness gauge should slide tightly.

3) Using an Allen wrench, turn the adjusting screw until the specified Valve clearance is obtained (clockwise to decrease, counter clockwise to increase)

4) Hold the adjusting screw to prevent it from moving and tighten the locknut. (This is a learned skill... bet you can't get it right the first or second time!)

5) Insert a thickness gauge between the bottom of the adjusting screw and the Valve tip, and measure the valve clearance again. If the Valve is still out of specification repeat the process.

6) Rotate the engine through all 4 cycles (360 degrees x 2) and check your work again.                

Front Exhaust                               Front Intake


Rear Intake                                  Rear Exhaust


*Note:  The "Go" - "No Go", method: I like to set my intake to .004in., tighten, check it again with a .004in. feeler . If it still feels good, then go to the next size up, .005in and it should not go in. Thus .004in is a GO and the .005 is a NO GO!

Now for the Front Cylinder:

Turn the Crankshaft clockwise 290 degrees (that would be just a bit more then ¾ of a full turn) and repeat the process on the front cylinder. The indicator hole on the front camshaft is on a round metal plate, not a gear.

(On the front cylinder, align the "|" mark on the crank)


Install all removed parts in the reverse order of their disassembly. Make sure that all O-rings are clean and free of any dirt, sand or grit that would prevent a tight seal.

·Torque on the Camshaft Sprocket Covers [10 Nm (1.0 m-kg, 7.2 ft-lb.)

·Torque on the Tappet Covers [ 10 Nm (1.0 m-kg, 7.2 ft-lb.)

·Torque on the Spark Plugs [ 20 Nm (2.0 m-kg, 14 ft-lb.)

When you adjust the valves the dot on the camshaft gear has to line up with the pointer on the head. I adjust my valves to .004in .intake and. 006in. exhaust.

Don't be too concerned about the marks on the rotor wheel thru the timing hole lining up exactly with the cam. The only thing that matters is the cam gear dot and the marker on the head.

If your bike is running poorly after you adjusted the valves you did something wrong. Go back and do it like I described. Make sure the carbs are secure and everything is tight.

Tools Needed:

22mm deep wall socket to turn Engine.

Metric or SAE thickness feeler gauge.

4mm Allen key or hex bit socket, for valve lash adjustment.

5mm Allen key or hex bit socket, (Torque to 7.2lbs), for valve tappet covers, camshaft sprocket end covers & top engine plastic chrome covers.

12mm open End wrench for locknut on valve lash adjustment, (in bike kit).

Spark plug wrench, (Torque to 14lbs), from your bike kit or 13/16 spark plug socket

10mm open end for passenger seat nut & air box bolt, (in bike kit).

You should also check the sync of the carbs when done.

My personal Opinon: I have over the years worked on 650 twins, 750/4's, etc. But I have to say that this is the worst designed motorcycle from the prospective of maintenance. The Cycle in general is a great design for power and dependability, but really fails in the ease of maintenance department. Even the Service manual leaves very much to be desired. I rate, (0-bad to 10 best), Yamaha V-star 1100 a "9" for general and a "3" for Maintenance Availability Design.

Tony Anzalone  (GoldKnight67 on Star Forum)

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