Honda Pan European - 1996 ST1100T Standard
Checking Valve Clearances
The Pan has a service schedule of 16,000 for checking the valve clearances. The engine has to be cold. Best leave it overnight and do it first thing in the morning.

Forget about thinking - oh - I'll just take the side panels off the fairing - it isn't as easy as that. You need a bit more clearance to get at the bolts, and to get the cam covers out. You also need a little more access to remove the spark plugs (otherwise turning the engine involves fighting the compression). Undoing the fairing mounting bolts, and the upper/mid fairing joining screws near your knee provides enough leeway. Don't forget to make sure that there is no muck in the spark plug recess before you remove the plugs.

Then you need to get at the timing cover. For that you need to remove the bottom fairing. Actually, I'm not so certain that this is necessary - you can easily see if the cams are on the round bit or on the pointy bit. Stick the bike in gear and turn the back wheel. I'll try that next time.

I checked the clearances at 28,500 miles - 'cos the service centre didn't and they had never been checked. It was on 44,000 miles this time - I expected them to be out, there is a small engine rattle at tickover and I suspected valve clearance - but not so. Most were well within tolerance. Only one was just about on the upper limit - but even then the upper limit gauge was a tight fit. Note that while you're checking the clearance on one cylinder, there are 4 valves to 'feel' - 2 inlet, two exhaust. Obvious, but I'd turned the engine over after doing the first two valves !

Replacement involves getting at the shims - ie taking the cam shaft off. It doesn't look difficult, but since you have to get the shims out before you can find out which size shims you need to replace them with, it can be a bit of a bind - particularly if your service centre doesn't have them in stock. A job for a long bout of icy weather in future. I intend to replace the timing belt at 60,000 miles - I suspect that 4 shims will need replacing by then, and it'll be OK to leave the bike in bits for a day or two.

The rubber seal is a pain. It would have made more sence to put the single 'slot' in the cylinder head, rather than in the cover. But they didn't so squeezing the cover through the fairing gap without disturbing the rubber seal is a bit awkward. Much easier if the entire fairng is off.

So while you've had the covers off, all the bits of gunge from the sealing compound will have collected inside. Along with any other bits of rubbish which automatically finds its way into any container shape like this. Oh - and the screw which dropped out of the cupboard that you heard, but never managed to find. So - as you offer the cover up to the cylinder head, and are concentrating on the location of the rubber seal, one thought should spring to mind.

I did put the spark plugs back in to block up the hole didn't I ?

Yes, of course you did.


These pages relate to my first bike after a 17 year lay-off. Bought in 2000 with 28,000 miles on the clock. Traded in for a 2000AY version in Sep 2003 with 60,000 miles on the clock. The pages were intended to provide information to a prospective buyer, but are maintained here as information for anyone who may be interested.

Website 2011 JFHeath