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Definitely check the valve gap at 600 to 800 miles. Usually they are in spec but not always. Most of the rest of the maintenance items can be done on condition....like chain every 300 and air filter every 500 if you don't have really dusty conditions.The recommended oil change interval is wildly optimistic for dirt...I change mine at 1,000. Sometimes if I have been in really hot conditions I will clean the oil filter at 500 mile intervals.
 

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I sure thought I'd get more people chiming in on this. Either with support for doing the maintenance or the opinion that the maintenance is overstated and too frequent.
So those that do check for valve adjustments, do you have a shop do that? Or do you do it yourself? And if you do, do you have the specific valve tappet tool or do you use pliers?
 

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Regular maintenance is a good thing. Get to know your machine by working on it and listening to it. You'll soon know if something doesn't sound right and you'll already know how to work on it. Intake valves call for .002 - .004 and exhaust .004 - .006 I personally prefer to set it in the middle. So .003 on the intake and .005 on the exhaust. They get adjusted cold or room temperature. It's not that hard so learn to do it yourself. (and you already know if you ask for help here on the forum, you'll get it) Seems a lot of shops nowadays don't know what they are doing. It's best to know what they were set at rather than take some ones word on it. A valve adjusting tool is nice but a square head screw also works. And please.... don't use pliers on anything on your bike. ;)
I sure thought I'd get more people chiming in on this. Either with support for doing the maintenance or the opinion that the maintenance is overstated and too frequent.
So those that do check for valve adjustments, do you have a shop do that? Or do you do it yourself? And if you do, do you have the specific valve tappet tool or do you use pliers?
 

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Relax – most of us know our bikes well enough to know what needs doing and when (as you will now you’ve got one)

Oil, oil filter and air filter maintenance depends on use and conditions rather than what the manual “suggests”. But many of us will go through the whole bike maintenance in one afternoon, rather than one thing each time according to the mileage and the manual

Had a dusty weekend ? – clean the air filter. Been hammering over washboard trails ? – check the chain. Done a few long sustained high speed runs ? – oil and oil filter, check the valves while you’re in there

And when was the last time you looked at that grease nipple on the swing arm ?

Bored ? – fine, change the fork oil if you haven’t done it in a while, check the tire pressures etc

After a while, you will know when to do what, and there is no book that knows your bike and the circumstances it’s been through better than the rider. Every ride, toe the chain, look at the oil level and colour, and “listen” to the engine. The bike will tell you everything you need to know

Maintenance schedules are “pretty much” according to the manual, but some things you should do more often, and some things can wait longer – like the guys said – “depends on how and where you ride”

There are some excellent valve adjustment tools around which make life a lot easier – some by members, others over the counter – depends on your budget ….. (just don’t use pliers) …..
 

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You’ll need proper JIS screwdrivers, a decent socket set, (including something that matches the number of sides on that drain plug), and two torque wrenches (low range and high range)

Four pound lump hammers and various spanners you should already have somewhere …..
 

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I got a question about maintenance and why motorcycle engines have such a high amount of it compared to similar engines. For example; I own several small 4 stroke engines; for my lawnmower, power washer, generators, etc. All of them are 4-stroke OHV engines very much like the TW200 engine. But there is never anything in any of their owner manuals that even describe valve adjustments and the oil change intervals are usually in hours and not nearly as aggressive as what Yamaha wants done for the TW200. In any case, I NEVER change the oil in any of those other engines, some I've owned for decades and use at least 2 to 3 times a week with never a failure. I never drain fuel from the carb or tank and let it sit for a season without ever having to do anything other than tug the rope start a couple times more than usual, but if a TW200 is left for more than a month, the whole carb needs to be cleaned or rebuilt with jets needing replacement. Certainly more engine hours than my TW200. (BTW, added an engine hour meter to my TW200 from the get-go)
So how come with the TW200 all the maintenance, especially valves? Are they made to a cheaper quality, a less robust design?
It's been my experience, the more people mess with stuff, the more damage they cause than good.
 

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I got a question about maintenance and why motorcycle engines have such a high amount of it compared to similar engines. For example; I own several small 4 stroke engines; for my lawnmower, power washer, generators, etc. All of them are 4-stroke OHV engines very much like the TW200 engine. But there is never anything in any of their owner manuals that even describe valve adjustments and the oil change intervals are usually in hours and not nearly as aggressive as what Yamaha wants done for the TW200. In any case, I NEVER change the oil in any of those other engines, some I've owned for decades and use at least 2 to 3 times a week with never a failure. I never drain fuel from the carb or tank and let it sit for a season without ever having to do anything other than tug the rope start a couple times more than usual, but if a TW200 is left for more than a month, the whole carb needs to be cleaned or rebuilt with jets needing replacement. Certainly more engine hours than my TW200. (BTW, added an engine hour meter to my TW200 from the get-go)
So how come with the TW200 all the maintenance, especially valves? Are they made to a cheaper quality, a less robust design?
It's been my experience, the more people mess with stuff, the more damage they cause than good.
Most of us here don't think of the TW as a high performance engine, but compared to your lawnmower, power washer, generators, etc. it certainly is. None of those devices have over head camshafts and redline at 9000 rpm. And, most here change oil way more than necessary. By the way, my TW sits all winter with no carb problems - starts right up. Also, just hit 4000 miles and my valves have not needed adjustment yet(yes, I checked them.)

My friend and I just returned from a southern Utah trip with over 800 miles of trail riding on our TW's and neither one of us even touched a wrench during the trip.
So, obviously, I think the TW is a pretty low maintenance bike!
 

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Relax – most of us know our bikes well enough to know what needs doing and when (as you will now you’ve got one)

Oil, oil filter and air filter maintenance depends on use and conditions rather than what the manual “suggests”. But many of us will go through the whole bike maintenance in one afternoon, rather than one thing each time according to the mileage and the manual

Had a dusty weekend ? – clean the air filter. Been hammering over washboard trails ? – check the chain. Done a few long sustained high speed runs ? – oil and oil filter, check the valves while you’re in there

And when was the last time you looked at that grease nipple on the swing arm ?

Bored ? – fine, change the fork oil if you haven’t done it in a while, check the tire pressures etc

After a while, you will know when to do what, and there is no book that knows your bike and the circumstances it’s been through better than the rider. Every ride, toe the chain, look at the oil level and colour, and “listen” to the engine. The bike will tell you everything you need to know

Maintenance schedules are “pretty much” according to the manual, but some things you should do more often, and some things can wait longer – like the guys said – “depends on how and where you ride”

There are some excellent valve adjustment tools around which make life a lot easier – some by members, others over the counter – depends on your budget ….. (just don’t use pliers) …..
Very well said. knowing your machine, judging your riding conditions and doing preventive maintenance accordingly.
 

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Few of your equipment engines eve come close to the red line. Or even the upper end of their range. They plod along at a fairly sedate pace diving a pump or turning a generator or whatever their task is. Motorcycles are different. We drive them harder. Operate them over a wider range of RMPs. On top of that we squeeze the oil through the gears of the transmission and scorch it through the clutch. Very harsh conditions for oil and the parts it protects.
 

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I got a question about maintenance and why motorcycle engines have such a high amount of it compared to similar engines. For example; I own several small 4 stroke engines; for my lawnmower, power washer, generators, etc. All of them are 4-stroke OHV engines very much like the TW200 engine. But there is never anything in any of their owner manuals that even describe valve adjustments and the oil change intervals are usually in hours and not nearly as aggressive as what Yamaha wants done for the TW200. In any case, I NEVER change the oil in any of those other engines, some I've owned for decades and use at least 2 to 3 times a week with never a failure. I never drain fuel from the carb or tank and let it sit for a season without ever having to do anything other than tug the rope start a couple times more than usual, but if a TW200 is left for more than a month, the whole carb needs to be cleaned or rebuilt with jets needing replacement. Certainly more engine hours than my TW200. (BTW, added an engine hour meter to my TW200 from the get-go)
So how come with the TW200 all the maintenance, especially valves? Are they made to a cheaper quality, a less robust design?
It's been my experience, the more people mess with stuff, the more damage they cause than good.
Wow! I used to work on mowers. Always adjusting valves, changing oil and air filters. Most people know something needs to be done but don't know how to do it. I really don't know how your engines have lasted. They must run in clean environments. My riding mower is a 1987 and still runs perfect. Just change the oil and air filter twice a year. On my TW, I've changed the oil twice in 700 miles. I have not ridden in dusty conditions. If I had, I would have cleaned the air filter twice also. Really dusty conditions with long trail rides would mean oil and filter after that ride. I just go by feeling. When in doubt, change it out.
 

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The old lawn mower and other stationary power equipment engines are very simple. They're designed to do one thing at a set RPM (usually around 3,200 RPM) and the governor tries quite hard to keep them there. Those simple carbs do not respond very well to lots of throttle change. The oiling systems are little more than a bit of metal on the connecting rod's big end that flings oil about from the puddle below (horizontals have a gear driven 'ferris wheel' slinging the oil about). I change their oil yearly if they have pressurized systems and every other if splash lubed. If my living depended on them... you can be sure it would be more often than that.
Ride on mowers are slightly more sophisticated with actual oil pumps and filters, carbs that can respond to some input and more power per CC than the push mowers. My ride on has a 540cc 19 horse Briggs single in it.
Bikes like the TW spin the engine to near triple the revs, make twice the power (my 6.5 Craftsman.... is 225cc's!), expected to respond throughout the rev range and share the oil with the transmission and clutch (filthys up the oil nicely).
Oil and filters are cheap insurance. The anal will go to great lengths to keep everything perfect. I swap the oil in most of the bikes more often than recommended, not because 'I must", but because I can. It gives me a chance to look over the rest of the bike... everything from tires to lights. A Tuesday night in the garage can be good for the bike(s) and the soul. If you want to keep them (I've had two since the eighties) torture them when you can and maintain them so you can torture them some more.
The initial valve maintenance is due to the idea that you might be pounding the valves into the seats 4,500 times a minute for extended lengths of time. If you pound them deep enough they will not seat and that leads to burnt valves. I've pulled valves from engines that didn't get adjusted (probably never ever) that looked more like flowers. It's not a terribly difficult job.
I too, never drain a tank or carb on the lawn equipment or any of the ridden bikes... but I do add some Chevron Techron which has kept my carb interiors spotless for decades. If the bike is going to sit unused for more than a year, I'll run it out of fuel and WD40 the tank and carb, oil the cylinder(s) and leave the fuel cap off. The alcohol added to fuel these days is going to kill many 'toys' that are left to sit with fuel in them.
 

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I got a question about maintenance and why motorcycle engines have such a high amount of it compared to similar engines. For example; I own several small 4 stroke engines; for my lawnmower, power washer, generators, etc. All of them are 4-stroke OHV engines very much like the TW200 engine. But there is never anything in any of their owner manuals that even describe valve adjustments and the oil change intervals are usually in hours and not nearly as aggressive as what Yamaha wants done for the TW200. In any case, I NEVER change the oil in any of those other engines, some I've owned for decades and use at least 2 to 3 times a week with never a failure.
It's a case of Recreational Vehicles / Yard Care! Boys seem to take good care of their Expensive Toys, but when it comes to the stuff that requires blood, sweat and beers to keep the wifey happy about the appearance of the yard, it's a different story!
 
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