ST1100 Maintenance Tips

Valve Adjustment Tips

Note: this information is taken from a post to the ST1100 list by Tim Shevlin. Thanks, Tim.

You can CHECK the valves yourself with little expertise by following the Honda manual religiously. You will probably find all valves within spec. Record all readings (I use a set of metric feeler gauges available everywhere) for future reference. If you need to change a shim, however, then you best have someone looking over your shoulder. Here's why:

-Follow the book when turning the engine by hand. Do not be creative. Take no shortcuts.

-Block oil drain holes (1 per head) before starting work. If you don't, Murphy's Law will get you for sure (don't ask me, etc.).

-Before removing any cams write down/note & remember the position of index lines.

-If you are removing all cams in an older engine, set the crank at Step #1 in the adjustment procedure so that you can follow the correct sequence during cam reinstallation to avoid losing track of cam/crank position.

-Cam holders are doweled in place and can be stubborn to loosen. I use a plastic drift, tapping lightly at various angles. (Looking for a better way here, such as a mini-slide hammer. WOTL anyone, anyone??)

-Leave cam holder bolts in holders to avoid mixing up long and short bolts. Lay all parts out on a clean surface in the exact sequence of removal, so that no parts get interchanged (except for shims).

-Use a magnet to withdraw buckets. Handle them gingerly until shim, stuck by oil to the inside of the bucket, is removed.

-Read and record shim sizes at removal.

-The following quirks should be noted on cam reinstallation: when the index marks are OUT, the marks need to be placed one tooth below the casting line on the head, since as the cam is tightened down, the index marks rotate upward slightly. If the index marks are IN, set the marks parallel to the casting surface, as they fall into place without index mark shift when the cam is tightened down.

-Tighten the cam holder bolts in stepped sequence. About halfway, re-check index marks. Use a torque wrench without fail for final sequencing. (hardened bolts in aluminum--can be big trouble without extreme care)

You will feel good when this job is done, especially knowing that your flat-rate mechanic didn't skip the hard part to save time.

Here's some added information from Joe Luma:

"Great checklist Tim. I'd like to emphasize recording all shim sizes if you have to pull cams. Life is SO much easier the next time you need to change a shim if you have all shims recorded. You check the valve clearances. Then on paper, you can determine which valve shims to switch ahead of time. Even the sequence can be planned, so you don't have more than one cam removed at a time. You can also purchase or trade shims (if you have a few extras) before starting the project. It's a big help. "

Then someone questioned whether it was OK to remove both cams from a head at one time, to which Jeff Bertrand replied:

"There's no reason that you can't take both off at the same time. It'll reduce the number of trips to the dealer for shims if that's where you have to get them from. Just be sure to keep good track of all the bolts, caps and of course the cams so that every part goes back exactly where it came from. Do not rotate the engine crankshaft until the cams are replaced however, and quadruple check all of your alignment marks when you replace the cams."

Then Eric Russell added:

"You have to reposition the motor as you move from side to side. If you remove the cams from one side, and then move the crankshaft to line up the marks for the opposite side, you will lose your reference for the first side.

"It is theoretically possible to do what you are suggesting *if* you can put the crankshaft back to the exact position each time.

"I would remove the cams from one side at a time. Record the size & location of each shim. Then put the cams back in and do the same for the other side. Keep this record in a safe place and update it if/when you swap shims. In the future, when you check valve clearances you'll know what size shim is in each position (and thus what size shim you need to make any desired change in clearance).

"Note that there are two lengths of cam retainer bolts - do not mix up the positions. "

Daniel Bucks submitted his tips:

I just finished adjusting the exhaust valve clearance on pistons 1 & 4 yesterday. Here are some additional notes that others may find helpful:

After recording all the valve clearances and determining that you need to replace shims, set the crankshaft at #1 TDC. Note the location of the reference marks on the cams. These marks are fine ½ lines located on the front of the cams. Also note the white bar across one tooth on the gear between the two cams pointing straight up. This also indicates that you are at #1 TDC. Remove the cam bracket holders over those cams from the right cylinder bank (#1 & #3) above the valve(s) that require adjustment. Before you remove the cams note the location of the reference marks on the cams after cam bracket removal to aid reassembly (They shift as noted by others).

Next rotate the crankshaft ¼ turn to #4 TDC and remove the cam bracket holders over those cams from the left cylinder bank (#2 & #4) above the valve(s) that require adjustment. As before, note the location of the reference marks on the cams before and after cam bracket removal.

As discussed above, remove the appropriate bucket and shim with a magnet. You did cover the oil drain holes first, right?

The easiest way to determine the replacement shim size is to use calculator under the tab ST1100, subtab Mathematics at Steinar Fremme’s website I’ve used Steinar’s calculator three times so far with excellent results.

EDIT: Regrettably, has been taken down. Download Dan Horton's excellent Excel shim calculator here.

Place the new shims on top of the appropriate valves and slide the buckets on top.

Since the bike is still on #4 TDC, install the cam(s) on the left cylinder bank. Doing what the service manual suggests, I coat the cam lobes and bearing surfaces with a 1:1 mixture of molygrease and engine oil prior to cam installation using the notes I made regarding cam mark location before and after bracket removal.

To install the cam(s) on the right cylinder bank, rotate the crankshaft 1and ¾ turns to #1 TDC. The white paint bar across one tooth on the gear between the two cams should be pointing straight up. Install the remaining cam(s) as you did above.


Need to order some shims? John Oosterhuis provided this list:

[From the PartsFish, 2000 ST1100A, Camshaft Valve fiche]

Honda Part Number / Thickness (mm) / Marking

14901-KT7-013 SHIM, TAPPET (1.200) 120
14902-KT7-013 SHIM, TAPPET (1.225) 122
14903-KT7-013 SHIM, TAPPET (1.250) 125
14904-KT7-013 SHIM, TAPPET (1.275) 128
14905-KT7-013 SHIM, TAPPET (1.300) 130
14906-KT7-013 SHIM, TAPPET (1.325) 132
14907-KT7-013 SHIM, TAPPET (1.350) 135
14908-KT7-013 SHIM, TAPPET (1.375) 138
14909-KT7-013 SHIM, TAPPET (1.400) 140
14910-KT7-013 SHIM, TAPPET (1.425) 142
14911-KT7-013 SHIM, TAPPET (1.450) 145
14912-KT7-013 SHIM, TAPPET (1.475) 148
14913-KT7-013 SHIM, TAPPET (1.500) 150
14914-KT7-013 SHIM, TAPPET (1.525) 152
14915-KT7-013 SHIM, TAPPET (1.550) 155
14916-KT7-013 SHIM, TAPPET (1.575) 158
14917-KT7-013 SHIM, TAPPET (1.600) 160
14918-KT7-013 SHIM, TAPPET (1.625) 162
14919-KT7-013 SHIM, TAPPET (1.650) 165
14920-KT7-013 SHIM, TAPPET (1.675) 168
14921-KT7-013 SHIM, TAPPET (1.700) 170
14922-KT7-013 SHIM, TAPPET (1.725) 172
14923-KT7-013 SHIM, TAPPET (1.750) 175
14924-KT7-013 SHIM, TAPPET (1.775) 178
14925-KT7-013 SHIM, TAPPET (1.800) 180
14926-KT7-013 SHIM, TAPPET (1.825) 182
14927-KT7-013 SHIM, TAPPET (1.850) 185
14928-KT7-013 SHIM, TAPPET (1.875) 188
14929-KT7-013 SHIM, TAPPET (1.900) 190
14930-KT7-013 SHIM, TAPPET (1.925) 192
14931-KT7-013 SHIM, TAPPET (1.950) 195
14932-KT7-013 SHIM, TAPPET (1.975) 198
14933-KT7-013 SHIM, TAPPET (2.000) 200
14934-KT7-013 SHIM, TAPPET (2.025) 202
14935-KT7-013 SHIM, TAPPET (2.050) 205
14936-KT7-013 SHIM, TAPPET (2.075) 208
14937-KT7-013 SHIM, TAPPET (2.100) 210
14938-KT7-013 SHIM, TAPPET (2.125) 212
14939-KT7-013 SHIM, TAPPET (2.150) 215
14940-KT7-013 SHIM, TAPPET (2.175) 218
14941-KT7-013 SHIM, TAPPET (2.200) 220
14942-KT7-013 SHIM, TAPPET (2.225) 222
14943-KT7-013 SHIM, TAPPET (2.250) 225
14944-KT7-013 SHIM, TAPPET (2.275) 228
14945-KT7-013 SHIM, TAPPET (2.300) 230
14946-KT7-013 SHIM, TAPPET (2.325) 232
14947-KT7-013 SHIM, TAPPET (2.350) 235
14948-KT7-013 SHIM, TAPPET (2.375) 238
14949-KT7-013 SHIM, TAPPET (2.400) 240
14950-KT7-013 SHIM, TAPPET (2.425) 242
14951-KT7-013 SHIM, TAPPET (2.450) 245
14952-KT7-013 SHIM, TAPPET (2.475) 248
14953-KT7-013 SHIM, TAPPET (2.500) 250
14954-KT7-013 SHIM, TAPPET (2.525) 252
14955-KT7-013 SHIM, TAPPET (2.550) 255
14956-KT7-013 SHIM, TAPPET (2.575) 258
14957-KT7-013 SHIM, TAPPET (2.600) 260
14958-KT7-013 SHIM, TAPPET (2.625) 262
14959-KT7-013 SHIM, TAPPET (2.650) 265
14960-KT7-013 SHIM, TAPPET (2.675) 268
14961-KT7-013 SHIM, TAPPET (2.700) 270
14962-KT7-013 SHIM, TAPPET (2.725) 272
14963-KT7-013 SHIM, TAPPET (2.750) 275
14964-KT7-013 SHIM, TAPPET (2.775) 278
14965-KT7-013 SHIM, TAPPET (2.800) 280
14966-KT7-013 SHIM, TAPPET (2.825) 282
14967-KT7-013 SHIM, TAPPET (2.850) 285
14968-KT7-013 SHIM, TAPPET (2.875) 288
14969-KT7-013 SHIM, TAPPET (2.900) 290

Total number of shim thicknesses available: 69

Shim Substitutions

Paul Buettner provided a list of motorcycles which use the same shims as the ST1100:


NX250(88-90) CB1 400 989-90) CBR600F2 Hurricane (91-94) CBR600F3/SE/SJR Hurricane (95-98) CBR600F4 (99-01 RVF750R RC45 (94) VF750C Magna (94-00) VF750CD Magna Deluxe (95-96) VF750C2 Magna Deluxe (97-00) VFR750F (90-97) VFR750R RC30 (90) VFR800FI 998-01) CBR900RR (93-99) CBR929RR (00-01) CBR1100XX Blackbird (97-00) ST1100/A (91-01)


KL250G1/G2 Sherpa (00-01) KLX250 D2/D3/D4 (94-96) KLX300A2-A6 (97-01) ZX600D/E Ninja ZX-6 (90-01)ZX600F Ninja ZX-6R (95-97) ZX600G1 Ninja ZX-6R (00-01) ZX750J/K/L/M/N/P Ninja ZX-7 & ZX7-R (91-01) ZX900B Ninja ZX-9R (94-97) ZX900C Ninja ZX-9R (98-99) ZX900E Ninja ZX-9R (00-01)


GXS-R600WN/WP (92-93) GSX-R600V/W/X/Y (97-00) RF600RR (94-96) GSX-R750WP/WR/WS (93-95) GSX-R750T/V/W/X/Y (97-00) RF900RR (94-97) GSX-R1000K1 (01) GSX-R1100WP/WR/WS/WT/WV/WW (93-98)


FZR400 (88-90) FZR600 (89-99) YZF600R (95-01) YZF-R6L/LC/M/MC/ (99-00) YZF750R (94-98) FZR1000 (89-95) GTS1000 (92-93) YZF1000R (97-98) YZF-R1L/LC/M/MC (99-00)

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Last updated on January 28, 2014     © 2013-2014 M. E. Martin, All rights reserved