Vf 1000 rg noisy top end ( front two cylinders )

hi, i have just joined the forum in the hope i can get some help with my vf 1000 rg i have just imported to the uk from the netherlands, the owner wasnt entirely truthful and on arrival the bike has a loud " tappety " sounding rattle that increases with revs, i am hoping that it is only valve adjustment but my local dealer thinks it is more, i was hoping for some advice from you guys, it has done 24k miles and doesnt smoke at all , i cant see a place where i can post , it says there is a link to post at the top & bottom of the page but i cant see a place to post at all , thanks, dan.

Plenty of experts around here so this is a good place to ask.
I don’t have the thou, just two 500s, but based on what I have read over the years you are going to have to take off the valve covers as a minimum to inspect the cam lobes. If they look OK then the next likely culprit is the wear plate on the rocker that sits under the cam lobe. These can dish and that causes the noise. Hard to check without removing the cams though. And it could just be the clearances but somehow I doubt it.

Hi Danny,
I think Jeremy has nailed it with his answer, from my own experience incorrect valve clearances will be more of a ticket than a knock, if it’s a pronounced knock it would suggest cam or follower ware…

Hi Danny, I spent ages doing my front cylinder cam timing and still had a loud noise so did it again and still had same noise. Eventually tracked it down to a blowing exhaust gasket! God I felt stupid! Just check that first before removing cam covers and cams, it may save you a day of hard work and of feeling foolish at the end of it.


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Cheers for all your hard work Bif, am looking forward to the trip, just hope weather improves mate, have vf running perfect now just need to clean tank out

You might have a few things to check.

If the Gap has shrunk (below 5 thou), the valve might be standing Open and the combustion slams the valve shut.
Happens on Exhaust Valves that go Tight (Valve Seats wear).

Or the Valve Gap could be Too Wide.

Worst is when the Chroming on the Valve Followers wears thru, and it then wears real fast;

Note the Right Follower is Groove Worn, Left one has the Chroming Wearing OFF.

Then you will adjust the obvious Gap back to 6-7 thou, go for a ride and notice it still Ticks a little, but within One Gas Tank it’ll be Loud again.
You might also notice the Cam Lobes are PITTING;

I would be surprised it happens in just 24,000m.

You’d be in trouble now.

I went thru the 4 motors I have and found the Worst Cams and Followers, sent to MegaCycle (California).
They grind down the surfaces of the Cams & Followers and Build them back up (with their own Stellite Weld Formula).
Then grind to your choice of “Enhanced Stock” (my pick) or Race Grind.
Race Grind requires new stronger Valve Springs.
You can see the metals here:

You can also see the Defect Bubbles from the new Stellite.
I complained about it, but they said it wouldn’t be an issue and is still guaranteed if I also use the Stellite Welded Cam Followers.
For about $700usd I expected better.

Though I haven’t checked it for a while, it sounds fine.

Despite changing Valve Stem Seals, it still burns oil, most likely the Rings are tired (over 100,000km).
I’ll take a peek this summer, see how things look.

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It isn’t looking good guys!! My dealer thinks it is indeed camshaft trouble, where in the uk could I either get them refurbished or buy new ones? I know they will be a small fortune new : ( David silver perhaps? I need to get the old girl running smooth

Update- inlet cam looks fine, exhaust cam looking worn so ordered a new one … at an eye popping £457 inc vat!!

Just back from Holidays …

You are “lucky” it is front cylinder. There you get replacement. Do you put in new rocker arms also?

I was looking to rebuild my spare engine. The one that runs now is fine.


Hi axel, could not get new rocker arms, got two good second hand ones, David Silver Honda uk for the cam