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Discussion Starter #1
Just bought my 2003 VStar 1100 and did all the routine maintenance so I can make sure everything is good, but noticed that I have a very small oil leak on the rear exhaust valve cover gasket. Looking it up, is it just an O-Ring? Where is a good place to purchase this from? I checked Bike Bandit, but can't seem to find the gasket.
 

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It is an O ring and they're only a few bucks from Yamaha dealers.
 

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Babbits is another good one. They have a decent app (for iPhone anyway) where you can browse the part diagrams anywhere and come up with part numbers. I bought 2 sets of front brake pads from them at $23 and change each and I thought that was a pretty good price for OEM parts.
 

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unless the valve clearance has just been checked I would get out the feeler gauge while you have the cover off - its easy to get to the timing mark on the crankshaft and see if that one valve is within spec

have to point out, to check valve clearance the bike has to be sitting-overnight-stone-cold, dont run it at all the day you check it.

use a torque wrench when you put the tappet covers back on

when people had an oil leak they tend to tighten things too much, unless you use a torque wrench.
 

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Thanks guys. I pulled the cover off last night to take a look and the bottom half of the o-ring was completely flat with the surface of the cover. The top half seemed fine. My guess is it was over-tightened on the bottom. Also the bottom half of the o-ring was a little hard (stiff) compared to the top half. Got some ordered and on the way..
 

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o rings are nice because you can re-use them, if you take a cover off, put it back on, take it off, put it back on... while you are debugging a problem, it will re-seal every time (a gasket should only be used once).

but when the o ring gets old it becomes stiff, and then it needs to be replaced.

The tappet cover o ring leaks are common - the bike usually does not need the tappets checked for a couple years, so if you dont replace the o rings there is a good chance at least one will ooze or outright drip on the garage floor (all the way down the side of the engine).

The problem is: checking the valves is a 2 hour job if you have done it a few times, have to take the carbs off to get to the intake tappets... so if you re-use the $4 each o rings, and the inner ones leak, its another 2 hours to take the carbs off again.

If you modify or leave off the fake plastic valve covers you can get to both exhaust tappets without taking anything off the bike, at least on a 650 and 1100. Its a short cut, you can check the exhaust tappets and if they are out of spec, then do the intake tappets too.

BTW, the service manual says to take off the head side covers so you can see the timing marks precisely on the cam gears. If you have done them once then you can probably only use the timing marks on the crankshaft, and not have to replace the o rings on the top side covers too.
 
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