Yamaha Super tenere manual Cam Chain tensioner, valve adjustment re-write and moar findings!!

I’m currently going through a friends bike front to back.  It’s sitting at 59 thou km of fairly hard use.  No maintenance, except oil and filter.  Earlier I posted about the inner shaft seal replacement, today, I’ll post up about doing his valves, and replacing the Yamaha CCT with a manual unit.  Here’s what I used for his and my own bike:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-12-13-YAMAHA-SUPER-TENERE-XTZ12-MANUAL-CAM-CHAIN-TENSIONER-BLACK-YTR1-09-/380702163492?pt=Motorcycles_Parts_Accessories&hash=item58a39e0224&vxp=mtr’ You can also go with an APE unit: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Yamaha-2009-R1-APE-YTR1-09-Manual-Cam-Chain-Tensioner-/250584588702?pt=Motorcycles_Parts_Accessories&hash=item3a5801619e&vxp=mtr They both look damn near identical.  Ladies choice! Feel free to refer to my earlier valve adjustment post, here:https://thetenerist.wordpress.com/2013/10/29/tenere-valve-check-and-adjustment/ This is a lessons learned of sorts for me.  A couple of neat tricks that a mechanic buddy of mine gave me, both eased and sped up the process of the valve check/re-shim. Follow the instructions on how to get the valve cover out.  Once off, pull the stock gasket off gently, and clean it off with brake cleaner.  Repeat for the valve cover.   Blow off with compressed air, and set aside to dry.


Super dooper top tip (from my motor rebuild here: https://thetenerist.wordpress.com/2017/03/04/yamaha-super-tenere-xt-1200-top-end-rebuild/ )

If my little mind can grasp the yamaha manual, the T mark is only for checking the valve clearance. See page 3-5 and on in manual.
Remember, T mark is TDC on cyl#1. Then you turn it 270 degrees, and you have cyl#2 at TDC.

For shim adjustment.  Set the bottom to K. As per page 5-16. Pull the cams, make sure your camshaft marks are aligned on the case, and the hole on the intake camshaft, aligns with the mark on the intake cam cap (closest to the chain)

To sum up:
THE K MARK IS FOR PULLING CAMS. This is where the top and bottom are in alignment.

Top Tip #1: You can follow the manual as far as getting the right cylinder in the right position to measure the gap.  Forget that faffing around.  Spin the motor cw, till one of the cylinder lobes points straight up.  Measure gap


Cyl 1 exhaust cam lobes are up. Measure away. If memory serves, gap should be .22mm to .28mm


Break out the feeler gauges, and measure away!

Repeat for the remaining three sets of cam lobes.  If you’re lucky, you get to forgo the next step, which is time intensive.  Skip on to Top Tip #4 Now, if you’re puttering about on your bike, your exhaust valves will probably be fine.  In this case, 7 out of the 8 were good.  Ex 1 was tight by .02.  Guess what, it’s time to pull the cams. Again, for this you will need to follow the manual for this.  The top and bottom of the motor need to line up.


  • Make sure that the K mark on the bottom is lined up with mating surface.
  • Grab a tie wrap or two, and tie the chain to the frame loosely.  You will thank me later.
  • As shown below, the two marks on the intake cam must line up.
  • IMG_7848

    Top right hand of picture, marks line up. If you had X ray vision you could also spot both marks on intake and exhaust cams through the electrical tray, and mess of wires. Moar on that later. Yam manual also shows proper position of cams

  •  Undo the stock CCT, and set aside

Pull your cams, caps (careful with the dowels).  At this point, the smart one would have noted the existing gaps on each valve, and which way the new shims need to go.  Go to your local dealer, and procure the new shim(s).  In this case, one ex. valve was tight, as well as another being right on the edge of being tight.  That said, I got two smaller shims, and went back to slaving away.

Top Tip #1A: valve shim calcs.  Here’s my understanding, and help from CBR site.  Numbers are from a fellow inmate:

straight forward,
from the cbr site:
A = (B-C) + D
A – New Shim size
B – Measured clearance  exhaust left to right: .178, .152, .178, .178
C – Specified clearance .22 (min) to .28 (max)
D- Current shim size exhaust left to right:
.198, .200, .200, .196
solving for A (using minimum specified clearance of .26-aim for the bottom of exhaust clearance, but not rock bottom 🙂 ) gives us:
from left to right (B measured clearance/D current shim size)
.178/.198 .:
A = (B-C) + D
A= (.178-.26) + .198
A=.116 Shim round up to .120
A = (B-C) + D
A= (.152-.26) + .200
A=.092 round down to .90
A = (B-C) + D
A= (.178-.26) + .200
A=.118 round up to .120
A = (B-C) + D
A= (.178-.26)+.196
A=.114 round up to .115

Top Tip #2:  Yam in their infinite wisdom marked both cams on the outside….what good is that?  No matter, put said cams on the bench, take a small file, and make a mark on the other side, of the perfectly useless mark.  Make sure you put it just below where the chain will sit, or otherwise, it will not do you any sort of good. Replace the exhaust cam, pull up on the chain as far up as it will go.  Install your caps, and bolt down in a cross hatch pattern. Install your intake cam.  Make sure your marks line up.  Your intake cam will sit at a slight angle.  Tie wrap the chain to the intake cam, and start tightening the caps.  From left to right, in a cross hatch.  Slowly! While doing that, check that the chain is ahead of the cct guide.  How do you do this you ask?  Stick your finger in the cct hole (insert obv. joke here!) If you can feel the guide, you’re good.  If you feel chain, you are definitely not good. Once all caps are tight, make sure your mark lines up with the mark on the cam cap. Top Tip #3: Toss the OEM CCT.


Ebay jobbie. $50 bucks plus shipping. Dead easy to use


My only gripe about this ebay cct.. the plunger has a odd ball imperial size..forgot what it was. Neither 6mm or 7mm fit properly. Set nut is 14mm

I have not had issues with mine, but this bike was getting a bit growly at start up.  That and the fact that there were some failures of other forum member bikes, so I’m not taking a chance.  For $50 odd bucks on ebay, you can get the manual jobbie, set it once, and forget it.  Install the new CCT, spin the plunger till it gets tight, and give it a half turn.  Top Tip #3A:  Remove the allen head bolt from the right side of the CCT, and replace with a suitable bolt that has a 10mm head.  Not only will this actually be somewhat accesible, it will save you putting money in the swear jar later.  Cut the tie wrap off the chain.  Spin the motor with the wrench, all the while checking the chain slack between the two cams.  You should have no more than 1/4″ play.  Once you’re happy with things, Tighten up the set nut, and you are done with the cct.  Spin the motor once or twice, and recheck that all marks line up.  Your newly made marks should line up perfectly as per manual.  Check your valve clearances with the sooper awesome top tip 1. The much awaited Top Tip #4:  My biggest complaint about doing the valves is installing the valve cover (aka: vc), c/w vc gasket.  Even with all the wires as much of the way as possible ,and the abs lines, it’s still very tight.  If the gasket doesn’t sit properly, you will simply knock it off.   It’s is so tight, that previous tries drove me to swear like a sailor on leave.  No matter, here’s what you need.


Cheap stuff, and it comes with a tip, that’s the perfect diameter to apply into the vc grooves


vc ready for oem gasket. Do the spark plug holes as well.

Previously the vc and oem gasket were cleaned, air dried and set aside.  Take the above wonder product, and apply it to the vc.  Let sit for about a minute, and apply the oem gasket to the vc.  squish down so the excess black goop comes out, and let sit for at least 10 minutes.  Do your coolant swap meantime, and your spark plugs. Re install the valve cover.  Tighten down all caps to spec (basically go tight).  Someone on the forum mentioned a good tip.  Take some compressed air, and feed it into the crank case breather hose.  No air should escape if the gasket is tight, once your air tool is off the hose, the air should come out.  This shows that the gasket is on properly, and you have no leaks. A note on time. From assembled bike to valves checked 1.5 hrs.  If all is well add another hour for re assembly. Call it 3 hrs.  Add another 1.5 hrs to pull cams re shim and re install.   Add 1.5 hr for reassembly.  For a total of 4.5-5 hrs.  Keep in mind that the above times are with an after market cct.  If you’re brave enough to use the stocker, it will take more time to reset.  If your trusted mechanic quotes you 3-6 hrs for the job, pay the man, and after he’s done, buy him a beer.  Not an easy job by any means, but do-able never the less. Next up:  Clutch basket!

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