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Happy New Year Friends!

I have a 2004 RC 51 with 15236 miles. Today my wife, Patty, and I took on checking the valve clearances. (True romance!).

We have one valve out of specification. The rear cylinder right exhaust is 0.009 inches compared to a specification of 0.012 +/- 0.001. We will re-shim this valve.

Now the questions:

1. I will replace the valve cover gaskets. Do you also replace the three sealing washers for the cover hold-down bolts? I don't want any oil leaks.

2. Due to our inexperience with this motorcycle we removed all fairings and the radiators for access to the front cylinder. Considering the disassembly is there anything else we should replace (e.g., coolant hoses)? We will replace the spark plugs.

3. What type of sealant, if any, is used on the valve cover rubber gasket.

4. I am having trouble with the front master cylinder. In July 2016 at 11,630 miles we rebuilt the master cylinder with a K&L 21-115 kit and refilled with Motul RBF 600 DOT 4 fluid. I felt it dying this summer. I cannot find a new master cylinder (Bike Bandit). Other than another rebuild does anyone have a recommendation?

Right now the motorcycle is totally stock and I don't want any visible modifications.

Thank you for your assistance.

KRR
 

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Partzilla has the MC for $142. The valve cover gasket is reusable , no sealer. Refill the coolant with Redline Supercool , it helps.
 

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As stated above, the valve cover gasket is reusable. The only place that I use sealant on that gasket are the two "half-moon" sections on top of both of the cylinder heads (near the end of the camshafts). I used to wrench for Yamaha and this was recommended to prevent any leaks or seepage. I just place a very thin layer of high temp silicone (or yamabond/hondabond/etc) on the flat sections of the "half-moon". Easy peezy....no leaks.
 

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When you say master cylinder, I'm assuming you mean brakes, not clutch.
You can buy a OEM master cylinder rebuild kit for cheap. Like under $50. Check your favorite online OEM dealer. I absolutely don't trust any aftermarket rebuild kits, ONLY OEM when it comes to o rings and seals.
btw, BikeBandit is more pricey than the others, but their delivery is very quick. imo.
I use https://hollisterpowersports.com/Home/Motorcycles/Honda/year/2000/fveh/124383
When putting rads, fairings, tank, etc., back in place, pay particular attention to proper wiring routes. It's so easy to get chaffed, pinched, or grounded out wires from vibration and rubbing that can cause mysterious problems later.


As stated above, the valve cover gasket is reusable. The only place that I use sealant on that gasket are the two "half-moon" sections on top of both of the cylinder heads (near the end of the camshafts). I used to wrench for Yamaha and this was recommended to prevent any leaks or seepage. I just place a very thin layer of high temp silicone (or yamabond/hondabond/etc) on the flat sections of the "half-moon". Easy peezy....no leaks.
Yes, the service manual also mentions this.
I reused my valve cover gasket too, but replaced the o-ring's mentioned. Yamabond is my choice as well, just a dab.
 
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