A Day in the Life: The Valve Shims

Most within the industry know that Honda was late to the party when it came to the dual overhead cam (DOHC) engine. The other Japanese brands had produced them for a few years already when Honda introduced its version in 1979 in the CBX and CB750. But there seems to have been a communication glitch, or maybe just poor customer service at some Honda dealerships. While a customer advocate at American Honda, the corporate headquarters, for a while there I received a number of envelopes addressed to the company and containing valve shims, accompanied by letters assuming a warranty defect and demanding reimbursement for their bikes needing "shimming" during its 600-mile service! We can laugh at this today, in an age when even off-road bikes use valve pads or shims for clearance adjustment. Picture it, a pile of 25mm diameter valve shims falling out of an envelope onto my desk. But these customers were sincere and felt taken advantage of. True story.

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