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I have adjusted valves on bikes that are ridden quite hard or that have been poorly maintained. You get more wear to the valve seat (valve seat wear is the reason you adjust the valves) with aggressive riding and 25000 mile oil change intervals. Four and five valve per cylinder machines also require much less frequent valve adjustments due to the significantly lower mass of the small valves. Valves made of lightweight alloys like titanium extend valve servicing even further. (I believe some Yamahas specify 26,000 mile valve checks!)

I check valves on all my bikes at recommended intervals while the warranty is still valid. After that, I look about every 15000 miles (every 7500 on my 2-valve Ducati). I would learn to at least check the valve lash yourself. It's a pain on most bikes, but not difficult for those with some mechanical inclination.

Truth is, valve adjustments are rare, and the inspections do make for a big service department cash cow. But the severity of damage that can result and the diminished service life of the engine is the real reason manufacturers list fairly conservative adjustment intervals. Even slightly out of spec valves can eats years out of your valve train's service life.
 
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