I've got WebCam adjustable gears on mine, and it's actually quieter than with the stock scissors gears! None of that whine anymore, but in its' place there is a bit of chatter at low rpms. Still....it doesn't make near the volume it did before, but this might be different for each bike. When I mentioned this to Mike he replied that he'd noticed the same thing with the latest batches of WebCam gears (same as sold by Spears) as it seems they've tightened up the clearances a bit.
And Mike very kindly sent me the Beta version of this 'using the idler to adjust cam timing' idea last winter when I had mine apart for improvements. But I was so boggled by the math I broke down and got the adjustable gears. It was hard enough to get the cams exactly where we wanted them even with the gears! Those who are braver and more mechanically inclined sure could use the idler to accomplish the task, but it really looks like 'Rain Man' Mad Scientist Genius type stuff to me.
I don't remember if he said to re-mark the idler with some form of permanent paint (or the like) so somewhere down the road you or whomever will have a fighting chance to get it back in time correctly should you have to change your cam chains or whatnot.
Mike has been offering the suggestion to bump compression, reduce squish and re-time cams for a while now....and I'm very, very happy with the results. Engine pulls well from 4K to redline and just gets stronger as it comes up all the way to the limiter. I've got to believe that this engine is everything the TL's were...and more in the midrange with the better port design. Really wish everyone could enjoy the SV1K the way it could have been, instead of the emasculated version they chose to sell. But some of this was obviously emissions related so maybe it isn't all their fault.
Thanks for the comments Rob. In regards to remarking the gears, the only time you would need to do this if the gears had to come out for some reason as you mention. As reliable as these engines are (minus mag rotor magnets), it may never come apart that far for the rest of its life. There are very few SV1000 owners out there that have had the heads off the bike that I have seen. The cams will go back in easily if they come out and they will just fit n so they line up close to the horizon of the head. One tooth either way and it should be way off.
If a dealer were to take it apart they would think "what idiot put this together?" They put it together and it feels slower... suckers
I really think people are stuck a bit in the TL aura. I rode the first 97 TL1000S we got at the dealer and the first 98 TL1000R we got too. They were really fast and damn fun and cool. I ride a stock TL S or R now and they do not seem as fast as I remembered in the past. Not that they have slowed down, but other things have gotten much faster with time. In stock trim TLS were really only a couple HP more than a stock SV. THey might have felt faster, but it is all in the delivery, the TL had a turn on surge where it could finally pump enough air and fuel through the giant intake valves and intake ports to get it going. The SV might not feel as fast, but it delivers clean smooth power all the way up to redline.
It is just like an old 4 barrel V-8. People would say "I love the kick you get when the extra 2 barrels open up." Uhh, if it is kicking like you say there is a carburetion issues that needs to be cleaned up. This is typically the engine stalling a bit and then it catches up quickly, giving a quick dip in power, and surging back. If it works right all 4 barrels should open and the power should be seamless.
There is also the fact that 1 year TLS seemed to be way faster Motorcycle.com even stated
"This year (98), they de-tuned the motor as well: The EFI map was reprogrammed to calm down low-end throttle response. We measured only 108 hp compared to 114 hp for last year pre-production unit."
This makes you wonder in stock trim, the SV might have been exactly the same power...