The short answer is, “No, absolutely not”. However let’s take it further and give you the specifics of why you should not be concerned and why this is not a sign of poor quality nor going to hinder engine performance in any way.
Worth noting is, at 8,000 RPM the reed petals are opening and closing more than 133 times every second. At this frequency the reed petals are not so much opening and closing as they are vibrating.
This is where the uniqueness of the VForce design really shines against the stock reed valve and our competitors. As you may notice when looking at the VForce reed valve system, the reed petals are at much less of an angle than the reed petals on a conventional style reed valve. The result of this design is reed petals that are able to flex less, yet open further to create better airflow with less wear on the reed petals.
However also because of this design, it is sometimes possible to see light through the reed tips. This is especially true for the inside petals. Keep in mind when looking into the reed valve from the intake side you are looking directly down the surface of the inside petals. This is impossible to do on conventional reed valve designs due to their use of only two reed petal surfaces as opposed to four on the VForce reed valve.
Can we manufacture a VForce reed valve that would prevent any light at the reed tips? Certainly, but that would require a stiffer, higher tension reed petal and/or placing more pressure at the reed tips, which we’re not willing to do as it would sacrifice performance. There are other factors at play in regards to reed petals sealing during use, such as back pressure and the fuel mix pooling at the reed tips between the reed petal tip and the reed cage.
So now that you understand why the gap is there, what exactly is an “acceptable gap”? If you can slide a piece of paper into the gap, that is perfectly acceptable. However if you can slide a credit card into the gap, that is unacceptable and we ask that please contact us.
We’ve supplied many of the top teams such as the factory Honda, Kawasaki, KTM, Suzuki, Yamaha, Arctic Cat, Polaris and Ski-Doo race teams and they’ve all run the same exact “off the shelf” product that is available to our customers. If there was a negative performance effect from using the VForce reed valve design, they haven’t found it.