Whether your intention is to repair
broken or worn parts or to install an upgrade, you don’t have to
pay the costly fees to have your motorcycle engine repaired. You can
do it yourself from the comfort of your garage. As long as you have
the necessary tools and an adequate amount of time, you can rebuild
your engine using the below instructions.
Keep in mind, whenever you’re working
with engines or larger equipment, it’s important to keep safety as
a top priority. The number one step you want to complete before
starting any project is to make sure your space is clean and
organized. Clear out any potential tripping hazards or any lingering
debris that may cause damage to yourself or your bike. Once you’ve
established a clean workspace, you can prepare the necessary tools.
What you’ll need:
1. Your owner’s manual for the
motorcycle (you can also use a device; however, there’s a high
likelihood of getting it dirty, so a print copy is recommended)
2. Basic hand tools (including sockets,
wrenches, screwdrivers, pliers, and measuring tools)
3. Torque wrench
4. A Tool pouch to keep your tools organized and within easy reach
5. Catch containers
Depending on your make, model, and engine type, your necessary tools will vary. However, the above list provides the basics you’ll want to acquire before starting. For a comprehensive list of tools that you’ll likely need, refer to this comprehensive guide. By researching the specs of your motorcycle before starting the project, you’ll know which tools you’ll need. With adequate preparation, your project will go more smoothly and quickly.
Once you’ve purchased or gathered the necessary tools, you can move on to step 1 of the rebuilding process. Keep in mind that to properly remove the engine, you’ll have to disconnect and remove various elements and parts from your motorcycle. A professional mechanic would follow the below steps to ensure the engine is properly removed. These steps also allow you to inspect other parts of your motorcycle and notice any damaged or worn pieces that should be replaced. Also, if you want to install any motorcycle accessories while you’re completing your engine rebuild, then this will promote easier installation.
Step 1 – Clean Your Bike
Similar to working with cars and other
vehicles, it’s important to clean your motorcycle before you start
disassembling parts. By doing so, you will reduce the risk of
damaging bolts or your bike’s exterior. Also, this step will reduce
the amount of dirt and debris entering your workspace.
Step 2 – Ensure Your Bike is Secure
As previously mentioned, safety is the
number one focus when working with engines. To ensure the safety of
yourself and your bike, use a wheel clamp or another stabilizing
device to keep your bike secure. Most parts are not easily removed
and may take some elbow grease to effectively loosen.
Step 3 – Drain All the Fluids
Once your motorcycle is safely secure,
you can drain your fluids into separate catch containers. On a side
note, it’s important to research the proper fluid recycle or waste
process for your state or region. For a list of fluids that require a
dedicated waste management system, visit this helpful list that will
walk you through dangerous chemicals and methods of disposal. You can
also contact your local waste management site and ask for assistance.
If you’re unsure of how to drain your
bike’s oil, refer to your owner’s manual or research your make
and model online.
Another side note: if you plan your rebuild accordingly to a time when your engine oil needs changing, then you can accomplish two tasks in one project.
Step 4 – Remove Back Break Pedal
Depending on your bike, this step may
be necessary now or at a later time.
Step 5 – Remove Battery, Header Pipes, and Muffler
For added safety measures, remove your
battery. To perform this step accurately, refer to your owner’s
If you’re unsure how to remove the
header pipes and muffler, refer to this video by Eric Grass, a
recognized Honda mechanic. However, watch carefully, because he goes
through the process quickly. This video also provides a helpful
tutorial in the other necessary steps for engine removal.
Step 6 – Remove Gas Tank
For most models, removing the fuel tank
will give you better access to your engine. To make this step easier,
consider ciphering out the gasoline before removing the tank. This
step will make the tank lighter and easier to control. Also, you may
have to remove any side paneling that prohibits your direct access to
the fuel tank.
Another safety precaution: make sure
you perform this step in a well-ventilated space without sparks or
Step 7 – Take Out the Carburetors and Air Box
If your carburetors are removed from
the top, then disconnect the cables first. However, if they come out
through the sides, it’ll likely be easier to remove the cables after.
For more visual information on this step, consult this tutorial.
Also, while you have your carbs
removed, you may want to consider cleaning them.
Step 8 – Take Out the Final Drive
The final drive on your motorcycle
could include the following drive types:
• Chain drive
• Belt drive
• Shaft drive
Depending on which drive your bike
contains, you may or may not have to remove it to access your engine.
Step 9 – Take Out Cases
Removing the cases at this stage will
allow the engine disassembly to go much smoother.
Step 10 – Remove the Clutch
Your first step in disassembling
the clutch is to remove the clutch cover. Keep a rag
handy in case any lingering fluid remained inside. It’s also
important to keep your clutch plates in the order of removal. That
way, when you are reinstalling them, you place them back in the
appropriate sequence. Also, you may consider inspecting the condition
of your plates and updating them if they appear damaged or overly
Step 11 – Remove the Mounting Bolts for the Engine
Removing the engine mounting bolts is
the final step involving parts. When completing this step, be careful
not to drop and damage the engine. It’s recommended that you find
an extra set of hands to stabilize the engine as you remove the
Before removing your engine, do a
visual inspection to make sure all plugs and wires are disconnected.
Step 12 – Carefully Remove Your Engine
On some makes and models, you may have
to twist and smoothly pull the engine out from the side of the frame.
If this is the case for your bike, then make sure you don’t
accidentally pull on any hoses or wires that are hanging loose.
Twelve steps later, you have
successfully removed your engine from your motorcycle’s frame. Now
that you have complete access to your engine, you can open it up and
complete any of the necessary or desired alterations and
The above instructions are the likely
sequence of steps you’ll take to remove your engine. Keep in mind
that different models will require more or less additional steps.
It’s important to consult your owner’s manual and perform outside
research before starting your project. Also, video tutorials (many of
which I’ve provided in this article) are a great place to start.
Jessica Smith is a blogger who loves to write in different verticals. She co-authored Supercharge Organic Traffic: A popular course focusing on Organic Traffic for E-commerce.