How Much Does It Cost To Rebuild a Motorcycle Engine?
When your motorcycle engine begins to wear down, you might start to think about purchasing a new bike. However, there are many benefits of rebuilding your engine instead of investing in a whole new motorcycle!
If you’re considering rebuilding your motorcycle engine, you may be wondering, “how much will it cost?
While the exact price depends on many different factors, a motorcycle engine rebuild typically costs somewhere between $3,000-$7,000.
The overall price will include all the parts, upgrades, and finishing touches, as well as the mechanic’s labor.
Below, we’ll go into the specifics of a motorcycle engine rebuild and discuss the benefits of rebuilding your engine.
Engine Rebuild Cost By Brand
The exact cost of a motorcycle engine rebuild will depend on many different factors.
Some of these include
- How many and what parts are needed
- The make and model of your motorcycle
- The type of rebuild you’re looking to have done
- The mechanic or shop that completes the repair for you
Broadly speaking, your engine rebuild could cost anywhere between $500-$8,000 when all is said and done. However, the average national cost is typically around $3,000-$7,000.
In the table below, we’ll highlight the average estimated cost of an engine rebuild for five popular motorcycle makes.
|Motorcycle Make||Estimated Average Cost to Rebuild|
Some mechanic shops will also charge you an “estimate” or “evaluation” fee. This is usually somewhere in the neighborhood of $100-$200.
If you decide to work with the shop for your rebuild, however, this cost will usually be deducted from your final bill.
What Services are Included in a Motorcycle Engine Rebuild?
The overall purpose of a motorcycle engine rebuild is to clean out every part of your engine and replace any worn parts.
The mechanic who does this for you will thoroughly inspect each component and replace them as necessary. While the list below is by no means exhaustive, it highlights some of the services your engine rebuild may include:
- Ignition timing reset
- Ignition point replacement
- Spark plug replacement
- Camshaft service or replacement
- Cam chain replacement
- Oil pump service or replacement
- Main bearing replacement
- Rocker arms replacement
- Head fastener replacement
- New rod bearing installation
- Replacement of guides, valves, and springs
- New crank and connecting rod hardware installation
- New hardware for the crankcase and engine to cradle mount
The services you will receive during your engine rebuild will depend on your specific engine. While some people may need most or all of the services listed above, you may only need one or two.
The goal is to leave you with a like-new engine that gives you the confidence you need to ride safely.
What are the Benefits of Rebuilding Your Motorcycle’s Engine?
There are many benefits of rebuilding your motorcycle engine. This is often a less expensive alternative to replacing the engine, and it’s always more cost-effective than investing in a new bike.
Rebuilding a motorcycle engine improves your bike’s expected lifespan, mileage, horsepower, and torque. In addition, it decreases the need for routine maintenance and the amount of emissions it generates.
In short, rebuilding your engine is a great way to improve its overall performance and reliability.
When you have your engine rebuilt, you can ride more confidently and safely. During the rebuild, every part of your engine will be closely inspected. Then, any parts that have worn down or stopped functioning at their peak will be replaced.
When you know that there are no problems with your bike’s engine, you have greater peace of mind while riding it.
You can be sure that you will have no problems driving long distances, and even rides around town will be more comfortable.
In addition to all of this, rebuilding an engine is much more environmentally friendly than replacing it or buying a new motorcycle.
Since you’re recycling your engine parts instead of replacing them, you can feel good knowing that you contributed to less environmental waste.
How Long Does it Take to Rebuild a Motorcycle Engine?
If you want to do your engine rebuild yourself, you can expect to spend about 10 hours disassembling, and another 10 hours reassembling.
The time it takes to do cleaning and replacement depends on how much work needs to be done.
This is a very labor-intensive process, so be prepared to spend at least an entire weekend doing your rebuild.
However, if you need to special order certain parts, you’ll need to wait for them to come in before you can take the next step.
What is the Motorcycle Engine Rebuilding Process?
It’s important to be extremely careful and take extra precautions if you choose to rebuild your engine yourself. Before you begin, try to find an engine manual for your bike online.
This will prove to be an invaluable tool as you go through each step, and may even help you find and purchase replacement parts.
Once you’ve found your manual, it’s time to gather your materials. Some of the things you may need are listed below:
- The correct hand tools
- A torque wrench
- Catch containers
Gather everything you may need, and prepare your workspace. You may want to put a tarp or sheet down on the floor of your garage to ensure nothing picks up any dirt or debris on the ground.
It’s also helpful to clean and secure your bike to something before you begin. This will make the removal process much simpler. Now, it’s time to start disconnecting and removing the various components.
The Initial Disassembly Process
The first step in the disassembly process is to disconnect and remove your bike’s battery. Set this aside somewhere safe.
Then, drain all the fluids, including the gasoline, from your motorcycle into your catch containers.
Next, you’ll remove the fuel tank, header pipes, and muffler from your motorcycle. Then, you’ll need to move on to the airbox and carburetors, followed by the drive chain.
Depending on the type of bike you have, you may have either a drive belt or drive shaft instead.
Removing Engine Parts
Now that you’ve removed the first set of components, it’s time to start getting to the engine. Before you begin, wrap any frame rails that the engine could touch as it’s removed to prevent damage. Remove the external engine case once you’ve done this.
Once the case is off, you can begin removing the engine components with your hand tools.
These parts include
- The clutch
- The stator
- The alternator
- The ignition plate
- The gear change lever
- The crankshaft drive gear
With this completed, you can now disconnect the oil lines and any electrical connections to the engine.
Then, loosen the engine mounting bolts and plates, taking care not to let the engine fall, and remove the engine itself. Place it somewhere safe.
Inspect Each Part
Now that you’ve removed all the components of your engine, carefully check each piece for any signs of wear.
These may include rusting or unusual score marks. If you notice a worn part that needs to be replaced, add it to your shopping list.
When you’re done, sort each part into two piles: one for parts that need to be cleaned, and another for parts that need to be replaced. Now, you can start cleaning the engine.
Cleaning Your Engine
You have a couple of choices for how you’ll clean the inside and outside of your engine. However, vapor blasting is one of the most popular methods. It’s very gentle on the alloys and leaves behind a nice protective coating.
After you clean your engine, check the cases for any cracks. If you see any, have them welded back together.
You should also check the internal bores of the cylinders for any score marks. If you notice any, you’ll either need to hone or fully rebore them, depending on the depth.
Cleaning the Other Components
Once the engine is clean, you can start cleaning everything that you will put back into the engine.
If you’re using vapor blasting, make sure to rinse each part thoroughly with warm water afterward to ensure there’s no residue inside.
The Reassembly Process
After everything has been cleaned and your replacement parts have arrived, you can reassemble your motorcycle. Take it slowly, ensuring everything fits and is tightened or torqued properly.
Remember, rebuilding an engine is a lengthy, tiresome process. But, doing it right will ensure your bike runs smoothly and efficiently for years to come!
The Bottom Line
Rebuilding a motorcycle engine is a tedious, time-consuming process. If you opt to have a mechanic rebuild your engine for you, expect to spend anywhere between $3,000-$7,000.
You should only attempt to rebuild an engine yourself if you have the right skills and the confidence that you can do so properly. This can save you a lot of money overall, but you’ll need to spend a lot of time and be 100% dedicated to the project.