How to Uninstall a Motorcycle Engine

  • 2-4 hours
  • Advanced
  • 0-500
What You'll Need
Hand gloves
Socket Wrench and ratchet
Drain pan for the oil
Elevated motorcycle work bench
Masking tape
Cotton rags
Engine manual
Hydraulic or screw jack

Removing a motorcycle engine could prove challenging to the curious enthusiast. Experience and the right kind of tools would have to be at hand to properly undertake the procedure. This task will help save you money on repair costs prevent scratches, dents and other blemishes as a result of such service.

Step 1 - Preparation

Secure the motorcycle on a rear wheel stand. Prepare the masking type to label various components that may be hard to remember. A simple camera phone or Polaroid could prove handy to take snap shots of wiring, bolt patterns, location of hoses and other related components. Taking notes with a pen and paper would never hurt either.

Step 2 - Disconnect Wiring and Drain Coolant

Disconnect the battery starting with the negative (-) terminal and remove. Set the battery aside. Drain the coolant by removing the drain plug on the radiator. You may save the coolant and store in a clean container. Disconnect the thermal sensor/switch and temp reader located near the radiator cap. Loosen the bolts that attach the radiator cluster to the frame. Remove the water hoses from the engine and radiator overflow lines. Unplug the wire connectors on the fan and remove the radiator cap cluster. Now would be a good time to inspect the hoses for wear and cracks. Remember to replace such hoses before installation.

Step 3 - Disconnect Exhaust

Loosen and remove the exhaust flange bolts followed by the fasteners that attach the exhaust pipe to the engine. Remove the bolts that attach the muffler to the bracket. The exhaust system is heavy and prone to scratching. Have a helper assist you when removing the exhaust system. Set aside muffler gaskets and inspect for wear. Replace if necessary. Cover the exhaust ports with a rag or paper towel.

Step 4 - Drain Engine Oil, Clutch Linkage and Drive Chain

Remove the drain plug and let the oil drain in a pan. Now would be a good time to remove the clutch cable and shifter linkage. The counter shaft sprocket could easily be removed by the use of an electric or pneumatic wrench. It may be necessary to loosen or remove the rear wheel to create sufficient slack to properly remove the drive chain as well. Locate and remove the master link on the drive chain.

Step 5 - Remove Top Engine mount and Intake System

Remove the top engine mount before working on the throttle body. Now is the perfect time to loosen and remove the air box, filter and mounts. Loosen the clamps on the carburetor and pull out the intake manifold. Start on the right side and slide out the carburetor from the top. Disconnect throttle and choke cables as well.

Step 6 - Disconnect Electrical System

Disconnect and remove the alternator, electric starter, ground wire and other related components. Wiring schematics and components may vary according to make and model. Consult an engine manual for proper location and removal of electrical components and wiring.

Step 7 - Remove Engine Mounts and Sub frame

Loosen and remove the bolts on the engine mounts in the middle of the engine. Remember to only loosen and not remove the bolts on other engine mounts until the sub frame is released from the main frame. Loosen the bolts that hold the sub frame from the top engine mounts and main frame. Remove the sub frame.

Step 7 - Remove Engine from Frame

Place a small wooden plank between the jack and engine oil pan to lift the engine slightly. this will better facilitate removal. Have a strong helper support the engine. Jack the engine just enough to enable removing the loosened bolts that hold the engine to the remaining mounts and slide the engine away from the main frame. Place the engine on a flat, level surface.