How Much Does a Motorcycle Engine Rebuild Cost?

Written by: Staff
Last Updated:  August 8, 2018

Rebuilding a motorcycle engine is key to enhancing the mileage, improving the life expectancy, increasing the horsepower and torque, reducing the emissions and decreasing the customary engine maintenance.  In general, the procedure helps improve the overall performance and reliability of the motorcycle.

OKIMG_4691 by taymtaym, on Flickr
OKIMG_4691” (CC BY 2.0) by taymtaym

How much does it cost to rebuild a motorcycle engine?

Overall, the total costs of a motorcycle engine rebuild will vary anywhere from as little as $500 to as much as $8,000 for a professional to complete the job.  The price really comes down to the type of rebuild, the parts needed, the make and model of the bike, and the company performing the rebuild.  It’s hard to set a “price” because there are so many factors that can affect the costs.

At Randy’s Cycle Service & Restoration, for example, a basic restoration service for motorcycles (mechanically sound with no cosmetic work) starts at $3,000 with a requirement of $1,000 deposit.  Total restoration services that include all mechanical and cosmetic components “down to the bare frame” start at $12,000 and require a deposit of $3,000. offers motorcycle engine rebuilding services for four-stroke engines at $425, while rebuilding services for two-stroke engines cost $300.  The services include general tear down, inspection, cleaning and reassembly.  The prices are for labor only and will not include any necessary parts.

According to, a motorcycle engine rebuild can range anywhere from $3,000 to $7,000, depending on the cost of replacement parts needed for the rebuild.  The estimates do not include the cost of labor for a qualified mechanic.

We did talk with a few mechanics and were given the following “ballpark” quotes for a complete rebuild on particular brands.  Again, this was a ballpark estimate given out over the phone, so your results could greatly vary.

BrandEngine Rebuild Quote
Harley Davidson$3,900 for complete package
Honda$5,000 for complete rebuild
Kawasaki$3,100 for complete rebuild
Suzuki$4,200 for complete rebuild
Yamaha$1,500 for rebuild plus parts

Rebuilding a motorcycle engine overview

Depending on the service provider, motorcycle engine rebuilding services basically include parts replacement, upgrades, and detail finishing.  A more comprehensive list of services will likely include the following: cylinder boring; cylinder head rebuilding; camshaft repair or replacement; replacement of oil pump, main bearings, head fasteners, ignition points, spark plugs, cam chains, the rocker arm as well as valves, springs and guides; installation of new rod bearings; fitting of new crank and rod hardware; machine crankshafts; and resetting of ignition timing.

Some service providers perform a total assessment of the motorcycle condition and have it approved by the owner before any work is begun.

On average, a complete engine pull and disassemble can take about 10 hours to perform and another 10 hours to reassemble and reinstall the engine.

What are the extra costs?

Prior to doing any restoration job, some service providers perform a thorough motorcycle evaluation and then prepare a written estimate showing the what needs to be restored, upgraded or customized. Even if you don’t choose the company, they will still charge $100 to $200 for an “estimate.”   With a certain service provider, the written estimate can take up to eight weeks, depending on how busy they are, to complete.  If you agree to the price, the provider will subtract your diagnostic fee from the total bill.

Tips to know:

Motorcycle engine rebuild services are extremely laborious and time-intensive and should only be conducted by skilled professionals.  Before hiring someone, see if the mechanic holds certifications as master technicians and have extensive knowledge and experience on mechanical and technical repair.

Do a comparison of the prices of the services offered.  While it is possible that the cost will be substantial in most providers, it is likely that one or two may offer discounted services.  One way to find a good technician is through word-of-mouth and recommendations from trusted people.

Find a service provider who controls the quality of his or her work and turnaround time by performing all work in their own shop.

Before you commit to having your motorcycle engine rebuilt, weigh your options of an engine rebuild versus purchasing a new motorcycle.  Sometimes, spending a little more and simply getting a new bike will make more sense.

Some professionals will have restrictions and may not work on certain bikes.  For instance, Randy’s Cycle Shop, the service we referenced earlier, won’t work on engines that have been heavily modified or work on race bikes.  They will only work on bikes that have a stock engine, so with this being said, be sure to talk with the mechanic ahead of time to make sure they will even work on your bike.

Questions to ask a potential mechanic

What is your turnaround time for the restoration service?  How long will you need to keep the motorcycle?

Once you have completed the rebuilding process, do you take the motorcycle on a road test and perform a final inspection before you return the machine to the owner?

Do you allow engines to be sent to your shop via mail or do customers need to personally bring the motorcycle to your shop?

What credentials and expertise do you have?

How long have you been in the business of restoring motorcycle engines?

Do you offer financing plans for your services?

Do you make follow-up calls to your customers after the rebuild service to find out how their bike is operating?

How can I save money?

A motorcycle engine rebuild is normally expensive, given the steep labor costs and costly professional services being offered these days.  While you may not directly save money from getting the services done, you will be able to achieve savings in the long run through a motorcycle that is mechanically sturdy and reliable, operates more efficiently and can bring years of use with proper maintenance.

If you have the needed skills, you may want to consider doing the motorcycle engine rebuild on your own rather than taking it to a professional service provider.  Doing so can give you substantial savings on the hourly labor costs alone.  There are tons of online resources that provide information on how to rebuild your motorcycle engine on your own premises using the right tools and equipment. Just make sure that you have adequate skills and training required to carry out the process accurately.

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