View Full Version : Bike's in the shop like suggestions on repair vs swap please

03-20-2007, 06:06 PM
I've got a 91 gsx 600 with about 30,000 miles. Last summer it never ran quite right, I checked the compression and got really low numbers (30 psi) on cylinder #2. I adjusted the valves but still had the same problem. In the mean time I started attending graduate school so my free time has been divided up between my family and school. I had little time to work on the bike, so I decided to take it into the dealership for some further tests.

Got a call today from the dealership. He said valve adjustment looked good, but there was a lot of carbon deposits (can't remember specifically where he found the deposits). He also said that the pistons were scratched and the rings looked pretty worn. He recommended replacing all the pistons, rings, & valve seals and decarbonising (not sure if that's a real word, but it's what he used) the head. He gave me a few other options, but i'm thinking if you're in there no sense in taking shortcuts. He hasn't given me an estimate yet, he wanted to ask me which way I wanted to go before pricing things out.

So here's my questions:
Do you think it would be better (more cost effective as well as long term reliablity) to buy a used engine or have the top-end rebuilt? any other suggestions?

He dropped the engine to examine the top end so the engine is out of the bike right now and he had no reservations about putting in a different engine for me.

Any suggestions would be appreciated, also if you know where I could get a good used engine for a decent price let me know.

I think it would be a good idea to either part out the katana or sell it as a project bike and pick up the 2007 GSX-R 750 the dealer has on the showroom floor but I got the sarcastic "OK" from my wife, so i'm thinking that's probably not my best option.



03-20-2007, 10:03 PM
Sounds like it might be time for the 1127 upgrade.


The CyberPoet
03-21-2007, 02:20 AM
Let's see if I got everything straight:
(A) Your engine measured 30 psi when tested -- which means the rings & bores are toasted no matter how you slice it.
(B) You are entering grad school, which is never a source of a good income while you are still a student (pays off in the long run, not while enrolled).
(C) Your decision is whether to repair the existing engine, go used engine for swap, or buy new.

1. Given B, buying new is a poor idea, IMHO, unless you already have the cash squirreled away and absolutely know you won't need it for family requirements before graduation (doubious at best).

2. Repairing an 17 year old motor is feasible, but paying someone else to do it will make it prohibitively expensive. It's generally far cheaper to find a known-good used motor and slap it in there instead (figure $700 - $1k for a known-good used engine delivered to your doorstep).

3. The option you didn't mention: part out the good parts of your bike and buy another used bike in better shape. You could probably net $1200 - $1700 if you part your existing bike out, including the heathy frame, the fairings in good shape, the starter, valve covers, etc. when warmer weather arrives around the majority of the USA and people's heads go back to riding (instead of shoveling snow).
With the added $1k you would have thrown at an used engine and the $500 for the mechanic's time to swap engines, that gives you about $3k towards something newer -- which is what you can probably find a reasonable '98 or '99 Kat 600 for if you are patient in shopping around and willing to travel a few hundred miles to score it.

So there you have my opinions to your questions:
either swap the engine, or part the bike & use the proceeds towards a newer one. Personally, unless the existing bike was already highly customized to whatever kind of riding you do, I'd use the proceeds towards something newer and more reliable.

=-= The CyberPoet

03-21-2007, 01:41 PM
Thanks for the feedback.

I guess I should have mentioned that time is my major constraint. I've got a small chunk of change saved up ($1k-$1.5k) and have a good job in the IT industry so money isn't too big of a factor. I'm more of a non-traditional graduate student where I have a full-time professional career. Seriously if I cut back my dining out to just 1-2 times per week I'd have saved enough to make payments on a new bike (plus Iíd probably lose a couple pounds).

Turns out my wife wasn't being sarcastic. I just got back from the dealer and it looks like we're seriously considering the 2007 GSX-R 750. They said it'd be 10K plus tax out the door no additional fees like doc fees or crating fees, etc. Also they'd waive labor charges for the first year and give me 10% off parts and accessories for the first year. To me that sounds like a good deal.
Here's a picture, this color scheme:

As for the katana I really want to maximize what I can get out of it. Cyber I appreciate your suggestion and estimate on parting it out. I guess what Iím down to is parting out and collecting $1200-$1700 or putting in a newer engine then selling. What do you think I could expect to sell it for with a newer engine? NADA lists it between $950-1250. The dealership said they'd put the new engine in from between $500-600, plus i'm out whatever a newer engine would cost. It would appear that parting out may net me more cash, but it would be more time consuming which is my major constraint.

Can anyone else see any other options or what Iím missing or just possibly I'm wasting my time putting too much thought into it?

Thanks again for the feedback,


The CyberPoet
03-21-2007, 02:28 PM
Cyber I appreciate your suggestion and estimate on parting it out. I guess what Iím down to is parting out and collecting $1200-$1700 or putting in a newer engine then selling.

Can anyone else see any other options or what Iím missing or just possibly I'm wasting my time putting too much thought into it?

Are you 100% sure that the GXSR is what you want? Just a thought...

Only one other suggestion: see if anybody wants the bike as-is, esp here on KR...
I think you may find that Hawk might be interested in it as-is with dead engine and all, because he's working on a basket case pre-98 now that needs a good frame (VIN) to be able to retitle it -- although the distance may well make shipping costs too high for him to be able to consider it. Odds are there are others around here in similar circumstances that would be interested. It won't net you more than $500, but you won't have to part anything out -- just slap it all on a pallet and ship it off.

=-= The CyberPoet

03-21-2007, 03:07 PM
If money isnt a major constraint for you then i'd go with new - although like cp said go ride some other bikes and make sure the gixxer is right for you.....if for no other reason just for peice of mind.

You can part out the bike - or you can sell it complete as a project bike - I'd not mess with repairing it in any manner as it is just going to cost you more money and you'll end up with less profit. The cost difference between a running bike and a basket case is insignificant.

I know someone on here was looking for a complete motor cuz thier second gear was toast - they might be interested in the motor and you could ditch the rest of it complete for a few c-notes - that'd get you your old bike gone for 600 or so

With time being your constraint i'd put up an ad on here selling "sections" of the bike

best reasonable bid by x date gets it

Divide your sections up by things people want
motor/tranny/carbs (all go together?)
plastics (complete set)

That gives you 5 things to sell - makes it simple

03-21-2007, 05:43 PM
I'm in the marcket for a pre 98 frame with a clear title.

03-22-2007, 05:40 PM
Are you 100% sure that the GXSR is what you want? Just a thought...

Good point, I'm sure there's a lot of people that buy a "neat" bike just because it's the latest and greatest but they end up hating the bike because they use it for something other than its intended purpose.

Before entering grad school I was looking at buying a newer fuel injected supersport bike. I was saving up and planning on selling the kat. I'd been looking at 2000-2003 GSX-R 750/600 that I'd use for my 10 minute commute to work, canyon carving (lots of that in Utah), and the occasional track day. I had also considered buying new and had looked into a 2006 GSX-R 750, but I wasn't sure I wanted to take a brand new bike (especially if I was taking out a loan) on the track. After getting into school I realized I wasn't going to have as much time for canyon carving or track days (closest track is vegas or Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele either way about 3-4 hours away) so I started spending my bike savings on other things and that's when the katana had died.

I'm feeling pretty good about the 2007 GSX-R 750 because i can still use it for my 10 minute commute to work and school and carve the occasional canyon. When I'm done with grad school the bike will be broken in nicely and ready for the occasional track day (assuming I can get it paid off quickly).

Arsenic13, if I decide to part it out, I'll give you first cosideration on the frame, although there's going to be some issues with shipping.

Thanks guys,


03-22-2007, 10:13 PM
How about a nice 04 Kat 600 (GSX600F) Blue over white with a few goodies and 2200 miles on it?

Priced to sell!

03-26-2007, 03:01 PM
I ended up going with the 2007 GSX-R 750
I took her out for about an hour on saturday and I absolutely love it. I drove up the canyon and drove around town (as if I were commuting to work). It's very easy to control and just about everything on it is adjustable. I can't wait until the tires are scrubbed in and the engine is broken in. I'm very happy with the upgrade and would recommend if you're looking at a supersport bike, the 750 is the way to go.

I still haven't decided to either part out the katana or look for an engine. I'm not in too big of a rush though now that I've got the GSX-R.

Thanks everyone for thier input and suggestions,


03-26-2007, 04:23 PM
just throw an aftermarket exhaust on there and you'll be good to go. I hate how that stock exhaust is cut short.

03-26-2007, 06:23 PM
Nice Scoot.... Congrats.

"Be careful out there" - Quote from a police TV show, I forgot the name if it. :-D

"The enemy of my enemy is my friend" - Alien vs. Predator

By the way.... Got any pics of the wife on that thing? :cheers:

The CyberPoet
03-26-2007, 10:05 PM
I'm glad you're happy with your new ride -- enjoy it; they are a blast to ride.

=-= The CyberPoet