This looks like a good thread to post my first question on this forum. I've searched a bit and haven't found anything that totally answers my question, but engine building 101 might be what I need!
I have a recently purchased 2005 RC51 with 3500 miles but I just discovered the previous owner used a clip type master link (I know!!!) and evidently the bike threw the chain sometime before I bought it, because most of the countershaft cover mounts are broken.
I rode it only a few miles before discovering the problem. I didn't notice it during the pre-purchase inspection because it was mostly hidden by the plastic, and he had the CS cover on with the threads left and the busted castings were only visible after disassembling the cover and getting all the hoses out of the way. The bike otherwise runs great and appears perfect in every way, not a smudge. I'm also exploring legal remedies, but that's another story.
I'm looking for opinions here about how to best proceed on the mechanical side of this. The bike is otherwise in showroom condition. I know the motor will have to come out, I guess the only question is what goes back in, this one with a new crankcase set or a used motor off ebay. Regarding welding, I do a decent job with my TIG welder on aluminum but I don't think the cases can be welded becase so much is missing already. I'd basically be building case back up out of rod then have to re-machine it somehow. Probably ending up weak and ugly.
I'd like to put new cases on this motor since its such low miles, but aside from the obvious cost of cases and gaskets, what other parts will I need?
Would it be possible to swap the guts between cases without pulling the flywheel and alternator rotors? Would I need new rings etc on the pistons too?
I'm somewhat experienced as a mechanic and have an FAA Airframe & Powerplant Mechanics ratings, but the last time I split cases on a motorcycle was on my 1976 Kawasaki KX125!
Sorry about all the questions, but I hope there is somebody here online that has some experience that I may benefit from. Any advice would be appreciated, thanks in advance!
NOTE ADDED IN 2012: Here's how I ended up fixing the bike: