Savage wrote:Is it burning oil or puking any oil?
I would start with a compression test and leak down test.
Thanks for the reply, Savage.
It actually is leaking a bit of oil from the countershaft, but that's normal stuff on these bikes. It's not puking any oil, and yes it is technically burning oil--thus the smoke, but it runs great. Smooth, powerful, no issues there at all. So the wisdom I was reading suggested that if the bike is otherwise running fantastic, but you see smoke, it's surely valve seats rather than rings.
Of course a compression test or leak-down test would help identify the issue. But...at this point, I think a top-end rebuild is in order regardless. If it's valves, top-end. If it's rings, top-end. So if I'm going to pay someone to tear the engine apart, might as well get the whole job done. Right?
It might be a different story if A) I had the time, patience, and skill to do the job, and B) I enjoyed that kind of work. Since I possess neither, and I don't want to go cheap and risk having to pay (money and lost riding time) for a second repair, I'd rather "do it all" when it's in the shop.