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· Premium Member
2,333 Posts
Welcome to the forum.

As much as we all like these bikes, it rarely makes economic sense to pay somebody else to work on them. You'll have significantly more tied up in it than it's worth in short order, and then the odds are very good that something else will fail that costs even more. There are certainly exceptions, such as a well-maintained bike or a barn find, but these are not the typical bike bought for $500.

No way would I pay anyone $500 to replace valves on a $500 bike, even more so not knowing what else may need attention. If you have a hunch the shop is shady (or even mildly incompetent), you're probably right. Listen to that inner voice.

These bikes are actually pretty easy to work on. If you're even the least bit mechanically inclined and willing to learn you can do the work yourself. There is a wealth of information here on the forum and folks will be happy to jump in with good advice.

Regarding the valves, did you watch the compression test as it was performed? The throttle must be held wide open when performing the test - if not, then the numbers are often close to those mentioned. This is a common mistake.

If it is certain the valves are bad you can probably get a whole used cylinder head from ebay for around $25. Or worst case, a complete engine for a couple of hundred bucks.

There's something to be said for getting that first bike really cheap, even if it's severely ragged out, and getting it on the road for next to nothing. But if it needs many things, a well maintained bike in good condition is almost always a much better deal.

Can you post some photos of the bike?
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