don’t freak out — partially dropping an engine is a quick way to get at most of it without having to go through the hassle of completely dropping it. and you can do it in about 30 minutes if you work fast. so let’s check this out….

1. support the bike. put a bucket or crate of appropriate height (a bit higher than where the rear of the bike rests normally) under the back of the bike. it often helps to raise the surface on which the center stand feet sit so it’s less likely to collapse… i use bits of wood or even rocks (ok, i’m lazy), but a 2×4 works better.

2. remove the rear rim/tire . remember to loosen the nuts in a star pattern so you don’t twist the rim.

3. remove the airbox/carb. if you have a kit carb, it’s yr lucky day. just unclamp it from mr. manifold. if you have an airbox, you must remove it as well (the carb has to come off to let you do this) or the airbox will hang the engine up on the body and prevent it from dropping. OF COURSE, you CAN do without this step if you wiggle the carb past the flange on the body. i take no responsibility for any damage you do, however.
in case you do remove the airbox, put a rag in lest you drop something into the inlet.

4. remove the exhaust. you’ll have to remove the exhaust or it will hang up on the floorboards. simple enough really — you already removed the tire so it’s not in the way of the exh-to-swingarm bolt. stuff a rag in the exhaust port for obvious reasons.

5. disconnect the wiring at the junction block. if you don’t, the motor will not fully lower to the ground. instead, it will ‘hang’ from the wiring loom (assuming the connectors don’t break from the strain!) you don’t have to mess with the wiring from the stator to the ignition module mounted to the motor(external coil or black box, if yr bike has one), only the wiring that goes from junction block to the rest of the electrics in the frame.
6. remove the rear shock bolt (thru the engine lug, not at the top of the shock, dummy) and the engine should pivot down til the hub is on the ground.

presto — now you can easily pull off large 200 cc or bigger jugs, work on the clutch (just walk around to the clutch side and there it is staring at you). you could even split the cases with the engine in the bike. click to see how to change yr cruciform with this method, or just learn good case-splitting tips.
(and remember, the instructions may differ a bit since they don’t figure on ‘dropping’ the motor… they will still make sense, tho, i promise).