I'm doing a full top end now, just waiting for the cam chains and new gorilla clutch. I am not going into trans as it is in good shape. I don't have a full tally of parts cost but a reasonable estimate is I'm nearing $1700 and doing the labor myself.
I found, 1 broken piston, burned out cam & rockers, worn out KACR's, worn out cam chains, Valves & seats looked pretty good so just cleaned off the ridges on valves to narrow the seat a bit and lapped back in. I ported the exhaust because it was way under sized for the pipe & gasket & plugged holes to the air inlet chamber (coasters) and blended plug with exhaust passage porting. the intake had no appreciable need, except a few bumps and ridges to blend. My clutch was working fine, but I figured that I might as well do it since I had to take it all apart to get into the chain underneath anyway.
I also found that the Kaw manual was lacking in some areas with clarity, so I purchased the Clymer which is almost overwhelming in details. Clymer was a good purchase.
'97 VN1500 91 Cubes Of Custom CLASSIC
Vance & Hine 2to1
engine, forks, ignition & carb mod's
WebCam cam & rockers hard weld & grind
NEW TOP END, NO LOOKS ALL GO GO
Maxx intake manifold system & super G carb 44mm