Larolco, I've mentioned this in another thread, but if you clean the area with spray Brake Cleaner, blow it off with compressed air, and borrow a cooling system pressure tester(auto parts store) you will know for certain the exact origin of the leak.
If you do have to tear it down and are concerned with corroded exhaust nuts/studs, soak them down for a couple of days with a penetrating oil such as PB Blast, Zepreserve, or the best Ive found, Yield. Beyond that, a small Map gas torch flame to get the nuts red will do the deed.
A small suggestion, if you have the wherewithal--perform a compression test and/or a leakdown test before you remove the engine. If both check out good, you wont need to re-ring and hone the engine. If rings arent necessary, Ive raised cylinders above the pistons just far enough to remove the piston pin clip, the wrist pin, and removed the cylinder with the piston still inside. It takes another set of hands to make this easy, and reassembly is simply replace the base gasket,use shop towels to keep the connecting rod centered in the crankcase bore, hold the cylinder/piston assembly above the rod, reinstall the wrist pin and circlip. Slide the cylinder down to the base gasket and proceed with reassembly.
It's just nuts and bolts, how hard can it be?
Thanks for the tip re: cylinder removal. I like that idea.
As for penetrating oil, I intend to use a can or two on this job. I hate breaking bolts. This weekend is just remove tupperware, tank, rad, and let the oil penetrate for a good long while. I'll probably do a couple other jobs on the bike while it's apart as well. Fork springs, front rotors, new TPS.
As for finding the leak, it won't be a problem. I just have to fire it up and watch where the gush comes from. I'm fairly certain it's the base gasket based on what I saw last night. It was the only wet area on the bike, and definitely towards the left side. It's not a weep; it's a considerable leak that drained a couple of cups of coolant in the time it took me to put the bike on the sidestand and dismount. Just have to replicate it once more.
I don't intend to bother with a compression test unless maybe just for kicks. I'm certain it doesn't need rings. New plugs for sure, though. You'll be pleased to hear that.
And valve clearances and look at the cam chain. I think if all looks well on the front cylinder, I won't bother with the rear.