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Sportster Motorcycle Motor - Top End Discuss Sportster Motorcycle Top End issues. Rockerboxes, Valves, Cylinders, Pistons, Rings, Lift Rods, etc...

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  #11  
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Hammer does a really good job on cylinder heads
FWIW "I" would start with a set of Late model heads,Carb or EFI
Hammer BFH treatment to the heads set up for 90 inches
90" jugs with .500 dome pistons to get some cylinder pressure
Cams ? late intake close to keep that pressure in control
Either Red Shift 643's or Hammer 660's
That would be a brute of an engine.
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  #12  
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Blacky Blacky is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rocketmangb View Post
Hammer does a really good job on cylinder heads
FWIW "I" would start with a set of Late model heads,Carb or EFI
Hammer BFH treatment to the heads set up for 90 inches
90" jugs with .500 dome pistons to get some cylinder pressure
Cams ? late intake close to keep that pressure in control
Either Red Shift 643's or Hammer 660'sThat would be a brute of an engine.
It sure would but there are some factors that I have to take into consideration. This is going into a custom hardtail with a suicide shift so I am not too sure how much power I want to throw at it. Having that kind of power with a suiide shift may truly be suicide. How fun!?
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  #13  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blacky View Post
That there is some good information. But back to topic. Are the Lightning heads going to be sufficient for an 88 or 90 C.I. build? Or, should I use a set of S&S Super Stock heads or a set of SE heads?
No, not really. The lightning heads are nothing special at all, basically a smaller chamber regular 1200CC head.

Sure the bike will run, but it’s going to run out of air quick.

2004 and up heads are much better. They still need work to support 88 inches at higher RPM.

The 2004 heads are smaller chamber than older 1200 heads, compression ratio might be an issue depending on the pistons being used.

The old SE heads are nothing special either.

The newer style SE heads that are CNC ported have even a smaller chamber because of milling. They are prob the least expensive option for a ported newer style head tho.

All this info and much, much more, has been nicely compiled by Hammer performance and is free to read. As they say, measure twice, cut once.
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  #14  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maxeffort View Post
No, not really. The lightning heads are nothing special at all, basically a smaller chamber regular 1200CC head.

Sure the bike will run, but it’s going to run out of air quick.

2004 and up heads are much better. They still need work to support 88 inches at higher RPM.

The 2004 heads are smaller chamber than older 1200 heads, compression ratio might be an issue depending on the pistons being used.

The old SE heads are nothing special either.

The newer style SE heads that are CNC ported have even a smaller chamber because of milling. They are prob the least expensive option for a ported newer style head tho.

All this info and much, much more, has been nicely compiled by Hammer performance and is free to read. As they say, measure twice, cut once.
One can always use a reverse dish piston to deal with compression concerns. I have been looking at Hammers site. I agree, a lot of information there.
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  #15  
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sungod sungod is offline
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You might call or view Zippers Performance options for the Buell heads.They provide excellent work and products.The more info you have the better the decisions you will make.
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  #16  
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Originally Posted by sungod View Post
You might call or view Zippers Performance options for the Buell heads.They provide excellent work and products.The more info you have the better the decisions you will make.

Thanks for the direction. I did take look at their website and as far as heads go, that is a viable option. Have you used their Sportster products?

In comparing Hammer and Zippers, ( please note that I haven't read too much about Zippers offerings as of yet), it makes a lot of sense what Hammer said about case strength if the 90" is used and the need for iron cylinders. Will I be able to use Hammers cylinders in conjunction with the Zipper heads?

Not related to heads, but is Hammers process for upgrading the crank a proprietary process?
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  #17  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maxeffort View Post
No, not really. The lightning heads are nothing special at all, basically a smaller chamber regular 1200CC head.

Sure the bike will run, but it’s going to run out of air quick.

2004 and up heads are much better. They still need work to support 88 inches at higher RPM.

The 2004 heads are smaller chamber than older 1200 heads, compression ratio might be an issue depending on the pistons being used.

The old SE heads are nothing special either.

The newer style SE heads that are CNC ported have even a smaller chamber because of milling. They are prob the least expensive option for a ported newer style head tho.

All this info and much, much more, has been nicely compiled by Hammer performance and is free to read. As they say, measure twice, cut once.
The above is all exactly correct. The Lightning head was the first generation performance head for Evolution XL's. It's the old 1200 hemi head with some extra material added to the chambers to get the volume down and hence the CR up. Same crappy ports and small valves as the 88-03 XL1200 hemi heads. And the issues with the ports require welding to fix them, because they're the result of a lack of material in key places. To make a great head out of them (and a big motor build needs great heads), you basically have to weld them up and start over.

Lightning heads first appeared on 1996 Buell S1 Lightning models (go figure). The casting number ends in either -96 or -96Y, depending on which variant you're looking at. They shipped on 1996-1998 S1's, 1997 S3's, 1997-1998 M2's, and 1998-2003 XL1200S models. Also a variant is found on Buell Blasts. The 98-03 XL1200S version is dual plugged and black highlighted to go with the XL1200 color scheme. But it's the same casting.

They were also offered with SE branding in the SE catalog. And you could even get one variant of them, before the SE days, with "Lightning" branding:



These heads really became obsolete when the Thunderstorms came out in 1998 with their bigger valves and much better ports. Then the XB heads obsoleted the Thunderstorms with their even better ports, better hardware, and big fins. All XL1200 models started getting a variant of the XB heads in 2004, and that continues to this day.

So the Lightning head was never really a very good head, only fractionally better than the stock XL1200 head of the day, and it's been surpassed twice.

Much depends though on the ultimate power goal for this project. Speaking only for us, as you get into the SLEDGE (1.980/1.610 valves) or BFH (2.02/1.630 valves) head services, whether a guy starts with a set of Thunderstorm or XB or 883 castings makes no difference. It's such major surgery to the heads that they come out equivalent no matter which of those three castings you start with. I would not recommend either the XL1200 hemi or Lightning casting at that level, however.
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Blacky to answer your question yes I am riding a 2003 Sportster 883 Hugger with a Zippers 99 kit. The kit is no longer available. Currently I have around 8000 miles on the kit with no issues. I do not use this bike as a daily driver it is in Florida but when I am there I do. The kit came with aluminum jugs with iron sleeves no issues.Turns heads every time I start her up.
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  #19  
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Originally Posted by sungod View Post
Blacky to answer your question yes I am riding a 2003 Sportster 883 Hugger with a Zippers 99 kit. The kit is no longer available. Currently I have around 8000 miles on the kit with no issues. I do not use this bike as a daily driver it is in Florida but when I am there I do. The kit came with aluminum jugs with iron sleeves no issues.Turns heads every time I start her up.
Thanks. At this point my main concern is procuring a decent set of heads for this project.

Where in Florida do you land when you are there?
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