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Sportster Motorcycle Engine Conversions Advice, questions, and tips for 1200, 1250, 1340, 1450 etc... for Sportster and Buell motorcycle engine conversions

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  #1  
Old 24th June 2009
jessearias's Avatar
jessearias jessearias is offline
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Default Jesse's Best Head/Cam Performance Combo's

The reason I am putting this together is, that there is a lot of confusion when choosing the right cam to match your head modifications.

You may not agree with all this but, based on my experience and what others have done in the forum, plus actual dyno results, these are in my opinion, the best head/cam combinations for general performance use.
NOTE: To generalize the Stages; Stock and Stage 1 STREET, Stage 2 STREET/STRIP and Stage 3 HOT STREET/STRIP.

All combinations are based on using Buell Thunderstorm or Buell XB/1200R heads.

NRHS modifications are listed because they offer various types of progressive head modifications. For a detailed description of NRHS’s various levels of head work, please go to their website. This does not imply that you must use them exclusively, but you can cross reference their modifications to others shops simular levels of head work.

STOCK HEADS
Stock configuration except for the following modifications: Valve jobs, HD springs and retainers. Guide work for clearance issues (TS heads w/ 536 cams)
SE 497
SE 536
Notes: You really can’t push more through the stock ports and valves than a 536. Both cams will deliver nice broad HP and torque curves.

NRHS STAGE 1 TYPE MODIFICATIONS
This means porting only, no oversize valves. All the above modifications apply as well.
SE 497
SE 536
Notes: This is a great mod for the street and really optimizes the heads for the above mentioned cams. It will give a nice boost in power and torque.


NRHS STAGE 2 TYPE MODIFICATIONS
Better porting, larger valves and all the above modifications as well.
SE 536
SE 575
RS 585
RS 630/585
Notes: All the above cams will take good advantage of the better porting and larger valves. The RS 630/585 in my opinion will work better with this head than a Stage 3 type head. The smaller porting and valves (than a stage 3 head) would enhance its torque producing capabilities.

NHRS STAGE 3 TYPE MODIFICATIONS
This is a completely tricked out, custom built RACING HEAD with the biggest ports and valves you can stick in it.
RS 585
RS 643
RS 729
Notes: If, you are going to spend this much money on a head then, match it with a max output cam to get the most out of it. In my opinion, the RS 585 is the minimum size cam you should use with these heads to take advantage of the tremendous flow potential.

BOTTOM LINE: Don’t put Stage 3 heads with a SE 497 cam. Will it work? Yes. Will it run good? Yes. BUT, you will be leaving a lot of performance (and money) on the table. When you hear people complain that their bike only makes X amount of HP with mis-matched heads/cams, is it any wonder why?

Match your heads to your cams and make your heads WORK FOR YOU. When the cams and heads are matched right, the horsepower and torque are right there.

Yes, you need other complementing modifications and GOOD TUNING as well but, that’s another post.

Hope this helps you all out.

Last edited by jessearias; 24th June 2009 at 12:49..
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  #2  
Old 24th June 2009
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Default

Where do Andrew's N-4, N-6 cams fit in your findings?
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Old 24th June 2009
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Good info. I'm still not sure what I'm going to do.
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Old 25th June 2009
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Default

I think you should add in a bump in compression to match more aggressive cam grinds.
Also,a competition valve job should be considered for folks who wish to stay with the stock cams or .497"'s.
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Old 25th June 2009
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Default

Just for fun I'll list my setup and you can tell me if it's a good setup. I know it runs well but I'm always curious if it can run better

NRHS 1250 kit with thunder storm pistons
'04 1200R stage II heads with bathtub chamber (no angled squishband)
SE .575 cams
Mikuni HSR42 carb don't recal the jetting
AN stage II big sucker
BUB Rinehart 2-1
Daytona TC88a ignition
SE plugs
Accel wires

I spend more than 75% of my riding time above 3,500 rpm. I don't "race" but I do ride very aggressively.
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[URL="http://xlforum.net/forums/showthread.php?threadid=175003"]Link to my NRHS build thread[/URL]

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Old 25th June 2009
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by LuxBlue View Post
Where do Andrew's N-4, N-6 cams fit in your findings?
Andrews N4's are the same cam as the SE 497's.

IMO - An N6 falls into the same category as the N4/497/536 but is optimized for high compression (10.5:1 or higher) and needs to be matched to a good exhaust system.

N8's will also probably be in the same category as the above.

N2's & N3's are good for stock heads.

Not to take away from Jesse here at all. Only trying to help and just putting this out there for inclusion if need be.
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Old 25th June 2009
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Default Thanks for the input

I reccomend the SE cams because they are very reliable and easy on the valve train. They are easy to install and perfect for use at the lower stage levels. (<Stage 2)

Some others like the Red Shifts and more agressive Andrews tend to be a little tough on the valve train. Granted once you are at Stage 3 level, it is heavy duty everything in the valvetrain at that point.

You can use the other cams as Blakjak pointed out (thank you) but, I was trying to simplify things. I didn't want to throw a whole bunch out and get everybody confused. Most of the cams listed are ones everybody is familiar with and have used most of the time.

Like I said, my reccomendations are not the ten commandments but, very reasonable suggestions.

DRUMMERBOY4AS: Mikuni, Stage 2/575 cams, TC88, 2-1 exhaust, good AC. Looks like a great combination to me!
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2002 XL1200S "The Black Beauty" NRHS 1250 kit CI, NRHS Stage 1 TS heads dual plugged, NRHS Hurricane Air Filter, SE 536 cams, Rich Products Thunder header, 42 Mikuni, Daytona Twin Tec ignition w/ Dyna coils. 97.4 HP, 85.5 Torque 1984 XR-1000 S&S Crank/rods w/windage tray, Vision Grinding Cylinders, Arias 11:1 compression pistons, Andrews XR-1000-1 cams, Baisley modified dual plugged heads, Rich Products Thunder header, 38mm Delortos, Daytona Twin Tec ignition w/ Dyna coils. (the never ending project but, got a 66 Barracuda drag car sucking up all the funds and time)

Last edited by jessearias; 25th June 2009 at 18:04..
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Old 25th June 2009
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Default 2008 Xl1200 N

Thinking about getting the NRHS Hurricane air cleaner. Vance & Hines 2-1 competition pipes. (Black of course) Leaning towards Fuelpak. What are your cam recommendations? What recommendations at all? Thanks.
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Old 25th June 2009
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#1 Are xl1200r heads advantageous over the heads of any other model, and are they adequate for a cam upgrade with a justifying performance gain?

#2 If so...which cams?
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Old 26th June 2009
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Quote:
NRHS 1250 kit with thunder storm pistons
'04 1200R stage II heads with bathtub chamber (no angled squishband)
SE .575 cams
Mikuni HSR42 carb don't recal the jetting
AN stage II big sucker
BUB Rinehart 2-1
Daytona TC88a ignition
SE plugs
Accel wires
Dyno it yet? How had is it to keep the front wheel on the ground? Don't be a pic tease.
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