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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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View Poll Results: Have you converted your 883 to a 1200?
883/1200 conversion is done 524 37.72%
I haven't done the conversion, but plan on it 527 37.94%
I plan on leaving my 883 as it is 147 10.58%
I am still undecided 191 13.75%
Voters: 1389. You may not vote on this poll

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  #381  
Old 15th December 2018
wedge's Avatar
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Sportster/Buell Model: 1200R
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sportsterdoc View Post
You could have a 1200 or 600, if you just pull one spark plug!
There used to be "Half Harley's" running at Speedway. They plated the rear jug hole and ran one jug in the front. Must have been 1000's, because Speedway is 500cc. In general they didn't seem to do well, but that's relative to the rider in a major way. If Eddie Castro (Fast Eddie) sat on one, I'm sure it would be up front. That boy used the entire track and the wall, amazing to watch.
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  #382  
Old 16th December 2018
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Sportster/Buell Model: 1200s
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now that is funny.
now back in the day, i used to get my drinking money by swapping cylinders.
first, you have to know your targets, hd was king back then by displacement but rice half the size could be a challenge.
anywho
we would make the run and then i offered double or nothing and he could swap my plug wires, never missed. we all know the out come.
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  #383  
Old 20th February 2019
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Nibelungen Nibelungen is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Emilia, Italy
Posts: 1,978
Sportster/Buell Model: xl 883 Iron
Sportster/Buell Year: 2017
Sportster/Buell Model #2: xl Hugger (sold)
Sportster/Buell Year #2: 2001
Reputation: 5756339
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I was just wondering how much the timings differ from 883 to 1200/1250/1275...
I.E.
how much exactly the initial advance has to be retarded...
coming from 883 to stock OEM 1200 could be easy... since i guess you should copy a stock 1200 tune
things become more complicated with kits and high compression pistons

with AFRs you can always play
the same is a bit dangerous about timings
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Last edited by Nibelungen; 20th February 2019 at 14:42..
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  #384  
Old 20th February 2019
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Sportster/Buell Model: 1200R
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nibelungen View Post
I was just wondering how much the timings differ from 883 to 1200/1250/1275...
I.E.
how much exactly the initial advance has to be retarded...
coming from 883 to stock OEM 1200 could be easy... since i guess you should copy a stock 1200 tune
things become more complicated with kits and high compression pistons

with AFRs you can always play
the same is a bit dangerous about timings
You could check with Rocketman or Rico. They have programed plenty of curves for various stages.
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  #385  
Old 21st February 2019
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Nibelungen Nibelungen is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Emilia, Italy
Posts: 1,978
Sportster/Buell Model: xl 883 Iron
Sportster/Buell Year: 2017
Sportster/Buell Model #2: xl Hugger (sold)
Sportster/Buell Year #2: 2001
Reputation: 5756339
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Thanks
My point was another though...
I was wonder...
Either the manufacturer who sell the conv kit tell you the exact timing to set for the kit (like some do)... or otherwise you are exposed to errors even if competent mechs work on the assembly...

Maybe i'm only conditioned from experiences in my youth...
but that's it
I had a lot of conv experience when kid... on Vespas...
i spent dozen of hours in garages or workshops of friends who wrenched on their ride...
Back then in Italy there where hundreds of kits since 9 guys over 10 bought a Vespa... (80 cc, 105 cc, 175 cc, 200 cc, plenty of aftermarket flywheel rotary valves, clutchs, gearing, dozen of carbs, filters, exhausts etc etc)

very few of these kits did the same mileage of a stock...
i saw many interesting things...
broken connecting rods...
pierced or scuffed pistons...
shaved shaft keys...
thing like that for the most powerful kits
True
we were all kids... but even prof mechs assembled once in a while...

Last edited by Nibelungen; 24th February 2019 at 19:54..
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  #386  
Old 21st February 2019
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Sportster/Buell Model: Sportster 883►1200
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The stock HD ignitions, up to 2003, could have the intial starting point for the curves adjusted by rotating the Cam Sensor Plate (CSP)... After that, 2004-later, it requires computer control by the dealer because the HD modules are not user programmable...

Of course, rotating the CSP does not address the shape of the curve... This was not user programmable by any means on any of the HD modules...

This is why conversion kits should recommend programmable aftermarket ignition modules that can control the timing (both initial and curves) to achieve the best setting for the conversion being done...

Previously, doing a simple conversion from 883 to 1200, using some or all of the stock 1200 parts, allowed swapping the 883 stock HD module for the equivalent stock HD 1200 module and you'd be in the right ball park. But if you made any changes (cams, compression, headwork) you'd be right back to the problem of timing to match the conversion...

Even for stock models (no conversion), it was not uncommon to change the timing a bit to find the best initial point to more closely match your specific engine, carb, exhaust requirements...

In the end, using any stock HD module is less desirable than a programmable aftermarket module if you are trying to get the very best settings for your particular bike. HD has always had the burden to create settings that are universal rather than specific, which individual owners should take into account. Using stock HD modules may be a compromise / trade-off that is acceptable to some for economic reasons...

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Last edited by IXL2Relax; 5th March 2019 at 14:24..
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  #387  
Old 3rd April 2019
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Finished the conversion on 2016 Iron over the winter. Engine builder in South Carolina had the top end of a 2014 that was removed so it could be fitted with a 90 inch. I was able to get the 1200 jugs and heads at a really good price! He honed the cylinders and installed new flat top pistons. Cleaned up the heads and gave them new valves (1.851 and 1.575) with bowl blend. Before I installed it highlighted the fins to give it a different look and match the new 2-1 exhaust. My bike is black on black, so the highlights really pop. The whole thing came together exceptionally well, and power and torque increase is fantastic!
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