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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 25th March 2009
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NC_REDNECK_1981 NC_REDNECK_1981 is offline
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Default i need a little advice with my engine build

i have a 1988 1200 and its time to do a top end change its got about 50,000 miles on it. the rocker box gaskets are leaking and im starting to get a little silver tint in my oil. i want to do a 1250 conversion and i was wondering if i can use my stock jugs and bore them to fit the 1250 pistons. a good friend of mine has a set of 883 heads off of his 98 sportster and i might buy those and have them worked. i need some advice on what i should do with my motor. any advice would be greatly appreciated
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  #2  
Old 25th March 2009
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You cannot bore stock cyls to a 1250. They can be bored for a 1212 max.

883 heads worked, will cost more and gain less than buying 1200 heads off Ebay. How about porting your heads?

My suggestion to you is to buy a set of Thunderstorm heads and pistons. Use your stock cyls and get around 80 HP and 80 TQ with good cams and exhaust.

Or you can buy the XB heads and use them with your cyls. Will need a different intake flange though.

Many options available to you. How much $$$ and how much HP do you want?
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  #3  
Old 25th March 2009
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actually the most you can go on a stock 1200 jug is .040 over which is a 1228

but Needless to say the 1250 kit uses a special set of jugs made by axtell for NRHS that allow it to be bored to to 1250 cc. Cost starts at $700.00 and includes everything needed to get er done.

While the 883 heads can be worked, seeing that you already have 1200 heads, you're best money would be to have them worked to match the pistons, you can get a higher compression vs going with an 883 head.

The Thunderstorm setup is great for people looking to go a little over stock, or if you can afford it, going with Buell XB heads or 2004+ Heads are a better choice.
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  #4  
Old 25th March 2009
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I think I'd go with the 1250 kit and get your 1200 heads worked...... maybe a set of N5 cams and put some good pipes on it..... and you'll be loving it for the next 50,000 miles

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  #5  
Old 25th March 2009
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im working on a budget of about 1000 dollars and want the most i can get. i read in another thread that stock 1200 heads arent really great for making power. i was thinking about a 1250 with either v4 or v6 cams. also what is the difference between v cams and n cams from andrews? i know they are for different years but why wont they interchange
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  #6  
Old 25th March 2009
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You can buy a SE 1200 conversion kit for about 1K and get new cylinders, pistons, rings AND a set of 1200R heads.

Now, you will have a updated 1200 with the 1200R heads. This is the best bang for your buck as the early 1200 heads are garbage performance wise. (See NRHS section on heads) Also, it will provide a great foundation for future mods.

CAUTION: Check your lower end. If, you are seeing silver in the oil. Sounds like a bearing is going bad. You may have to rebuild that as well.

Good luck my friend.

Last edited by jessearias; 25th March 2009 at 19:17.. Reason: more data
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Jesse is right, you need to make sure the bottom is good before you rebuild the top end. 50k mi and silver tinted oil does sound like a bottom end inspection is important.

You may want to put your $$ towards that before building her up.

Since you already have a 1200, the 1250 kit is a waste IMO. If you had a 883 and were going big bore, it would be worth it. But $700 to gain 50 cc and 2-3 HP.... not worth the $$

Have your heads ported stage 1 OR (after re-reading Iwantmybeerbackplease 883 build) buy your buddy's 883 heads and have the competition valve job done.

Get a set of the V4 cams (Andrews V are for 4 spd with N being for 5 spd. They are different)

Get rid of the drag pipes. Take the left over $$ and buy a good exhaust. I recommend Bassani Pro streets if you like the drag pipe look and sound. They make good power without going to a 2-1. Also can be had for a good price on Ebay. Seen them NEW for $300 before.

This should run close to $1000 and give you significant gains over what you have now. And a really strong early torque curve.
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  #8  
Old 25th March 2009
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Quote:
You can buy a SE 1200 conversion kit for about 1K and get new cylinders, pistons, rings AND a set of 1200R heads.
+1 and plan on bottom end work. You would have a fresh engine. $1000 budget for a 21 year old scoot may not be enough. Good luck.
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Old 25th March 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NC_REDNECK_1981 View Post
im working on a budget of about 1000 dollars and want the most i can get. i read in another thread that stock 1200 heads arent really great for making power. i was thinking about a 1250 with either v4 or v6 cams. also what is the difference between v cams and n cams from andrews? i know they are for different years but why wont they interchange
They won't interchange because of the differences in the pinion gear and the style of the cam's themselves. Different teeth configurations and such.

If you're considering the budget. Get larger pistons, a re-bore and have some head work done, along with a set of cams, should Perk up that engine and keep you on track.

I also agree that you may want to take a CLOSE look at the bottom end..
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  #10  
Old 25th March 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jessearias View Post
You can buy a SE 1200 conversion kit for about 1K and get new cylinders, pistons, rings AND a set of 1200R heads.

Now, you will have a real 1200. With mote power to boot.

CAUTION: Check your lower end. If, you are seeing silver in the oil. Sounds like a bearing is going bad. You may have to rebuild that as well.

Good luck my friend.
+1 what jesse said.

You can buy the complete kit for $1000.00 like he said from a couple of online dealers. It's all late model stuff which will produce more than enough power than the conversion you orginally talked about.
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