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  #1  
Old 8th August 2012
18Bravo 18Bravo is offline
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Default Which Heads?

I read a thread afew days ago about the benefit of running rubber mount heads (post 2003) on an earlier model.
So my question is twofold:
Which is the better option, getting and installing the later heads, or going with NRHS stage 3 heads?
I know there may be some bias here from two regulars, but I'd still like to hear from them too.
Second question: Which is the better option for the money, in your opinion?
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Old 8th August 2012
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talking about rubber mount 1200 ('04-'06) heads. off the shelf they offer the best flow of any OEM head. from what i am told.

if you are planning on buying heads and having them worked you might talk to hammer about what they are doing shooting for 100hp with heavily worked 883 heads. something about having a thicker casting to work with.

if you decided to go that way, let me know, i might be able to hook you up with some 883 heads.
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  #3  
Old 8th August 2012
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Stage 3 is going to be more than you would need for most applications, but will certainly out perform the 2004+ heads with no port/valve work done to them. Not even sure how viable the stage 3 work would be on the earlier heads, have to wait for Dan to chime in.

The advantage of the 2004+ heads is their port profiles, more can be done with them in regards to head work. I think generally when people pick up a set of 2004 heads to put on a 2003 and earlier bike it's going to be with the intention of getting work done to them (though stock they will certainly out perform a set of stock 2003 heads).
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  #4  
Old 8th August 2012
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Default

Thanks for the replies so far. I am admittedly new to Sportsters, so I know very little other than what I've read on this forum. I do know I plan to go the 1250 route, probably at the same time.
I'm locked into the pipes and intake I'm using, and they're probably not the most efficient, so I'm looking at other ways to increase performance.
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  #5  
Old 8th August 2012
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Default

Bravo, not sure if you're aware of this, but NRHS only just recently started porting heads themselves. Before that, they farmed all their head work out to Norlin Racing and Head Service. Well, Dan Norlin created HAMMER PERFORMANCE specifically to provide a second retail outlet for his legendary head work, and now HAMMER is the only place to get this work.

Read about his head porting process here. It's a CNC based process that's been under continual development and refinement for almost a decade now. Thousands of XL heads have been run through it over the years and it's put more XL's over 100hp that anyone else. Dyno sheets and pictures of this work are all over the XL Forum, the HAMMER site, and even NRHS's site. If you want the work that generated all the dyno sheets on the NRHS site, and is pictured there, it's only available from HAMMER PERFORMANCE. I encourage you to do your homework; I'm confident you'll discover that HAMMER PERFORMANCE has the technology and experience to do the best job possible on your heads, and the proven track record to back it up.

Anyway, to answer your question, assuming your '03 is not a 1200S, you have what we call the "hemi" head, so named because it has a big round hemispherical chamber:



This chamber has no squish band, and therefore it generates very little chamber turbulence. It's just not an efficient design. You can read more about the various HD chamber configurations here.

With respect to the ports, as delivered your heads have a very low floor (which hurts flow) and also a very squared off bowl. For example, take a look at these three pictures, in particular look down into the bowl near the area where the numbers are stamped.


Your heads. See the sharp transition in the bowls, next to the stamped numbers?


A Thunderstorm head. See how they smoothed that area? The roof through the bowl area has a longer radius, making for a nicer turn.


A rubber mount 1200 head is improved even more. Notice how the sharp line is virtually gone.

The floors are also improved between the three generations of heads. Thunderstorm and XB heads also have much bigger valves, 1.810"/1.575" vs. 1.715"/1.480".

Anyway, what I'm trying to point out here is that there have been some pretty significant improvements in the heads since your '03 heads. And although HAMMER Dan can fit the bigger valves and make the ports much better than they are, the late model heads are a far, far better platform to start with and ultimately can make a lot more power. You really have to decide whether it's worth pouring money into the hemi head casting. Even the 883 casting, which is pretty cheap to come by used, makes a better performance platform than the hemi head, as bitpusher pointed out. HAMMER Dan's SMASH porting service on 883 heads has been proven to support nearly 100hp, in fact. Read this thread for some good technical info on SMASH 883 heads. Also read this article describing all the various heads for Evolution XL's.

One big advantage to going with the rubber mount 1200 heads, or even the Thunderstorm or older Lightning heads for that matter, is that you could use our trick new 30 Degree Reverse Dome Pistons in your 1250 kit.



Virtually all really high horsepower XL motors use 30 degree pistons, but historically, a 30 degree dome with decent squish area has required a high compression ratio. These new ultra light forgings give the advantages of a tall 30 degree dome - lots of squish area, improved breathing, and a more efficient burn - but do it with a pump gas friendly compression ratio. These pistons are also based on CP's "X-Forging" ... google it for lots of good reading ... but the bottom line is that it's ultra strong and very light. Lighter pistons reduce vibration - very important in a pre-rubber mount - as well as reduce the wear and tear on the lower end and add power. This is the most advanced 1250 piston you can buy.
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Last edited by aswracing; 8th August 2012 at 15:06..
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  #6  
Old 8th August 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aswracing View Post
... Even the 883 casting, which is pretty cheap to come by used, makes a better performance platform than the hemi head, as bitpusher pointed out.
there, i fixed it for ya
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  #7  
Old 8th August 2012
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OOPS! Sorry, I read the thread and it all blended in my mind . Fixed.
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  #8  
Old 8th August 2012
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Just an FYI,
Aaron is correct in that we used to use Dan Norlln to do our headwork but we now do all of our headwork in house.

The headwork that NRHS is now doing is producing much better results that we have seen in the past.

90 hp on a 1200 using with stage 2 light 1200 heads, stock 9.7:1 pistons and very mild cams is one example. The HD dealership that installed the kit and dynoed the bike was so impressed that I have received 2 more sets of heads from them recently!! Hammers very expensive stage 3 with more expensive headwork, much higher compression, and huge cams on Sportsters is only making around 100 hp. And if you want 100 hp NRHS is the place to get that as well. It doesn't take a "special" piston to do it either.

Just recently we have done 2 twin cams. The first one was a a 97" with stage 2 headwork and S&S 510G cams (these are really mild cams BTW). This is a build I have done a bunch of times with the old headwork and the best I had seen was 92 hp. Well we just got the dyno sheet back after it was tuned at High Country HD and it pulled 97 hp and 110 ft lbs of torque!!

Then I just sent off a 107" kit along with stage 2 headwork and 585 cams and the customer reported back to me that he dynoed at 113 hp and 120 ft lbs of torque.

I will be happy to provide these customers phone numbers so you can ask them yourself about the quality of our headwork. They have told me they would be more than happy to speak with customers who have questions.

Don't believe all the hype that our competitor is spewing all over the forum. Lots of pictures, facts and figures does not make even 1 hp. It's funny how I do not feel the need to compare ourselves to our competitor yet that seems to be all that ASW racing does. Wonder why that is? NRHS is still the best and I will be happy to put our headwork up against anybody at any time! . In fact I will be doing that in just a few weeks at Bonneville.

Amd once I get back from Bonneville stay tuned for some results of what we can do using one of my fuel injected Sportsters.
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Last edited by NRHS Sales; 8th August 2012 at 15:46..
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Old 9th August 2012
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All this piss flying around really dis-appoints me.
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Old 9th August 2012
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All this piss flying around really dis-appoints me.
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