My head work and other upgrades... long post... - Kawasaki
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post #1 of 89 Old 01-04-2010, 09:49 AM Thread Starter
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My head work and other upgrades... long post...

Hey everyone, well I thought I would share my head porting/head swap….. Anyways for some of you that have not seen my posts about this type of head porting it is a “high velocity” head. You close the intake runners down with epoxy and raise the floor of the port. What you are doing is creating more velocity for the air and fuel to travel threw and charge the cylinder more efficiently.

Lets start off with the head. First off I’m running a 2006-2007 head which has a 1mm smaller intake valve which aids in the velocity as well. I cleaned the head in and out and started to get to work.

I cleaned up the exhaust side by removing most of the castings and smoothened things out.

On the intake side I started by roughing up the entire intake track. This will help the epoxy have more “footing” and grip the port better.

I then applied “Marine-tex” to the ports, this is a very heavy duty 2 part epoxy that has been used countless times with epoxy porting.

I let this sit over night with a halogen lamp facing towards it which helped it cure over night… It for sure was some hard stuff!

Roughly about 6 hours later I had finished working all of the ports. I wound up going back and re-shaping 2 of the ports because there was a slight dip mid way down the runners that I must have created but I’m very happy with the way it turned out. Patience is very key to working with this. You can take off to much at a single time and getting the port shape was really not all that bad. Using telescopic gauges and checking the choke points I was able to shrink the port down to 65% of the intake valve diameter.

OFF TO THE MACHINE SHOP!!! The local machine shop charges $45 bucks to re-surface the head. I had them take .015” off the head. That and along with the Kawi thin gasket which is .008” I have lowered the head .023” total which should put me in the 14.2:1 compression range.

Now it’s time for assembly. I wanted to beef up the valve train a little so I got a set of Carpenter’s valve springs and titanium retainers. This kit runs I believe around 350 dollars and you can get it from them direct or threw schnitz.

OK now that the head was done I had to wait a lil bit to get to work… I finally got the chance to swap everything over one night, started at about 6pm and ended at about 3am with everything all together just needed oil, filter and coolant so that had to be picked up the next day (woke up at 9am = me not happy) OK so started with the basicis of removal of fairings and body work which seriously took me 8 min’s to go from fully together to having the upper, lower, tail and tank all off the bike… so easy

Now removal of airbox, throttle bodies, any other small things in the way and the motor mounts… now on the mounts part… the side mounts must come off but the upper ones just to maybe make it a lil easier. Remove the back two bolts which have 12mm heads and the front mount you can just loosen and rotate it towards the front that bolt has a 14mm head on it. Also you can see in the pics, I notched my brackets and now whenever you have to change plugs you can actually get the coils out without having to remove any fairings just have to pop the tank and the air box off and you can change plugs!!! Its that easy! You just have to cut a bit away at them and if you don’t mind it and don’t think its going to take away from anything to much go for it! Speaking of plugs I’m running CR9EK’s which are dual electrode plugs… supposed to be a tiny tiny better for compression. I’ll be getting a set of BRISK plugs when I can.

Drain the oil and coolant and remove radiator and exhaust.

The bracket I was talking about modifying

Time to crack the valve cover!!! Pretty basic your just going to remove the valve cover. Put the motor at TDCC, remove the tensioner and remove cams….

Time to remove the head!!!!! OK heres my tips… first off you can remove the crank pick up unit meaning rotor and the pick up. Also remove the obvious front cam chain guide bolts and remove completely the rear chain guide by removing the pin. Now you can snake the cam chain completely off of the bike by pulling the lower cam gear away from the motor and slide the chain off…. This will make things easier to pull the head off. WHEN PULLING THE HEAD OFF… after you break it free the only thing left in the head should be the front cam chain guide… as your pulling the head off tilt it forward and the front guide will follow with you. I have done head swaps before by leaving that front guide in and rotating the head but this seemed 10X easier to me.

Using a mallet you got to really persuade the head to come off sometimes. That gasket just likes to stick a lot!

Install is reversed of disassembly… obviously you have a service manual so I don’t have to tell you guys what you really have to do. The service manual probably tells you how to do this better than I lol.

Time to degree the cams….

I was going to do a write up on how to degree the cams but it was getting a bit late and I just wanted to finish her up. At about 11pm my dial indicator bracket broke while I was tightening it up causing the dial indicator to fall and bend the shaft…. SO…. I spent an hour fixing this damn thing, feel bad for anyone who works on watches for how small parts are inside these things!!! Anyways with it all fixed I finished degreeing my cams, setting the manual cam tensioner and getting everything perfect.

A while after finishing that up, I Was going to leave everything off like the air box and all just in case something wasn’t right when I started up but took the chance and tightened everything up, TB’s air box, tank, exhaust, radiator and so on… I had to grab a new oil filter, oil and coolant in the AM as well as drop off a ATV at the stealership.

So woke up at 9am (got to bed at 3:30am) picked up the filter at the dealer and headed to walmart to pick up synthetic Rotella and cooant. I had to head to work so couldn’t fire her up but snuck back to the house during lunch, filled her with oil and coolant and popped her off. She fired off on the first crank perfectly!!! As many motors I have been inside of I still always feel my stomach drop as it fires away and I’m always covering the kill switch just incase hahaha… Ran it threw one heat cycle and let the temps get up to almost 200 and cut her off… She running great!

Last edited by garth285; 01-23-2010 at 01:20 PM.
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post #2 of 89 Old 01-04-2010, 09:49 AM Thread Starter
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So as for the test ride I had to wait another day because I was still waiting on my chain to come in. My stock rear caliper wound up seizing on me one night destroying the chain and rotor. I bought a DID ERV3 120 gold linked chain off ebay for $129 bucks shipped to my door. As for the rear brake set up, I’ve been drooling over a underslung brake set up, I even tried to modify a stock bracket to work but not to much luck… I also wanted to upgrade the master cylinder. I had a zx14 caliper laying around and I thought to myself this sucker is massive compared to the tiny little zx10r caliper must need a bit more fluid flowing threw the lines to pump this massive caliper. So for a little under $20 dollars on ebay and asking a local buddy of mine to take some measurements I found a ZX-14 rear master cylinder to mount up to the bike. A perfect fit!!! I’d really like to see someone use this master cyl on a stock application and see if any difference…. Anyways I bought a used ducati 999 Brembo rear caliper for $50 shipped and I bought a new bracket ($100 shipped) that is supposed to only work for ZX-10r’s that have aftermarket wheels like my Marchesini’s I also really wanted to completely clean up the rear end so for a temporary solution to my orange HEL brake lines a wrap with electrical tape turned them black lol.

Pic of the chain

OK well I received the under-slung caliper bracket today and the first thing I notice is the bolts they supply looks like the head will break right off, luckily I had 2 Titanium bolts laying around that will work perfect. Also the powder coating they use on this bracket is good but they coated the inside hole where the axle goes…. That needs to be cleaned up and made sure the axle will slide right threw…. And another thing I noticed is that the spacing for the caliper mounting points are actually in a lil bit to much but can be easily cured with a washer between the caliper and the bracket. Without the washers the outside pad does not have enough room to let the caliper move around and will slightly drag against the rotor.

Here are the brackets side by side

Here is the inside bore cleaned up and trial fitted with axle

Heres the brake set up complete

I just need to get a new SS brake line for it, I had a brake line laying around that fitted up to her and will work for now but I need to get a line only a few inched longer.

Another Ebay find I decided to try out was mirror block off plates, they were $14.50 shipped and made in Hungry I think. I was just using a set of screws to hold it on but they were slowly getting deeper into the fiberglass so I wanted something a lil better to hold the upper on. Simple, inexpensive and look good.

So now that she’s all done, I just have to bring her to the dyno! I base lined at 144.73hp and 73.79 ft. lbs. Torque. Now you can see in this chart the bike goes rich up top. This is because I tune my bike on the street and I’ve seen a .4-.5 difference on the dyno and on the street so I was not worried about it being rich like this. I’m going to street tune the bike and then bring it to the dyno when shes dialed in.

And here is the finished product along with the list of mods done to it. ENJOY!!!

Body and Chassis

• Zero Gravity Double Bubble Windscreen
• Vortex gas cap and base
• Pazzo shorty black levers
• Rear tail light with integrated turn signals
• Removed under tail, misc plastic pieces, unnecessary brackets
• Lightened stock rearsets
• Mirror Block off’s when not using mirrors
• Single Beam Headlight with slim HID kit
• Rear solo cowl with light weight cushion
• 06' ZX10r Race fiberglass upper
• Carbon fiber belly pan
• Carbon fiber mirror covers
• Carbon fiber front fender
• Carbon fiber tank sides
• Carbon fiber heel guards
• Carbon fiber rear fender
• Carbon fiber chain guard
• Vortex Lowering Links 0, 1.5, 2.5"
• Fully Adjustable aluminum kickstand
• PMR Stealth Kill switch
• Removed seat cushion for race seat, also have a stocker
• Vortex clipon bases with carbon fiber bars and titanium hardware
• Kawasaki KIT 60* Throttle
• GPR Steering stabilizer
• Ohlins 06-07 R&T forks
• Ohlins 46 prxls shock
• Titanium Rear-set bolts
• Titanium Upper triple tree bolts


• Yoshimura Stainless steel headers with Carbon fiber TRC can
• BMC race Air filter
• All short stock velocity stacks
• Removed secondary throttle plates and shafts
• 06-07 12 hole 330cc fuel injectors
• Valve cover block off’s and re-routed crank case breather
• 06' ZX10 Radiator – removed radiator fan assembly in winter
• Woodcraft Engine covers L & R
• Barnett 100 lbs clutch springs (3 of them)
• Carpenter springs and titanium retainers
• My own personal high velocity head porting decked .015" and thin head gasket


• Dynojet Power Commander USBIII
• Dynojet Quick Shifter
• Daytona Sensors WEGO3 heads up display AFR and datalogger
• Speedohealer V4
• Hacked ECU with 13,500rpm rev limiter by "Guhl Motors"

Wheels and brakes

• MARCHESINI 10 spoke MAGNESIUM wheels
• Pilot power 180/55 and 120/70 tires
• Braking full floating front rotors
• Braking rear wave rotor
• Titanium Brake Rotor bolts front and rear
• Titanium Caliper bolts for rear
• ERV3 520 chain with different gearing 16,17,18,36, 37, 38,40, 41 sprockets (currently 16,40)
• ZX-14r silver front NISSIN calipers
• ZX-14r Master Cylinder Front & Rear
• Brembo rear caliper (off Ducati 999)
• Underslung rear caliper bracket
• EBC HH pads F&R
• HEL SS Brake Lines
• Rear brake fluid reservoir removed and installed short tube

Gotta say thanks to Mary at and Don from for flashing the ECU to 13,500 rpms. A VERY BIG thank you to motorman for his head write up. To learn more about epoxy’ed heads go here Thanks to all the supporters as well!

P.S. If anyone is interested in a ported head by me, I have 3 heads on a bench right now that I have available for porting so PM me if interested I’ll for sure beat anyone’s price!!!

Last edited by garth285; 01-23-2010 at 01:22 PM.
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post #3 of 89 Old 01-04-2010, 10:34 AM
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Nice job, can't wait to get my wounded junk back on the street. I wan't one of those heads also...
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post #4 of 89 Old 01-04-2010, 11:06 AM
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Nice work dude!

Wish i had engine skills like that... Rep on your way :)
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post #5 of 89 Old 01-04-2010, 11:51 AM
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hell man there's quite a bit of work in just the documentation alone.
thanks for posting
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post #6 of 89 Old 01-04-2010, 12:39 PM
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looking good

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Do what makes u happy whatever it is.....Roberson Racing
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post #7 of 89 Old 01-04-2010, 12:53 PM
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Sounds like you have done this once or twice......
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post #8 of 89 Old 01-04-2010, 12:54 PM Thread Starter
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once or twice a month ;-)

hahah not so much anymore really but I used to be inside a 10r almost more frequently than my g/f hahahaha
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post #9 of 89 Old 01-04-2010, 03:45 PM
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Nice write up! Well done.

Would have loved to seen another "how to" on degreeing cams. I've been throwing around the idea of doing my own this winter.

Can't wait to see the #'s.

A little off topic. Did you use the Marine-tex Epoxy to fill the holes from the secondary flies shaft, or something else? I would have already pulled mine out, but I'm a little weary about what to use.
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post #10 of 89 Old 01-04-2010, 03:51 PM
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I think you are a little lean in most of the rev range and pretty OK up top. Just IMO. I seem to make more power on a street bike richer (usually much richer) than 13.5:1. But you know your bike better than I.

Is that a wideband reading from the collector?

Nice work and thanks for sharing!
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