Author Topic: 103" go with 255 cam or?  (Read 21640 times)

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Offline 05FLHTC

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Re: 103" go with 255 cam or?
« Reply #50 on: Saturday, May 21, 2011. 08:23:29 AM. »
Haven't found that to be true at all Max, although people keep saying it. It certainly wasn't true in the 96. Mine made good power all the way up to 5k as advertised. I never felt a falloff that so many claim happens with the 255s. We shall see when I'm done with the 103. I had a good long talk with the performance engine builder at my dealer and they do a lot of performance builds. They only thing they have changed about the 103 stage II builds for touring crowd are they are now using the 254E cams rather than the 255s. I asked if it was worth while to swap to the 254E from the 255, builder said no, they are very similar.

You mean to tell me all yr replies to this question were about yr experience running the 255 in a 96? 
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Offline FX4

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Re: 103" go with 255 cam or?
« Reply #51 on: Saturday, May 21, 2011. 08:55:40 AM. »
Did I say otherwise? I said I researched the heck out of this because I am currently putting together a 103. I don't think I have implied otherwise anywhere. I have been running the 255s in my 96 for about a year and have been very happy. I have discussed this cam with numerous 103 owners and builders including a few that went with supposedly better cams and went back to the 255. They perform extremely well in touring bikes that are touring bikes. I actually haven't found one guy that uses his bagger for a touring machine say they didn't like the 255s in the 103. Some guys that are hotrodders have not cared for the cam but guys that tour like it. Shifting a lot sucks when you are putting in 700-800 mile days. My top priority is touring, and not beating beating the next guy to a stop light.

Offline HOGMIKE

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Re: 103" go with 255 cam or?
« Reply #52 on: Saturday, May 21, 2011. 09:42:44 AM. »
Did I say otherwise? I said I researched the heck out of this because I am currently putting together a 103. I don't think I have implied otherwise anywhere. I have been running the 255s in my 96 for about a year and have been very happy. I have discussed this cam with numerous 103 owners and builders including a few that went with supposedly better cams and went back to the 255. They perform extremely well in touring bikes that are touring bikes. I actually haven't found one guy that uses his bagger for a touring machine say they didn't like the 255s in the 103. Some guys that are hotrodders have not cared for the cam but guys that tour like it. Shifting a lot sucks when you are putting in 700-800 mile days. My top priority is touring, and not beating beating the next guy to a stop light.

I did the same kind of research for my 2010 103. Finally came up with a combo of parts that suit MY riding style.
I narrowed to cams down to the 255's, Wood 555, Andrews 54's.
Settled on the 54's and was never sorry. I have ridden bikes with the other cams, and they all perform well, but, they did not have the specific  combo I have.
It was not about the $$$ that helped my decision. I did all the work myself (except tune) and do NOT regret my choices.
What works for me may not work for others, for example:  loud mufflers do not rock my world. WOT is not where I ride, unless passing a string of cars. :smiled:
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Offline Max Headflow

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Re: 103" go with 255 cam or?
« Reply #53 on: Saturday, May 21, 2011. 10:44:00 AM. »
Quote
Haven't found that to be true at all Max, although people keep saying it.

It real depends on the build results more then anything.. If torque falls off fast enough HP levels off to the point where down shifting don't do krap.. 255 in a 103 (or larger) with stock heads and restrictive exhaust would be a good example. Sounds like your builder knows what he is doing so go with what he says..

It's all a trade of.. Giving up top end power for low end torque.. I like both..

Max
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Offline FX4

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Re: 103" go with 255 cam or?
« Reply #54 on: Saturday, May 21, 2011. 11:06:38 AM. »
Did I say otherwise? I said I researched the heck out of this because I am currently putting together a 103. I don't think I have implied otherwise anywhere. I have been running the 255s in my 96 for about a year and have been very happy. I have discussed this cam with numerous 103 owners and builders including a few that went with supposedly better cams and went back to the 255. They perform extremely well in touring bikes that are touring bikes. I actually haven't found one guy that uses his bagger for a touring machine say they didn't like the 255s in the 103. Some guys that are hotrodders have not cared for the cam but guys that tour like it. Shifting a lot sucks when you are putting in 700-800 mile days. My top priority is touring, and not beating beating the next guy to a stop light.

I did the same kind of research for my 2010 103. Finally came up with a combo of parts that suit MY riding style.
I narrowed to cams down to the 255's, Wood 555, Andrews 54's.
Settled on the 54's and was never sorry. I have ridden bikes with the other cams, and they all perform well, but, they did not have the specific  combo I have.
It was not about the $$$ that helped my decision. I did all the work myself (except tune) and do NOT regret my choices.
What works for me may not work for others, for example:  loud mufflers do not rock my world. WOT is not where I ride, unless passing a string of cars. :smiled:

The 54s would be on my short list if I didn't already own the 255s. I ruled out the 555s because several guys that ride pretty much the same way I do have yanked them and gone back to the 255s. The 555s while they make a bunch more peak power turn on a little too late and cause a lot of shifting when touring. I suppose you could change the transmission output speocket size or the rear wheel sprocket to get you into the proper RPM range but I really didn't want to go to all that hassle. If I'm not happy with the 255s in the 103 build the plan is to go to the SE204s.

Offline Max Headflow

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Re: 103" go with 255 cam or?
« Reply #55 on: Saturday, May 21, 2011. 07:54:53 PM. »
Quote
The 54s would be on my short list if I didn't already own the 255s. I ruled out the 555s because several guys that ride pretty much the same way I do have yanked them and gone back to the 255s.

Funny cuz the 54 and the 555 are pretty much the same cam..

Max


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Offline Hobe

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Re: 103" go with 255 cam or?
« Reply #56 on: Saturday, May 21, 2011. 08:47:43 PM. »
Quote
The 54s would be on my short list if I didn't already own the 255s. I ruled out the 555s because several guys that ride pretty much the same way I do have yanked them and gone back to the 255s.

Funny cuz the 54 and the 555 are pretty much the same cam..

Max

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Offline Max Headflow

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Re: 103" go with 255 cam or?
« Reply #57 on: Saturday, May 21, 2011. 08:51:34 PM. »
Quote
Don't confuse anyone with the facts.

Yeah, I know.. I shouldn't do that..  :embarrassed:  Max
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Offline Bagger

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Re: 103" go with 255 cam or?
« Reply #58 on: Sunday, May 22, 2011. 08:14:45 AM. »
Grind                   I/O   I/C   E/O   E/C I/D   E/D   OL ILC   ELC   LSA      I/L   E/L
Andrews   TW54   16   42   43   15   238   238   31   100   104   102.0   0.555   0.555   0.165   0.158
Wood     TW-555   21   41   43   19   242   242   40   100   102   101.0   0.555   0.555   0.189   0.178
SE         SE-255   06   25   48   07   211   235   13   99.5   110.5   105.0   0.550   0.550      
« Last Edit: Sunday, May 22, 2011. 08:25:43 AM. by Bagger »

Offline FX4

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Re: 103" go with 255 cam or?
« Reply #59 on: Sunday, May 22, 2011. 08:53:34 AM. »
Quote
The 54s would be on my short list if I didn't already own the 255s. I ruled out the 555s because several guys that ride pretty much the same way I do have yanked them and gone back to the 255s.

Funny cuz the 54 and the 555 are pretty much the same cam..

Max

Interesting, I have heard others say it is very similar to the 255, only a bit broader power band. I'm not an expert at cam profiles which is why I researched the heck out of these things. Although I did find a couple of guys that didn't care for that cam either after running it. What I really looked to was riders that actually used the cams and builders that actually worked with various cams. I ruled out anybody that was bench profiling because in the end it's all about how it works in a bike for the given objective and not what it should or shouldn't hypothetically do.

Offline mayor

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Re: 103" go with 255 cam or?
« Reply #60 on: Sunday, May 22, 2011. 10:05:11 AM. »
FX4, here's a dyno chart comparing the 54's to 555's:
http://harleytechtalk.org/htt/index.php/topic,34142.0.html

the truth is, the only similarities between the 255's and Andy 54's is they both have their HP matching their TQ production at 5252.....just so happens that the 54's will likely be higher at that point.    :nix:  I personally would not run SE255's, SE204's, or Andy 48's in a 103"...but that's just me. 
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Offline iclick

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Re: 103" go with 255 cam or?
« Reply #61 on: Sunday, May 22, 2011. 12:02:22 PM. »
Haven't found that to be true at all Max, although people keep saying it. It certainly wasn't true in the 96. Mine made good power all the way up to 5k as advertised. I never felt a falloff that so many claim happens with the 255s. We shall see when I'm done with the 103. I had a good long talk with the performance engine builder at my dealer and they do a lot of performance builds. They only thing they have changed about the 103 stage II builds for touring crowd are they are now using the 254E cams rather than the 255s. I asked if it was worth while to swap to the 254E from the 255, builder said no, they are very similar.

I agree with you.  In my 96" the 255's perform well throughout the RPM range, even up to the 6200-rpm redline.  It's true that they don't produce huge peak-HP numbers, but the torque curve is very flat, providing power almost anywhere you happen to be.  They produce more power anywhere in the chart compared to stock cams, so where is this going wrong?  I don't think it is, and my butt dyno tells me I'm very happy.

I still think that most of the 255 naysayers are folks who've never ridden a bike with these cams installed and are keying only on peak-HP numbers to make determinations on how good a cam is. 

Offline mayor

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Re: 103" go with 255 cam or?
« Reply #62 on: Sunday, May 22, 2011. 12:35:39 PM. »
I still think that most of the 255 naysayers are folks who've never ridden a bike with these cams installed and are keying only on peak-HP numbers to make determinations on how good a cam is.
..you did say yours is in a 96" right?  I'm a naysayer in anything larger, since the benefits of the cam goes to waste because the cubic inches is generally enough to produce the desired low rpm tq (if one doesn't get too crazy with the cam they do end up choosing). 
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Online msocko3

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Re: 103" go with 255 cam or?
« Reply #63 on: Sunday, May 22, 2011. 01:03:33 PM. »
..you did say yours is in a 96" right?  I'm a naysayer in anything larger, since the benefits of the cam goes to waste because the cubic inches is generally enough to produce the desired low rpm tq (if one doesn't get too crazy with the cam they do end up choosing).


 :agree: Run the SE255 in a 2009 & 2010 Triglide which is 103, the 09 was on the Dyno last August and the SE255 started nosing over right around 4,200. Swapped the SE255's out and installed the Wood TW-555 and have a much better result and a much happier rider.


Offline FLTRI

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Re: 103" go with 255 cam or?
« Reply #64 on: Sunday, May 22, 2011. 02:09:21 PM. »
The above is an invalid comparison IMO.

The poor 255's appear to be compared running way lean (15:1afr) as compared to the TW555's (13.2?).

I can say with confidence and experience, comparisons must be made to properly tuned engines.

For example: A 15:1afr 113ci will make less power than a 13:1 95ci.

Comparisons without proper tuning is invalid and cannot be used to evaluate differences between builds/parts.

Also proper timing calibration is necessary to evaluate builds and parts as well.

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Offline Bagger

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Re: 103" go with 255 cam or?
« Reply #65 on: Sunday, May 22, 2011. 02:50:49 PM. »
FX4, here's a dyno chart comparing the 54's to 555's:
http://harleytechtalk.org/htt/index.php/topic,34142.0.html

the truth is, the only similarities between the 255's and Andy 54's is they both have their HP matching their TQ production at 5252.....just so happens that the 54's will likely be higher at that point.    :nix:  I personally would not run SE255's, SE204's, or Andy 48's in a 103"...but that's just me.


Hmm, looking at 103" builds, like the ones posted in this thread, if I didn't know they were 103", I'd say I was looking at a good 95" / 97" build.

Just wanted to slip this in for the guys considering spending upwards of $4500 to upgrade their 95" to 103".  Of course there are 103" builds on the edge just as there are 95" builds on the edge with high corrected compression ratios like 9.5:1 - 9.6:1 to get the numbers up.


« Last Edit: Sunday, May 22, 2011. 02:52:53 PM. by Bagger »

Offline Bagger

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Re: 103" go with 255 cam or?
« Reply #66 on: Sunday, May 22, 2011. 02:59:20 PM. »
I still think that most of the 255 naysayers are folks who've never ridden a bike with these cams installed and are keying only on peak-HP numbers to make determinations on how good a cam is.
..you did say yours is in a 96" right?  I'm a naysayer in anything larger, since the benefits of the cam goes to waste because the cubic inches is generally enough to produce the desired low rpm tq (if one doesn't get too crazy with the cam they do end up choosing).

Well, in the 2007-2011 bikes with the tall gearing (2.79 / 2.95) specifically with the 800-900 lb touring bikes, a good low-mid rpm TQ cam helps compensate for the soft low end.
I imagine Harley was thinking the along the same lines by running a SE 255 cams in stock 110" bikes.

However, to stay within 9.0:1 - 9.2:1 corrected compression in a 103" / TW48 cam 2007-2011 bike, you'd have to have something like 88cc heads, .040 head gasket and/or use dish pistons to avoid using compression releases.
« Last Edit: Sunday, May 22, 2011. 06:26:38 PM. by Bagger »

Offline FX4

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Re: 103" go with 255 cam or?
« Reply #67 on: Sunday, May 22, 2011. 06:09:06 PM. »
FX4, here's a dyno chart comparing the 54's to 555's:
http://harleytechtalk.org/htt/index.php/topic,34142.0.html

the truth is, the only similarities between the 255's and Andy 54's is they both have their HP matching their TQ production at 5252.....just so happens that the 54's will likely be higher at that point.    :nix:  I personally would not run SE255's, SE204's, or Andy 48's in a 103"...but that's just me.


Interesting, that is the first dyno sheet I have seen with the 555 making torque down that low. I wonder why that is? They usually seem to show power more up towards 2800 RPMs. I have looked at a lot of dyno sheets for the 555.

Offline mayor

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Re: 103" go with 255 cam or?
« Reply #68 on: Sunday, May 22, 2011. 06:29:23 PM. »
Interesting, that is the first dyno sheet I have seen with the 555 making torque down that low. I wonder why that is? They usually seem to show power more up towards 2800 RPMs. I have looked at a lot of dyno sheets for the 555.
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Offline mayor

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Re: 103" go with 255 cam or?
« Reply #69 on: Sunday, May 22, 2011. 06:36:55 PM. »
I still think that most of the 255 naysayers are folks who've never ridden a bike with these cams installed and are keying only on peak-HP numbers to make determinations on how good a cam is.
..you did say yours is in a 96" right?  I'm a naysayer in anything larger, since the benefits of the cam goes to waste because the cubic inches is generally enough to produce the desired low rpm tq (if one doesn't get too crazy with the cam they do end up choosing).
.......However, to stay within 9.0:1 - 9.2:1 corrected compression in a 103" / TW48 cam 2007-2011 bike, you'd have to have something like 88cc heads, .040 head gasket and/or use dish pistons to avoid using compression releases. [/size]
you actually hit on one of the reasons I wouldn't run one of those early close cams in a 103".  I think 54's advanced 4 degrees (38 degree intake close), or maybe even Red's new DkRpr3100 (36 degree intake close) would be better options for 103" bagger builds. 
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Offline iclick

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Re: 103" go with 255 cam or?
« Reply #70 on: Sunday, May 22, 2011. 07:39:55 PM. »
..you did say yours is in a 96" right?  I'm a naysayer in anything larger, since the benefits of the cam goes to waste because the cubic inches is generally enough to produce the desired low rpm tq (if one doesn't get too crazy with the cam they do end up choosing).

Yes, mine's a 96".  You make a good point, but the 103/255 charts I've seen show a similar result to a 96/255 only the curve moves higher, remaining very flat and smooth.  I think if you like the 96/255 combo you would have to like the 103/255 for the same reasons, just more of it.

Offline FX4

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Re: 103" go with 255 cam or?
« Reply #71 on: Sunday, May 22, 2011. 07:44:47 PM. »
..you did say yours is in a 96" right?  I'm a naysayer in anything larger, since the benefits of the cam goes to waste because the cubic inches is generally enough to produce the desired low rpm tq (if one doesn't get too crazy with the cam they do end up choosing).

Yes, mine's a 96".  You make a good point, but the 103/255 charts I've seen show a similar result to a 96/255 only the curve moves higher, remaining very flat and smooth.  I think if you like the 96/255 combo you would have to like the 103/255 for the same reasons, just more of it.

I hope you are correct iclick, this is exactly my objective.
« Last Edit: Sunday, May 22, 2011. 07:47:52 PM. by FX4 »

Offline Nexus9

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Re: 103" go with 255 cam or?
« Reply #72 on: Sunday, May 22, 2011. 10:06:54 PM. »
I may be able to contribute something of value, here.  I think we started this thread as another one of those "Which cam should I buy for my [fill in the blank]?" topics, and in this case it was a 103.  In the last six months I have been building a pretty simple Screamin Eagle Stage II 103 kit with the air filter backing plate and 255 cams on a 2008 Ultra motor; but I also installed a couple of other sets of cams as well as having ridden the bike in the all stock 96" configuration.  I've never cared much for Dyno charts - never made much sense to me in that we spend so little time at WOT, and a configuration that's good at 100 kPa isn't neccesarily going to be enjoyable at 1/4 to 1/2 throttle.   So here's my seat of the pants (objective, subjective) analysis of the different configurations.  All were tuned to at least 90% of their potential, according to my (subjective) opinion.

Stock 96:  Here's the epitome of the phrase "Honda Davidson"  Soft, smooth, and quiet; and just about as boring as you can get.  It's easy to start and good on gas, but goes from a soft bottom end to a midrange rush that lasts about 2,000 rpm and has you short shifting at 4600 and wondering who dropped anchor.  Good for people who just want to know they're on a Harley.

103 kit with SE 255s.  Holy chit.  The first time I started this bike with the OEM 103 kit and 255s, it was crank, crank BOOM!  The whole bike stood there shaking like it had just snorted cocaine.  Somewhat louder, but not terribly so.  Once it warmed up, I went for a ride, and the motor just felt SOLID.  I could pull away from a stoplight without hardly cracking the throttle and the motor would back down to 800 rpm and just thud - thud - thud away from the intersection.  The bike felt "natural" at 2,000 - 2500 rpm and driving up a hill at 2k was no problem.  You think you've got all this power until you pass a car, and then it's the same "whoa, what happened?" at 4,500 as the stock setup.  You almost slide forward in the seat until you learn to anticipate the dropoff and shift before 4800.  These cams created a LOT of compression in this 10:1 setup, and you're going to want to have an accurate tune that starts instantly or else install some compression releases (add that in to the budget cost of the SE Stage II kit).  These are a great low end cam, but understand that it really feels like you are riding a bike with a 4500 rpm redline. 

103 kit with R&R 525s:  These cams have the same intake/exhaust opening and closing as the popular Andrews 37, but with .525 lift instead of .510.  True to research, they had the broadest powerband that reached from the 2,000 rpm low end of the SE255, but revved out more like the 54h - but didn't do either as well.  The bike started easier, and was significantly louder.  Much more of a snarl when you shut down the throttle between shifts.  I still felt natural riding the bike at 2,000 - 2500, but didn't really have the 800 rpm confidence taking off like I did with the 255.  Passing cars was easier, and the dropoff was not as pronounced, but somehow, I still felt vulnerable.  There just wasn't a lot up top for a 1700 cc motor.  This is a really fun cam - but just not as dramatic as the low end cams or top end cams.  It's just one of those cams where you don't go "Wow!" anywhere.  If you're looking for something that's easy to ride all day, easy to start, big broad powerband, no drama, without the compression issues of the 255, and a whole lot better than stock, this cam is a great choice.  I would imagine that the Andrews 37 would be about the same. 

103 kit with Andrews 54h and .030 Cometics:  The .030 head gaskets bring the compression up to just about where the 525s were with the stock Harley .045, but create a better squish for more turbulence and a better burn.  I also read up on Singh groooves and cut some into the heads before reassembly.  The result?  Completely different world.  The bike feels light, and airy - once you get it past 2500 rpm.  You very quickly learn to turn the throttle (more) before you let out the clutch - especially with a passenger on the back - if you don't want to stall like an idiot at the light.  The exhaust note is softer than the 525s, and you don't get that "snot! snot!" sound when you blip the throttle. (sorry, that's just what it sounds like to me  :teeth:)  It feels okay to ride at 2,000 in first, second, third, maybe; but by the time you shift into 4th, 2,000 rpm is starting to feel bunchy, weak.  You feel like you couldn't just turn the throttle and pull out of a bad situation.  4th, 5th and 6th need 2500 rpm.  I find myself between 2500 and 3,000 a LOT, and it just feels strong there.  If you're at 2800 and you come up behind a car, you just twist a quarter turn and that car's behind you in about two seconds.  The weird thing is that the motor feels completely comfortable at 3,000 and 4,000; and if you're passing a string of cars, the bike feels like it just keeps pulling right up to redline.  To me, the 54h felt like the powerband was spread among the rpms the way it should be naturally, and I'm quite certain that it would out drag the 255 and 525 with ease, meaning that I would guess it makes more power over a broader range of rpm - those rpm just aren't as low.  The one thing I would do in conjunction with these cams would be to install a 70 tooth rear (working on that project now) or 30 tooth front final drive pulley - the gearing is just too tall on an '08 when the power is shifted up like this.

I hope this helps a few people trying to decide about cams - no paperwork or dyno charts, but I know it would've been a whole lot more helpful to me if I could've ridden these three different bikes back to back before I chose my cam.    Jon
« Last Edit: Monday, May 30, 2011. 06:19:25 PM. by Nexus9 »

Offline Max Headflow

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Re: 103" go with 255 cam or?
« Reply #73 on: Monday, May 23, 2011. 06:16:35 AM. »
So did they all have the same exhaust system on them?   Were they tuned on a dyno?  Both make a big difference in your test results..

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Offline Nexus9

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Re: 103" go with 255 cam or?
« Reply #74 on: Monday, May 23, 2011. 08:00:56 AM. »
Same exhaust - stock head pipes, Supertrapp SE slip ons.  The first two were tuned with a PCIII and and Innovate LM2 Wideband O2 controller (Power Commander actually has a map for the 255 combination for that year, the 525 was a lot more work) and the 54hs with a TTS MasterTune.  Like I said, this is just a seat of the pants subjective observation of the general personality of the cams in the same bike with all other components being the same (other than the head gaskets and Singh grooves in the 54h setup) - not a technical comparison of horsepower or torque curves.  For some folks who don't ride dynos, I thought it might be helpful to throw this into the mix along with the WOT curves that everybody is so crazy about.