Red Shift® for Sportster® Engines
Ordering Red Shift® Performance Cams for Your XL/XR® Sportster® or Buell® Motorcycle
Red Shift Sportster® and Buell® cams can be ordered two ways. You can provide Zipper’s your original cam gear set (A) from your engine, and we will remove the factory stock lobes (B) and replace them with new, hand-timed Red Shift lobes ground from 8620 steel billet (C). H-D® had gone to great pains to tighten gear lash on pre-2000 engines, using literally hundreds of cam gear sizes to match manufacturing differences during engine mass production. Installing the Red Shift lobes on the factory gear set retains this precise fitment.
If no cores are available or you do not want to wait (in-house production time is usually 2-3 weeks), you can order your cams installed on our new gear cores. Our cam gears feature a keyed drive to prevent gear slippage in severe duty applications and the driven gears are the pre-2000 wide pitch design (D), stronger that the fine pitch used in 2000 and later engines (E).
Performance Notes: Any camshaft above .600” of lift on factory cores will require the press-fit #2 drive gear to be welded (F) to prevent rotation (Zipper’s new gear cores use a keyway on the #2 drive gear (G) to prevent rotation and do not require welding). Red Shift Sportster® cams can be timed and shipped un-welded, giving the performance engine builder final control of desired cam timing. This is required for any aftermarket 4-cam cases and recommended for all-out competition engines, due to manufacturing variations in case and component production. Early XR-style intake and exhaust patterns can be easily adapted. Call or write with your special requests.
The one thing that the following cam grinds have in common is that they usually service engines that will be run hard! For these cams to be able to deliver maximum output reliably, consideration must be given to the entire valve train especially in the area of the lifters and valve springs. The lifters in 5-speed XL® engines use guide pins against a flat area on the lifter body to control lifter rotation within the bore; they are tricky to modify properly for high lift cams and are prone to rotation in the bore. The stock lifters in ’91-’99 engines should be replaced with units that are designed for increased lift and improved cam following such as JIMS® PowerGlide II lifters. A Zipper’s Tappet Pin kit must be used on ’L94-’99 engines. Engines that will see RPM above 6,000 require stiff pushrods and heavier valve springs with titanium collars to reduce valve train weight and maintain valve control. Once control is lost, performance suffers and expensive parts get beat up in a hurry. Before making your purchase, think of the cams as only part of your valve train system. Contact us if you need help selecting the other supporting components.
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