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Old 12-09-2010, 07:26 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Mike Steggmann on SE Cams 204, 254, 255

I thought I would share some of my conversation with Mike Steggmann on SE Cams. I contacted him regarding my 103 build asking him about the SE204, 254, & 255's. I thought it would be interesting information for those of you considering a 103 upgrade. Here are his responses.

Mike,

I wanted your opinion on this kit. I am considering putting this kit in my 2010 Road Glide. I am looking for low end torque in this build. Many have told me that you have a lot of experience with this kit. My questions.

1. I know the kit comes with the SE255 Cam. I was wondering what your opinion of this cam was vs SE204 in this kit. Which do you recommend with or without a street port on the heads?
2. Would there be a significant benefit to low torque with a street port on the heads with this kit? Would it be noticeable enough to warrant spending $500 for the porting with compression releases installed?

I am trying to keep the cost down but would be willing to spend the additional $500 if there would be a noticeable benefit to a street port on the heads with this setup. I have been on the Vtwinforum researching this build for some time now and many have said you would be a good person to answer these questions.

His Response:

Yes, we have a great deal of experience with the “255 kits”.

1. We define “low end torque” to be the rpm range from 2000-4000. When combined with the kit’s increased displacement to 103ci, nothing has approached the tq of the 255’s in this area. The 204’s may carry the tq/hp a little farther out but will be significantly lower from 2-3K. Of course, this is also very much exhaust dependent. With the 255’s, you’ll want an exhaust system that also compliments low end tq.

2. While you will see a marginal increase in low end tq with porting, the most significant gains are typically from 3500 rpms and up. Since the 255’s tend to focus on the 2-4K range and the bike is operated in this range predominantly, the benefits of porting are not fully realized and go somewhat contrary to the cam choice. The 255’s (and complimentary components) will not, however, carry great dyno numbers above 4000rpm, but this is not typically a concern and by definition, not the reason for making the 255 choice. If the desire was for more mid to high end power (3500+ rpm), then porting would compliment the cam, compression and exhaust choices that would also go with that. An entirely different combination that is contrary to, and not focusing on, your original intent. We have seen combo’s that make more peak tq and up to 30 more hp that actually have LOWER tq from 2-4k vs the 255 combo’s.

Regards,

My Question:

Mike, thanks for your response. How would the 204’s work with Rinehart 2-1 exhaust for low end torque? Also read about heat & starting issues with the 255’s. Although in new Hampshire it doesn’t get very warm so this may not be an issue but I also don’t want to go thru one starter after another. So compression releases recommended or not needed for the 255’s.

Have you had any experience with the SE254’s? Seems no one knows much about em. Saw one dyno that looked like these provided low end torque but carried it out a bit further than the 255’s. Any heat or starting issues you have seen with these?

His Response:

If we continue to define “low end torque” as 2000-4000 rpm’s, then the 204/Rinehart combo may give a significant tq dip at 2500. The new baffle design has helped this, but not entirely, while limiting upper rpm hp.

The heat concern with the 255’s is a tuning issue and easily resolved. We have not had complaints in this regard. Starting is not a problem when used with either MCR’s or ACR’s (recommended). These cams used in CVO 110’s and they start very well (with ACR’s). The SE catalog states that the 255’s can be used with up to 10:1 compression. We recommend keeping compression at 9.7 or less for all the above reasons, not to mention detonation. Using the kit flat top pistons in a 103 will get close to this number.

We, too, have no experience with the 254’s. I believe we have one in the works. They simply are so new, few have had the chance to install and test them. They look good on paper and we’ve been kind of looking for a high compression version of the 255’s, which is how I tend to view the 254’s. As advertised, they should carry the HP farther out due to the increased timing and duration. The low overlap will help tuning EFI bikes but may also limit high rpm power. The 254’s will work best with 10.0-10.5 compression, but may run soft at low rpms with lower compression ratios. Note that the SE advertising recommends them for “lighter” bikes, which would indicate them to be soft at low rpms. Again, the exhaust will play a huge part and must compliment the cam choice. An incorrect exhaust can exhibit a tq dip even with the 255’s or kill hp with 254/204’s or more aggressive cams. This is especially important when comparing dyno charts.
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Old 12-09-2010, 08:09 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I have seen comparisons of the 254 and 255 and there was a very small hit down low and a very small hp gain on top with a stock 103 kit. Not even worth the change IMO.
The 204 with a little later intake close is still a torquer, the pipe however RH 2>1 has a pretty good dip in the middle right where most cruise at. That will take a bite out of either cam choice build. The 204 will at 9.2/1 corrected for cam compression will work very well and still offer some octane tolerance. The SE255 will be pinging in the hotter climates loaded on trips. If by chance there was no premium... Bad news.
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Old 12-09-2010, 08:11 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Good read.. thanks.
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Old 12-09-2010, 12:25 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Check out the results in my sig line for an example of Latus' stage II 103 tuning with SE 255 cams. They produced very good results for my 2010. Since torque in the ranges Mike indicated above was my goal I did not do head work as it didn't seem to cost out (dollar invested for horsepower / torque) realized compared to the stage II kit installation on a stock 96 inch platform. Bang for the buck invested the stage II was a significant increase and works very well.

Here is a link to the thread where the dyno sheet for this build is posted: http://www.v-twinforum.com/forums/dy...-12s-dyno.html
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Last edited by Inspector 12; 12-09-2010 at 12:28 PM.
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Old 12-09-2010, 01:26 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I run Stage 2 103/255 without ACR,S in the south not good. Tech said wasnt needed WRONG. Love this combo for the way i ride.
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Old 12-09-2010, 04:02 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I am definitely having compression releases installed with the 255's. Even being in New Hampshire. Dont want to have any issues. you can have Manual compression releases installed pretty cheap. Piece of mind. I am going with the 255's for that same reason, power right where I ride, and Mike said they have not seen many cams that pull the way these do down low......
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Old 12-09-2010, 05:40 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Compression releases are on my to-do list even though I have put 7500 mi on it without them. Have had some tough starts but no failed parts. Thanks for sharing this information. The C/R issue is my only regret using this combo.
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Old 12-09-2010, 06:07 PM   #8 (permalink)
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There is a saying that goes, the cam you want and the cam you need are two different things, the 255 would fall into the "need" column alot if people were really honest about how they actually ride their bikes.
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Old 12-09-2010, 07:10 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Compression releases are definitely a good idea on a Stage II 103 with SE 255 cams. I went with manual compression releases because I like the idea of being able to change / service them easily if needed.

Automatic compression releases are under the rocker boxes and much more challenging to change out / service. They say they have had very few problems with the latest model of ACR, so I am keeping my fingers crossed as the SE 120R comes with ACR. Of course when the heads do come off, if I have any problems with ACR they get tossed and manuals installed.....
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Old 12-10-2010, 01:13 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BVBOB View Post
There is a saying that goes, the cam you want and the cam you need are two different things, the 255 would fall into the "need" column alot if people were really honest about how they actually ride their bikes.


How funny, and right you are..
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Old 12-10-2010, 01:32 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BVBOB View Post
There is a saying that goes, the cam you want and the cam you need are two different things, the 255 would fall into the "need" column alot if people were really honest about how they actually ride their bikes.
or pick the cam you THINK you want and order 1 smaller!
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Old 12-10-2010, 02:58 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TXCHOP View Post
or pick the cam you THINK you want and order 1 smaller!
thats exactly the reason why I chose to go with the 255...was bouncing between the 204 and the 255....but i knew for where I ride the 255 would be the most effective....I am not a burnout, wheelie guy....just want to feel that pull up to 4000 RPMs or 4500. thats it. Anything above that just doesnt fit into the way I ride. Unless I am riding with my buds.....but those times are few and far between....as Mike Steggmann said...the 255's are one the best low tq cams out there....if thats where you ride....
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Old 12-10-2010, 06:47 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Thanks guys I am [not because of this post] in the process changeing out the ss cam for a 255 so extend warrenty will cover. will post if improvement. have head work and comp rel's are a must
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Old 12-10-2010, 10:55 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I bounced back and forth between the 255 and 204 cams for my bike last year. I even had a set of 255s in my toolbox, but after running the compression estimates, decided against them. Talked with a couple of builders, including the guys at Latus, and went with the 204s, along with SE rockers. Different strokes, for me the 204s were a better fit. And they are very torquey, a lot like the 255s around town. If you're the kind of guy who just wants to lay on the throttle without downshifting, get the 255s and a good tune. However, if you don't mind shifting from time to time, there are faster cams available.
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Old 12-11-2010, 08:21 PM   #15 (permalink)
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So what pipe are you going to use?
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