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post #1 of 4 Old 01-03-2005, 05:31 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: jackson tn.
Posts: 85

Is it worth the horsepower gain to degree in stock cams? Open for you fellows suggestion on this. :? :? :?

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post #2 of 4 Old 01-03-2005, 05:41 PM
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Zero if they happen to be where you'd want them already or close enough to make no practical difference.

Possibly a few hp if not, but even then it often is not so much an overall gain, as a redistribution... to a considerable (but not complete) extent, trading off a little bottom and midrange versus the top, so performance gain other than top speed may not be as much as you'd expect from the small hp gain as there's a tradeoff elsewhere.

I haven't done it on the 12, nor ever done it just for the sake of doing it (as opposed to doing so as part of a build.) IMO there's not much likely return on effort for the street even if you're very serious about performance, assuming you have no reason to assume the bike may have something wrong here.
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post #3 of 4 Old 01-05-2005, 03:54 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: jackson tn.
Posts: 85
The (Reason?) I'm asking the question about degreeing my stk. cams is because I'm building a BIGG! bore as I type :) :) :) . So I thought maybe someone on this forum could help me as to which way I should degree my stock cam advance or retard both the intake and the exhaust. I'm looking to whip some Busas butts this year for sure! But keep in mind I'm still want to ride on the street. So I'm looking for help from All that have the secret? Y'all can email it to me at or P.M. Somebody please help a ZX12R ryder out. Thanks in advance Fellows :wink: :wink: :wink:

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post #4 of 4 Old 01-05-2005, 06:44 PM
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Oh, if you're building it anyway, then definitely make a point of it at least to setting to a recommended value, since you're there anyway... the search engine here or on the site should yield a lot of results as to various recommended values as I've seen at least 8 or 10 different threads on this. Or wherever you bought your big bore kit from, ought to be willing to give you their recommended cam settings. No reason really not to just go with that as you're unlikely to find something remarkably better.

BTW, don't know if every aspect of the below has been posted on either site, if you are going to experiment yourself to see what works best (as judged by for example the dyno) you have to have a method that avoids changing more than one thing at a time, as there are so many different combinations if changing two things at a time, or in no definite sequence.

1) Start with exhaust with what you expect is probably the best value. E.g. from researching various past posts on this. Or sticking with stock value is fine.

2) Test with intake at stock value, then advance by 2 degree increments until power falls off a little on top, then go back and find optimum.

Note, if you have a Power Commander or it's a carbed bike you should be doing this on a dyno that's analyzing the gases, so you can remap or rejet as necessary to maintain equal mixture, so changes in power really represent improvements or worsenings of the cams NOT changes in mixture, which can totally fool you.

3) Now get the exhaust right, same principle but typically retarding from stock value. Equally important note what's happening on the bottom end -- trading off some torque (also hp) down low if it's getting you a worthwhile amount more torque (also hp) up top is one thing, but if the retard you just did hurt the bottom worse than you want while giving an amount extra on top that's not worth it, you probably won't be happy with that.

In principle if you had to move the exhaust a lot from where it was when setting the intake -- one to three degrees definitely isn't a lot, five degrees or more it may be fair to call a lot -- you could go back and check to see if changing the intake one degree either way might give further benefit. But on this point, that is just what I've been told, and I don't remember any specific value for when you might want to do that.

Obviously, make sure you won't be making the valve-to-piston clearance get too low as you advance the intake and retard the exhaust. For example using solder at each step, and modeling clay before even starting.

You also may wind up wanting to deviate from the above according to cold cranking pressure considerations either out of starter motor being weak at stock voltage, or octane of fuel being used vs your compression ratio. Personally I am not so confident in the theory of trying to keep the value down, let alone setting the cams according to it, but opinions will vary.

Or, you could just go with recommended values and probably have same hp or not more than a couple different!

Myself, if I get it together financially to where spending the money for components for a build works out, I would do the above for Maxton. Or if I were a drag racer (which I'm not, no skillz) I would do it. For a street build honestly I would not these days, not for any bike where the groundwork has already been done by others, as is the case for the 12!
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