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Old 03-10-2005, 07:28 PM   #1
creeper OP
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KTM Factory “Blueprinting”

I received the bulk of my KTM LC4 inventory on Monday from Penco in Montana, including a new ’03 to ’05 “high flow” cylinder head.
I was completely surprised to see that KTM is hand finishing these heads. They have taken the time to match and blend seats and ports, as well as deburr the combustion chamber.
Photos are of the head as it came out of the box… all I’ve done is to begin measuring things.



It is a very rough finish… not at all “pretty”, but certainly effective. Suzuki is the only other major player I am aware of that does this is, specifically on the GSXR 750 sport bike series.
It would have been nice to see what the head looked like before someone at KTM attacked it with a porting bit… but it serves as an example of a company aware of the potential for improvement and willing to put in the extra time and effort to obtain it.



There is a bit more to be had by additional blending and smoothing … I’m sure the worker that performed the task had no idea this head would land in my lap to be scrutinized, with observations posted on the internet, rather than go on to become part of a motorcycle.



There are a few sharp edges left in the combustion chamber… potential “hot spots”, as well as quite a few casting “buggers” in all the ports. The happy-go-lucky KTM employee may have gotten a little over zealous around the spark plug hole, leaving some very thin areas… I’ll have to get a spark plug and see if I have room to remove the exceedingly skinny spots without exposing the plug threads to the combustion chamber.



Also of note are the valve guide shapes in the ports. The intake guides have a nice flow-enhancing taper on them while the exhaust guides are of full diameter and are supported by the head casting almost to the end of the guide.
Part of this disparity in shape is the size of the ports themselves, the tapered guides help to improve intake air flow... and with the exhausts, to improve in heat absorption and transfer.



The new seats are fully 3-angle cut and have contact angle widths of .045” for the intake and .050” for the exhaust.

All in all, it’s nice to see that KTM puts in the extra effort, and I’m sure there is a flow improvement vs. the as-cast version… but it may take more work to “clean up” what was done than if I had done it myself.

What will happen to this head?
At some point, after I’ve dissected it as far as I can, I’ll finish what KTM started as far as blueprinting, assemble it and offer it as a premium exchange piece for 2003 to 2005 LC4s.

That's about it.
Chris
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creeper screwed with this post 03-11-2005 at 08:46 AM
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Old 03-10-2005, 08:10 PM   #2
dirtrider
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I'm glad to see your having fun playing with your parts.

When the bearing went out in my transmission, I had to split the cases on my 01. I was constantly impressed with the quality and level of engineering of the LC4. Almost everything has a bearing instead of a cheap bushing, easy to work on, dual oil pumps, lightweight bolts, and more.
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Old 03-10-2005, 08:30 PM   #3
creeper OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dirtrider
I'm glad to see your having fun playing with your parts.

When the bearing went out in my transmission, I had to split the cases on my 01. I was constantly impressed with the quality and level of engineering of the LC4. Almost everything has a bearing instead of a cheap bushing, easy to work on, dual oil pumps, lightweight bolts, and more.
The way I look at it, for a factory to do this kind of hand work, there has to be justification... major justification. I would love to know the difference in CFM numbers before and after.
Somebody at KTM did this to a head, tossed it on a flow bench and said "holy crap!"... showed it to someone up the food chain who said "holy crap!"... and so it went until someone at the top said "thats going into production"... all in German of course.

Relatively small companies like KTM are good for this kind of "experimental today - production tomorrow" stuff. Fewer "suits", bean counters and red tape in the way of progress.
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Old 03-10-2005, 08:56 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by creeper
The way I look at it, for a factory to do this kind of hand work, there has to be justification... major justification. I would love to know the difference in CFM numbers before and after.
Somebody at KTM did this to a head, tossed it on a flow bench and said "holy crap!"... showed it to someone up the food chain who said "holy crap!"... and so it went until someone at the top said "thats going into production"... all in German of course.

Relatively small companies like KTM are good for this kind of "experimental today - production tomorrow" stuff. Fewer "suits", bean counters and red tape in the way of progress.
A "bowl job" is not very time consuming. Not that it gets done much in a production environment, but Moto Guzzi was doing it 30+ years ago on the V7 Sport heads. Not the trick Telaio Rosso stuff, all of them.

It helps, but the real money is in the seats (want to find flow obstruction? Look for the highest velocity areas. Want better flow? Make the high velocity areas work better). What the bowl job does is make the heads consistent from one to the next. And if you are trying to extract performance, you need all the heads to flow the same +/- fuck-all. With precision seat/valves, and a quick and dirty bowl job, KTM has made a very consistent platform for tuners.

Best bang for the buck in head work? Really good valves and seats, a moderate bowl job, and drop the squish clearances to .035" +.005/-.000. But it is nice to see KTM cares. Now if they would quit putting 2-stroke bottom ends on their 4-stroke singles..........Cheers.
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Old 03-10-2005, 09:20 PM   #5
meat popsicle
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I say boy, dashing good photographs! I actually was going to suggest you give us an introduction to what it is you want people to pay money for... especially since I have little exposure to high end engine work. I see that you are way ahead of me.

PS - Mack is gonna be real peeved, you flashin that beauty across his screen! That is unless it will fit on his older non-HF engine? reel them in baby!
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Old 03-10-2005, 10:14 PM   #6
Loadedagain
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what's the difference from that bad boy to the one on my '02? wonder if there's any benefit to installin a "high flow" head on an older engine.... hmmmm.
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