Speed's Spotlight | The Case For A Crate

Speed's Spotlight | The Case For A Crate |

Speed's Spotlight | The Case For A Crate |

Photo: Joe Kress

For almost two decades now Speed’s Performance Plus has been a go-to source for custom dyno tunes and all the engine work coming before them. At events big and small all across the country the SPP techs have done the cam swaps and big-bore top-end kits, they’ve installed the pipes and filters, and they’ve taken care of everything else needed to make a Harley engine all that it can be. And then they’ve successfully tuned that H-D motor, as countless riders over the years will attest. So why are we talking about engine swaps here, removing that factory Harley motor entirely and replacing it with something all-new from the aftermarket? “Actually, there are a few good reasons to consider that move,” SPP’s Jamie Hanson says. Working in conjunction with S&S Speed’s Performance has recently made that engine swap scenario possible. They’re making three of those crate replacements available right at the events, a pair of S&S Twin Cams, the T-124 and 111, and an earlier Evo-style motor, the S&S V-111. And if a rider wants something different than those three, any of the others in that S&S inventory, all it takes is a call in advance and they’ll have that engine ready and waiting.
So when does this make some sense, replacing that OE V-twin with brand-new S&S? A catastrophic engine failure would of course be one answer. Most likely that crate replacement would put you time and money ahead of the game. And speaking about time, the SPP techs have already completed a number of these engine swaps, and they’ve all turned out to be quick and painless deals. The engine swap can usually be completed in a day or a day and a half. The bike can be dropped off in the morning on the first day, and by noon the next day that rider’s back on the road with brand-new power. And power brings up another reason to maybe think crate. “Just this past Bike Week in Daytona we put one of those 124 S&S crate motors into a late-model and it turned out exceptionally well,” Jamie says. The owner of that bike had already built up his factory-103 engine to a pretty stout stage, but for him it still wasn’t enough. The next step for that H-D Twin Cam would be a full engine tear-down and a complete work-over, top to bottom. “And we talked about that,” Jamie goes on. But by the time it was all penciled out, dollar for dollar, hour for hour the crate route just looked better. “So that’s what we did,” Jamie says. He matched up with an appropriately sized throttle body and a nice set of 2-into-1 pipes to an easy 5,000 rpm dyno pull that netted 133 hp at the rear wheel with 140 pound-feet of torque. Impressive.
“But more than just those numbers, with that S&S you’re getting a beefier, stronger engine overall to begin with,” Jamie says. “Not to throw rocks at those OE Harley powerplants, because we all know they’re pretty good, but those S&S replacements are just that much better.” And that much more powerful. With that 124, for example, Jamie says you can pretty much count on getting 130 to 135 horsepower right out of the box.

“But just as important, that engine has all top-of-the-line hardware, no compromises,” he says. “You have those strong S&S cases, inside there’s that equally robust S&S crank along with the rods, pistons, and everything else to go with it. And it just continues with the bolt-ons, the S&S gear drive for the S&S cams, the S&S oil pump and cam plate, the S&S heads, all those upgraded parts we’d normally use to hot rod an OE Harley-Davidson engine. And don’t forget, that engine comes with a one-year warranty directly from S&S.”

On the installation end there’s an SPP warranty on that work as well.
Let’s face it: The option of switching to a full-blown crate motor is a serious commitment, especially since Speed’s can always do one of those traditional top-end motor kits that have been so popular for so long, and the 115 to 120 hp these engines routinely make is nothing to sneeze at. But in some cases it just makes sense to go crate, especially when it’s installed and tuned by pros.

Speed’s Performance Plus
(605) 695-1401 – MN
(605) 695-2272 – SD

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