1200 Stage One Install | Power-Hungry Sportster

Screamin’ Eagle 883 to 1200 Stage One Kit Install


We love the way our Iron 883 looks and rides, but to tell you the truth the 883cc power plant leaves us with that “need for speed” feeling. Also, since our bike is new and still under factory warranty, we didn’t want to go all crazy and start adding all sorts of aftermarket go-fast parts that would take us to void city.

Both of these aforementioned facts left us in search of some modifications that would speed our bike up, yet let us keep a sound-riding bike. That is where the Screamin’ Eagle 883 to 1200 Stage 1 kit came in. This $1361.95 kit is designed to bring those 883 bikes up to XL1200 specs and includes Sportster Stage I Air Cleaner Kit, XL1200 cylinder heads, and XL1200 cylinders and pistons. With this kit there is no case machining required, meaning the motor can stay in the bike, so the install time is hours and not days.

Once this kit was put on the bike, the real fun began. Bumping up to the 1200cc kit on this 565-pound machine made an already fun bike feel lean and mean with gobs more torque than the old 883cc had. The numbers don’t lie. The stock 883 sees 45 hp and 55 lb-ft and the 1200 kit gets 65 hp with 72 lb-ft. Not only is the performance improvement immense, that’s a pretty healthy horsepower-to-price ratio as well.

If you are into pepping up your Sporty, read along and we’ll show you just how we did it.

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1. Here’s a shot of the stock 883cc Sportster motor. It’s good looking dressed in all black, but we wanted some more performance between our legs.

2. This is what the kit looked like right out of the box from H-D. Now we are going to get to installing it.

3. To get the access to the rocker boxes, heads, and jugs, the gas tank had to be removed.

4. The throttle body is connected to those same parts, so it had to come off as well.

5. The stock front and rear pipes were then removed from the cylinders.

6. The rocker box covers were carefully removed and given a bath in degreaser.

7. The rocker boxes were also removed, inspected, and cleaned.

8. Both of the heads were untorqued from the jugs and removed.

9. The pushrods, pushrod tubes, and tappet blocks were removed from the engine.

10. Now that all of the ancillary parts were removed, we could now take the cylinders off the bike.

11. We then removed the stock pistons from the OEM pushrods. The assembly then began.

12. The New Screamin’ Eagle pistons were installed onto the stock pushrods with the supplied hardware.

13. New rings from Screamin’ Eagle were also installed onto the 1200cc pistons.

14. With the aid of a piston ring compressor tool from H-D, we slid the new Screamin’ Eagle 1200cc cylinders onto the engine.

15. The stock pushrods, pushrod tubes, and tappet blocks were reinstalled using all new gaskets and seals.

16. A set of Screamin’ Eagle 1200cc heads were then added to the mix.

17. We then torqued the heads and cylinders down to factory specs.

18. The OEM rocker boxes were reinstalled and tightened within H-D’s specifcations.

19. The blacked-out H-D rocker box covers were then put back on the motor.

20. Instead of installing the Screamin’ Eagle “ham can” air cleaner that came with the kit, we opted for the SE Heavy Breather for its looks and performance advantages.

21. It was at this time that we upgraded to the Screamin’ Eagle Performance slip-on Shorty muffers and black head pipes.

22. We also added black Buckshot heat shields to add even more black to the setup.

23. The kit came with a heavier clutch spring, so we frst had to drain the primary case to gain access to the clutch assembly.

24. Once the fuid was all drained out, we took off the outer primary case.

25. The old H-D 883 clutch face and spring were carefully removed.

26. The new Screamin’ Eagle 1200 clutch spring was installed in the stock location.

27. A new primary casket was put on before the outer primary was reinstalled.

28. New primary case oil was poured into the fller hole and topped off to specs.

29. And the mission was completed. In a few short hours we bumped up the old Iron 883’s ponies by 20 and gained tremendous amounts toque with the help of our Screamin’ Eagle 1200 kit.