Cavanaugh Racing Heads 2011
Over 35 Years Of Experience
Cavanaugh Racing Heads
Quality High Performance Porting & Engine Building Services
570 423 8949 or Email
Haven't spoken with you in a while, just wanted to say thanks for everything. You did a fantastic job on my engine, it runs as good as it looks, and I always get people checking out and asking about it. The time you spent answering all my questions, attention to details and telling me everything I would need to know after it was back in the frame, really shows your dedication to your customers. Your help made everything a lot easier for me, and that's really appreciated. Taking my engine to you was a very good choice.
Scott Petrasek - Connecticut
Joe Diego - California
I am writing this letter on behalf of Larry with Cavanaugh Racing Heads. In appreciation for the incredible job he did in working on my son’s 2007 Honda CRF 250R. In diligently looking for someone to rebuild this head, I was at a loss. We moved to a new area, and my previous contacts were no longer available. Although it was a risk, I knew I would need to step out and find a new machine shop that would not only meet my expectations as a mechanic, but also be able to form my trust by showing honesty, integrity, and genuineness in his work.
I sent Larry the “Head” off a my son’s Honda CRF 250, in order to have him perform some of the valve work and port the head. From the first time I talked with Larry, I was impressed. He appeared to be a man of high integrity and honesty, as he was more than willing to help me out with what I was trying to achieve. Initially, it was evident that Larry‘s motives along with his keen mechanical insight ,was right what I was looking for. He didn’t just jump at taking the job. But rather, he meticulously inquired as to the kind of tracks this bike rides on, how old the rider is, and at what level he rides. He also inquired about information relevant to the cam I was running, along with the bike’s exhaust. Trust me, there’s not many in the field who are willing - let alone care - about what a person is truly trying to do and/or achieve in order to obtain maximum performance.
Throughout the time Larry was working on this head, he was always quick to get back with me, and always available to answer questions and keep me informed. Furthermore, he never hesitated or seemed bothered to share his honest thoughts and opinions.
When the job was complete and Larry mailed back the head, I quickly put the bike together and hit the tracks with my son . Instantaneously, my 16 year old son Nick took the first ride and could not believe the difference in this bike’s performance. He said the bike had more power overall….more power in the low end……more power at the top. He was also amazed at how much smoother the control was from the bottom up. He was actually pulling with most of the 450 riders out of the corners and down the straight-a-ways. As for the bike’s start-up, no problem at all! The bike still starts like a champ, even after a fall, it’s quick to start. It is incredibly dependable. His bike is a CRF250R, 07 with a Pro Circuit Pipe (T14), with the recommended jetting, a 1st. Stage Hot Cam, and best of all, Cavanaugh Racing Heads work.
Lastly, I would like to say this: A few years ago we had a 2004 Honda CRF250R, that I had the same thing done on. However, the porting was done by someone else. Trust me, there is no comparison in the work that Cavanaugh Racing did, as compared to the other machine shop. With that, I highly recommend and suggest using Cavanaugh Racing. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed!
Dave D'Amato - Arizona
18 months ago, I obtained a beat up P.O.S. 1976 KZ900-A4. Before even touching anything on this bike, I researched for 3 months on what I needed to accomplish in my restoration project. I had in my mind set, a street fighter look but at my ripe old age of 50, nothing too radical but something with a little extra pizzazz and zip to her internals for she at least deserved that.... Ok, game plan on, out with the sawzaw....
Now with the fabrication on the way, it was time to start researching into the motor re-build. In speaking with several forum members, old timer KZ motor builders and new found friends associated with these magnificent old machines known as the KZ, once discussions lead to head/valve/P&P work the same name came up...Larry Cavanaugh of (Cavanaugh Racing Heads)... I thought to myself, who the hell is this Larry Cavanaugh.... Well I was sure about to find out....
I basically had it down to what I wanted in performance regarding the cc kit, camshafts and carbs but was unclear regarding the head work for this was a little out of my league in something I felt I could do myself with confidence.... Now mind you, I did every bit of this bike myself, fabrications, welding, paint, electrical and motor build but cylinder bore and valve work.... Again, too much can go wrong without the proper tools but most importantly to me anyways, the experience required for I wanted/demanded it be right on the money, for close doesn't count...
The first call went as follows....
Introductions and I was asked what I had in mind and was I looking for/expecting in realistic performance.... What was my riding style, what was I doing to the motor, what camshafts, what carbs, exhaust etc.... Basically word for word what I was asked from by Buzz (old timer involved with drag racing) @ Dynoman... Well that was eerie for this was exactly what Buzz asked me.... I knew this was the man to accomplish my head work, with out a doubt!
I replied, age 50, want a strong motor nothing too radical but definitely wanted some more zip out of her. I'm putting a Wiseco 1015cc piston/ring kit, WebCAM .365 camshafts (low to mid range performance), Keihin 29mm CR Specials and Dyna S electronic ignition, all with a Kerker exhaust w/1.5" competition baffles in her... Larry replied PERFECT COMBINATION.... We spoke of the service package I wanted, Larry informed me of the guides and seals I would be requiring, agreed on a time frame (wasn't in a hurry) and he was to expect my shipment within the next couple of days... Off it went...
Now here's the real kicker of why I was so HAPPY I chose to use Larry with all his experience... he saved me a motor....
On the very day he received my head, components and camshafts he called me... We have a problem with the camshafts.... I was like, what, how for they're brand spanking new from WebCam.... Larry informed me the offset in the grind is slightly twisted and If we were to install these camshafts I would develop some serious problems within a couple weeks, month at the latest.... Now I looked at those camshafts and for the life of me didn't see what was being depicted but his trained experienced eye sure did.... Thank the KZ Gods....
He sent some pictures which I forwarded over to WebCam and they immediately came back with an apology, we don't know how this happened, this is extremely rare and we're cutting you new camshafts that will be fully QC and inspected before shipping back out to Larry and they thanked Larry as well for saving a customer a whole slew of grief.... WHOA, sweet... What more could you ask for... Saved my KZ's ass...
Larry completed the head work (1 week early mind you) for which I have provided images of... Picture perfect and now that the bike is up and running.... All I can add is this, @ 65mph you twist the throttle, you better be holding on for this old girl just screams.... Pulls like a friggin mule.... GRIN!
Larry also provided some guidance in my motor build and since then, we have somewhat developed a friendship where I just couldn't have accomplished nor completed my project to the level I have without his exceptional craftsmanship and experience but his friendship as well....
Down and dirty... He accomplished what he said he would do with no hidden B.S. or costs and beat his completion date by one week.
Without a doubt, the man has HONOR and being a veteran myself, that holds a lot of ground with me....
Thanks mi amigo!
Dave "Old Man Rock" D'Amato
Sander Knook - San Diego, California
I have been building my bike over the past four years. I bought a ratty '74 Z1 in 2005 that was barely running. It was fairly complete but in sad condition. It sat in a shed for 12 years, the exhaust system was rotted and it had dents in the tank and frame. The motor was very tired. I didn't know anything about bikes when I bought it, and the dealer that sold it to me said to keep the choke on a little because it liked it that way. Go figure. I bought a manual and dug in. The top end had horrible compression and when I opened it up, one of the exhaust valves was split and had a chunk missing. So I rebuilt it myself, it got new rings and a local machine shop replaced some guides, the valve seals and two valves. At the same time, I started modifying it. My bike turned into a rat rod / backyard cafe thing, was crashed in the mountains, rebuilt and over the years transformed into it's current state, inspired by Kawi racers from the early 70's like the H2R and KR750.
I did all the work on the bike myself, with the help of a few friends when jobs were beyond me. The bike went on a serious weight loss program and now comes in at 415 lbs dry. It is rewired from scratch, has electronic ignition, Dyna coils, a thoroughly braced chassis, Works shocks, Mikuni 29mm smoothbores, Yosh pipe, heavy duty motor mounts, Race Tech valve emulators and stiffer springs, dual disks, early H1 rear drum, aluminum rims, lots of custom made parts and nice Airtech fiberglass bodywork. I wanted to make the bike handle better before touching the motor, and it really does turn well compared to stock!
But, by last year, the motor was having blow by issues, compression wasn't what it needed to be, the cam chain needed replacing en when it blew a base gasket last summer I decided it was time for a proper motor rebuild, to match the effort spent on every other component of the bike.
I knew Larry from the forums and he seemed to know his stuff. I decided he was the man for my head work and contacted him to discuss what I had in mind. Most of my riding is done in the Southern Californian mountains. I spend most of my time in 3rd-4th gear. I don't need a huge motor that is ready for the strip. I want a strong street motor that will rev quickly, with a good midrange, a bit more power, more torque and excellent reliability. I wanted to use the 29mm smoothbores and Yosh pipe I already had. Larry recommended a 1075 kit and Web #110 cams and a hot street port job. I sent him my head along with new valves, guides, springs & seals.
I got the head back with a beaut of a port job and assembled the motor, using the best after market components available (APE, Liska etc.). Along the way, Larry was there to offer advice on everything from assembly to cam timing, run in procedure and even a carb jetting baseline.
I put the bike on the dyno at a friend's shop to tune the carbs. Larry had predicted to see over 100hp with the recommended set up. As usual, he was spot on. Running with the baseline settings, the bike showed a healthy 105 hp at the rear wheel an a max torque of 77ftlbs. I have an old dyno sheet from last spring, when the bike made 74hp on the stock motor. So it makes more torque now than it did horsepower before! I am still working on the jetting so I expect to see a further increase in mid range once the fueling cleans up.
What I am most impressed with besides the quality of the work and the performance, is the fantastic customer service. Larry has spent countless hours talking to me via phone and email, sharing his wealth of knowledge and bouncing ideas back and forth. I deeply appreciate all his help and I highly recommend his services!
In this business, customer service is crucial. Often times I end up making a new friend in the process of porting a cylinder head or building an engine. Listening to my customers is all part of what makes a project a success. It’s knowing how they intend to ride their bike that allows me to build them either a cylinder head or an entire engine that makes them happy when they turn on the key and thumb the starter button.....