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Cavanaugh Racing Heads

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Quality High Performance Porting & Engine Building Services

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Customer Testimonial of real performance gains from one of our Stage 1 Ported KZ Heads. It was the only modification done to the bike.

I’ve been riding and racing motorcycle in one form or another for a lot of years. For the last two year I’ve been doing land speed events at El Mirage Dry Lake in California and at the Bonneville Salt Flats. Before that I spent a lot of time drag racing motorcycle on the West Coast.

Since 1988, my engine of choice, for all of my race bikes, has been the 900 and 1000 Z1 and KZ series engines. I do my own engine assemblies and tuning but I farm out the serious stuff to people who know what they’re doing.

At the SCTA Land Racing events I run in the Special Construction, gas, 1000 cc class. I have a 998cc KZ engine. Land speed racing is just a hobby for me and I don’t take it too seriously. I like the older motorcycle technology (carburetors and no electronics) and am in no danger of breaking the land speed record in the class I compete in. I do like a challenge through and like seeing what the old Kawasaki is capable of doing at top speed, on the dirt.

Last Fall I decided to get some porting and valve work done on the stock KZ900 head that I’d been running for the last two seasons.

I had heard about Larry on other KZ forums on the Web and decided to give him a call and see about getting him to do a head for me. I talked to Larry a few time via phone and email and he always responded to my inquires very quickly. Larry made a couple of suggestion on how I should set the head up for the performance I was looking for.

My engine is very mild, low compression (110 lbs. cranking pressure) and small cams. My goal is to use an engine for a whole season.

Larry quoted me a very fair price and told me it would take him a few weeks to get the head finished because there were a couple heads he needed to get completed before he could start on mine. I packaged up the head and shipped it off to Larry. In the back of my mind I really didn’t expect the head to be ready in a few weeks; I was expecting to wait at least two or three months to get the head back. Inevitability, when dealing with various motorcycle performance vendors there has always one common denominator, you never get your project back when they say you will!

I was pleasantly surprised to get an email from Larry a few weeks after I shipped the head telling me the head was ready and the price was the same as he had quoted, Wow, that was a first!

The head arrived and it looked great, fantastic workmanship and great documentation. So the head got back in plenty of time but then I procrastinated and didn’t get the head on the engine until two weeks before the first SCTA event at El Mirage Dry Lake on May 14th. No time to test or even ride the bike before the event. I just dropped in the cams with stock cam gears and left the same jets in the 33 smoothbore.

The best the bike had previously run at El Mirage was 138.xxx mph. Out of the trailer, on a shake down pass, the bike went 139.xxx mph. The second run was a 148.xxx and the third run of the weekend was a 152.271. The rear tire was spinning like crazy all the way down the track on the 152 run so if I can find some traction, get the cams degreed and re-jet the carbs I should be able to get into the 160’s by the end of the season.

The head work by Larry made a huge difference in the performance of my bike. Picking up almost 15 miles per hours on the lake is a big deal. I can’t thank Larry enough for the great job he did on my head and for his knowledge in offering suggestions that, I know, I would not have thought of.

After having the opportunity to do business with Larry I would highly recommend Cavanaugh Racing for any services that he might offer. Thanks again Larry, it really was a pleasure doing business with you and your company.

Heebie Jeebies 1513B (Ron Buzbee)


“The head work by Larry made a huge difference in the performance of my bike. Picking up almost 15 miles per hours on the lake is a big deal. I can’t thank Larry enough for the great job he did on my head and for his knowledge in offering suggestions that, I know, I would not have thought of.”

Heebie Jeebies 1513B (Ron Buzbee)

Getting telephone calls and emails from happy customers makes everything worth the effort. Standing over a cylinder head with die grinder isn’t the most glorious job but it’s pretty satisfying when you hear the enthusiasm in a guy’s voice after he’s given your product a good work out.....

Larry C.

El Mirage May 2011