For those who don’t know, “hand-porting” is modifying the intake and exhaust ports of an internal combustion engine to improve the quality and quantity of the air flow, hence your engine performance. It is a task that today’s generation of techs would rather leave to machines. But there are a handful of rebel-minded innovators left in the United States that continue the art of “head porting” by hand. Joe “Biker” Malloy, the face of H&L Performance Engines is one of them. In the text below he stresses the importance of keeping the tradition alive.
“Is faster always better? Today, in the rush of instant gratification, most people CNC-port their engine heads, meaning they take a cast head, which is of course subject to casting imperfections, and then they have a CN machine port it, running off of a computer program that ports the heads, one after another, exactly the same.
Anyone who knows anything about high performance engines, knows this: no matter how well-built the engine and no matter how well-planned the part configuration, without proper head flow, every effort towards performance will be futile. MACHINE versus. MAN… Customized parts, like heads for instance, takes time! So, where’s the middle ground in all of this? Well, H&L believes excellence can be achieved through that perfect combination of old-school precision and state-of-the-art knowledge, machinery and tooling.
Head porting by hand is a unique shop experience for every project. It allows for correction of any imperfections created during the casting process. Best of all, hand porting includes the experienced touch and feel of a machine shop artist, like H&L Performance’s highly elusive (and widely respected) Tom Haner who has been head porting by hand for thirty-five years.
Customizing your bike is an investment in a piece of art. A show of excellence when ridden and it’s worn like badge of honor to represent the long history of the motorcycle engine evolution. Hence the saying, “Don’t rush the beauty if you want to feel the beast”. H&L Performance’s heads are each flow-tested on a top-of-the-line Superflow Computerized SF-600 Flow Bench, with velocity probes that ensure maximum flow with optimal velocity. With well over 50 years of combined experience, and a machine shop that offers the best equipment money can buy, H&L performance has perfected the art of engine rebuilds, from stock configurations to boring and stroking to reach absolute maximum potential” Joe “Biker” Malloy, H&L Performance Engines.