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  • Writer's pictureMatt Spicer

Custom Piston vs Off-The-Shelf Stock

Updated: Feb 13, 2020

For 2020 we are lucky enough to be working with #Jepistons on our engine program. JE pistons have been producing pistons for over 70 years and we were a customer prior to the 2020 MotoAmerica season and the pistons used in probably over 90% of the SV650 engines produced by Mike unless customer requests otherwise.

JE Pistons or other under the Race Winning Brands portfolio there are a ton of great options for shelf-stock parts in their catalog. Need a different bore diameter? Covered. Need a different compression ratio? No problem. The catalog parts offering has greater depth than those quotes your liberal arts friend from college is always posting on social media...and let's not kid ourselves that's deep.

Even so, what if you wanted something outside these already great parts offerings in the catalog? This is where JE's custom pistons program comes in. Granted, this isn't for everyone. We raced on the catalog pistons last season and Mike has been building customer engines with that part with great success for years.

JE offers multiple options for custom pistons:

-Ring Changes

-Gas Ports and Locations

-Crown Changes

-Pocket Depths

-3D Crown Milling

-Weight Reduction Options

-Oiling Options


All these options can be adjusted to exactly your needs for your motor and with reasonable costs for a completely custom product in a surprisingly fast and efficient timeline with low MOQ's.

The conversation started after the Pittsburgh round last season. The Engineering team was very thorough, spending time in both email and phone calls to discussing the motor set up and goals of the project truly going above and beyond for us in my opinion. I think there was a call on a Saturday that lasted more than an hour alone outside of normal work hours, that level of service is hard to find in any company.

With the new parts for the 2020 motors arriving back from suppliers and ready for final assembly, we will be able to test if all the work was worth it. Mike is planning a trip up at the end of the month to work with me in the shop and spend some time together on the dyno and we will be able to see.

So are custom pistons for everyone? No, not really. But if there is a custom application and specific need you cant find in the standard shelf-part offering, maybe a custom piston is something worth exploring.

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