Our application here, of course, is strongly biased toward maximum horsepower, and that points toward a squish-band head - which is what you will have in most motorcycles in any case. I will warn you, now, that it may be unwise to follow the old-time tuner's habit of increasing an engine's compression ratio as an opening gambit in the quest for better performance. Indeed, before your work is done you may find it necessary to reduce your engine's compression ratio below the stock specification. You see, in the final analysis it is not so much compression ratio as combustion chamber pressure that determines the limit - and these are not at all the same things. Your stock engine, with a carburetor size and porting chosen to lend it a smooth idle and easy starting, does a much less effective job of cylinder-filling than will be the case after it has been modified. More important, it will probably have an exhaust system that has more to recommend it as a silencer than as a booster of horsepower. These factors, in combination, make a very great difference between the cylinder pressures at the time of ignition in the stock and modified engine. Even given a certain willingness on your part to use a fairly cold spark plug - changing it frequently - and a further willingness to replace pistons and bearings more often in payment for added power, it may still be necessary to stay with the stock specification for compression ratio. Or, as I have said, to lower the engine's compression ratio from the stock condition. This last will be particularly true if you succeed in creating a much better than stock exhaust system.
By and large, you would be well-advised to ignore the whole business of compression ratios in favor of cranking pressures. There is, after all, a big difference between the kinds of numbers you get by performing the traditional calculations to find compression ratio, and what is happening as the engine turns. My experience has been that you can use cranking pressures of 120 psi without worrying much about overheating anything. Maximum power will be obtained at cranking pressures somewhere between 135 and 165 psi. Going higher with compression, in a conventional motorcycle engine, can give a neat boost in low speed torque, but the thermal repercussions of higher cranking pressures will surely limit maximum output. On the other hand, fan-cooled kart engines perform very well at cranking pressures up at 200 psi, and water cooled engines behave much the same.