EXPERT’S GUIDE TO... TURBOCHARGERS
Who wouldn’t want 930bhp? Meet the man who knows how to deliver it
the 1980s with a ‘crappy’ Suzuki XN85 and then a Kawasaki 750 turbo ‘that was good for going in a straight line’. His hobby turned into Big CC Racing 23 years ago and he has turboed a Hayabusa to produce 930bhp A turbo works by using the exhaust gases to drive a rotor which compresses the air going into the engine. Compressed air packs in more oxygen atoms, so more fuel can be mixed and then burnt in the combustion chamber than is possible with atmospheric pressure. As the turbines spin up to 180,000rpm in seconds a tidal wave of power is released, so that a bike can quite easily produce double, triple or even quadruple its standard bhp.
Models like the Honda CX650 Turbo and Kawasaki 750 turbo in the early 80s were all about marketing this technology, rather than a massive performance increase that everyday riders probably couldn’t cope with and they didn’t sell. But today, manufacturers like Suzuki and Kawasaki appear to be considering a return to that technology as an attempt to maintain current performance levels in the face of ever-tightening emissions regulations.
But of course, turbo technology is the mainstay of drag bike racing, where it’s not uncommon to see blown Busas launching at 250bhp, then topping 600bhp in seconds.