EX­PERT’S GUIDE TO... TUR­BOCHARG­ERS

Who wouldn’t want 930bhp? Meet the man who knows how to de­liver it

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Garage - Sean Mills The ex­pert Sean Mills, 50, got the turbo bug in

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.

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