Kawasaki developing a superrcharger


Ohh blimey - they tried turbochargers in the 80’s ( I think that was Kwak too) but the turbo lag was terrible so you never knew when to rely on the power coming through.

Peugeot have been using superchargers on 125cc scoots for years. Gives 'em quite a handy boost but they are a bit fragile to use as a daily runner. Search youtube for Fifth Gear’s Jetforce Compressor versus Suzuki Swift race. It’s quite fun.

There was apparently a Satelis prototype with a compressor attached to it’s 500cc single but it never saw light of day. Shame, because it would have gone like stink. I bet they had trouble getting the frame (not much different from the base 125cc version) and transmission standing up to prolonged use.

All the big 4 Japanese companies had a turbo model in the 80s, by all accounts the Kwak version - GPz750 turbo was by far the most sorted. However, it came out around the same time as the GPz900R which had similar power figures but was a far better handling bike, so other than having the kudos of a turbo badge, there wasn’t much point in opting for the turbo.

There was a semi-official turbo-charged version of the Kawasaki Z1-R released in the US in the late 70s, but seeing as that was a bike which had pretty marginal handling with the standard engine, the turbo version must have been somewhat entertaining! :crazy:

Interesting engineering, but I don’t get the point of it.

Surely the main selling points of a 125 scoot are that they are cheap, reliable daily transport that can be ridden on a learner/restricted licence (Isn’t the 125cc/15bhp an EU standard?).

There’s no problems building a reliable normally aspirated 125 engine that can put out 15 ponies these days, so if you’re not boosting the overall power, what does the compressor give in return for the added complexity and no doubt cost?

I can see far more point in adding a compressor to a 250 as they’d have a potential market that either has no power restrictions or at worst a 47bhp one.

Reminds me of one of my favourite videos - Ghostrider Turbo 'Busa.

Had this on my work computer in my last job for years… watching it always cheered me up after a hard day :slight_smile: