Can a Turbo Be Installed to a Superbike?

Around half of the world’s entire population, including both males and females and even the ones in between, are already hooked up on bikes, and mind you, these bikes are not the ones most people used to know way back in kindergarten or grade school.

What they dig are superbikes – bikes that are real flashy monsters when it comes to hitting the racetracks. And for anyone who loves to race and is dying for the rush racing gives, superbikes, with their powerful engines capable of speed that can raise hell, are no doubt a dream to have under one’s roof.

There is just one problem, however. Superbike enthusiasts just cannot get enough, and are constantly in need of more speed; and as of late, the most tempting solution to this is the turbo. Installing turbochargers seems to be a promising way of enabling superbikes to achieve speeds that do not only raise hell, but also do blow it away. Or is it really?

It will be good to remember first what superbikes basically are. Superbikes were developed as an improvement of super sport bikes. Both are especially engineered for race track performance, the only difference is that superbikes are equipped with larger engines with sizes that vary from 800 cc to 1,200 cc. A usual superbike can bear a maximum of 480 lb, and can produce around 180 bhp. Superbikes are perhaps well-known because of the Superbike Racing, a category under motorcycle racing joined by modified production motorcycles. One thing should be remembered: superbikes belong to the racetracks. This explains why there is always a need for more speed.

Now, the crucial question: Can superbikes be fitted with a turbo? The answer is yes. Turbochargers do increase the performance of a motorbike’s engine, resulting in around 40 percent more horsepower, minus the much additional weight. The turbo produces more power by escalating the density of air that passes trough the engine. Another interesting is that turbo systems can either be carbureted or fuel-injected, so anyone really has a choice.

In fact, motorbike turbocharger is making remarkable developments in the motor industry. The new Suzuki Hayabusa GSX1300R released this year boasts of digital fuel injection that works with its 1, 340 cc DOHC engine, and with a technology such as this, no wonder the new darling is getting praises here and there. Larry James, of James Racing, even said that turbo systems work well with that model.

No matter how reliable turbo systems are, there are still some things about turbochargers that anyone must be wary of. There is such a thing called turbo lag, a delay between the twisting the throttle and the turbo finally kicking in that can easily be noticed by most riders. This happens because the exhaust system takes time to drive the turbine to high pressure and for the rotor to beat its rotational inertia and attain the speed required for supplying the boost pressure. The lag can be reduced anyway, so there really is no reason to not go for turbochargers. To do so, all that should be done is to use lighter parts that will make the spin-up happen sooner. Another option is to change the turbine’s aspect ratio which will decrease the diameter and increase the width.

As long as the right steps are followed, turbochargers can really help conquer that extra mile and grant anyone an incomparable racing experience