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anybody ever hear of putting on a turbocharger on a cruiser? for road use? anybody ever seen one? why does this seem to be such a hole in the universe of motorcycle cruiser performance? with cars, especially exotic cars, turbochargers and superchargers are often used if you want to maximize horsepower. there appears to be a decent market for turbochargers for crotch rockets, and the new Kawasaki Ninja H2 actually comes installed with a supercharger helping it to be the fastest production bike on the planet. but i had to to refine my internet search to find anything about putting a turbo on a production motorcycle cruiser. for something that should improve power on your bike better than any carburetor tuning, fuel controller, air intake, exhaust upgrade, or combination of all of these, there just doesn't seem to be a lot of information or options on the subject. why not?

i can see why turbo and superchargers would be less common on bikes in general as opposed to cars. first off, i can see how the vast increase in speed and power on a 2-wheeled machine is definitely fraught with a whole package of increased liability, dangers, and other questions as opposed to 4-wheeled vehicles. second, the turbos i've seen for sport bikes seem mostly confined to racing or track applications, and you don't really see a whole lot of cruisers out on the track outside of drag races, and not many there either. third, there's an inherent engineering challenge with regards to where and how to install a turbo plus intercooler on a bike. there's only so much room there, and you definitely will have to modify some things to make it work - a much bigger feat to tackle than simply replacing a part like a muffler or air box, or twisting of some screws. but i think the biggest reason is probably the price. the only options i've found with the very limited market seem to start at $5,000.








i guess i can see why most owners who ride for recreation, on a type of bike designed to be more focused on higher torque and lower RPMs than top speed versus sport bikes, wouldn't want to spend 1/3 - 1/2 of the total cost of their bike to make it go a little faster. thoughts?
 

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One of the guys at work has put a DIY turbo on his Yamaha street bike, YSF-R1 I believe. I don't think he has been brave enough to take it to the track yet and took him quite a while to get it lined out to even be driveable.

Blacksmith parts and services has a turbo kit they install. Not sure the price on it, but just for the head work to put the turbo on (the 113), the cost is $1200. And that's the sales price. They are bragging that the 8 PSI boost from the turbo set up will give you upwards of 40% more HP/TQ.

I wouldn't mind someone coming out with an electric supercharger set up. That way you have your grunt on the bottom end and figure the plumbing would be a little less than the turbo set up.
 

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The past several years car manufacturers have made great stides in turbo charging cars. Years ago turbos were like a light switch, either on of off, no not all that reliable. Most bikes, even our cruisers, are limited to traction available with one smaller back tire. It still would be a blast to ride.

 

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I remember the days of the Suzuki XN-85, Honda CX650 turbo and Kawsaki GPz750 turbo... interesting bikes but IMO the added complexity of a turbo on a motorcycle that can already have an impressive power to weight ratio may be more of a novelty in most cases. Cars have a lot more room to stuff/hide that extra plumbing in. With that being said, here's a two-wheeled car with a turbo. ;)

 

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My juke has a turbo in it. it puts slowly from 1-3k, after 3k the turbo kicks in and it has some real power to it.
It's really annoying as hell on left hand turns, you slowly cross traffic, feeling like you will get hit, once you are fully into the intersection the turbo kicks in and you go flying through to the other side, and almost feel if you aren't careful off the road, if you don't release some of the pressure on the gas.

I fell like on my bike, I would just be burning rubber everytime the turbo kicked in, would need a much larger tire to maintain grip, and be very annoying on wet roads.
 

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In the late 80s I had a Mazda 626 turbo and it was very controllable and acceleration was impressive. It sucked when the turbo gave up the ghost at 96K miles... very expensive and time-consuming to replace. That was the last time I ever considered owning a turbo-charged anything.
 
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