Kawasakis Supercharged Future? - Page 2 - Kawasaki Ninja H2 Forum
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post #11 of 21 Old 10-15-2015, 04:14 PM
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I can't imagine a smaller displacement s/c bike being a success. The extra weight and cost will quickly offset the power boost. The small bikes usually have fairly high compression to help max the power. When you lower the compression on a 250 or 600 down to 8.5:1, the bike will be a real slug until the boost starts. I own the old 500 & 650 Honda turbos and the boost lag is noticeable until it builds rpms. The Kawa 750 turbo was pretty much a dog at low rpm too. As an engineering design it may be a great idea, but as a commercial success I have my doubts.
I remember riding the old GPZ 750 Turbo and I was very impressed with it back in the day and I don't remember it being a "dog " at low revs , maybe a bit laggie but very fast .
I do agree with you that a small engine capacity supercharged bike would not be successful . I think that's why the 1980s turbo bikes only had limited success as why would you buy the 750 Turbo from Kawasaki when they were making at the same time the GPZ 1100 making the same power and without the added complication of the turbocharger? Would you really buy a 500cc supercharged bike when you could just buy a normally aspirated 650 cc bike ?

For me the only place for Turbo and supercharges on bikes is on super bikes / high end ,special bikes .
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post #12 of 21 Old 10-15-2015, 07:23 PM
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I remember riding the old GPZ 750 Turbo and I was very impressed with it back in the day and I don't remember it being a "dog " at low revs , maybe a bit laggie but very fast .

It may have been awhile since you rode one, trust me, those low compression bikes were dogs on the low end. I hate riding them in the twisties as the power is still unpredictable. A high-compression, twin with lots of torque is the best, but a lightweight four is a close second.

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post #13 of 21 Old 10-15-2015, 10:58 PM
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But this in not a turbocharger and at idle SC is already spinning 10k rpm's which means the air box already has positive pressure. The way I see it a 500 twin with SC is a 600 off idle and by the time its at red line its pumping air through like a 1000 and very linearly. I think it will be less about raw power and more about efficiency and low weight for the masses. with the engineering and manufacturing these days it wouldn't shock me if it was less than a 500 twin very light and getting great mileage. yet still give you a rush like a 2 stroke when its really wound up tight. I'm excited to see what Kawi comes up with.
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post #14 of 21 Old 10-15-2015, 11:08 PM
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Kawi, I understand about the difference between the s/c and turbo. I can't help but think that the engineers and marketing guys forgot their history and want to try boosted horsepower again. I doubt the added complication, extra parts, extra weight, etc. will offset any advantage of a n/a 600. There is virtually no cost difference between building a 500/4 vs a 750/4, but adding a supercharger costs a bunch more. These bikes will never be sold in the quantities of n/a bikes, so they have to charge more to offset the development costs. It is one thing to build an ultimate 1000 and charge $25,000, but how many people would pay a huge premium to have the ultimate 250-500-600? Not me, just too small of a market.

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post #15 of 21 Old 10-16-2015, 12:02 PM
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Kawi, I understand about the difference between the s/c and turbo. I can't help but think that the engineers and marketing guys forgot their history and want to try boosted horsepower again. I doubt the added complication, extra parts, extra weight, etc. will offset any advantage of a n/a 600. There is virtually no cost difference between building a 500/4 vs a 750/4, but adding a supercharger costs a bunch more. These bikes will never be sold in the quantities of n/a bikes, so they have to charge more to offset the development costs. It is one thing to build an ultimate 1000 and charge $25,000, but how many people would pay a huge premium to have the ultimate 250-500-600? Not me, just too small of a market.
but that market may exist where access to larger bikes is restricted. For example in Malaysia if you buy bigger then a 250 you're hit with 40% in taxes IIRC.

There could be a huge opportunity there, AFAIK the Japanese are making money hand over fist in those regions, NA is quickly becoming the second fiddle to SE asia in terms of moto sales...
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post #16 of 21 Old 10-16-2015, 02:46 PM
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^ ...And with a mass market production costs go down exponentially. The SC research has been done now so how do you recoup that cost? you sell a bunch of them. The SC as a bolt on part with a drive chain and sprockets to me is very simple. if those relatively simple components replace 2 pistons, rings, bearings. rods, valve-trains ...etc. You can basically cut the engine in half that is a lot of stuff to delete. So maybe a 250/2 can hang with a 750/4 if you could wrap it up to 14k rpms or more all day long? I could be totally wrong But I agree there is opportunity that the Japanese usually excel at.

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post #17 of 21 Old 10-16-2015, 04:27 PM
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Kawi, again I don't disagree with you on the possibilities. I for one am just nutty enough about these things that I will probably buy one and probably one of the Suzukis if they bring out a 600 size bike. I agree with the other post about 250cc limits and other sizes. I guess I am thinking more of the environment in the US where the insurance companies just rub their hands with glee when they hear the word "supercharged". I'm not sure that anyone recoups their development costs on turbos or superchargers short of selling a 100,000 units. To me it seems it would be much easier to chop two cylinders off of a an R1, S1000R, or a zx10R and add Showa or Sachs forks, in-house brakes, decent tires and then sell a 100 hp twin that weighs about 325 to 350#. Last, a 250 would not sell in the US in any kind of quantity. Too many people see that as a beginner's bike. The only way they can ever sell small bikes again is if they go back to the format we had in the 60's and 70's and offer cheaper 90's, 175's and 250/350's. They could easily out source those to China or India to keep costs down. A $999 Honda 90, or a $1500 175 would start the ball rolling again.

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post #18 of 21 Old 10-16-2015, 05:39 PM
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but that market may exist where access to larger bikes is restricted. For example in Malaysia if you buy bigger then a 250 you're hit with 40% in taxes IIRC.

There could be a huge opportunity there, AFAIK the Japanese are making money hand over fist in those regions, NA is quickly becoming the second fiddle to SE asia in terms of moto sales...
I think you make a good point about countries that have engine capacity limits but their governments would soon jump on power outputs if 250 cc sc bikes started to make real power .
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post #19 of 21 Old 10-16-2015, 05:45 PM
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I remember riding the old GPZ 750 Turbo and I was very impressed with it back in the day and I don't remember it being a "dog " at low revs , maybe a bit laggie but very fast .

It may have been awhile since you rode one, trust me, those low compression bikes were dogs on the low end. I hate riding them in the twisties as the power is still unpredictable. A high-compression, twin with lots of torque is the best, but a lightweight four is a close second.
Yep thinking about it was over thirty years ago so you could well be correct , s#hit even my moped felt like a rocket ship back then !
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post #20 of 21 Old 10-16-2015, 06:42 PM
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Originally Posted by edinlr View Post
I remember riding the old GPZ 750 Turbo and I was very impressed with it back in the day and I don't remember it being a "dog " at low revs , maybe a bit laggie but very fast .

It may have been awhile since you rode one, trust me, those low compression bikes were dogs on the low end. I hate riding them in the twisties as the power is still unpredictable. A high-compression, twin with lots of torque is the best, but a lightweight four is a close second.
i rode mine 2 weeks ago.....trust me its no dog...completely stock unrestored..only mods is race mode enabled and a small hidden blow of valve higher fuel pressure.great bikes one of my favs

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