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Turbocharging an under 500cc bike?

Discussion in 'Modifications and Projects' at netrider.net.au started by boingk, Oct 12, 2008.

  1. Hi there everyone, might sound like a stupid question to some but I'm wondering about turbocharging a smaller capacity bike. How do I do something like this [mates have no idea], and what problems am I likely to run into? I'd be using a carburetted motorcycle if that helps.

    I realise its not the sort of thing that takes an afternoon to do and will require a bit of time and am down with that. At this stage I'm just curious as it sounds like a fun project to do, if kinda fiddly.

    Cheers - boingk.
  2. Mate i know what you mean, i was thinking it at some stage for my 650.

    It is do-able, the things that must be done;
    - Intake mainfold fabricated around the carburettor as it will be a "blow-through" turbo set-up.
    - Exhaust manifold to support turbo and turbo dump pipe. Turbo must also be quite small to spool up boost on a small capacity motor. (Maybe a turbo off a Suzuki Cappacino, there a 660cc 3 cylinder).
    - Intercooler wouldn't be necessary as motor bike engines run a high compression ratio so you'll be running stock boost, maybe 3psi on such a small turbo, so it'd be pointless, as well as a blow-off-valve and boost controller isn't needed. So saving sum cash there.

    - Turbos come in oil-cooled, water-cooled, or both. Best to find one that is only oil-cooled as its simpler and you will only need to run a oil line off the bottom of the sump.
    - NOW when this is done, a scavage pump may be needed to pump the oil to the turbo. This may be avoided i think if the turbocharger is positioned below the oil sump and not above, i think something to do with sea-level crap or someone might know.

    This should be it, whether you think its worth it, carby turbo motors are harder to tune right, and could be sluggish before it boosts. Best seek some advice, there are some workshops that perform turbo kits for bike.

    Tim :)
  3. Honestly if you don't know of the problems you are likely to face, then you are unlikely to have the knowledge required to do it.

    For eg...there are many small things to take into consideration - like the fact that if you make the blow through setup as listed above then you are using a carburettor designed to work in a vacuum and putting charged air through it. It won't work. You need to make mods like having a tube from the intake manifold to the float bowl to ensure that the boost is xferred to there too so there is no pressure differential and so the fuel will get in properly.

    Some carbies will also have problems with seals failing.

    It's obviously possible but not quite as straight forward as you may imagine. Would be a great learning experience if you have lots of time, patience and existing mechanical knowledge. If oyu do it...post pics and You Tube vids :wink:

    You would have to tap into a pressured oil gallery in order to feed the turbo, rather than letting gravity take its course.
  4. There's a bloke on austreetfighters that plonked a turbo on a GS500. Maybe get on there and ask. Those fellas turbo everything they can find.
  5. Probably a bit pointless really. Might as well just use the money to buy a bigger bike and then use the even more money to run it.

    However, if you're determined, reading Maximum Boost by Corky Bell would be a good start.
  6. Wade through this thread to see the sort of problems that pop up for even the experienced. http://supermotojunkie.com/showthread.php?t=23824&highlight=turbo+drz

    General observations:
    You will have to pay someone to do it (a LOT) by the sounds of your first post.
    You won't end up with anything either cheap or particularly useful.
    Cool factor only goes so far.
  7. Cheers for the replies everyone, wasn't expecting this many overnight. I know its a bit 'pie-in-the-sky' but I am curious and hey, I might even get around to it one day!

    PatB - Alternatively I'll just go the natch-asp route and upgrade the internals a bit with a cam and perhaps an uprated alloy piston. Probably work out cheaper and easier that way. Or, just upgrade as you said. Still...

    tim650 - I am familiar with the turbo you mean, I think its an IHI RBH31 from memory. Stock they support around 80hp. That'd be a blast on something small! Hahaha...
  8. Yep, or go Garrett GT15 ball bearing turbo?? But as others have said about having troubles with carby, this sounds like the most tricky bit, so read up/ask around. You dont want to start something that in the end isn't what you desired. But interesting project nonetheless.

    All the best with it champ :grin:
  9. I've been a bit of a pest asking about various things over the past however long, but hope to finally get my act together over the summer now uni is only 4 weeks away from finishing and put together my first ride. It'll probably be a sub 300cc bike due to extortional rego costs etc, but am willing to put in the effort to make it what I want. I suppose not being past rescuing something from the wreckers may make that task a little cheaper, if time-consuming :grin:

    Cheers for the info everyone - boingk
  10. want cheap rego and natural turbo and have fun learning relativley cheeply and do it all your self..
    buy a 2 stroke..
    go buy a cheep poorly running "rz250" there is your cheep rego,

    pull of the top end buy second hand worked top end from a banshee from the states around $2-300 us leave crank stock or stroked($400 some reeds maybe carbs another $500 there is your learning and putting it together..
    get on and hang on,,and complain about the brakes...:)
  11. why?.
    better off supercharging
  12. if your worried about the cost of rego...stay the fcuk away from turbocharging
  13. Why's that, it wont affect rego/insurance because its not like cars that come out turbocharged are more expensive to insure. And the bike he is referring to doing it to is a 500cc, so its over anyway.

    Unless you mean the cost of performing the work fitting etc. Then thats upto him to decide if its worth spending the dough. I've seen a guy who put a lawn mower engine on a 20in pushie and he turbo charged it. Waste of money the amount of work gone into it, but pretty awesome nonetheless. Sorta like what this would be, "a turbo motorbike", YEAH.

  14. nah nothing to do with rego

    more the fact that saying the word turgo makes a giant money sucking vortex form around you....theyre awesome ....but if your budget consious stay the fcuk away from them. not even factoring in insurance and all the boring crap let alone it would all be completley custom for a small bike.....ints never as coool when its sitting in your shed in a million bits cause you've run out of money

    plus turbo's work of exhaust gasses so the bigger the engine the more beneficial they are (ie <500 is pretty much wasting your time and hard earened).

    if i was gonna turbo charge something it would have suzuki written on the side and bandit,gsxr1100 or gsx1400 written on it somewhere....but thats just me :twisted: and im not expert so do whatever ya want
  15. ooooooooorrrrrrrr get a fake blow-off valve and throw some avgas in and pretend
  16. Haha, yeh true, god knows how many times thats happened to my bro and i, and ended up selling unfinished projects for bargains.

    A gsx bandit would be sick turbo, and comfy. That or a Hayabusa :grin:
  17. not to mention the burnt legs on a small cap bike..you'd need a T2 that would be running full boost all day long.