Posts by tag: turbo

Kawasaki February 12, 2019 posted by

Puffed Up: 1978 Kawasaki Z1-R TC

In the 1970s the Kawasaki Z1 was the big dog of the sporting world. Long in the tooth as the decade neared to a close (the Z1 platform was introduced way back in 1972), Kawasaki introduced an updated model - the Z1-R. Largely a warmed-over refresh rather than an all new design, the R model had the looks to help it along in the showroom, but lacked the technology, refinement and performance that competitors were offering. Enter a unique partnership between Alan Masek and his newly formed Turbo Cycle Company and Kawasaki. Masek was a former Kawasaki executive - and knew that the Z1-R was faltering in the showroom. That meant there was a stockpile of bikes that Kawasaki couldn't sell. By marrying these unsold units to an American Turbo Pak kit and selling the bikes through the dealership network, Kawasaki was able to put itself back into the horsepower game with relatively low risk. Thus the Z1-R TC was born.

1978 Kawasaki Z1-R TC for sale on eBay

Beneath the sticker kit, the TC model was all Z1-R. Same brakes, suspension, controls, engine and trans. Outside of the bolt-on turbo and boost gauge, wastegate and associated piping, there wasn't much else. Your $1,400 premium to the already expensive Z1-R bought you graphics and outrageous horsepower. And voided your warranty. And while the Z1 platform was robust for its time, the lack of any engine controls (no fuel injection, no rev limiter, etc) meant that you were only one missed shift away from mechanical catastrophe. Keep in mind that all other engine internals were shared with the standard Z1-R. Therefore it was suggested that new owners upgrade to stronger valve springs, weld the crank and upgrade the clutch if the bike were to be used aggressively. Did I mention it also voided the warranty?

From the seller:
This 1978 kawasaki Z1RTC bike is one of 220 made and sold through kawasaki dealers. This bike is in good original condition and has had several new oem parts. Bike has been stored in climate control house garage. Lights and turn signals horn and other electronics work including the fuel and amp gauge. This bike has not been repainted. Worse thing on it is the fuel tank does have some light few chips in the paint by the neck. The engine cases are the original ones for the bike. It does have brand new correct size tires on it. New battery also. It is ready to ride. The motor has been rebuilt with new gaskets, seals and new paint on the cases. They are the only thing that has been painted. Has correct gas valve and wind screen. The seat is in excellent shape and comes with the hard to find kicker, the rubber is there for it but I do not have the bracket to hold it. Brakes have been all rebuilt front and back with hard to find parts.the turbo is in excellent shape also.

The wild paint scheme you see here was introduced on the second generation of TC bikes. These are identified by the "Molly Designs" logo on the tail section. Numerous small upgrades were incorporated on the Gen II bikes, including an upgraded collector and exhaust system, and a factory-limited wastegate (now set at 6 PSI, rather than adjustable). This was all in the name of making the bike more rider friendly, and to aid in the ultimate longevity of the mechanicals. And while the TC was certainly fast, it was by no means a showroom winner. Sure, it gave Kawasaki street creds and horsepower bragging rights - but it was a "for experts only" motorcycle that commanded a serious premium. Many were pressed into service as drag bikes - and endured a difficult life full of breakages and modifications. Today finding a totally clean and stock Z1-R TC is a rare sight.

This particular 1978 Z1-R TC looks to be in pretty nice shape. Wearing original paint and still holding onto the stock boost gauge, decals and info plates, the bike looks very close to original. The engine has been gone through (not surprising given the age and the history of the model), but no information as to any potential internal upgrades (i.e. welded crank, etc). With fewer than 10,000 miles, this forty-something year old wonder is looking for a new home. This is an iconic motorcycle in the annals of turbo charging, as it was the first TC bike that was officially offered by a major manufacturer (even if it was a partnership and not a full fledged in-house model). Prices for these bikes continue to rise, given the rarity and importance of the model. This particular one jumped quickly above $12k - with more to come and reserve still in place. Check it out here, and then jump back to the comments and share your thoughts on turbos. Good Luck!!

MI

Puffed Up: 1978 Kawasaki Z1-R TC
Featured Listing January 19, 2019 posted by

Featured Listing: 1984 Honda CX650 Turbo!

The 1980s were a wild ride of experimentation and technology. From pop music to television and video, from the rise of the personal computer to gaming systems, this was the dawning of a new era. This was evident in the motorcycle industry as well. All Big Four Japanese manufacturers dabbled with the concept of turbocharging, hyping futuristic cycles with bold graphics and the promise of Buck Rogers performance. And while they all had some form of fatal flaw, it was the technological might of Honda that took the concept further. Honda, in fact, was the only manufacturer to produce TWO turbo models during this era. Of them, the CX650T was a second generation evolution, and largely regarded as the most tightly integrated and complete turbo project from a factory. Today's Feature Listing is just such a bike: a one-year only, 1984 Honda CX650 Turbo.

Featured Listing: 1984 Honda CX650 Turbo!

Based on the CX650 configuration (utilized in both cruiser and Silver Wing formats), the basic engine quickly brings to mind a Moto Guzzi. With a 90 degree V-twin mounted longitudinally with shaft drive, the resemblance is more than just passing. The differences go far, far deeper, however. With liquid cooling, programmable fuel injection and four valves per cylinder, the CX650 Turbo threw technology at the configuration and came up with impressive performance. The biggest contributor to the power curve is the 16+ pounds of boost developed by the IHI turbocharger tucked behind the sport-touring fairing.

To get to the second generation Turbo from the original CX500 platform, Honda did not have to do all that much. The block was already overbuilt; minor modifications were made to fit the 650 with bigger bearings. And while the CX650T resembles the year earlier CX500 Turbo, there were many, many changes and improvements. Both displacement and compression were bumped. For while the 500cc machine made decent power on boost, off boost it had all of the guts of your basic moped. The compression and displacement changes helped the 650 variant in those off boost situations, making a much better riding bike. But don't discount the on-boost performance - even today the 650 Turbo is considered a bit of a wonder, and known as "the roll on king." At boost-generating RPMs, a simple twist of the throttle brings very, very impressive results.

From the seller:
1983 Honda CX 650 Turbo VIN # JH2RC1605DM000268 13800 miles.

Recent work(2018)
New: Tires, battery, fork seals, air & oil filter. Spark plugs. Rebuilt rear caliper and rear master cylinder. New rear brake pads. New front master cylinder. Rebuilt front calipers. New brake pads . New Galfer Braided Stainless steel front brake lines. Fresh engine oil, shaft oil, fork oil.

Starts runs well. Turbo spools up quickly. Everything works. Well except the fuel gauge. Some days it works, some days it does not. Every time I go to look at it, its working. 🙁 Has some scratches , see photos but overall excellent condition for a 36 year old bike. Have records and receipts for work done. I have the original owners manual and two keys. Can be ridden anywhere. No surprises.

Price $ 8500.00
Located in Skippack, PA.
Interested buyers should contact Mike

There are basically three categories of Turbo bikes: The first is the well preserved, relatively low mileage examples that have been ridden and cared for. The second are the thrashers; bought cheaply, these were treated poorly and are missing plastics, have been modified and or crashed. Repeatedly. The final category are the seemingly creme puff machines with nearly no miles - but that is a red herring to watch for. Since these were very complex machines that did not sell well, Honda donated a significant number of bikes to tech schools to use for training. The bikes in the last category often have missing or modified VIN numbers, as they were never intended to be registered or used. Of all the classes of Turbo bikes, the first is what you want. Mileage is good for these machines, as regular use and heat cycles maintain the seals and keep moving parts such as the turbo waste gate operational. Fortunately, today's bike is just such an example.

The seller has provided some great pictures of the wonderful machine, as well as noting some minor issues. By and by, these are somewhat porky machines; they are heavy and tippy at a stop, and not for the weak or faint rider. But they are well neigh bulletproof as well; tales of longevity for Honda Turbos are well known in the community, with few weak points (stators being the primary). Wheels are a normal size and tire selection is good. Parts shared with the CX line are plentiful, and even Turbo-specific parts availability is decent. The fuel level issue is not unique to this model, but certainly a detraction. All in all, this looks to be a solid, original bike. Nobody made many Turbos in the 80s, and numbers are scarce. Prices have been creeping up as the fleet ages, and there is every indication that these are machines that will hold value, if not continue to appreciate. Check out the details and then give Mike a shout - you too can ride the future of TURBO power! Good Luck!!

Featured Listing: 1984 Honda CX650 Turbo!
Suzuki January 12, 2019 posted by

Use Your Boost to Get Through – 1983 Suzuki XN85 Turbo

Vying for additional power without displacement, the 1980's saw major cycle makers attempt to tailor the excess heat and complexity of turbocharging to sport bikes.  Suzuki's entry is the rarest and this one has ultra-low mileage, and just one tangle with the mischievous elves that tip stuff onto parked motorcycles.

1983 Suzuki XN85 Turbo for sale on eBay

Suzuki based their turbo on a 673cc inline four, and used electronic fuel injection to tailor the fuel delivery through the variable throttle / boost map.  85 hp are claimed, leading to the model designation.  An early adopter of innovations like Full-Floater rear suspension, air-oil cooling system ( with piston squirters ), and 16-inch front wheel, the XN85 was a bit of a tech showcase.  Kayaba provided the suspension, with anti-dive forks.  Triple disks are big but not oversize considering the 550 lb. ready-to-ride weight.  Angular fairing and sculpted tank owe royalties to the then-recent Katana.

Detailed photos should be part of an auction with a high falutin' buy-it-now, which this eBay bike parts dealer probably knows.  Nothing a pre-purchase inspection can't remedy, however.  Some history and service record(s) would be a help, even for a bike with so many years and so few miles.  Short and sweet from the eBay listing:

483 miles - all original except petcock, last ran in December 2018. Also, have Service Manual, and original title.
Right rear tail section has scratches that can be fixed.

Suzuki's turbo was the sportiest of the big four's litter, though even at that it's more of a GT.  None were real showroom success stories, but maybe their role was more of leading edge glitterati for the dealer.  Under just the right conditions, the XN85 could woosh through the traps first, or just look great on the sidestand.  Either way the XN85 can provide liter-size performance from a boosted mid-size, and maybe the make offer button will let us know whether this is a survivor or museum piece.

-donn

 

Use Your Boost to Get Through – 1983 Suzuki XN85 Turbo
Honda November 18, 2018 posted by

Power Play: 1983 Honda CX650 Turbo

The 1980s represented a wild period for motorcycle manufacturers. Everyone was throwing technology at the performance problem, and all Big Four vendors went full speed down the Turbo road. Little did they know it would be a dead end street. But while it lasted, the glorious promise of liter-bike power in a mid-sized motorcycle ruled the day. The mighty technological giant know as Honda was both the first - and the last - reveler at the boosted party, and built what many consider the most complete factory Turbo bike offered. Enter today's rarity, the mighty 1983 Honda CX650 Turbo. Long since known as the roll-on king, the CX650T produced real-world, usable power in a whooshing rush that was unmatched by contemporaries. Offered for one scant year at a princely price, the 650 Turbo (just like the CX500 Turbo) failed to capture much wallet share of the riding public, and was discontinued. With it, the Turbo era was over.

1983 Honda CX650 Turbo for sale on eBay

Externally the CX650T resembles a futuristic Silver Wing, and the apple didn't fall too far from that tree. Utilizing a slightly beefed up bottom end, the Turbo model makes due with many of the CX infrastructure elements - which should tell you how over built the CX lineup was in the first place. A single turbo blows through the four valve heads. Fueling is provided courtesy of computerized injection (hot and heavy stuff back then). Optimizing for torque rather than peak HP, the 650 is good for about 100 HP. But this is no drag racer. With shaft drive, air suspension, a heavy chassis, a beefy motor, nearly a of ton of electronics and the large fairing, the CX650 Turbo tips the scales significantly on the wrong side of 550 lbs. Honda wisely chose the "sport touring" theme with their Turbo bikes, partly due to necessity of packaging everything up.

From the seller:
17 mile cx650 turbo tiltle is in my name. This bike will need serviced..it does run and drive .i tested it and put 10 miles on it my self Oem stock tools ,air gauge ,owners manual,stock Oem tires with nubs
Front rear,only thing on this bike not Oem it the glove box cover,other then that .this bike is as it was sold new.

Turbo bikes are rare. With only 1,700 and change of the 650s ever made (and a reported mere 1,000 or 1,200 imported to the US), these beasts are not common. This particular bike sports only 17 miles... total! Low mile Turbo bikes are more the norm than the exception, but this is an extreme example. The only specimens that have fewer miles are those machines donated by Honda to technical schools for training and learning (those were never intended to be titled or ridden). But miles are not to be feared on a CX650 Turbo. These are robust motorcycles with few real issues. The key gremlins on the bike are electrical related. Stators are no longer available and the cause of many a charging system's demise. Removable connectors under the seat can get corroded, run hot under load and can burn out. Other than those items, regular use will keep items such as the turbo waste gate operational and happy.

Turbo bikes have always been expensive relative to their same brand, non-boosted counterparts. That is part of the reason why they are rare; they simply were too expensive for the level of performance offered. And while they have been slow to appreciate (financial turbo lag?) they have been slowly climbing in price. Top condition, low mileage bikes are on the sharp end of the field - as is to be expected with any collectible. The seller is looking for an opening ask of $8,900, which thus far has scared away bidders. Nearly nine grand is a big ask for a CX650 Turbo in today's market, especially as this is the opening ask of an auction. These are wonderful and unique bikes that deserve a good look if you are searching for a rider/collector machine. This one is priced a little high when compared to others we have seen, but is certainly not in absurd territory. Check it out here, and then jump back to the comments and share your Turbo stories. Turbos need love too! Good Luck.

MI

Power Play: 1983 Honda CX650 Turbo
Kawasaki April 27, 2018 posted by

Explosive [Acceleration] Device: 1978 Kawasaki Z1R-TC Turbo for Sale

UPDATE: This bike sold before I could post it, but I'd thought I'd share it with you all anyway, since it is so darn nice. -Tad

The dream of the 1980s was to turbo all the things. Cars, hairdryers, sneakers... If you could buy it, someone was trying to slap a TURBO badge on it during the 1980s to help move units. Actual turbochargers started showing up on commonly-available vehicles during the 80s to inspire that trend, but people were experimenting with turbocharged passenger cars as far back as the Oldsmobile Jetfire, Chevy Corvair Corsa, and Saab 99 Turbo. It took a bit longer for turbocharging to find its way into the production motorcycling world, due to a few challenges associated with the relatively primitive turbo technology of the time. Of course, the term "production" might be stretching things a bit when you're talking about the Kawasaki Z1R-TC Turbo.

By 1978, the Kawasaki Z1R KZ1000 was decidedly old-fashioned, with honking big air-cooled four cylinder engine, a twin-shock rear suspension, spindly forks up front, and a frame that was less than cutting-edge. The package was generally competent and well-regarded, just a bit long-in-the-tooth. With the development of the much more modern GPz underway, Kawasaki needed to move some remaining stock and generate a bit of excitement for the brand. The TC Turbo, which took the already reasonably quick Z1R and added a RaJay turbo package that increased power by 50%, may have generated a little too much excitement.

TURBO was a word associated with power and speed and modern and cool, even if most people really didn't know what it meant, or exactly how a turbocharger added power to an engine. A high school buddy of mine drove his mom's Mitsubishi Tredia L equipped with some sort of POWER button on the automatic shifter, and he was convinced that it activated "turbo boost," since he'd watched lots of Knight Rider and thought that's how things worked... What it probably did was lock out overdrive in the transmission, but you couldn't convince him it didn't actually release additional power. And likely a great many enthusiasts' understanding of the technology didn't extend much beyond that.

Turbos can make big power, but with that great power comes great responsibility and it was laughably easy to adjust the wastegate on the Z1R TC to allow boost far beyond what the stock internals could handle, leading to a sudden, explosive reversal of the normal interior/exterior engine component relationship. Sure, you could always opt to have your new Kawasaki's engine fully built to withstand the additional pressures, something that was actually recommended by the company, but how many people do you think bothered to do that?

Turbochargers originally came into widespread use during World War II, and the advantages of forced-induction were exploited to allow combat aircraft to perform more efficiently at high altitudes, where reduced oxygen density significantly reduced power. The move towards turbocharging in automobiles was also driven by necessity in the 80s, when the manufacturers were hit by significantly increased fuel-economy and emissions standards. A turbocharger allowed smaller, more efficient engines to perform like larger engines on demand.

Unfortunately, while that Jekyl/Hyde personality of early turbocharged cars generally made them entertaining, it made motorcycles, especially ones already pushing the limits of frame and suspension technology, pretty terrifying: the Z1R probably would have killed more people than Cholera, but luckily very few were actually built. Even fewer still survive today, and most of those aren't in the hands of their original owners, who likely died horrible, firey deaths...

From the original eBay listing: 1978 Kawasaki Z1R Turbo for Sale

Created through an arrangement between Kawasaki and Turbo Cycle Corporation (which was founded by ex-Kawasaki Marketing Director, Alan Masek) brand new Z1R's were sent to TCC, who then modified them with a RaJay turbo and badging. These modified bikes were then sold through select Kawasaki dealers- without a warranty. THERE WERE ONLY 500 BUILT. 

The gas tank side covers, header panels, and tail section have been repainted and color matched to an original Z1R TC. It has all new decals from reproductiondecals.com. So much work has been done to this bike. There are approximately 40 miles on the top half of the rebuilt engine. the cylinder was removed, sand blasted, honed, and painted. New piston rings have been installed. I purchased a like new cylinder head that has all new component parts. The original head had two hairline cracks. The forks were removed, cleaned, and polished with new dust covers. It has a new battery. It has a rebuilt,older style Keihn carburetor. I have the original Bendix carburetor, but as most people know, it runs smoother with the Keihn carborator.

The Rajay turbo 370 F 40 was rebuilt by Mr. Turbo.  The seat has no rips or cuts. The seat pan was removed, sanded, primed, and painted with stock stickers installed from reproductiondecals.com. The bike starts, sounds, and runs great. I have all of the receipts from the mechanical work. Only if i feel you are very serious, I will provide you with the name of the motorcycle service center who performed the work on my bike and send you copies of the sales and receipts. Before the engine was rebuilt, I replaced the tires which are Pirelli Sport Demon. The sprockets and the brake pads were replaced. Those items have about 200 miles on them. The only item i know of that is not an original item is the Pingel fuel valve. Passed down from the original owner are the owners manual, turbo supplement manual, and black vinyl Kawasaki pouch, which was provided for Z1R TC conversions. Both manuals have all the pages intact, and are not oily or greasy. By the way, I know on Ebay, there are reproduction turbo supplement manuals, but this one is original. You can tell by the yellowing pages and semi brittle paper. All three items are 40 years old. 

This actual bike, and not one just like it, is pictured in a hard cover book written by Tony Sculpher title, "Kawasaki (K) Z1000 Z1-R." I have the book. I bought the bike from a collector of Z1R TCs. I wont divulge the info of the collector on ebay, due to privacy and legalities. I made a copy of the title while it was in his name, before I sent it to be transferred to my name. His name is in the book with a picture of my actual motorcycle above the description. All of the instrumentation works. The bike starts, sounds, and runs great. 

This bike's VIN is listed in the official Kawasaki registration for TCC bikes. I am posting a few photos, however, if you want more, please state the area of the bike that you want more detailed photos of. The frame VIN is KZT00D006472. The engine number is from the state police of California as it looks like there must have been an engine case issue which required a factory replacement. Replacement cases from Kawasaki do not carry an engine number and come blank. 

I will assist with your shipping, but will not be responsible for the shipping.

If you're in the market for a Z1R TC [and who isn't?] this looks like a good one. Unfortunately, as mentioned at the start, the listing has been pulled, so I'm assuming it "sold locally." It's clearly been owned by a knowledgeable enthusiast and, although it isn't sporting original paint, it appears to have been painstakingly restored. This is about as nice a machine as you're likely to find, with history, appropriate mechanical updates, and even a very comprehensive video with lots of commentary.

-tad

Explosive [Acceleration] Device: 1978 Kawasaki Z1R-TC Turbo for Sale
Yamaha March 23, 2018 posted by

Me Too: 1982 Yamaha Seca 650 Turbo

While technically the 1979 Kawasaki Z1R TC was the first factory turbocharged motorcycle, that was more of a partnership and sales tool to move Z1R units - not a full production motorcycle. It was Honda who fired the first real salvo when it came to fully integrated factory turbos, with the intent that turbo power would become the future of motorcycling. The remainder of the Big Four jumped into the technology cauldron immediately, anxious not to be left behind. In the case of Yamaha, this reeked of a "me too" effort; the XJ650LJ had the necessary elements of a turbocharger and zoomy futuristic styling, but little else was new or noteworthy. Like all the factory turbos of the 1980s, the Seca quickly fell by the wayside as an expensive novelty. The world did not vote with their wallets, and all the manufacturers discovered that they already had better bikes of the normally aspirated variety on the showroom floor. The cost and complexities of turbo power did not immediately add up to the promise of a better future. Three decades later, bike such as this 1982 Yamaha Seca 650 Turbo remain rare and relatively unloved.

1982 Yamaha Seca 650 Turbo for sale on eBay

When it comes to approaches, Yamaha took no real risk in designing the Turbo variant of the Seca. Utilizing the existing Seca platform (four cylinder, air cooled, two valves, carbs), Yamaha engineers fitted a tiny 39mm Mitsubishi turbo behind the engine and below the tranny, just ahead of the rear wheel. This was nice from an overall packaging stance, but the long exhaust primaries to feed the turbine create some degree of dreaded turbo lag. The interesting exhaust piping doesn't end there; while the Seca has two mufflers, only the left pipe is normally in operation. The sole function of the right muffler is to vent gasses once the wastegate fully opens. And unlike Honda, which stuffed their turbo bikes full of computers and electronic hardware to manage the fuel injection and engine functions, Yamaha utilized blow-through carburetors and eliminated much of the computerized complexity. Air cooling maintains simplicity and helps to keep weight down, although The Seca Turbo weighs in some 65 pounds more than the normally aspirated XJ650 on which it is based. Air-assisted suspension provides a nice level of adjustability, but the rest of the package (including the brakes - and yes, that is a drum on the rear) is pure XJ650 Seca. With only about 7 PSI of boost available before the wastegate shuts the party down, the Seca remains one of the more mild factory Turbo bikes to ride.

From the seller:
1982 Yamaha Seca 650 TURBO
This motorcycle has been in a climate controlled museum for the last 10+ Years. There is no sun fading - It's a time capsule.
Comes with both Keys.

My Master Mechanic & I Un-Mothballed recently, Installed a new battery, Changed the Engine Oil & Filter, Flushed the Carbs & Fuel System (Which had been Drained and Oil Fogged) and 1/2 filled the gas tank with NON-Ethanol Premium Fuel. After a little cranking it came to life - but in checking everything out from sitting in a display mode for so long we noticed the turbo waste gate was partially stuck open - so - we removed the turbo. Instead of just cleaning everything up and putting it back together - we sent the turbo unit to G-Pop (see picture of the receipt) and had the Turbo totally Rebuilt - Cleaned - Balanced & Blue Printed before reinstalling it. I do not sell motorcycles out of my museum that do not operate mechanically correct for the new owners. The reserve will reflect this upgrade to the unit but is worth it for the service it will provide to the new owner.

More from the seller:
There are no fuel leaks. It idles with the choke off. It Revs & Restarts fine. If the plan of the new owner is to ride the bike - I'd recommend a general check over due to the time the bike has been idle. We haven’t driven it other than around the parking lot due to the age of the tires. If it goes back into another collection the tires won’t matter. It the new owner wants to drive it on the street etc. he’ll get to pick the tires of his choice. The bike is titled & licensed in Oregon.

Here is a You-Tube Link from the seller showing a walk around of the motorcycle and starting and running the unit:

This particular Seca 650 Turbo is coming out of a private museum. It has a few more miles on it that what would be expected from a museum example, but then again we should just be happy some of these odd bikes have been preserved. Overall this bike looks great for its age. The Alpinestars sticker and newer Yamaha logo on the right side of the lower chin fairing are flagrant non-stock items, but providing that these are not hiding some damage then no harm, no foul. The sticking wastegate is a normal issue for any turbo bike - regular usage alleviates these types of recurring problems. And regular riding is exactly what these bikes were designed for, turbo lag and all. Riders will find that the performance is not quite up to the hype, but even today these bikes offer a fun rush once the boost builds to its max. Heavier than contemporary 1100cc machines with performance nipping at the heels of the 750s of the day, the promise of a boosted future was put on hold after the 1983 model year (all 1984 examples are hold over units from '83). This bike appears to be in decent condition, is clean and presents well. Located in Oregon, check it out here. You don't see too many of these Seca Turbos any longer, so act quickly if you are interested. Good Luck!!

MI

Me Too: 1982 Yamaha Seca 650 Turbo