Posts by tag: turbo

Suzuki January 22, 2013 posted by

80’s Science Fiction – Suzuki XN 85 Turbo (in Germany)

In the early 80’s a few manufacturers experimented installing a Turbo on a motorbike. While on cars the added complexity proved to be a very efficient way to boost power, on the 2 wheelers this wasn’t as successful. In 1983 Suzuki launched the XN 85:


but after 1153 models were produced it replaced this with a more conventional high revving 4 cylinder inline motor with increased capacity from 670cc to 750cc (Suzuki GS750ES). This short production run, only adds to the exclusivity of such a motorbike. I mean look at those dials:

Suzuki XN 85 Turbo_5

With the Turbo kicking in at (just) 5000 rpm this made the ride quite smooth. The following example is part of a private collection (a Katana is also available) and is sold on eBay in Germany (check out the link at the bottom of the page). The bike seems in excellent condition, with some minor damage on the left side fairing as you can appreciated on the bottom picture below.

Suzuki XN 85 Turbo_3 Suzuki XN 85 Turbo_10 Suzuki XN 85 Turbo_9 Suzuki XN 85 Turbo_7 Suzuki XN 85 Turbo_4

The seller describes this old-timer (translated by Google):

Often here on EBAY “rarities” offered …. I offer here from my collection (unfortunately) a true rarity – to Suzuki XN 85 Turbo of 1983. Of this motorcycle world only slightly more than 1100 units were built!

When you buy this bike, you can be sure that it only increase in value, unless you take it to the wall.

The Suzuki is running great and is technically sound. A few minor blemishes on the tank (really small) and on the left front panel (see photo) are available, but do the really great impression no Abbbruch.

The bike comes from a collection in the Netherlands and has Dutch documents with export declaration.

With a TÜV “full acceptance” gem. § 21 StVZO it is immediately ready for registration and ready to drive! At a retail price from 6300, – €, I hand over the bike with a new full TÜV approval!

Here’s a general info page:

and a video:

Gladly I can email more photos. I also have a great 1100 Suzuki Katana leave (see questions by email or on 0177-7524342.

To protect myself, the auction is subject to the exclusion of any guarantee, warranty and return policy. Since this is a private sale, I can not guarantee under current EU law apply. The Bidder agrees and acknowledges this with his bid. Under current EU law must be sensitive under any online auction, otherwise, the seller is liable as a private person for a whole year for the goods sold.

On tank no dents or bumps only very minor paint damage, sure ausbesserbar with paint pen. Paint is still very nice! Interior is rust free.

He also include of video of the actual motorbike on sale where you can appreciate the special sound including the Turbo wine:

The starting price is just below 6000 EUR (not cheap, but I guess there are not many around in good conditions) and with 6300 EUR (about 8500 $) a full inspection certificate form the German authorities will be included.

Suzuki XN 85 Turbo


Kawasaki September 19, 2012 posted by

First Turbo Missile: 1978 Kawasaki Z1R Turbo

For Sale: 1978 Kawasaki Z1R Turbo

While not necessarily as hot as a WSB-spec GSXR motor, this ’78 Kawasaki Z1R Turbo was pertty hot stuff before liquid cooling became a performance requirement. So hot was this particular model that it was not even a true factory Kawasaki, but rather a tuner bike sold in Kawi showrooms. Think of this as the Saleen of the motorcycle world.

We have posted a few of these bikes both on RSBFS as well as CSBFS, and they always gather a bit of a crowd. To modern readers, this is a dinosaur; a brutal “more is always better” approach to motorcycling. Those that lived through the experimental era of the 80s see this as the grandfather of the factory turbos. Both are right – and more. These early Z1R TC bikes have become serious collectables along the way.

From the seller:
this a american turbo pac z1r tc.this one of the 250 built and sold through kawasaki dealer shipsthis bike has 14836 miles on her.the frame and all black parts are fresh powder coated,everything on this bike is new or rebuilt,many many $ for NOS parts.the orignal paint is ok the body does have a few scratches on it.the engine is fresh 1075 weisco.this bike comes with a spare body[fairing side panel are off of onther z1r tc,the rest is painted z1r parts],the seat is a reprodution,the extra strip set is from reprodution decals,every thing works very well.I will have a atp turbo kit for kz for sale later this week,with the spare body and turbo kit you can have an orignal and a clone,I might be able to help with delivery? meet 1/2 waywhat ever it takes.the extra chain gard shone is near mint condition,the 130/90 tire has rubbed the chain gard on bike[bikes came with a 120/80 not much tire]the last pic shows a copy of the orignal disclaimer from tcc and the date at which he bought the bike,he was 1/2 owner of the dealer ship,the other signer was the other 1/2 owner.Glenn is alive and well at 74 years of age and remebers the bike well.

There are few who would think that a normally aspirated Z1R is underpowered given the late ’70s chassis and brake tech – but thankfully a few folks disagreed. Preceding the “factory” turbo bikes by a few years, the Z1RTC started life as a basic Z1R. From there, Turbo Cycle Corporation (TCC for short, founded by ex-Kawasaki Marketing Director, Alan Masek) bolted on a ATP turbo kit. These bikes were then sold through a limited number of Kawasaki dealerships sans warranty. It was an effective arrangement for Kawasaki – who recieved the press and performance accolades without incurring any of the warranty headaches.

These bikes are fast, rare (about 500 units made), and not cheap. We have seen BIN numbers exceeding $30k on some examples, making these true collectables. This particular bike is available via auction, and the current bid has just crossed $12,000 (with reserve) at the time of writing. Bidding has been moderate, and I expect it to pick up as the auction goes on. For more info and to peek at the frenzy, click the link and jump over to the action. Good luck!


Honda August 6, 2012 posted by

Turbo Tech: 1983 HONDA CX 650T Turbo

For Sale: 1983 HONDA CX 650T Turbo

And now for a completely different kind of v-twin experience. Loosely based on the CX500 / CX650 powerplant found in Honda’s cruiser/custom lineup as well as the midsized Silverwing touring bike line, the CX650T added a Turbo and cutting edge technology to produce a bike that was outstanding on the road, and miserable in the showroom. When it comes to rare, the unwanted and unloved Turbo bikes of the early 1980s are about as rare as they get for non-homologation, mass production bikes.

The Honda Turbo lineup, which started with the CX500T a year earlier, produced a unique motorcycle. It wasn’t a sportbike, and it certainly was not a dresser. Yet with shaft drive and enough torque to earn the title of “roll-on king,” the Honda Turbos could easily fulfill the role of sport-tourer. All it was lacking was hard bags. With a relatively tall stance and a hefty 500+ pound mass, the ride is comfortable and relaxed. The fairing works well to keep the rider protected, and the power is worth waiting for (turbo lag, while greatly reduced with the switch to the 650 motor, still exists).

From the seller:
Here we have a 1983 Honda 650 Turbo. This model was the lowest production number Honda manufactured with a total of 1776 units sold worldwide. This pristine example is showing 6890 miles.The bike is in collector quality condition and would make a fantastic addition to any serious collection. It is all original down to the Bridgestone tires and those may even have the original air in them. The tires are showing some slight weather cracking on the sidewalls. It starts, runs, drives and stops 100%. All electrics work including the clock and all lights and gauges. It has always been properly stored in a climate controlled garage. The bike is titled, insured and tagged in my name. Thanks for looking and good luck. Someone is going to get a very nice bike.

The CX motors have turned out to be relatively bulletproof. For all the power these bikes produce on boost, maintenance needs are not excessive, and the bikes are not overly fragile. All these models do have a penchant for eating stators as miles accrue (15 to 20k is the general rule), and there have been reports that some of the wiring connections are weak (possibly a related issue). Other than that, keep it full of oil and gas and keep the boost gauge active and you should be good.

This fantastic looking survivor is available via auction. Bidding has been moderate, and the current price is just below $5,000 with reserve still in place. Expect to pay approximately $6,500 or more for a good 650 Turbo; anything below that for a low mileage example should be considered a bargain. I’m not sure if original tires with original air has any collector value, but the rest of this bike sure does. For more info and pictures, click the link and jump over to the auction. Good Luck!


Honda November 29, 2011 posted by

Turbo Time! 1983 Honda CX650 Turbo

For Sale: 1983 Honda CX650 Turbo on eBay

Welcome to the future: The Turbo era! It is hard to believe that this beauty is 28 years old – it still looks futuristic, and the roll-on performance must be experienced to be believed. This survivor has just over 18,000 miles on the odometer, and still shows very well.

The heart of the CX650 Turbo is a traverse 80 degree v-twin last seen in the CX Customs and Silver Wing series of bikes. Internals have been heavily fortified to manage the nearly 17 psi of boost, along with larger valves and a slightly lower compression ratio. With computerized fuel injection (which included the ignition control unit), the CX650 Turbo was civilized for daily riding, but a beast on the boost.

These CX650 Turbos are rare. Less than 1,800 were built worldwide, and just over 1,000 made it into the US. Original pricing put them thousands of dollars over the cost of a brand new literbike. Because of the expense, most people did not jump on the turbo bandwagon, leaving Honda (and others) with a poor seller. Fast forward 25+ years and that poor seller now becomes a collectable model!

From the seller:
1983 Honda CX650 Turbo
Very rare and desirable motorcycle, Honda only imported 1015 back in 1983, far less exist today and far less in this condition.

18,700 miles
Current tags and emissions, clear title.

Bike is ready to ride and enjoy or add to your collection. All the known issues with the CX turbo bikes have been serviced (stator, water pump seal and cam chain). I have receipts for all the service work completed.

Recent service includes:
new stator
new cam chain
new water pump, countershaft, shift shaft seals
front and rear brakes and calipers rebuilt with new brake pads
front forks serviced with new seals and fresh fork oil
air filter serviced
new front and rear Metzeler tires
new spark plugs, oil and filters
new rear drive differential oil
new radiator coolant
suspension has been serviced and fresh grease installed

Bike is complete with enameled key, Honda shop manual and original owners manual and tool kit. Decals are bright and clear, paint is glossy and still looks great! There is one slight scratch on the front fender (see photo) and the trip odometer knob is missing (very common on the CX500/650 turbo bikes, see photo), clock on dashboard does not work. This is a beautiful motorcycle that is ready for a new home.

If you have never had the opportunity to ride a Turbo CX650 you are missing a real treat, these bikes sound amazing and the highway speed roll on acceleration is amazing. I am going to miss this bike from my collection, I hope it finds a good new home with an owner that can enjoy the bike as much as I have.

These Honda Turbos are pretty bulletproof – after all, it IS a Honda… The only weak link in the CX650 Turbo’s armor is a weak stator which tends to burn out early, leaving the bike to run on battery power only, and eventually resulting in a no start situation. Fortunately, this one has already been replaced! Other than that, these bikes are good for miles and miles of sport touring fun.

Now the hard part: This seller is asking a BIN of $9,500 for this ’83 CX650T. The bike does look to be in great condition, and prices have gone up on these recently. However the asking price represents a few thousand over the going rate… Turbo owners the world over are secretly hoping that the seller gets the asking price to help push up values, but I see this one sitting on the shelf for a little bit longer at this price. The seller is open to offers however, so you might still want to check it out here. Enjoy!


Sport Bikes For Sale March 7, 2011 posted by

Suzuki’s Dark Secret: 1983 XN85 Turbo

Suzuki’s Dark Secret:  1983 XN85 Turbo

If there is such a thing as a read headed step child of the motorcyling world, the XN85 Turbo is it.  It sounds like as soon as the production line shut down Suzuki was ready to move on.  I love this quote from

“Suzuki America does everything short of denying the bike’s very existence”

It is rare bird indeed with just under 1200 produced and only 300 of those made it to the United States.  For comparisons sake,  roughly 3600 VJ23 RGv250’s were produced and that is considered a rare bike.

The funny thing is, after reading up on the bike it was well reviewed at the time.  Yes, the engine was a bit quirky but the  bike got high marks in the handling department.  The frame was used on other models and it was the first production motorcycle to sport a 16″ front wheel.

I was still ripping around on dirt bikes back in 83 so I’m stealing this wealth of info from  It is a just a vault of info on the XN.   Tech info, pictures, magazine articles:  it is all there.

Details from the auction:

This is one clean and rare machine,  SUZUKI  made only 1153 of these and just 300 of made there way to the U.S.A. This one has the very low production # of 68 adding to its collect-ability and long term value. Runs great,  paint is original and nice. Tires have plenty of tread. The wind screen is cracked but they are available from Gustafsson Fairings for $100. Personal viewing is welcome, I’m located 70 miles north of Los Angeles  For International  buyer, I can deliver to shippers in the Los Angeles area for $150.

Suzuki may have shunned the XN but people still seek them out.  For that reason don’t expect any deals on a clean low mile example.  suggests $3000-$4000 for a clean, low mile bike and up to $7000 if you are lucky to find one in showroom condition.  I don’t know about $7,000 for this bike but I would assume it would sell at the higher end of the spectrum.  That’s a faux aluminum swing arm.  Suzuki brought out the spray paint to hide the steel.

 The backward “turbo” is not a mistake.  It is just another quirk of the XN85.  I see a little hint of Katana styling there from the front.  If you’d like to own a little piece of Suzuki history that Suzuki would rather forget, .


Kawasaki January 29, 2011 posted by

First of the Turbo Bikes: 1978 Kawasaki Z1R-TC

For Sale: 1978 Kawasaki kz1000 Z1R-TC Turbo Charged Z1-R

When it comes to “factory” Turbo bikes, the Kawasaki Z1R-TC was the bike that paved the way. Created through an arrangment between Kawasaki and Turbo Cycle Corporation (which was founded by ex-Kawasaki Marketing Director, Alan Masek), brand new Z1Rs were sent to TCC, who then modified them with a RayJay turbo and badging. These modified bikes were then sold through select Kawasaki dealers – without a warranty.

From the seller:
This listing is for Kawasaki’s 1978 Turbo Charged Z1R: frame # KZT00D0076xx and engine # KZT00DE0076xx. This example is an unrestored, early release unit (1 of 250) with matching numbers and low miles. Upgrades and alterations include:

New Paint (2008)
Allen Head SS Fastener kit (2007)
Oil Return re-routed to Kick Start cover (from Oil Filler cap)
New Tires (2008)
New Sealed Battery (2008)
Welded Crank (2005)
High Capacity Oil Pan w/ Trap Door (2005 & 2007)
Backcut Transmission (2005)
Lock Up Clutch (2005)
New DOHC points cover in 2008 (Moriwaki cover was removed & unavailable)
1075 Turbo Piston kit (2005)
Dynatek Dana S ignition in 2008 (replaced original Martex system)
“TC” Side Cover emblems (2008)

The oil/ filter was changed and tank drained in the fall of 2008, and it has been in storage. The manual, supplement, black zip case, extra key and the other items pictured are included along with any pertinent documentation.

This particular bike is in great condition for such a rare model. The color is correct for a US bike, as is the year (they were only offered ’78-’80, although rumor has it that the ’79 bikes were simply repainted unsold units from ’78). There were only approximately 500 units total of the Z1R-TC created, and even fewer in the stock Kawasaki color. Later models (and Canadian bikes) had the multi-stripe graphic as seen below.

Bidding has been brisk on this example, with the current pricing in the $8k range and the reserve still in place. Look for this one to go up quite a bit more before it ends. Sure, parts may be a bit difficult to find (at least the non-Kawasaki gear), but by all standards this is one fast bike. Straight-line performance eclipsed that of most of the later factory Turbo bikes, with 1/4-mile times in the 10 second range.

This is a real piece of history that deserves a good home. For more info, to simply watch the auction, or to bid on the bike to make it your own, click the link to .


Honda January 13, 2011 posted by

Techno Wonder: 1982 Honda CX 500 Turbo

For Sale: 1982 Honda CX 500 Turbo

In 1982, Honda brought forth a technological wonder: the CX500 Turbo. Loaded with an IHI turbo and with fuel injection and other functions controlled by a computer, the CX500T promised liter-bike power in a 500cc package.

The reality of the bike – the world’s first factory mass-produced Turbo bike (although Kawasaki Z1 Turbos came out earlier, those were not factory Turbo bikes) – was a porky, top-heavy sport tourer that was anemic at low RPM and unpredictable to ride. Boost came on suddenly and violently, transforming the bike into a relative beast. Sure it was fast – but it was difficult to ride fast in a consistent manner. They were also more expensive than most liter-bikes of the day, and simply did not sell well.

From the seller:
1982 Honda CX500 Turbo. 30,XXX miles. Runs great, everything works, including Turbo and Turbo guage.

Classic 80’s superbike appreciating in value. First factory produced turbo motorcycle.

Original paint. Second owner from new. Bike was unsed between 1985 – 2010.

Clear title and current registration, plated in California.

Bike has new Dunlop tires front and rear. New battery, new fuel pump, new seat cover.

Bike has small shallow dent in top of tank (see photo) paint is intact, a professional should be able to remove.

Gold anodizing on front wheel has worn thin in places.

Bike comes with original leather bound owner’s manual and workshop manual. Also a spare set of fuel injectors with nicer metal finish.

The CX500 engine is quite robust; Honda dropped the compression ratio to help it live better during the boost phase, and strengthed the bottom end. There are not many reports of major engine catastrophes, although the stator has been a known trouble area on all Honda Turbo bikes.

These Turbo bikes are also relatively rare – built in a short span of time in the early 1980’s, they were gone by 1984. Surviving examples are generally cherished by owners; they are unique, comfortable and reliable motorcycles.

There is only a short amount of time left on this auction, and the bidding has stalled in the $2k range. This bike is a higher-mileage example, and is not the more coveted 650 variant, but is still a bargain at the current level. The reserve has been lifted and this bike is ready to sell. Here is a great collectable bike that is a blast to ride – at least in a straight line! Click on the link to


Kawasaki November 17, 2010 posted by

Thanks-turbo-Giving! 1985 Kawasaki 750 Ninja Turbo

1985 Kawasaki GPZ Ninja 750 Turbo

What you are looking at is the quickest bike available in 1985. The last to the Turbo party in the 1980s, Kawasaki learned from mistakes of the competition and created the ultimate factory Turbo bike. With 95+ horsepower, decent handling and tight packaging, the Turbo Ninja came the closest to fulfilling the promise of Turbo power without gimmicks and without excuses.

This Kawasaki was a real performer, providing air-cooled KZ 750 engine internals mated to a Hitachi HT-10B turbocharger and lighting the whole thing off with digital fuel injection. The chassis was upgraded to match the horsepower, and offered the latest in Uni-Track single shock technology in the back. Up front, dual front disks and the latest 37mm air-adjustable forks with adjustable anti dive helped the Turbo Ninja steer and stop on par with the best sport bike of the day.

From the seller:
1985 750 Turbo Classic !!!! Kaw only produced in 1984 & 1985, original owner, very low mileage 7900, Bike tuned up in June 2010, new brakes, new tires, oil change and all filters..Bike runs like new, still very fast.. At the time of production fastest street bike. I took it for a ride 11/13/10 and hit a top speed of 120 mph and there was still more to go….Overall the bike is in good condition with a small ding in the gas tank..This bike is awesome, really do not want to sell it but need to…

For a bike of this vintage, this appears to be in pretty good condition. It is certainly not a museum-worthy piece, but rather could be ridden without worry about damage or mileage. The odometer shows less than 8,000 miles, which is quite low for the year and the model. Still, there are some inperfections as pointed out by the seller. With a BIN set at $3,600, this bike represents a fair value for such a collectable machine.

Kawasaki produced only 1,500 Turbos in 1985, which certainly qualifies this bike as rare. Interestingly enough, most US spec Turbos were produced in Kawasaki’s Lincoln, Nebraska facility right here on US soil.

By the end of 1985, the motorcycling world had moved on. The public would not see another factory Turbo bike, making this the last Turbo model ever. High prices and complex technology ultimately fell victim to more cost effective cubic inches. But for a few brief years, boosted bikes whistled along the highways and canyons looking for competition. If you want to relive those days, here is your chance.


Sport Bikes For Sale November 16, 2010 posted by

Boosted: 1984 Suzuki XN85 TURBO!

1984 Suzuki XN85 Turbo

Suzuki entered the Turbo wars of the 1980’s with a bang. While Honda and Yamaha created Turbo bikes with a sport-touring intent, Suzuki went straight for the sportbike jugular. Chiseled from the same mold as the GS1100 Katana with its sport fairing and clip-on bars, the XN85 included such period go-fast pieces as a Full Floater rear suspension, anti-dive front fork, and a GP-inspired 16 inch front wheel. Although heavy by sport bike standards at 550 lbs wet, the XN85 was a comparative missle when the road turned twisty.

From the seller:
For sale Original Suzuki Turbo XN85 in perfect condition. Full tine-up and new tires. TURBO is 100% perfect. This bike was kept by the last two owner for more than 11 years in heat place and start every year. I have it since last year and it showrom condition. Was drive only 13483 miles I done 1600 miles with the motorcycle and all gear, Shifter, Brake,Suspension work perfectly. Original millage and it just missing the front side fairing light reflector. Everything else is on the bike. Also it ORIGINAL PAINT.

It can be ship in all Canada and USA. If you need more information, contact me using contact seller in ebay.

While extremely rare, these Suzukis have also proven to be quite reliable. Known issues are minor and primarily related to the exhaust – water gathers in the 4 into one collector, creating internal rust. Unfortunately, because of the rarity of the model, spare parts and knowledgeable mechanics are both in short supply.

The XN85 has a nifty instrument pod, complete with speedo, tach, fuel gauge, boost gauge (upper middle), and oil temp gauge. Boost builds by approximately 5,000 RPM, and these models pull right up to the 10k redline. Although there are more ‘turbo’ stickers on this model than any other turbo bike of the era (including a backwards one on the front of the fairing), the XN85 is not quite as fast as it looks. The bike has 85 horsepower (hence the name), and is saddled with a bit of weight due to the extra plumbing. Still, it offers a satisfying jump when the boost kicks in

If you are looking to roll on something a little different than your buddies, then this just might be the bike for you. Suzuki built just over 1,100 units of the XN85 model, and reportedly only 300 were imported to the US (note that the XN85 was a 1983-only model in the US). This clean Canadian bike might be the best chance you’ll get at owning one of these wonderful motorcycles. Sure to be an eclectic classic for years to come, the XN85 Turbo will carry you down the road in style and relative performance – what a bargain!