Kawasaki Tantalizes Us With Hints Of A Tourer With A Blower
Adding A Sport-Tourer To Its Expanding Supercharged Lineupby TJ Hinton, on
The supercharger technology with which Kawasaki experimented in its H2 line is trickling down to some of its other genres, much to our delight. Not only have we been given to understand that the retro-tastic Z900RS will be getting a blower at some point in the foreseeable future, but now the factory has announced that it is getting ready to reveal a supercharged sport-tour model at the upcoming Milan show next month. A supercharger on a tourbike? It’s not as crazy as it sounds. While it is true that superchargers can boost top-end performance, they can also prop up fuel economy while helping a potentially heavy touring bike come out of the hole and accelerate out of corners as we expect to be the case with this mysterious new ride.
Continue reading for more on the new Kawasaki tourer.
What Does It Mean?
Since Kawasaki is currently the only one of the Big Four to market anything other than naturally-aspirated mills, this gives the marque a considerable advantage for riders looking for something above and beyond the norm.
The factory had this to say: "Third iteration of Kawasaki’s unique supercharged family breaks cover. Until now the Kawasaki supercharged story has been almost entirely performance focused. For 2018, Kawasaki will unveil a brand-new machine at the EICMA show on November 7 utilizing balanced supercharger technology to create even greater low to midrange pulling power.
While none of the exhilarating forced-induction performance feeling is missing, this unique power feeling is now joined by superior fuel economy and an overall riding feeling directed toward the sport-touring market. Supercharge your journey with the only manufacturer that can deliver such a machine—be prepared for sport-touring to accelerate impressively and efficiently into its next exciting phase."
Pretty self-explanatory as far as it goes, but it doesn’t go quite far enough. You see, naturally-aspirated engines use the vacuum created by the descending piston to draw the fresh fuel-air charge into the combustion chamber, and such engines usually only achieve around 97-percent volumetric efficiency. That is to say that the engine doesn’t quite suck in as much air as it could possibly hold with each charge.
Turbochargers are a little better with something in the neighborhood of 300-percent VE, but superchargers like Kawi’s deliver around 700-percent VE for a supremely potent charge. Since it’s not the expansion of the combustion gasses themselves, but the expansion of the air due to the heat of combustion that makes the power, you can see where the supercharger could improve performance all around.
Intrigued yet? I know I am, especially when Kawi is hinting at even more models that may carry/may already be carrying its variable-vane blower. Since Kawasaki is currently the only one of the Big Four to market anything other than naturally-aspirated mills, this gives the marque a considerable advantage for riders looking for something above and beyond the norm.
Stay tuned, folks. It’s going to get very interesting, indeed.