Here’s the latest plans from Kawasaki for a supercharged superbike – a model that’s expected to be part of the 2018 model year. We’ve seen plenty of detail designs for a supercharger that’s going to be fitted in one of the current models (ZX10, ZX6 etc albeit updated versions) but these designs – which we’ve been sent today – are the first time the factory’s plans have appeared in such a finished version on a motorcycle which has mirrors, numberplate holder and sidestand. In terms of designs filed with copyright and patent offices, this usually means that things are ready to go into production.
We can’t be 100% sure about the size of the bike in the drawings, there’s no indication of cc size in any part of the design description, but what this latest in-factory drawing does let slip is that THIS supercharging unit is controllable via handlebar controls. In other words, you will be able to set how much power – and when it’s deliverable – as part of this motorcycle’s riding modes.
The system works by having an air-pressure ring suppressing valve acting as the first part of the supercharger that opens up to let the pressurized air through from the intake air box. Depending on what power and delivery settings the rider has selected an automatic switch inside the air chamber then activates to allow whatever amount of boost through. Any excess compressed air that has been compressed by the supercharger, but is not needed because of the rider settings, is waste-gated out of the system and doesn’t reach the motor.
Although not an accurate term, you could think of this as an in-house-supercharger old-style Power Valve for an incredibly powerful superbike motor. One that very precisely delivers the exact amount of power you want at exactly the amount of revs you want that supercharged boost to appear.
The whole system is controlled by the engine ECU which monitors the build-up of pressure and actuates a valve controller accordingly. The actual supercharging-tune system stands alone from the rest of the bike, being built directly into the air-intake chamber which is sited directly after the supercharging unit mounted onto the left hand side of the motor.
Kawasaki has made no secret of the fact that it wants to adopt further supercharging technology and we’re expecting to have factory confirmation of this motorcycle later this November during a special launch event in Barcelona.
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