Yamaha May Use Turbocharger

Yamaha was one of the players during the turbocharger era in the mid-80s.

For a little bit of background, all Japanese manufacturers namely Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki and Yamaha, ventured to turbocharge their bikes at the time. Honda had the CX550 Turbo, Kawasaki with the GPz 750 Turbo, Suzuki built the VN85 Turbo and Yamaha had the Seca Turbo.


The appeal of the turbocharger is easy to see. The unit forces more air into the engine, which means more fuel can be mixed in. More combustible material equals more horsepower. Hence this was why all the bikes above (apart from the GPz) had smaller engine capacities, meaning lighter weight.

However, the turbo bikes died out because of turbo lag. This phenomenon occurs because like every object, air has inertia which takes time to “boost.” From the rider’s perspective, initially nothing happened when he opens the throttle; then as the turbo spools up, the bike took off suddenly. This doesn’t make for good road riding, at all.

You have to understand that there wasn’t advanced electronics back then to regulate such a thing. The best example is the current Kawasaki H2 family, which employs electronics to regulate boost pressure, injection timing and ignition timing for a smooth ride.


In the case of Yamaha, they have submitted a number of patents for using the turbo. In fact, there were two: One which has the turbocharger fitted further downstream in the exhaust; and another which has a conventional installation with the turbo sitting at the exhaust headers like a car’s.

Yamaha initially sent in the patent of an MT-09 fitted with a turbo three years ago. It is interesting to add that a number of stunt riders had been fitting turbos to their MT-09 stunt bikes by then!


However, the current rumour has it that Yamaha will take off one cylinder from the MT-09 or use the MT-07’s block. For comparison’s sake, the MT-07 produces 74 hp and 68 Nm of torque. It should hit 100 bhp and perhaps more than 100 Nm of torque with turbocharging.

So, will the future be blown? We will just have to wait and see.