"Then the turbo motorcycles disappeared, hampered by their heavy weight and complexity, and virtually outlawed by insurance companies. Yet they may just be coming back-certainly as a means of boosting performance without breaking (too many) laws.
"The first chapter of Joe Haile's Motorcycle Turbocharging, Supercharging & Nitrous Oxide deals with ram air induction, or how today's motorcycles use air scoops to effectively supercharge motorcycles at high speeds. Kawasaki's ZX-I IC was the first contemporary motorcycle to use ram air, and early ZX-I I owners the first to find out some of the drawbacks. Those owners will be familiar with the stumbles during side winds and performance bobbles which, as Haile tells us, are caused by the less-than-perfect location of the C's single air scoop.
"Kawasaki got it right later on, and many other motorcycles, maybe even yours, are now equipped with air scoops as a simple and free form of supercharging. If you do own an early ZX-11, this book tells you how to convert it to a dual scoop system. If you own anything else, the book tells you how to buy enough add-on power to beat a ZX-11, twin scoops or no.
"Supercharging, where the engine itself drives an air pump to force additional mixture into its cylinders, has been around since the dawn of motorcycling history. Turbocharging, where exhaust gases drive the pump, came later. Nowadays, efficient lubrication and good oil filtration mean that turbochargers especially are an effective way to provide additional performance. Add a nitrous oxide (laughing gas) injection system, and you can expect 300 horsepower from that slow old ZX-11.
"Even if the nearest you ever get to a turbocharger is while you're overtaking an 18-wheeler, there are compelling reasons to read this book. Your motorcycle may take advantage of a form of forced induction or ram air induction via fairing ducts. Or you may discover a way to boost performance, without bolting on an illegally noisy exhaust or destroying your gas mileage with a thirsty new set of carburetors.
"Joe Haile was lost to forced induction 40 years ago, as the book's blurb tells, when he helped his father install a supercharged engine in the family Studebaker. He's a great guide through the maze of aftermarket products that are available.
"Forget about the problems of the past, Haile tells us; the increasing use of electronic fuel injection, and computerized ignition and engine management systems, means that the old ways of increasing performance are becoming obsolete, simply because those methods either won't work with modern engines or will soon be so illegal as to get you stopped at the first intersection by the pollution police.
"This volume gives a good overview of modern performance technology, tuning methods, and the reasons for destructive engine detonation. While he is an expert on turbos, Haile doesn't claim to be an expert engineer, which is good, meaning that explanations are made graphically, using photos, charts and illustrations, rather than relying upon dry and confusing mathematical equations.
"The performance wave of the future is probably forced induction, either by supercharging or turbocharging. Modern motorcycle Electronic Fuel Injection (EFI) and computer systems actually work better with forced induction than the old breaker points and carburetors ever did. Reliability is increased because of better turbochargers, better lubrication systems and modern bearing technology. Forced performance is here to stay, and Haile's enthusiasm is addictive.
"Producing a good-looking book from the gritty environment of motorcycle performance is a difficult task. Drag racers perform in an arena cluttered with guard rails, garbage cans and beer-bellied starters, and some of the photographs in the book reflect this problem. Many more photos were provided by aftermarket performance equipment manufacturers themselves, and in places the text tends to sound like a brochure.
"Still, if you can survive this book without the urge to get out your credit card and start making a few wallet-burning calls, better check your pulse." -- i
"This volume gives a good overview of modern performance technology, tuning methods, and the reasons for destructive engine detonation. . . . explanations are made graphically, using photos, charts and illustrations, rather than relying upon dry and confusing mathematical equations." -- Rider