If you’ve not tried a bike with a turbo or supercharger, you’re missing out.
More than a means to simply go faster, they’re an experience: a rush, and an addictive one at that. It doesn’t take long on a blown bike to start looking for reasons to start building up pressure in the plenum. I’ve ridden a few, and they’ve all left a deep impression: one that inspired our ZX990 project.
While that’s still ongoing, we’ve been enjoying some other blown Kawasakis, not least Peter Reilly’s stunning GPz. Peter has form for classy, thought-out to the last detail builds, but the Turbo is a cut above: seamlessly blending the Kawasaki’s brutish 1980s style with stunning British engineering, sensitively-chosen modern upgrades and a 156bhp shove in the backside. We’ve been watching the build for ages, and we’re still not tired of looking at it.
MG was unexpectedly smitten with a Z1-R TC: a superbike dinosaur making more power than it has any right to, yet in a modern context, Mark found it a joy to ride. A shame many are now static collectors pieces, but owner Chris Kitchen let us smaple this rare experience.
Ex-PB editor Tim Thompson makes a welcome return, spending three days making a nuisance of himself on the latest version of the H2: a bike with no obvious
purpose, but thanks to the force-fed motor, another bike that enchants the rider like no ordinary inline four can. Pricey, decadent, but irrestible once you’ve tried it: it’s two-wheeled foie gras. The only problem is price: it’s cheaper to build a forced induction bike. Talking of which, there’ll be an update on the ZX990 turbo next month…
Editor, Practical Sportsbikes
The supercharged one gets an updated engine, new brakes, tyres and a cool new dash – plus an outrageous 30bhp power hike. But there’s so much more to the 2019 H2 than big numbers…