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Discussion Starter #1
Kawasaki revealed a supercharged inline FOur at the TOkyo Motor Show. Not much is known for sure about this new engine. We have no technical details, no displacement figures, and have no idea what it could be powering. Luckily, a filing for a supercharged motorcycle at the US Patent Office gives us some clues to work with.



First off, this is the Kawasaki press release that accompanied the big announcement:

“Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd. also has a long history of developing technologies for turbine engines. The lifeblood of these turbines is their blades, which need to be able to cope with extreme heat and vibration while spinning at high speeds. Know-how from years of designing turbine engine blades was instilled in the first supercharger developed by a motorcycle manufacturer. And of course, designing a motorcycle-use supercharged engine in-house means that maximum efficiency could be pursued.”
Now that doesn't give us much to work with, but take a look at this patent titled, "Motorcycle with Supercharger" that is dated Nov. 19th, 2013.



This filing shows the supercharger engine layout, with the patent protected part of the invention being the rearward positioning of the air box intake and supercharger. The illustrations also show the "air cleaner unit" placed under the seat and fuel tank, directly behind the supercharger, which is in turn behind the engine block. This illustration seems to match up pretty well with the photo of the Inline Four that Kawasaki released in Tokyo.

The main advantage asserted by the patent is the space-saving position of the air box intake and supercharger, the close proximity of which eliminates the need for extra piping. Kawasaki also says that the more compact system allows for larger capacities for the surge tank and fuel tank above it.



The real question is, what will this new Inline Four be powering? The bike in the patent illustration looks like a ZX-14. The other question is what kind of power do you think we will be getting out of this new engine.
 

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Thanks for posting this! ZX014 is what I've been hearing as well, but TBH what I really want to see is a 500 or 750 mill boosted to a full Liter. Although those won't be I4s likes O-twins but I still want to see it.

Power delivery should be linear with a great midrange and a screaming top end...
 

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It's pretty cool that it will be the first supercharged motor for a motorcycle. I want to know what it will sound like and what it will feel like to drive. What's the closest we have to this that is out right now?
 

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It will sound great but I think it will be even more fun to feel that engine underneath you. I guess since there hasn't been a supercharged motorcycle engine before, it will be a surprise to hear what this sounds like for the first time. Seems like it will still be a while before we see this in action since the patent was just filed last month.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
The patent picture does look a lot like the ZX-14. Do you think that means that the engine will end up in the ZX-14 first?

 

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even turbocharged would be sweet, i love the sound of a boosted bike
I'd prefer a super though just because the power delivery should be more linear ya know... Turbo lag could actually induce the back wheel to break loose under hard acceleration if the power delivery is too jagged
 
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