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The Turbos !!


There were five mainstream turbo bikes in the early 1980's, which was a completely new techniocal direction for the Japanese The first full production Turbo bike was the CX500 Turbo released in 1982. The CX500TC was only produced for the 1982 model year. It was superseded by the CX650TD for the 1983 model year, which was itself discontinued the same year. It had a complex for the time, programmed fuel injection system with redundant fail-safe systems working in tandem with a separate ignition system. Electronic system failures were reported to the driver through two dashboard displays: an issue with the fuel injection system would light a "Fuel System" light on the dashboard and an issue with the ignition would flash the "TURBO" indicator. The engine case look was retained nearly intact from the original CX500. The turbocharger, at peak boost providing approximately 19 psi boost nearly doubles the power output of the engine. Yamaha responded with their XJ650 Turbo effort the simplest but most radical looking soon to be followed by Suzuki with its XN85, reckoned to be the best handler though a mild performer. The last of the big four to release a turbo bike was Kawasaki with its GPz750 turbo which was the firebreather of the lot, with terrific speed and passable handling.


All of these bikes today are extremely rare and of significant historical interest, they were technical tour de forces of their times and radically fast for their engine size. Today well sorted examples are a pleasure to ride with loads of torque as bursts of speed as the turbos come in.

CX500 Turbo

82bhp  240kg  135mph  12.4std1/4

XJ650 Turbo

90bhp  235kg  128mph  12.7std1/4

XN85 Turbo

85bhp  218kg  125mph  12.3std1/4

CX650 Turbo

100bhp  235kg  140mph  12.0std1/4

Z750 Turbo

112bhp  223kg  146mph  11.2std1/4

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