Whether you want to give yourself an edge on the racetrack or just put a little more grunt in your bike, a turbocharger kit is a powerful mode of modification.

This article explores this modification form in greater depth, answering queries like ‘What is a turbocharger kit and what does it do?’ as well as the practical considerations of where to buy turbocharger kits and how to install a turbocharger kit.

Installing a turbocharger kit is one of the performance services Taverner offers in order to help your bike reach its maximum level of performance. For years the Taverner team has had the fastest 80ci Harley in Australia, and we’ve campaigned many other bikes at the track, so we know the joy of a speedy and powerful motorbike. We also know a great deal about how to install a turbocharger kit.

If you want to install a turbocharger or supercharger on your motorcycle, we recommend trusting professionals like Taverner for the job. There are also practical, legal and safety benefits to turning to a pro with a wealth of experience for the job.

If you’re determined to take the DIY approach or just curious about the process, here is our brief guide to how to install a turbocharger kit on a motorcycle.

What a Turbocharger Kit Does

Vintage bike restoration

A turbocharger is a forced induction device that’s powered by the flow of exhaust gas. This is the main difference between it and a supercharger, which runs on the power of the engine. A turbocharger compresses the incoming air before it gets to the engine. The heat and pressure of exhaust gas spin the blades of a turbine which connects to a compressor wheel. The spin of the turbine causes the compressor to spin, constricting the incoming air before it gets sent to the cylinders.

Typically, a turbocharger is made up of various parts, including a turbine/hot wheel, shaft, compressor/cold wheel and actuator. So if you’re wondering how to install a turbocharger kit, there are multiple parts to track down and put in place in order to do it right.  

If you’re wondering where to buy turbocharger kits, though, Taverner makes the search a lot easier for you. Our kits include a turbocharger, intercooler, exhaust system and other potential parts. And we’re happy to complete the labour of the performance work for you. All in all, it works out a lot easier than teaching yourself how to install a turbocharger kit.

A turbocharger kit adds more horsepower, torque and speed to your motorbike, and it’s a powerful addition to many different kinds of motorcycles. So should you install one yourself or hire a pro?

If you’re confident in your abilities (or just curious about what the process involves), here’s a short summary of how to install a turbocharger kit.

How to Install a Turbocharger Kit

Vintage bike restoration

It’s important to make sure you know what you’re doing before attempting to install a turbocharger kit. There are several easy mistakes to make, and the wrong one can end in damage to your motorbike, a void warranty, serious injury or worse.

If you’re confident in your skills and in your tools, here’s a short rundown of how to install a turbocharger kit:

  • Make sure your kit is compatible with the make and model of your motorcycle and includes all the necessary elements like the turbocharger, intercooler and valve.
  • Disconnect the bike’s battery and drain all the fluids, including the oil, coolant etc.
  • Take out the fuel tank, fairings and any other components that may obstruct your access to the engine.
  • Make the engine modifications you want to make, e.g. upgrading the head gasket, lowering the compression ratio etc.
  • Replace the stock exhaust manifold with a turbo-specific one. Make sure the blow-off valve and wastegate are in the right locations.
  • Mount the turbocharger to the exhaust manifold. Attach the oil and coolant lines for adequate lubrication and cooling.
  • Attach the intercooler to the outlet of the turbocharger and the intake manifold.
  • Install the piping that connects the intake manifold, turbocharger and intercooler. Make sure there are no leaks.
  • To make sure the engine is safe and the bike performs to a high quality, reprogram the electronic control unit (ECU) to adjust factors like fuel delivery and ignition timing.
  • Test the motorbike at different RPM and load conditions to ensure everything works as it should. If it doesn’t, fine-tune the ECU.

There are a lot of steps involved in installing a turbocharger kit on your motorcycle, and it takes skill and precision to make sure it’s done right. If it seems like a daunting task, there’s an easier approach- and that’s to consult a professional.

That’s where Taverner Motorsports steps in. With 40+ years of experience, we have a long history of completing performance work on motorcycles of all kinds.

And if you’re wondering where to buy turbocharger kits, we can help you with that too.

Why Get A Professional?

Vintage bike restoration

For such a technical and deeply involved job, it’s an excellent idea to turn to a professional. Taverner has been building bikes, modifying bikes and working with bikes since 1975. By this stage, there’s not a lot we haven’t seen and no modifications we haven’t yet done.

Installing a turbocharger kit incorrectly can actually slow your motorbike down, which is the very last thing that any rider wants. When Taverner modifies your bike, all of the work we do is covered under warranty in the unlikely event that it doesn’t live up to the standard you expected.

Doing any kind of performance work on your bike without the right tools or training can be an extremely dangerous activity, too, potentially leading to serious injury.

Taverner can also make sure your turbocharger fulfils all legal requirements. In Queensland, the fitting of replacement engines, including turbochargers, requires the submission of an engineer’s report for approval by the Department of Transport and Main Roads.  Drawing on our range of experience both with the practical and legal sides of motorcycle customisation, Taverner can make sure your modifications comply with Transport Department, ADR regulations and any other legal requirements.

Get Performance Work at Taverner Motorsports 

Vintage bike restoration

While we specialise in American, British and Japanese motorcycles, Taverner service any make and model of motorcycle and undertakes repairs for all the major insurers.

Our workshop services include everything from a simple oil change to a full-scale build from the ground up: minor and major services, tyre supply and fitment, general detailing and more.

Our passion for the motorcycle industry runs deep and has been consistent for more than 40 years, from our early days in the town of Bathurst, NSW, to our current location on the inner-north side of Brisbane City. Over the decades, we’ve built up strong relationships with both our regular customers and our worldwide network of parts suppliers. When it comes to the gear you need to enhance the look and feel of your motorbike, we use only the best.

To find out more about how to install a turbocharger kit, where to buy turbocharger kits and to get a quote for performance work on your own motorbike, contact the Taverner team