How Does a Motorcycle Supercharger Work?

Many people hear about a motorcycle supercharger and assume that it must be a fancy tool for increasing the overall power of a bike without truly realizing how it functions. Motorcycle superchargers do, in fact, increase the power of the motorcycle. They cost a good deal of money to install in a motorcycle, and provide a distinctive appearance, as they are quite large and heavy. If you're potentially interested in increasing the overall power of your bike or of attaining higher maximum speeds and better acceleration, you'll do well to learn about how a supercharger works. Read on for a brief overview of motorcycle superchargers and how they function.

What a Supercharger Does

A supercharger increases the rate at which the engine in your motorcycle can process fuel. The way that this occurs is by increasing the overall density of the air that is forced into the engine. Because the engine relies upon air in order to process the gasoline that comes in through a separate intake system, the more air that is available to it at any one time, the more fuel that it will be able to process. As the engine processes more fuel, it becomes more and more powerful and is capable of rotating at higher speeds, resulting in higher overall performance from the motorcycle.

How a Supercharger Works

A supercharger uses a mechanical system to compress air from the atmosphere outside of the bike. The air is then forced into the internal combustion engine of the motorcycle, thereby increasing the rate of combustion per engine cycle. Most superchargers are powered by some sort of alternate part of the motorcycle. This includes the gear shaft, or a separate belt or chain that is attached to another rotating part of the motorcycle. This ensures that the supercharger itself wastes as little energy in performing its duty as possible.

Supercharger vs. Turbocharger

A turbocharger is a distinct type of supercharger. Designed to perform the same task as a supercharger, the primary difference between the two is how they operate. The turbocharger uses a turbine system to increase the density of the air that is pushed into the engine system. This means that it's usually better able to perform this task. The turbine is powered by the exhaust system of the motorcycle, so turbochargers are oftentimes smaller, lighter and more efficient than superchargers. This results in a greater overall increase in speed and power on the motorcycle in terms of driving capabilities.

Superchargers and turbochargers generally cost between $500 and well over $1,000. There may also be an additional charge for installing these systems as well. As such, they are not a small investment. Most motorcycles are powerful enough for the average driver's needs without any sort of supercharge device. However, if you're looking to maximize the output of your vehicle's engine, a supercharger can help to do that.