Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Tiny Turbo: 1983 Suzuki XN85 Turbo

Have you been riding along on a motorcycle and said to yourself, "I wonder if I would benefit from a sudden, brutal spike of power when I accelerate?"  You aren't alone.  Find this 1983 Suzuki XN85 Turbo here on eBay located in Kanata, Ontario, Canada bidding at $3,650 with 4 days left. 

This is one of a few models of motorcycle produced during a brief period from 1983 through 1985 with a turbocharger. The others were the Honda CX500T and CX650T, the Yamaha XJ650 Turbo and the Kawasaki GPZ750 Turbo.  By 1986, turbocharged bike era was over just as quickly as it started and there has been no revival.

These motorcycles were known to be very fast at the time with a respectable 85HP output.  Strangely, they are better known for their handling prowess than their exotic power plants.  This example has a little rash here and there, but it still looks presentable.

If you see this bike approaching in your mirror, and you have 20/10 vision, you will know it is time to get over into the slow lane.  Suzuki was kind enough to apply a mirror image of "TURBO" on the fairing.  Is this a subtle nod to the BMW 2002 Turbo?

Just up and left of center is the tiny IHI turbocharger that sets this bike apart from its contemporaries. If you want to know what it is like to feel the turbo rush on a two-wheeled Suzuki, here is your chance.  Just 1,153 were made and 300 of them were shipped to the US.

See a better force-fed bike? email us here:


  1. I think the Kawasaki H2/H2R is the two-wheeled forced induction revival.

  2. Only 300 made? The local bike salvage yard had what was left of 2 of them some years back.

  3. It was a low production bike have seen a couple kinda was looking for one ...But Rumour was turbo
    was not that good had problems maybe true maybe not.

    1. Turbo problems in the 80's aren't the same as turbo problems in the teens. Materials science and manufacturing improvements make the turbos not only more efficient but more reliable. Very rarely do you have any old turbos that you can't still get parts for from the manufacturer often as true new parts and not NOS.

  4. You could always buy the new Kawasaki H-2 that is supercharged good for 300 HP !


Commenting Commandments:
I. Thou Shalt Not write anything your mother would not appreciate reading.
II. Thou Shalt Not post as anonymous unless you are posting from mobile and have technical issues. Use name/url when posting and pick something Urazmus B Jokin, Ben Dover. Sir Edmund Hillary Clint don't matter. Just pick a nom de plume and stick with it.
III. Honor thy own links by using <a href ="http://www.linkgoeshere"> description of your link </a>
IV. Remember the formatting tricks <i>italics</i> and <b> bold </b>
V. Thou Shalt Not commit spam.
VI. To embed images: use [image src="" width="400px"/]. Limit images to no wider than 400 pixels in width. No more than one image per comment please.