HomeFeatures & ColumnsTurbo Busa X2 - Part 1

Turbo Busa X2 – Part 1



When we set out to build a turbo Hayabusa we figured why not go to the man that builds and rides the fastest and quickest Hayabusa in the world. Of course we are talking about Barry Henson at Velocity Racing. Barry has splashed onto the scene this year (his rookie season) and is making a huge impact in this industry and thus another reason we choose to team with him for this project. What exactly is this project you ask? We approached Barry this summer and told him we wanted to build a turbo ‘Busa to show the capabilities of it compared to the all-motor route we took in our previous project bikes. Barry told us no! He was not interested in building us a turbo bike. He wanted to build two of them, one mild and one wild. We were only too happy to agree to his request.


After our initial phone calls with Barry planning our attack on this large project we agreed to secure two matching 2002 Silver Hayabusas with which to build upon. Granted we are pretty well sorted here at Dragbike but two new 2002 bikes was a bit much for us. Having one of them lying around is pretty cool, but two? Instead, we decided to buy one new bike and use a customer bike Barry had underway. We called our good friends at Capitol Cycle in Macon GA (www.capitolcycle.com) to obtain the bike we needed. Bill Gash, the general manager is a good friend for all racers as well as enthusiasts. This bike would serve as the mild one in our duet of turbo Hayabusas. As you will see later Barry’s definition of mild is quite a bit different than ours as well as most people that are not prostar drag racers. The mild bike will feature Velocity’s bolt on stage one system while the wild one will add several changes including internal fortifications that will be needed to handle the boost.



In The Beginning

About three years ago we started working on the Hayabusa and since then we have featured many ways to build a motor. Since the Hayabusa is still “King of the Streets”, we wanted to present the other side of the motor build argument, which of course is the turbo charger. Some people consider it the ultimate option offering more hp for less money than typical “all motor” projects, while others do not like the turbo at all; saying it is not fair. We are not here to play judge and jury, but we will present our observations on this option and let you make the decision based on your needs and budget.

First, it is necessary to start with a basic understanding of what a turbo is and how it operates. Basically a turbo is a device that is placed on a motor to increase its power; that is already known, but how it does this is different than most typical engine building techniques. Normally to make big power, an engine builder does all they can to get a motor to burn as much air/fuel as possible in a short period of time, as efficiently as possible. Since the combustion process is designed to burn and thus release the energy stored in the fuel, the more the engine can burn, the more power it makes. A turbo operates on that same principal but achieves that goal in a different way. A normally aspirated engine squeezes in more air/fuel by increasing the valve size, cam lift and duration and also the bore and stroke of the motor. A turbo simply forces more air/fuel into the same size engine, thus increasing the power output.

To get more air/fuel mixture into the motor, the turbo uses an exhaust driven compressor. The turbo draws fresh air into its center and as the exhaust driven blade spins the turbo forces the fresh air into the cylinder via a sealed plenum. This increase in pressure means that you can now hold more air/fuel in a smaller space just like an air tank holds more air than a balloon because it operates at a higher pressure. In order to regulate the maximum pressure of the turbo, various methods are used to bleed off excessive pressure from reaching the engine. We will deal with this later but basically it is handled by a wastegate.


Stage One Turbo

The goal of the mild bike in this project is to take a stock Hayabusa and bolt up the Velocity Racing (www.velocityracing.com) stage one turbo and see what she does. Since a turbo relies on pressure, an engine allows more boost to be added if the compression is dropped. To accomplish this we simply added a .080″ spacer plate to the base of the motor to drop the compression ratio. The only other modification that is made inside the motor is heavy-duty clutch springs to handle the extra power.


Starting with the heart of the system, Barry uses a custom Garrett T-25 turbo made to his specifications. The Garrett unit is a reliable, proven turbo and serves this application well. It is also small, light and allows the placement that Barry insists on. Barry is very proud of the performance of this turbo, as he should be. Since he started from scratch he had no preconceived ideas or products that he was trying to protect therefore he was free to pick the best turbo for each application. While doing research for this article, I saw a dyno chart of another company’s intercooled race turbo system and at an approx 6000 RPMs it was making about 100 hp less than Barry’s race kit. Many people focus only on peak horsepower. The truth is that a street bike spends the majority of its time between 6000 RPMs. and redline so it is important to look at the entire power curve.

Perhaps the component of Barry’s system that deserves the most attention is the wastegate. He uses a TIAL wastegate that looks very high tech compared to many other actuator based turbo chargers on the market today. A normal turbo system made by the other producers on the market uses a very crude and out dated actuator to open a valve and bleed off excessive boost. This actuator system is basically an on off switch. The Tial wastegate however, is fully adjustable and offers a lot more precise control. Basically it acts and looks like a large intake valve with a spring. Manifold pressure is used to press against the spring and open the valve. Since air is infinitely adjustable, the boost can be varied over a large range, whereas the old style systems do not offer this feature. Part of the Velocity system includes a two-stage boost controller. Using a simple switch that is wired into your horn button you can toggle between low and high boost without making any other adjustments. In our application we ran 6psi on low and 11psi on high boost. This high tech wastgate alone is a $700 part of his system. I wonder what that actuator costs?


This photo left shows the advanced Tial wastegate that is used in Barry’s turbosystem. This is the only street motorcycle turbo system using this type of wastegate, and a big part of what makes their system so advanced. The Right photo is the actuator used by competitive turbo systems shown beside the Velocity Racing wastegate.


Water Injection

Another trick Barry uses that is different from competitors is water injection. Water injection is not new and has been used on various airplanes and cars for years. Barry has taken this injection principle and updated it with the use of a map sensor and computer control to meter the amount of water based on RPMs, boost pressure etc. The water injection is used to cool off the intake charge that is being delivered to the engine. Some systems use intercoolers. Barry chooses the water injection for several reasons. First is performance. Since an intercooler large enough to work on a bike will not easily fit, smaller versions have to be used. These smaller units create restricted airflow especially at high horsepower levels. Barry has done many tests on intercoolers vs. water injection and has found this system to be better because of the following reasons. Due to placement requirements of interercoolers the bike cannot be lowered meaning yet another disadvantage and overheating is an issue because the intercooler is blocking the radiator. With water injection, these problems are not present and you still get the cooling effect and resulting power.


Contrary to what I had heard about water injection systems, water usage is very low. The spray is only added at high boost and under certain conditions so typically one only needs to fill the 10 oz. bottle every other tank of fuel when riding around at high boost. If you have not been playing with the button then no water will be needed. Notice the trick water pump shown above.


In order to supplement the bikes hunger for fuel under boost, Velocity has developed its own fuel rail. Inside the rail are four supplemental injectors that are controlled by an electronic system that pumps in extra fuel as boost is increased. This “piggyback” system is only fired as needed to keep the bike at the right fuel air ratio.


Not only is the rail a beautiful piece of hardware, it works like a champ. This rail is also where the water injector is housed. You can tell by the excellent craftsman that this unit was not thrown together. It is a billet masterpiece. Also note the high quality aluminum high-pressure (AN) fittings used throughout.


In order to control this wonderful assortment of equipment Barry once again went to the drawing board and developed his own system. The onboard computer monitors a variety of functions in order to map the fuel while under boost as well as control the water injection system. While he is not willing to share any of his secrets like the target air/fuel ratio, I can assure you that the bike works and drives well. His system combined with a Dynojet Power Commander PC IIIR to handle the non-boosted part of the rev range leaves you with a fuel air curve that is flat as a ruler and a bike that is a joy to ride on and off the boost. As you can see in the photo above, the Velocity Racing electronic box is about the same size as the DynoJet Power Commander and easily fits into the trunk. One point of interest is that this system is so well built and tuned that Barry does not pull out ANY timing on a stage one bike. He does suggest you use 93 octane or better fuel for normal and high-boost. Anything over 12lbs and he suggests you run race fuel of 108 octane or higher. A good example of this is VP C-12. (www.vpracingfuels.com).

Exhaust System

Another nice part of this system is that it includes its own exhaust as part of the stage one kit. You can choose a straight dump pipe that is a bit more free flowing but a tick too loud for our street sleeper bike, or you can choose the route we took. This is a full stainless steel system with a monster 2 1/2″ head pipe. It looks like an exhaust from a Caterpillar diesel engine. Of course an exhaust this big is a requirement with a system making this much power in order to maintain proper flow. Then the system is capped off with a full carbon fiber canister that is normal sized but almost looks small sitting on the end of this monster exhaust. Actually this is just your minds eye fooling you. The exhaust can is also 2.5″ all the way through assuring you proper scavenging of the burnt gases. The resulting exhaust note is wicked but not obnoxious to casual observers. Final details


Another part included in this package is an adjustable cam sprocket to allow the cam timing to be set to the “correct number”. Since you have raised the cylinder head with the insertion of the spacer plate, it is necessary to make this adjustment. Barry did not share the exact cam timing with me for publication, but if you elect to buy a system from him, he will give you his suggested settings. Looking at the photos below it looks more like the special turbo kits on the market that are sold as “Show Quality”. You can raise the tank anywhere including a bike-show with this kit, and be assured to draw a crowd to look at the trick setup. I suspect the other turbo producers will now be chasing Barry after everyone gets a look at this system. This reminds me of an old saying ” just because a dog chases a car, doesn’t mean he can drive”


Another thing we should discuss is the weight of the system. The installation of this stage one kit removes the stock exhaust, airbox and ram airtubes. Then added back is the turbo system. Surprisingly the result is only a 6-7lb-weight gain. Of course the turbo system weighs a lot more than 7 lbs but with the removal of the stock exhaust at 32 lbs. Barry’s custom exhaust saves most of the added weight the turbo brings. If you are really worried about 7 lbs stay away from the super size value meal for a few days and you will be back to zero.

Look Mom No Zip Ties !!

Notice the twin plenum braces on each end to assure that everything is held securely and that no boost is allowed to leak out costing you power.


If I had to choose one thing that is most impressive about this turbo system, I would have to say that all aspects are sorted out and it works well as a system. There are no flaws or weaknesses of any kind. One thing that is key to me and many other street riders is that this kit does not require any expensive frame raking and it maintains the radiator and the oil cooler in the stock location. All of the bodywork fits around the turbo and unless you look closely and spot the small dump pipe you could be fooled into thinking it is a stock bike with a big exhaust system. Thus far this is the only turbo system on the market that allows the bodywork to completely close up using the stock mounting locations. It may be a small issue to you but to me I do not want to spend this much money on a turbo only to be forced to ride around with zip ties holding the bodywork together. As I always say, ” Its so much easier when its easy.”

As you can see in the photo below this system knits together so well you will swear that Suzuki put it together. Credit for this kind of fit and finish goes to the Nascar type crew that Barry employs at his Fort Lauderdale, Florida shop. Everyone from Ken Niebling, the general manager, to the lead mechanic that I nicknamed Joel (The Surgeon) Tanger, does first rate work. If you choose to have Velocity do the install (for a modest $1000 fee) you can be assured that it will be assembled with the care of an orthopedic surgeon. Barry insists on nothing but the best from his crew and his suppliers. If something is not perfect it does not leave the shop until it is. Evidence of this can be seen in every aspect of his business. The shop area as well as the showroom is full of first class parts, tools etc.


Nobody else in the business can fit a turbo like this. The Velocity Racing kit allows the bodywork to fit and completely close. It also retains the stock position and use of both the radiator and oil cooler.



Dyno Time

Barry and the rest of his crew are not what some people call “Dyno Queens.” They prefer to do their real testing on the track where it matters. But they know a dyno chart can be a good tuning tool and a good way to compare various setups and tune the air fuel curve. I arrived at the shop as the install was being finished and as soon as the bike was filled with Motul motor oil it was rolled out of the shop and to the Dynojet (www.dynojet.com) dyno room. Below is the first dyno pass. No tuning was necessary. I know it is hard to believe but no mapping was done on this bike at all. This system is so well mapped right out of the box that I consider it a true bolt on. The 247 hp run was done with the bike on low boost and pump gas. The other line was with pump gas and high boost of about 11.5lbs. For those of you with stock or built motor dyno charts handy, print this one out and make your own comparisons.



On high boost this bike makes more than 200hp from 6500 RPMs until redline and torque of 145 ft/lbs or more from 4800 RPMs upward. At peak, the torque reads 175.0 and the hp chimes in at 299.9. Many engine builders would have tweaked the dyno for one more run just to say it got 300hp but Barry is about honesty and credibility. Anyone willing to tell you a bike does 299.9 hp is likely to be telling you the truth. Also, note the smooth shape of the curves on the chart, they shoot up like an ICBM missile and pack about the same amount of firepower. This bike has enough testosterone to choke a Marine Corp General. Remember, this is the Stage One kit. Wait until you see the race kit.


What Is It Like To Ride A Turbo?

After years of riding and never having been on a turbo bike, you can imagine my anticipation as I threw a leg over the bike for the first time. I was pleasantly surprised when I thumbed the starter button and it sprang to life just like a stocker. No drama, no strained starter. I eased out the clutch and the only difference I noted was the added pull from the Schnitz Racing (www.schnitzracing.com) heavy-duty clutch springs. Barry’s shop is situated just off the interstate so I hopped on the freeway. I accelerated up the ramp without hammering it and the bike still felt stock. It was smooth with no jerky lunges and it felt like a stock ‘Busa. This is the ultimate compliment because the ‘Busa is known for its smooth power deliver and flat torque curve.

Enough playing around I said to myself as I mustered enough courage to pin the throttle. The bike lunged forward with the authority that can only be felt when serious torque is being applied to the back tire. The turbo spun up instantly and delivered a smooth hit of power as the bike raced toward redline. I shifted into fourth and heard the wastegate spit out the unwanted boost at an actual speed of 135mph as I noted the front tire returning to the ground again. In fourth gear feeling safe from EFWL (excessive front wheel loft), I punched the button and unleashed the remaining 53 hp Barry has hiding in the two stage boost controller. As the bike ripped toward redline, I again felt the front end skimming the interstate as I raced toward the 161mph fourth gear limit. I have a feeling this front tire will be getting more air than Michael Jordan. Finally, I sat up from a full tuck feeling a bit disheveled from the blast and started grabbing gears as I approached my exit.

Riding a Velocity turbo bike does take some getting used to because it has a unique ability to bend the time/space continuum and the result is that your normal timing is way off. It is like looking in the rear view mirror of a car that reads, “objects in the mirror are closer than they appear”. Each time I tried to slow down after a blast on high boost I found myself running out of road and needing more brakes that I had. One point here is that this ride was taken with stock gearing of 17/40 on the bike, which will surely have to be changed. Most riders with this system are going to an 18 tooth front sprocket and lowering the rear to 38-39 teeth. With the 18-38 and the stock tire, this computes to a 221 MPH top speed. Speaking of top speed I asked Barry what he does to overcome the stock limiter on his bikes his reply was “I turbo it!!” I pressed on and asked if he used Ivan’s TRE that is so talked about in the ‘Busa community. Barry responded with a direct ” Who is Ivan?” Simply put, it makes so much power that a few degrees of ignition retard built into sixth gear is not enough to fend his system from finding the rev-limiter.


You Thought That Was Fast?

As stated earlier this test includes two bikes, one mild and one wild. Thus far our discussion has been about the mild version from Velocity’s stable. For you real psychos who can never have enough we are going to turn our attention to the WILD side of the spectrum. In order to extract every available HP from the Hayabusa motor, Barry goes deep into the motor to lower compression and beef up the parts not quite ready for 20 lbs of boost. First he installs a set of special MTC low compression pistons made to his specifications, Falicon high strength rods (www.faliconcranks.com), a MTC billet clutch basket and multistage lock up clutch The he drops in a heavy duty output shaft, under cut tranny by R&D, balanced crank shaft by Falicon with the same single adjustable cam sprocket as before. Also included in this package is an upgraded T-25 Garrett custom turbo that includes dual ball bearings. (An interesting note is that the turbo is the same size as used on the stage one system.) When you finish adding the parts list for this system, it comes to $11,595 installed. If you want to go really fast this is the way to go.


While visiting Barry’s shop I had the fortune of witnessing the performance capability of these bikes. We are fortunate to have a “special, closed-course, super secret Dragbike.com proving ground” in south Florida, so off we went to see what one of these bad boys would do. While for legal reasons we cannot name the owner of the bike, I can tell you we were all proud of the “Lofty” results this bike is capable of as measured by the super accurate Garmin GPS. This was achieved in a .9 of a mile run from a 20 mph roll-on.


Above is the dyno chart for the monster and current flag bearer at Velocity Racing. Each week holds new developments so look for this dyno chart to increase as well as the 232.5 mph


East Coast Timing Association Land Speed Record Runs

As usual in order to gauge the performance of our projects, we like to take them to sanctioned (www.ecta-lsr.com) event and get some real numbers. This was no exception. With only one week to get everything ready, we took our stock street sleeper project to see what she would do on the big end. We had hoped to have both bikes ready for the event but time was an issue and only the mild version was ready in time. Remember, the ECTA races in Maxton NC are not top speed, but rather a standing start one-mile course. This is very different that what is used by other publications to measure speed. In one of the major print magazines you may have recently seen where a competitive turbo system ran 203 mph on a Hayabusa (before blowing up). It is important to remember that their speed was not done in a one-mile distance, but most likely the speed at the end of several miles. Also, most other publications use less accurate radar guns, where Maxton organizers use laser timing lights that record speed down to 4 decimal places. Even on a day with a strong headwind of 12-15mph this ‘Busa was able to record a strong 209.3023 speed; a very respectable speed for a bolt on system with a stock motor.


Wrap Up

In conclusion we hope we have presented you with another option on how to make your bike go faster. As John Force said, ” these cars don’t run on alcohol they run on money” and that is the case with motorcycles too. Speed costs money so how fast do you want to go? The stage one kit with the water injection and full installation runs a cool $7095. For that you get a 149.9HP boost over the stock 150 hp Hayabusa mill. Plus you get a very streetable bike that you can ride all day or all week without the fear of overheating. If you look at this on a HP/Dollar ratio as we did on the last motor build up on the GSXR1000 project, it netted a cost of $132/hp gained. This project comes in at $47.33/hp, which is a lot less costly on a dollar per hp basis. If you look at the race kit at $11,595, that delivers 253 hp over stock, it comes in at a cost of $45.83 /hp. So if you are looking to go really fast on a budget this option deserves a strong look to see if it meets your needs. Velocity also has a GSXR1000 turbo and is currently working on a Kawasaki ZX-12 model as well.


As in the past, this bike will be written up several times over the next year so stay tuned for more feature articles. In the next installation we are planning to add some dress up goodies including some trick billet parts, as well as lowering links and a full set of seat covers and tank bra from Second Look and lots more.


vrtb1_03               vrtb1_19 vrtb1_20 vrtb1_21

Read Part 2

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