R&D Kawasaki Ultra Turbo kit
A year after testing the R&D Kawasaki Ultra T1 Turbo kit we had the exclusive opportunity to test it again with the upgrades done through the year that enhance not only the performance but the also the overall reliability.

Words:Vasilis Moraitis
Test rider:Akis Malouchos
Tech source:Bill Chapin of R&D


Having tested R&D’s T1 turbo kits for the Yamaha and Kawasaki, its worth noting that when you plug one of these on your Kawasaki or Yamaha you get rid of the usual belt and clutch issues respectively and you have a very nice set up that can be used for recreational or Offshore/Endurance racing. It’s clean, neat, easy to install, equipped with a boost pressure adjustable option and a reprogrammed ECU specifically designed for this kind of application to operate on pump gas. Although R&D has dominated Offshore racing in the USA, they kept evolving and searching for new features in order to enhance the overall performance of this turbo kit and also to increase its reliability. For those reasons R&D’s Guru Bill Chapin, worked under cover in order to explore the limitations of the Kawasaki Ultra engine, he recorded the engine temperature under extreme conditions and found out what has to be done in order to cool down the heat produced under those conditions. Therefore, he designed an upgrade kit for the rider who focuses only on winning.

R&D has designed, made and tested a new spec 9.0:1 piston kit that is targeted specifically for offshore/endurance racing instead of 9.5:1 like Warner has run in the past. The deck (squish area) has been reduced to work better with higher boost ratios and also to fight against detonation on super long 100-300 mile race segments. These pistons provide great low end power, better mid range and top end with reduced heat.

The cylinder head has a new head porting specification that has been found after a lot of Flow Bench testing. If you are one of those guys who knows or have read about Flow Bench testing then you should know that “It is not how Big” or “How much Material” you remove from the exhaust port, however, it is where you remove the material. The Exhaust port on the Kawasaki head is very temperamental, and if you grind on the wrong areas, you can actually reduce airflow, velocity, and performance.

R&D’s engineers have come up with a spec that works well to reduce a ton of “In Cylinder Heat” as well as flow more CFM. The intake ports are also matched at the valve seats for improved flow and better sealing. Bill Chapin mentioned “We are able to actually run great competitive offshore top speeds with less boost and a lot less internal cylinder heat which will equal better reliability.”

The T1 turbo kit is also now available with the out-pipe configuration to use the OEM water box. Craig Warner used the R&D T1 turbo kit with the 310X water box in stock location while using the new larger 3” exhaust outlet. As for the exhaust kit: The new R&D Kawasaki 310X Free-Flow Exhaust Kit is the largest kit manufactured for the 310. It wakes up your engine’s performance by reducing exhaust back pressure and excessive exhaust heat. The R&D Kit eliminates the number two out going water box completely. It also replaces the super restrictive 2.200” OEM exhaust transom outlet with a new full 3” outlet. The R&D kit is a must-install kit to seriously reduce heat and back pressure when running higher engine RPM’s that come along with higher boost pulleys, ECU modifications, camshaft kits, or any other power adders for the Kawasaki! The R&D Free Flow Kit is manufactured from oversized CNC precision mandrel bent aluminum tubing and is coupled with High Temperature Silicone Hoses and performance clamps guaranteed to handle the job. Additionally, the R&D Kit adds a muscle performance sound and a high performance look.

The main oil tank has an added vent fitting which allows greater crankcase pressure reductions by an additional 30 percent. The engine now has upgraded Carrillo conrods along with the new piston setup.

Testing R&D’s Kawasaki T1 Turbo kit
Since last year R&D’s Kawasaki T1 Turbo kit has gone through some updates. Bill Chapin has been consistently fine-tuning, updating and evolving the successful package. Multi National champion of Greece, Akis Malouchos tested the latest version of R&D’s Kawasaki T1 Turbo kit. “R&D’s T1 Turbo kit is an incredible substitute of the Kawasaki OEM Supercharger system. It provides superb acceleration from very low rpm and then hits harder from mid to top. There is useful power translated in to thrust through the whole power band. I sensed no turbo lag or hesitation when I closed the throttle and came back in to it. The power delivery is smooth and progressive therefore it does not wear out the rider. The big advantage of this kit is not only the adjustable boost pressure or the selection of low and high boost via a switch, but also the great reprogramming set up that R&D has developed for the oem ECU. Therefore, there is no need to buy and expensive aftermarket unit with cost of periodic preprogramming service. The kit can be used with low boost for recreational or rough water conditions and it high boost in order to escape from the pack and be the leader. The test was carried out with a hot weather of 36ο C, with ¾ of a fuel in the tank and regular gasoline of 91octane in Lake Havasu City. Top speed of the Kawasaki Ultra was recorded consistently at 78.5mph which is a very positive and promising result.

Customers who already own an R&D Kawasaki Ultra T1 turbo kit may already request get to the next level by contacting R&D in order to short out the details.

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