R&D T1 Turbo kit for Yamaha FZR/SHO - World Exclusive

R&D T1 Turbo kit for Yamaha FZR/SHO

Turbo thunder

Forget all about Supercharger issues and live the unique turbo performance experience that R&D has perfectly tuned for the Yamaha 1.8 liter engine and offers for recreational use and the weekend warriors. R&D also plans to release similar kits for Sea-Doo and Kawasaki in the near future.


Words:Vasilis Moraitis

Test rider:Vasilis Moraitis

Photos:www.jetskiworld.gr, Glenn Dickinson (action)


It was six years ago when R&D had first introduced its turbo charger kit for the Kawasaki Ultra 250X at the World Finals in 2007 and attracted people’s attention. Now the American company decided to introduce another kit specifically designed for the Yamaha SHO engine. This is the ultimate way to get rid of all the clutch and supercharger issues. We have been informed about this project almost two years ago, however we did not know that the R&D crew was still working and top secretively testing it.


Main features

This particular turbo kit operates with stock injectors, stock rods, stock cams, stock compression pistons, stock retainers, R&D Cam Gears and an R&D reprogrammed ECU. The latter will save you a lot of money compared to a sophisticated (and complicated) high tech ECU. R&D has been reprogramming ECUs for many years for 100+mph turbo applications for individuals that compete in to drag racing, with great success.


The particular kit also features an R&D Pump, 14 vein, 160mm with an R&D Pro Pitch Impeller, R&D Adjustable Pump Cone, R&D Steering Nozzle, R&D Rising Rate Fuel Pressure Regulator, and R&D Air Filter Kit.


One of the most important features of this kit is the custom designed ventilation system which allows ideal crankcase ventilation to eliminate excess crankcase pressure. This keeps the oil in your engine and not in the hull.


The Turbo System R&D decided to use for this particular kit started life as a GT30X Turbo being disassembled, modified, calibrated, ceramic coated and precision balanced. Chapin tested extensively many turbine charger housings on the Super Flow bench, before arriving with a turbine core for a starting point, then modifications begin. Bill uses his Super Flow testing bench to monitor, evaluate and document modifications using a Garret Speed counter to evaluate the response time and speed of the turbo on a flow bench test.


R&D also utilizes a Turbo Smart Boost Controller that enables the rider to switch between two predetermined (user defined) boost settings. The T1 kit boost actuator is adjustable between 10-18 pounds. For this test it was set at 13 pounds (low boost) and 18 pounds (high boost) of boost and it could be changed via a switch. There is also a manual boost control option that is available.


Another important aspect is the location of the Intercooler. Taking a closer look at the pictures you will notice that the intercooler is mounted as close to the turbo charger as possible. This maximizes the efficiency of the charged air. The Intercooler is strategically modified with an internal vein in order to promote laminar air flow across the intercooler core to maximize intercooler efficiency by 25%. Close attention to detail has been taken with every aspect.


This turbo kit has been designed to work along with the R&D reprogrammed ECU. The T1 Turbo Tune is rpm/boost referenced and perfectly calibrated to provide an ideal 12-12.5 AFR (Air Fuel Ratio) at any throttle position or boost level. The process of manipulating the algorisms in the oem ECU is a difficult process. But the mad scientist Mr. Bill Chapin has mastered the process. This ECU is amazing! This ECU tune works like a MoTec should work.


This kit is designed to be reliable with the stock engine internals up to 8600 rpm. For increased reliability above 8600 rpm, R&D recommends upgrading to the R&D Super Single Valve Spring kit, Carrillo Rods, and CP forged pistons.  


Moment of truth

Testing this turbo kit was kept as a surprise to me by the R&D crew. They did not inform me as to what I was testing. So they fired the boat up and I got on board. The first thing I noticed was the awesome acceleration from low rpm. It was a turbo lag free acceleration that I have never felt before on any other turbo kit I have tested in the past, including Craig Warner’s GP Runabout Factory Kawasaki race boat (read the complete story published in the Race Tests section). As soon as I was on the gas the R&D turbo kitted FZR was accelerating superbly with no hesitation, no hiccups, and with zero cavitation. And if you think that I was just doing all these in drag style format you are wrong. It was pulling hard round the buoy or even a hairpin turn without dropping its pace. Seriously this turbo kit put a smile on my face as if I was testing a very good race prepared race boat. However, as soon as I reached the shore and I explained my initial riding impression to the R&D crew, still wondering what I was testing. Then, they removed the seat and reviled their turbo kit and I found out that this was only the beginning of the test because the whole set up was tunable to two different boost pressures. I had simply tested the recreational version of this turbo kit which operated on 13 pounds of boost.


Then by clicking a hidden switch the boost pressure was set at 18 pounds. Bill Said “Hang on bitch”, I hit the water again and this time I admit that I reconsider taking those gym classes back home. The arm stretching acceleration was phenomenal and the stock FZR hull was ready to fly. I could barely feel the hull touching the water surface. The boat was going ballistic and I needed more effort to keep myself on board. It is really amazing what this turbo kit can do on pump gas. It out performs the previous a state-of-the-art light weight turbo Open Race boats I have tested in past years. The top speed of this version with the 18 pounds of boost can be up to 90 mph depending on the set up of the ride plate and the steering nozzle.


Test data

14 lbs of boost, 8.600 rpm, AFR:11.2-11.9, Top speed=81mph with ¾ of fuel on tank

18 lbs of boost, 9.040 rpm, AFR:11.8-11.9, Top speed=88mph with ¾ of fuel on tank


Many people out there should initially think that this particular turbo set up was designed for Off-Shore and Recreational use only. Well, I tested the R&D turbo FZR boat in Body Beach close course too and I tell you one thing, the boat was going phenomenal around the buoys. It accelerated from buoy to buoy like a missile and all of a sudden I realized that the buoy course got shorter. You will be amazed of how this boat performs in a close course.


This turbo kit is capable of up to 30 pounds of boost by changing the actuator to the optional 20 to 30 pound actuator. The 20-30 pound actuator requires larger injectors, bigger fuel pump, different ECU mapping, recommended internal engine components, bigger impeller, R&D cams and high octane race gas. Imagine how all this would perform in a light weight racing hull. I believe that Bill Chapin still has inside his premises the latest edition of a Lee Manvell lightweight Chapin spec FZR hull. R&D has informed me that I will soon be testing the race edition of this turbo FZR kit. According to R&D, this is only the beginning of the new turbo series since the company is doing updates to their Kawasaki turbo kit and plans to release a turbo kit for the Sea-Doo RXP-X too, which I partly saw before they threw a big towel on top of it.


The kit is ready for sale therefore, for price and availability contact R&D.


R&D Racing Products USA Inc.

12983 Los Nietos Rd.

Santa Fe Springs. CA. 90670





R&D turbo set up specifically designed for the FZR/SHO.

The clever reprogrammed ECU.

The modified exhaust with the tricky silencer.

The smart Turbo Boost controller.

Close attaention to detail has been taken with every aspect.

You cannot mount the Intercooler closer than it is in this set up.

Custom designed oil drain system.

Speed counter mounted to monitor the speed of the turbo.

Heavy duty brackets made for right support.

Extra ventilation.

Intake manifold tubing.

The new air filter kit.

The internal vein of the Intercooler.

Gauges remained on board while testing.

Turbine charger housings tested on the Super Flow bench.

A real buoy killer.