Not so long ago Kawasaki revealed in Japan a supercharged inline-four engine that may or may not power an upcoming Kawasaki Ninja motorcycle, showing that Kawasaki engineers are actively contemplating a forced-induction future.
Of course the Kawasaki supercharged engine wasn't unexpected. We first learned of the project a few years back, when patent documents suggested Kawasaki was preparing just such an engine for possible use in a replacement for the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-14R Hyperbike.
We still know little about the supercharged engine or any related motorcycle project, Kawasaki released zero information – not even a mention of displacement or boost specifications – instead talking about Kawasaki Heavy Industries' long history producing industrial gas turbines, and how that experience translated on a smaller scale to the supercharger for the new engine. According to information from Kawasaki the supercharger has an unprecedented efficiency and the ability to withstand high heat, high pressure, and extreme vibrations. There's no evidence of an intercooler – besides, there wouldn't be much space to hide one on a average motorcycle but there is a description of a pre-intake fuel injection scheme to reduce intake temperature buy evaporative cooling. Also interesting is a description of a two-speed supercharger drive gearbox that would allow the charger to operate at different speeds relative to the crankshaft, giving two distinct power curves.
Still, even in the absence of a lot of the details, the mere existence of what looks to be an engine in an advanced state of development gives us great hope that a turbo, hyper Ninja might be in the making.