The Drumcharger - The Budget Forced-Induction Solution


Drumcharging, according to the patent rights holder, is the future of supercharging for motorcycles. And if the Italian-based firm has its way, it’s the future of small cars, tractors and stationary engines, too. Because in these days of increasingly stifled emission controls, which in turn are strangling engines and their output, manufacturers are being forced to find more grunt more efficiently.

If the motorcycle industry looks to the car world, it seems forced induction is where it’s at. But superchargers and turbochargers are not only bulky items to squeeze into compact motorcycle-sized architecture, they also add significant and unwanted cost.

AlterEgo Hardware is all about smart, simple and low-cost engineering and it says its drumcharger may just be the answer. While the drumcharger only offers a fraction of the boost that a conventional supercharger or turbocharger would, it can be produced at a fraction of the price.

How does a drumcharger work?

The drumcharger uses the engine’s exhaust gases to push fresh air into the intake. The unit consists of a plastic chamber separated into two compartments by a carbon fiber membrane, and it weighs just 1 kilogram. The hot chamber harnesses the exhaust pressure to push on the membrane as the gases exit the engine. This compresses the cold chamber, forcing the air inside it into the airbox. The cleverness lies in the simple fact that it’s inherently synchronized with the engine and its actuation is purely mechanical, negating the need for expensive electronic management.

How much will a drumcharger help?

According to AlterEgo’s bench tests, the drumcharger increases torque by up to 15 percent, improves engine efficiency by up to 20 percent and fuel economy is improved by up to 30 percent. The drumcharge was official unveiled at EICMA motorcycle show in Milan and the firm is knocking on manufacturers’ roller doors as you read this, claiming that it can improve the quality of combustion to the point of being a bolt-on retrofit solution to complying with the latest and even future exhaust emission regulations.

Drumcharger for which motorcycles?

The drumcharger can fit any engine regardless of the displacement, be it two-stroke or four-stroke, carburetor or fuel injection. Right now, there’s the option between a single or a dual version and, depending on the motorcycle, the dual might be two drum chargers mounted side-by-side or ducted so that two how chambers are pumping into a single cold chamber. It needs to be kept quite cool, too, so the drumcharger need to be mounted at least 50 centimeters from the cylinder head of the engine to create a so-call thermal barrier.

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