But we are not here to talk about the bike, we have something better, it is that 10 HP boost is what we are going to talk about; the RAM air intake or the RAM boost as it is also known as. The reason for this being so important is because recently our very own TVS incorporated this RAM air intake in their new TVS Apache 200 4V, not for giving the bike a HP boost but rather aid the bike in cooling since they skimped out of the liquid cooling and decided to let nature do the job what it does best.
So the big question still remains as to what exactly is RAM air and how does it exactly affect the performance of the bike? Let’s dive in a bit deeper into it and check out about that. Now remember that what I am describing is pertaining only for bikes though RAM air is applicable even for cars. The system though for the cars is different in terms of installation, but not too different. So in case one wants to try that out, the properties are transferable with some tweaking. Let us start from the basics. In a bike’s engine, the fuel is mixed with air and the mixture is burnt and that is what makes the power for the bike to move. Now in any standard bike, the air intake goes from the air filter which is situated near the engine compartment and hence the air travels in. But the problem here is that the air when heats up, its density decreases. That means there are less air molecules in the same quantity of air flowing in resulting in a lesser oxygen intake and overall results in the drop in engine power or maybe that is what the engine power is supposed to be delivered.
So instead in RAM air systems the air intake manifold is situated away from the engine (generally they are placed right in front of the motorcycle) and a conical air filter is used instead of a regular flat or round one for increase in the surface area to suck in the air. What this does is, it sucks in cooler air into the engine block which is higher in density. That means for the same quantity of air that was coming in earlier, the air is denser and with more oxygen in it. That means accordingly it can burn more amount of fuel at a time and hence that results in improved performance which we all know as the RAM boost.
But it does not happen just as simply. There are many other factors to it as well like the bike has to be at a certain high speed for the RAM air intake to work properly so that the air can be sucked in the bike quickly due to the difference in the air pressures. Secondly the bike’s air pipe needs to be well insulated from the engine heat so that the air when enters the pipe doesn’t get heated up which would not result in any boost. Then there is also the issue with the atmospheric ambient temperature. The air outside also needs to be cooler and hence the density of the air will hence be more; the reason why you will notice that the RAM boost is more noticeable in the winters than in summers. And lastly one has to also take into consideration the bike’s fueling system. RAM boost will not really make any difference to the bike which is carburated because the air first collects in the carburetor along with the fuel and the mixture is hence transferred to the engine block. But this is possible in case of fuel injection because in that case the oxygen sensor in the FI unit calculated the amount of oxygen entering and hence injects the fuel that can be burnt off using that oxygen and hence there is a boost provided due to that.
One has to realize that RAM boost is in no ways usable to improve the efficiency of the bikes in terms of fuel consumption unlike superchargers and turbochargers. But yes, it does help keep the bike operating at optimal temperature because the colder air helps cool down the engine which takes away quite the strain from the engine. This is the exact reason why TVS has used this in their Apache because using this they plan to keep the bike a cool using only air cooling and an oil cooler for the bike.
So next time you go on to buy a bike and find a one which RAM boost to it, you will know how it goes and simply wondering and aweing at the fact of the boost, you can actually make an informed decision as to if the bike actually needs that RAM boost and if that is going to make a difference to you and is it worth it for you or you could simply skip that and save money on the RAM air intake of the bike and rather invest it in better gear for your new bike.
By: Pratik Patole