Memorable Motorcycles Hercules W2000 — Motorcycle USA

5 Май 2015 | Author: | Комментарии к записи Memorable Motorcycles Hercules W2000 — Motorcycle USA отключены
Hercules W 2000

Memorable Motorcycles Hercules

The first production rotary-powered the Hercules W2000 was a techie’s but faltered in the real world.

The W2000 was the first-ever production engined motorcycle and for that deserves a place in history. It was the first in a line of not undistinguished engined motorcycling failures not because it was an inherently bad bike but for the reason that engineers their own hype.

The great with all rotaries is that the engineers who design them are with a mathematical ability few of us ever achieve after a struggling with a calculator and a spread sheet. They know in their heart of that the Wankel rotary is conceptually superior to dirty engines and scarcely less four-strokes.

I once interviewed Garside — the man behind the rotary, which is perhaps the ever Wankel-engined bike to production. He told me how he would out of lectures at the School of Engineering at University — rotary are always brilliant — and with the model they had on

It could be argued that the Mr. Garside should have chatting up pretty lady or mainlining on coffee and cream in the manner of most sensible but the young David used to the rotary shaft on the model and at its mechanical elegance.

So let’s at what gave Mr. Garside the in his mechanical loins. Through the of a purist engineer a conventional is a truly horrible thing. The begin with the piston has to come to a complete stop at the top of ….

Then it has to start and travel all the way to the bottom of the cylinder and once more. Stopping and is grossly inefficient and wastes a amount of energy.

A rotary engine is more but the practical application had problems.

The the four-… engine produces is not rotary, and therefore the energy the piston travelling up and down has to be converted into rotary in order to drive a wheel.

The engine is full of expensive, parts which offend the sensitive eye. The powerplant is with valves, pistons, springs and a myriad of other items all of which waste and cost a lot of money to make.

are fractionally better in that have fewer moving but their fuel consumption to ratio is poor because of inherent inability to burn all the they have available for

Roll of drums and fanfare of What the world needs is a engine in which all the power is into rotary action.

is what the Junior High student’s best friend, says:

In the Wankel engine, the strokes of a typical Otto occur in the space between a symmetric rotor and the inside of In the basic single-rotor Wankel the oval-like epitrochoid-shaped housing a rotor which is similar to a triangle, a three-pointed curve of width, but with the bulge in the of each side a bit more

From a theoretical perspective, the shape of the rotor between the apexes is basically the result of a of the volume of the geometric combustion and a maximization of the compression ratio, Thus, the symmetric curve two arbitrary apexes of the rotor is in the direction of the inner housing with the constraint not to touch the at any angle of rotation (an arc is not a solution of optimization problem).

Don’t you just love types? Incidentally, this is one of the descriptions of the Rotary engine.

in real life this is the In the middle of a Wankel engine is the which is rather like an triangle. For those of you who were Cycle during your lessons (a week’s litter after school for you Melling!) an triangle is one where all the sides are the length.

The Wankel engine’s is very similar to an equilateral but with slightly bulging

If you placed a shaft in the absolute of the triangle it could be made to round in perfect balance. if the shaft were placed in one then the triangle would irregularly. In fact, you could it follow a path where it rose and fell.

With one moving part the Wankel powerplant is an engineer’s dream.

So far so Now imagine a long rectangle rounded corners. In one side is a which lets in fuel and Next to it is another hole which the burnt gas escapes.

A of fuel/air is sucked into the by the spinning action of the rotor. The of the rotor housing (the rectangle) compresses the mixture and a plug ignites it. The resultant pushes the rotor round and the charge exits through the hole.

Now isn’t that There is just one moving and the motor is both light and Theoretically at least, it is also to manufacture. What more one want?

The problems start because the Rotary engine is a patented It was first conceived by the German Felix Wankel in the early when he worked for NSU, and by another NSU engineer Hanns Paschke.

NSU then enforced and expensive, licensing demands on company which tried to the Rotary engine. This creative development of the basic and no doubt dissuaded many from purchasing a licence.

was the commercial constraint. Technically, was an equally big problem. The whole principle relies on a perfect between the tip of the rotor and the housing.

seal is essential to separate the charge from the burnt and to allow both efficient and burning.

The tip has to follow the irregular of the rotary housing perfectly and at speed. Before reliable, temperature ceramics were available this was a really mechanical trick and many suffered with tip flutter led to poor mechanical efficiency.

So brings us to the Hercules — and the mistake of all Rotary engine it is this. Rotary fans always to look at current power plants and compare engines with these forgetting that the finishing is always being moved. is a fundamental mistake because every year since four-… engines have dramatically.

Hercules were constrained by their licence NSU which meant that Rotary engines were not to produce more than Hercules also faced the that by 1974 they the infrastructure to build the new W2000 their own component parts. The new was a real kit bike special bits bought in from Bosch and Sachs. What was in house was not a great testament to engineering.

On the contrary, the frame was a really affair and the paintwork was: can you do for $5? rather than Let’s a really nice motorcycle.

insurance companies didn’t what to do with the Hercules. lobe of the Hercules rotary has a volume of 294cc. Hercules that in practice the bike was a low mid-range motorcycle and therefore to be insurable for almost nothing.

Hercules W 2000

the insurance companies felt the capacity of the rotary engine was to be in the same way as a conventional motor by its total swept volume. So, of what was a low powered 250cc they insisted that the plant was three times — a whopping 882cc. was only 19cc less the awesome 82bhp Kawasaki Z1 was the hyper sports bike of the 1970s.

The result was a sales Every buyer with an of common-sense, or logic, avoided the like the plague and the bike only to real biking who delighted in the absurdly quirky. And why I bought one.

In fact, wasn’t the whole truth. In my there was another even eccentric reason. In 1975, I was a lot of road and track tests for and a new, bigger, better, bike arrived every of weeks. For my own use, I wanted that all the other journos have.

I wanted a Hercules

In Britain the Hercules was badged as a DKW was considered to be the stronger brand In truth, neither Hercules nor DKW had any credibility in the biking world or out of it for that matter. Like engines, these were for the true two-wheeled geek.

The Hercules rotary engine ran hot and revving too high could to an engine rebuild.

Almost as as I signed the cheque, I began to what I had done — and The Rotary started well and then settled down to a odd engine note. Perhaps the analogy was an outboard motor at idle — not absolutely but nothing to stir the soul

Right from the off, the ran at science fiction hot temperatures and a few rides the exhaust headers had blued to oblivion.

The dealer had me dire warnings that if I the motor then the rotary might flutter and then If this happened, the tip would the rotary housing and the next thereafter was a trip to the bank to pay for the Contrast this state of with how easy it is to repair an two or four-… engine.

The problem and you will note how many the word problem has occurred in story — was that the six gearbox was rubbish and missed were all too common. If a gear was with the motor being hard it would spin well past the very rev. limit of 6,200rpm and there was the big thrill to see if the engine had been destroyed. In practice, I to change at a lowly 5,500rpm and so the wear and tear on my heart.

ownership was not an experience which exotic dreams at night. The was surprisingly torquey and pulled smoothly from low revs but it was not The Hercules handled okay and okay and ambled along and was generally a sort of okay in an okay sort of way.

But merely okay does not bikes or breed customer

Compared to its reliable Honda the W2000 didn’t stand a

In terms of physical size, and it was pitched directly at the Honda which was faster, smoother, more reliable, cheaper to buy and and was much better finished. It was not to see why the Hercules was a sales disaster and the a huge success.

Later, was to be a much better rotary in the of the Norton designed by none than that brilliant engineer who had played with the rotary engine at Cambridge But we’ll look at David remarkable motorcycle on another

Now, Hercules W2000s are as as unicorn horns and why anyone want to own one is beyond me. However, on the occasions when they do up for sale they make sums of money. In October of year, the bike in our photographs a breathtaking $6200 at Bonhams

There’s no accounting for what bike fans!

Our thanks to Auction for the loan of the W2000. Bonhams at or tel: 861-7500

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