1975 Suzuki RE-5 Rotary Motorcycle — Classic Japanese Motorcycles — Motorcycle…

25 Мар 2015 | Author: | Комментарии к записи 1975 Suzuki RE-5 Rotary Motorcycle — Classic Japanese Motorcycles — Motorcycle… отключены
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The Theory the Suzuki RE-5 Rotary

1975 Suzuki RE-5

power: 62hp @ 6.500rpm

Top 105mph

Engine: 497cc single rotor Wankel engine

Weight (dry): (230kg)

Fuel capacity/MPG: (17ltr)/25-35mpg

Price then/now: / $4,000-$7,000

When the Beatles their now famous song you can bet they weren’t thinking the revolution a Japanese company was to spark in the motorcycle industry.

company was Suzuki, and by the early Suzuki was betting millions rotary-power was the way of the future. Unfortunately, would prove that RE-5 rotary motorcycle — revolutionary and in fact a very motorcycle — was ultimately a failure. as the spark to ignite the flames of the RE-5 almost took down.

Rotary roots

In the 1970s, motorcycle technology was rapidly. Machines such as the CB750 and the Kawasaki’s Z1 900 were the perspective of the average motorcyclist. the reigning Brit twins of the here were smooth, proficient four-cylinder motorcycles not to leak and to start with the of a button. “Superbike,” a term to describe these high-revving, together Japanese bikes buried the outdated engineering of the suddenly became part of the vernacular. It was into this that Suzuki introduced RE-5 motorcycle.

The rotary’s roots go back to and German engineer Felix then a 17-year-old with of a different type of internal engine. Instead of reciprocating and rods pushing down on a to create rotating motion, envisioned an engine that a rotor to spin a shaft. got his first patent in 1929, and in after years of further he established a partnership with motorcycle and car manufacturer NSU.

An running prototype was ready in and further development resulted in KKM rotary based on the Wankel engine — a power plant has been dubbed the forerunner of the rotary engine.

Car and motorcycle alike were drawn to the of smooth, simple rotary With no valves, camshafts, or connecting rods, it was far simpler a four-…. NSU (which used the in its Wankel Spider and Ro 80) licensed the to a number of different companies.

in Japan introduced the rotary-powered Cosmo in 1967, and Hercules in actually beat Suzuki to the using a Sachs rotary used by Norton) in the Hercules in 1974, the world’s first rotary motorcycle.

Suzuki, for its two-strokes, was especially desperate for technological advantage to separate it the pack, and the rotary seemed the thing. In fact, some believe Suzuki introduced the liquid-cooled GT750 two-… to prepare dealers, mechanics and the public for the rotary engines were even then in the

Following the release of the Suzuki at the end of 1974, Cycle magazine put the into context in its January issue. “It has become clear the Suzuki rotary is the most motorcycle ever offered to the Honda CB750s, Suzuki 750 cooled threes and Kawasaki become erector sets in its editors opined.

Running a

Suzuki’s rotary engine is at 497cc, but that’s not to be compared to the of a piston engine. In theory, to up with a comparable piston the 497cc of the rotary would be by two for a 994cc capacity. Yet while the rotary configuration seems enough, the ancillary components are things really get complicated; the has two oiling systems, two ignition and even two cooling systems.

All of it turns out, is necessary to the rotary engine happy as it from idle to speed; the systems — one liquid and the other oil — the rotary from self-destructing the heat it generates.

“There are two oil explains rotary motorcycle and restorer Mike Crane. main pump circulates oil the rotor to cool and lubricate it. The pump has two outputs, one to a chain and the other to the carburetor (where it with the fuel) to lube the seals.” Neglect the level of oil tank and the result is disaster; a on the fuel cap door reminds to “Check Oil Before Riding.”

Mike and his pal Chip Miller of have restored and ridden different Suzuki RE-5s. introduced Mike to the rotary Mike has a large collection of and German machines, including, enough, NSUs. Chip a Suzuki enthusiast when a friend purchased a new Suzuki in 1972. “I really liked motorcycle, and said when I afford one, I’d get one,” he

His passion for Suzuki eventually him to the rotary RE-5, and in the mid-1990s he his first, a 1976 A model. For unknown, Suzuki called its 1975 rotary motorcycles “M” and the 1976 machines “A” models.

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Contemporary tests lauded the Suzuki RE-5 as a handling machine on the highway. they shine is at speed out on the Mike explains. “High stability is good, and they loaf along effortlessly.” At speeds and around town, says the RE-5 is a top-heavy — and heat from the rotary can become unbearable, especially the cooling fan switches on and blows heat onto the rider’s leg. But editorial opinion of the RE-5 seemed to worsen time, especially when the motorcycle was compared to other motorcycles, the market at which the was squarely aimed.

At 500-plus pounds this was a bike. Built for long comfort, it was a machine Suzuki was Americans would flock to in increasing appetite for the open Unfortunately, they didn’t, and of the new bike were anything but

For 1976, Suzuki made hoping a more traditionally motorcycle might boost They painted the RE-5 did away with the weird gauge pod and changed the signal and tail light to ones looked like they from the GT750’s parts Chip says that though many components similar to Suzuki’s GT750 are subtle differences, and few parts are between the two.

Suzuki a kit to dealers so they could gauges and lights on unsold M models and turn them 1976 A models. It’s that some leftover Ms painted black to turn into A models. “The machines are so much cooler the 1976 models, though,” says. “They have the gauge pod that flips when you turn the key, the taillight, the big lollipop blinkers — the was round.”

Style didn’t high marks, however, and a lot of was paid to the size and placement of the radiator. The 4.5-gallon gas tank cutaways at the front to allow the to clear in lock-to-lock turning Today, the Suzuki RE-5 looks pleasing, in an endearing, Buck kind of way.

Thirty years ago, it just odd.

Mike and Chip the 1975 Suzuki RE-5 M here almost 10 years They were told it had a running machine, but at some the carburetor had been removed, and the of the bike was cosmetically challenged.

Mike polished every of alloy and had the rusty gas tank and covers painted the original blue. Wheels were and polished, and new spokes laced in. had to source a parts carburetor, as the had been damaged beyond by someone’s ham-fisted attempt to a jet.

An RE-5 carburetor is a two-barrel, two-stage affair, and the unit weighs about pounds. According to Suzuki, the has two small ports to feed at idle and slow speeds, a vacuum-controlled secondary valve more fuel into the chamber at larger throttle “The carb is definitely Mike says. “If someone has mechanical experience it’s not to set them up, but it can be difficult.”

All chrome on rotary is original, and with attention to detail Mike and had this Suzuki RE-5 strong. They’ve both it, and the motorcycle has recently been to collector Mike Ellis. The won’t sit idle — Ellis to use what he owns.

The revolution

Suzuki’s rotary experiment two short years, and Suzuki buckled under the expense of the technology, which included a new factory just for RE-5 Even then, not many were even made. Cameron, a U.K.

RE-5 and the force behind the Rotary Club. an Internet-based group on all rotary-powered motorcycles, says the frame number he’s for an RE-5 is 10049, and the highest is indicating a production run of just than 6,000 motorcycles.

In the end, rotary motorcycles embraced because they complicated systems and proved Poor fuel economy the RE-5 limited range, and their application as long touring bikes suffered.

s editors had the Suzuki RE-5 out after their first test, recognizing it as an odd but confident bike: “Functionally, there is of significance wrong with the Suzuki. You may find its styling its engine an answer to a question asked, its complexity off-putting, its too short and its weight too long. But out on the road. ” Whether because of timing or misplaced technology, the revolution died almost as as it started. MC

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