The Rotary Suzuki RE5 Was One of the Smoothest Motorcycles Ever. Too Bad It Failed


The world’s first Wankel-engined motorbike was the air-cooled Hercules W-2000. Fellow German DKW, England’s Norton and Dutch Van Veen also produced rotary motorbikes, yet on the Japanese side, only Suzuki was bold enough to put the technology into series production. What’s more, Suzuki came up with a complex water-cooled powertrain with double-walled exhausts and a massive radiator to keep the rotary’s heat under control, on a bike that also featured elements designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro. The result was unconventional, expensive for its performance, and probably the smoothest riding motorbike ever produced in volume.

Unfortunately, with that volume staying very low

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