Suzuki RE5 Motorbike

What sets the Suzuki RE5 apart? Some 6,000 of these bikes were built between 1974 and 1976, and each features a Felix Wankel-designed engine. With a distinctive sound, this is a bike that's just a little bit different to more conventional roadsters.

While he never held a driver's licence or obtained a tertiary qualification, Wankel was a brilliant mathematician and research engineer who privately developed the rotary engine - an innovation that would undoubtedly go down in history as his crowning achievement.

The rotary engine on this Suzuki RE5 has two moving parts, a triangular rotor that turns within a single elliptical chamber and the output shaft. Unlike internal combustion engines, the Wankel rotary engine has no piston and no cylinders. It is designed to generate more power in less space, in comparison to its conventional engine counteparts.

While Felix Wankel applied for the first patents on his rotary engine concept all the way back in 1929, it was not until the 1960s that he was able to find a niche market for his engine design - with Mazda the first, and most notable, adopter of this technology.

Many motorcycle manufacturers investigated incorporating rotary engines into their designs, however - despite offering a reputation for smooth, light, compact engines that were capable of producing high power outputs in relation to displacement; all of which are highly desirable traits for motorcycles - few made it into production.

With rotary engine motorcycles so scarce, we think that makes our Suzuki RE5 even more special - don't you agree?

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