2012-07-06 16:02:30+0000
  • Make:
  • Suzuki
  • Model:
  • RE-5 Rotary
  • Year:
  • 1974

A Japanese made motorcycle, the Suzuki RE5 Rotary was produced from 1974 to 1976. It has a 497 cc Wankel Rotary engine with a high speed of 104 mph (168 km/h).

The RE5 was touted as the future of motorcycling and included several innovations. The Wankel engine is a type of internal combustion engine that uses a rotary design to convert pressure into a rotating motion instead of using pistons. Internally the rotor is cooled and lubricated by oil, which is filtered by an easily accessible car-type oil filter on the lower right side of the cases. The Rotary exhaust temperatures reach 1,700 °F (927 °C) it required a specialized exhaust system. Suzuki dealt with the problem by creating a large, heavily finned manifold which split the single exhaust into two exhaust pipes which included air cooling ducts.

The bikes were launched in 1974 and Suzuki enlisted an astronaut, the sixth man to walk on the moon, to introduce the bike and give it his endorsement. Week-long test rides and instructional sessions on the motorcycle were given. The warranty was superior to other motorcycles of the day and even offered a full engine replacement for any engine problem within the first 12 months or 12,000 miles (19,000 km).

At the end of the bikes production run, and once over its novelty, test riders found that other than its handling, it wasn't superior to more conventional bikes. However The Suzuki RE5 is still a very collectible motorcycle today, based on its technical innovations of its time, and its superior handling skills.

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