Suzuki Rotary RE-5 Part 1 of 2
Suzuki presented its first, and only, rotary engine powered motorcycle at
the Tokyo Show in late 1973. The RE5, as the model was called, was Suzuki's
technical flagship at the time and a fine motorcycle. The engine,
originated from NSU in Germany, was smooth, quiet, powerful and had hardly
any vibrations, thanks to its construction with no parts moving
back-and-forth like the usual Otto engine.
The rotary, or Wankel, engine has a number of benefits over standard
engines including a lack of camshafts, intake and Exhaust valves, and a reduced number of moving
parts. Many manufacturers experimented with the engine type and some
prototypes were presented in the early 70's but Suzuki was the only
motorcycle manufacturer that used the rotary engine on a mass produced
Suzuki presented the engine sometimes as 1000cc, because some regulatory
bodies de-rate the engine by doubling the chamber capacity. The actual
cylinder capacity was 497 cc.
The design of the RE5 was not as revolutionary as its engine. The
instrument panel and tail light were contained in cylindrical shapes to
play on the rotary theme, otherwise the bike looked a lot like the
company's two-stroke flagship GT750. Also included was a special heat
shield since the rotary engine design tended to make Exhaust pipes hot enough to burn riders' legs.
What happened? The customers did find the RE5 interesting, but not many but
not many of them actually bought the model. Perhaps it was the new
technology that scared off the customs, perhaps it was the heavy fuel
consumption that made it. However, Suzuki had invested enormous sums of
money to the project and had built an entire new assembly line for the
rotary engines but the machines wouldn't sell.
The cylindrical instrument panel and tail light were replaced by standard
type items in 1976, in order to make the bike look more "normal" but it
didn't help much. The model, and the whole rotary engine project, was
buried in 1977.
What its like owning a 3 Rotor 20B RX-7
I have one of the most amazing custom RX-7s in the world. I want to share
my experience of owning and driving such a unique car.
I explain where the engine came from, why its so special, and what it does
to a Mazda RX-7
Suzuki RE5 Rotary Engine - 2012 Quail Motorcycle Gathering
Suzuki's 497cc rotary-engine-powered RE5 is a rare beast indeed.
Manufactured for only two years with a production run of approximately
6,500 units, it's one Japanese motorcycle model not often seen.
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My 1975 GT550, GSXR 750 front end, SV 650 rear end, Jemco pipes
first kick start of Suzuki RE-5
Just got the 1975 RE5 today, worked on it all day and got it running. We
decided to try a kick start and it fired right up on first try.
Suzuki GT 500 tribute
A tribute to the restoration and riding of my 76 gt 500. A product of the
forgotten era with such strong character and has many memories for many
people. Hopefully the sound and sight will remind you of the smell and
vibration. It has the suzi oil injection system and no reed valves just
pure piston porting.