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Suzuki RE5 Gallery

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. 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 bike.

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.

Customers did find the RE5 interesting, but not many but not many actually bought the model. 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.

Bike Image Description
1975 Suzuki RE5 Suzuki RE5  
1975 Suzuki RE5 Suzuki RE-5 497cc Wankel rotary
1976 Suzuki RE-5 1976 Suzuki RE-5 More Suzuki RE5 info..
1976 Suzuki RE-5 Rotary Suzuki RE-5 Rotary
  • Engine - NSU- Wankel rotary, liquid cooled
  • Displacement - 497 cc
    Horsepower - 62 hpl @ 6,500
  • Torque - 54.9ft lbl3,-500 rpm
  • Carburetor - Mikuni, 18-32 HHD
  • Compression Ratio - 9.4:1
  • Starter System - Electric and kick
  • Transmission - 5-speed, constant mesh
  • Fuel Tank Capacity - 4.5 gal
  • Height - 46.1 in
  • Wheel Base - 59.1 in
  • Dry Weight - 507 lbs

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