GoogleCustom Search

Suzuki RE-5

1976 Suzuki RE-5 Rotary

The Suzuki RE5 was a rotary-engine motorcycle manufactured by the Suzuki Motor Company from 1974 to 1976. Although there is technically a 1977 model, it consists entirely of leftover factory stock of motorcycles from 1976.

The RE5 was touted as the future of motorcycling. The high-revving rotary engine, producing impressive power figures from a very small displacement, seemed destined for motorcycle applications. In reality, however, there was little demand for the technology. The rotary engine produced a lot of heat, requiring a large and cumbersome radiator for liquid cooling. The exhaust pipes often burned riders' legs, forcing the factory to produce an innovative exhaust system, one that incorporated an air-cooling system for the exhaust gases.

Motorcycle buyers in the mid-1970s did not take to the motorcycle with a rotary engine, and few were sold. The RE5 contained many parts that it did not share with other motorcycles on Suzuki's flagship platform, such as the GT 750. This uniqueness led to a shortage of parts for RE5 restoration. Many people believe these motorcycles to be too hard to restore or maintain. Many are also discouraged by the rotary engine, replacement parts for which are difficult to find since they have been out of production for a long time.