Rotorbike Part Two: Low Mileage 1976 Suzuki RE5

This is from the site Bring a Trailer (https://bringatrailer.com/) ...

This 1976 Suzuki RE5 is the second rotary-powered bike featured this week, following yesterday’s impressive and all-original Hercules W-2000 from the same year. Following 32 years in dark indoors storage, this one sounds to be in similar condition with similarly low mileage (~3,700), though the seller does note some light restoration work. Described as fully functional and strong running, it looks to be in very nice shape. Find it here on eBay in Dayton, Ohio with a $9,750 BIN. Special thanks to BaT reader pluckmyeyeout for this submission.

a

Says the seller: “This RE5 was a true barn find where it sat for 32 years in the dark. No sunlight touched it, hence the paint, seat, tires, and plastic bits are as close to original as you will ever find. The overall condition is excellent, and is very close to museum quality after two years of work.” What that work included is fully listed, though the ad does note some hardware has been replaced as needed, and that the front fender and part of the exhaust have been re-chromed.

Suzuki Re5 | eBay

Speaking of the exhaust, check out the full gallery and its closeup of a factory-applied sticker sternly warning: “DO NOT MODIFY THE EXHAUST SYSTEM. IT IS DESIGNED TO GIVE MAXIMUM PERFORMANCE WITHOUT EXCESSIVE NOISE.” Whereas yesterday’s German rotorbike ran an air-cooled, 294cc single-rotor, this one features a 497cc water-cooled Wankel, also a single-rotor design. Though just over twice as powerful with 62 HP, these Suzukis were also substantially heavier thanks to the added complexity of liquid-cooling. This one’s said to be both great running and fully functional.

Suzuki Re5 | eBay

Looks like the full original toolkit and owner’s manual are included as well. How cool would it be to ride these two bikes back-to-back?

Dainese 36060 Collection – Cooper Boots

The line between functional riding gear and fashionable motorcycle attire has most certainly been blurred. Over the past few years there’s been a plethora of new motorcyclist fashion brands built around the “look good and be safe” ethos. It seems though that many of the older brands have been hesitant to take part in the new trend, probably thinking this was all “just a flash in the pan fad”, sticking to their tried and tested, albeit old and outdated design approach. Thankfully that attitude is now finally starting to change and we’re seeing some of our favourite brands getting involved.

Since 1970 Dainese have been producing exceptional quality and top performing protective riding gear. Now, some 40 years later, they are retracing their own heritage to produce the Cooper Boot as part of their new 36060 collection.
CONTINUE READING »

Rare & All Original Rotary: 9K Mile 1976 Hercules W-2000 Wankel

This is from the site Bring a Trailer (https://bringatrailer.com/) ...

This 1976 Hercules W-2000 (serial 480005185) is one of 1,800 built in Germany between 1974 and ’77. One of only a handful of production Wankel rotary engine-powered motorcycle designs, this one is said to be all-original with 8,550 miles from new, and it looks quite well-preserved in photos. The seller adds that it starts very easily, and runs and rides like new. Find it here on eBay in Chicago, Illinois with reserve not met. Special thanks to BaT reader Kyle K. for this submission.

Other Makes w 2000 | eBay

The ad notes that “all-original” claims extend to the paint, seat, and its pan, and all are claimed to be in very nice condition. A large gallery of high-resolution, well-lit and composed photos show this to be true, with the bike displaying just enough patina to let you know it hasn’t been restored. These rare machines pop up for sale from time-to-time, but it’s safe to say this one’s probably one of the best left outside of a museum.

Other Makes w 2000 | eBay

Says the seller: “When I purchased this particular machine, it was in the condition you see in the photos, but it did not run. I went through the entire machine and got everything working. All of the major engine, transmission, and braking components are operational. The tires are very nice and are the correct type and size. The brakes have also been completely rebuilt, front and rear. The engine and transmission are original and are in perfect running condition.”

Other Makes w 2000 | eBay

As can be clearly seen below, Sachs designed and built these bikes’ 294cc, single-rotor Wankel. Output was about 30 HP at 6,500 RPM, and all but the last 199 built required pre-mixed fuel. According to a quoted fact snipped posted in the full ad, these bikes run dry crankcases (so to speak–shaft housing may be a more accurate description), in contrast to the rotary-engined Suzuki RE-5. It also notes that mixed oil is not of two-stroke type. Still, it remains unclear whether this machine is an “Automix” model.

Other Makes w 2000 | eBay

Power is routed through a 6-speed, and the full ad contains many interesting images scanned from contemporary and modern magazine articles covering both this bike and Suzuki’s Wankel two-wheeler. Criticized when new as expensive and slow with inadequate ground clearance, the passage of time has lessened the impact of its shortcomings, and enhanced its finer qualities like good build quality, simple, handsome styling, and gem-like engine.

Lean and Green – MotoHangar Virago XV750

Pat Jones has been running his MotoHangar workshop out of Vienna, Virginia now since 2010. During that time I’ve featured a handful of his builds on these pages and have always been a fan of his simplistic approach to customising classic Japanese motorcycles. His latest work, based on a 1983 shaft drive version of Yamaha’s XV750 Virago, is no exception. Unlike many of his other builds though, this one was turned around in a measly 3 weeks.
CONTINUE READING »

60 Miles Per Year: Sorted 1978 Moto Guzzi V50

This is from the site Bring a Trailer (https://bringatrailer.com/) ...

This 1978 Moto Guzzi V50 is said to be all-original with only 2,288 miles added in the past 38 years. There’s no word on how it came to be so well-preserved, but despite the extremely low odometer reading, the seller claims that it run, shifts, and stops excellently. Cosmetics look very good as well, even better than the very similar 4,500 mile example featured back in 2011. Find it here on Craigslist in Tecumseh, Michigan for $5k. Special thanks to BaT reader Daniel R. for this submission.

1978 Moto Guzzi v50

The tank, fenders, frame, and wheels as well as all black metal, plastic, and rubber trim present excellently, with only light signs of use. The seller admits that both mufflers will need replacement, but adds that this is the bike’s only issue. Fortunately, one replacement is included. Notably, even the tires are said to remain original.

1978 Moto Guzzi v50

The little 500cc twin uses two valves per cylinder, and in long-standing Guzzi tradition, delivers its modest 45 HP (achieved at 7,500 RPM) to the rear wheel via shaft drive. It looks very clean installed in this example, with very little cosmetic evidence of heat cycling–check out those exhaust pipes.

1978 Moto Guzzi v50

Says the seller: “Everything on this bike is original as it came from the factory right down to the tires. It runs like a top, shifts smoothly as silk, and stops on a dime. All electronics work, turn signals, high and dim lights, brake and tail lights, horn, and electric start.”

1978 Moto Guzzi v50

Aside from another muffler, all it needs is more miles.

Simplicity Through Detail – Octavia BMW G650X

Some motorcycles are inherently exciting. Take for instance a Ducati 900ss, one of the new Thruxton Rs, the Norton Commando or a 6-cylinder Honda CBX… and we’ve all seen great customs based on exciting and nostalgic bikes. However, what I believe to be really special in the custom motorcycle world, is when someone takes a bike that doesn’t posses that initial appeal, and turns it into an absolutely lustworthy machine. Take for example what Jens Henkel of Hyde Designs in Cape Town, South Africa has done with his 2008 BMW G650X ‘Octavia’.
CONTINUE READING »

Celebrating 35 years – the Suzuki Katana

My interest in motorcycles didn’t really blossom until around 15 years ago. My mother was a pessimist and me simply owning a BMX as a kid caused her enough stress. In fact I’m pretty sure that if I’d added an engine into the equation she would have had a nervous breakdown before I finished high school. This didn’t however stop me from taking notice of particularly cool motorcycles that were released during my younger years. One such bike that never failed to capture my attention was Suzuki’s mighty Katana and this year marks the legends 35th anniversary.
CONTINUE READING »

Back to Basics – Guzzi V11 Cafe Racer

Moto Guzzi V11 Cafe Racer

In this super tech world we live in there seems to be a revolution happening in auto enthusiast circles. Rather than opting for vehicles packed with risk suppressing sensors and performance honing gadgets, many of us are opting for old school mechanics. We’re buying motorcycles that run on carbs, use cables for control and give you a physical workout when you ride them hard. There’s something visceral about a motorcycle that responds according to how much pressure you apply to it and it’s great to knowing that if something goes wrong you might actually be able to fix it yourself. Today’s build is the product of this train of thought. Omar Biagi is a 35 year old “Italian guy” and when he went searching for a donor bike electronics were the last thing on his mind.
CONTINUE READING »

Retro Headwear – Nexx XG100 helmet

Nexx XG100 Motorcycle Helmets

Over the past few years there’s been a huge increase in demand for retro styled helmets. Thankfully helmet manufacturers have switched on to this fact and they’ve been answering our needs with some rather great looking lids. Chad Hodge nailed it with his design, which Bell went on to produce as their ‘Bullitt’ and American brand Biltwell did equally well with their full faced ‘Gringo’. One other company that’s also stepped up to the plate is Portugal based Nexx Helmets with their retro styled XG100.
CONTINUE READING »