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I Spy: 1975 Suzuki RE-5 Rotary Motorcycle

I am fortunate enough to have a very eclectic group of motorcycle friends. I’m surrounded by unique and interesting characters. So too are their bikes.

Last evening while out for an after dinner walk we ran in to our friend Quacka. He just happened to pull in to town on the maiden voyage of his 1975 Suzuki RE-5 rotary project bike.

Three cheers for the ugly duckling.

He’s turning what was a corroded mess into a real attention getter. The RE5 was never considered a real looker but it has well established cult following of Wankel-lovers these days.

Their signature roll-top gauge cluster and tail light usually garner polarizing comments. Love it or hate it, I foresee a lot of conversations with folks who “remember when they first came out” in his future.

In 1984, the first Iron Butt Rally had a first place tie. One of the riders was aboard a Suzuki RE-5. Fast forward 25 years to the 2009 Iron Butt Rally. Two more brave souls on RE-5s threw their hats in to the ring to compete. Although neither RE-5 crossed the finish line, they had a lot of folks cheering them on.

Suzuki RE-5  Links

Comments

GLantern
Reply

That is a very interesting bike, is it the only rotary bike ever made? I wonder what the powerband is like on it.

Fuzzygalore
Reply

It is really interesting. The sound is unlike anything else.

I wish that I had some before photos. It was in really sorry shape when he picked it up. He’s done an awesome job resurrecting this bike. I was really surprised to see it out actually. The last time I saw it in the garage it was still in pieces.

Nice job, Quacka!

There have been other rotary bikes: http://www.motocyclopedia.com/2008/11/rotary-motorcycles.html

RichardM
Reply

I believe the Norton Commander had a Wankel engine option at some point in time (late 60′s?). I used to be really interested in this engine design since I used to be a Mazda mechanic in the early 70′s.

Don Guhman
Reply

I can see a lot of polishing going on there Quaka and you did a beautiful job. Always loved the cooling vents on the exhaust pipes. When my son was playing soccer, one of the dads had this bike and it truly was unique. Happy times.

Steve
Reply

I saw a 1975 Sizuki with the Rotary engine like this for sale in the neighborhood earlier this month. Wonder what it is worth.
Steve

frame bid
Reply

this is a classic really cool but totally agree this are just for the museum…

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