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The Future of motorcycling
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.
The RE 5 had a 497cc displacement engine and was one of the few Wankel rotary engine bikes ever made, was only made for 3 years. Suzuki, in 1970, was locked in a three-way competition with the other two big Japanese motorcycle makers, Honda and Yamaha. In a relentless march to improve technology and capture market share, Suzuki went after a then-untested production technology, the Wankel rotary engine, with the idea of putting it in a motorcycle'
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.
The Only Japanese Production Rotary
The RX-5, Suzuki's prototype rotary, was unveiled at the Tokyo salon in 1973, one year after Yamaha's RZ-201. The RX-5 was technically more advanced, it was rumored to be designed by Giugiaro but is not the case as was confirmed by the offices in Italy. It went into production soon after, while the Yamaha languished at the prototype phase, In doing so, Suzuki had made the new bike, rechristened RE5, the only Japanese series production rotary and the first rotary put on the assembly line since Germany's rustic Hercules W2000 and the antiquated Dutch Van Veen.
No Splash with the Public
It is rumored that the RE5 was designed by Giugiaro, Alessandro Colombo, famous Italian motorcycle engineer, motorcycle historian and editor of Legend Bike confirms that this is not the case. The bike is too Banal and in line with everything else of that era to even be considered a Giugiaro.
- FRAME #: RE5-10053
- ENGINE #: ..... RE5-10112
- ENGINE TYPE: . . .497cc Rotary
- MODEL CODE: . . . 370
- COLOR: Firemist Blue, Firmist Orange
- Headlight housing primary color
- Futuristic instrument panel
- FRAME #: N/A
- ENGINE #: N/A
- ENGINE TYPE: 497cc Rotary
- MODEL CODE: 370
- COLOR: Black
- Chrome headlight mounts and housing
- Conventional instrument panel