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Monday, March 14, 2016

Seeing a short-lived masterpiece of Suzuki

Did you ever heard the Suzuki RE5? Yes, it is the only one of motorcycles manufactured by Suzuki in the period 1974-1976 which uses the Rotary machine is often called the Wankel engine that created by a German engineer named Felix Wankel (1954).

At the end of 1973 at the Tokyo Show, Suzuki introduced its new production called Suzuki RE5 that use Rotary engine. The motorcycle is a work or even a 'flagship' masterpiece of the Suzuki engineers in that time who's successfully developed the rotary engine design after got the approval license from the NSU/Wankel in 1970.
Suzuki RE5, the first Japanese production Wankel engined motorcycle. (Picture from: http://adf.ly/1Y0Isv)
The model of rotary engine has many advantages in terms of technical compared to a conventional engine, the power generated more smoothly in the early rounds as the rotor rotates (not vertical or horizontal), its torque more finer also lead to lack of vibration and less of engine components because it does not use chamshaft, valve and other moving parts.

Rotary Engine is an early type of internal combustion engines, which are designed with rotor in a radial configuration in which the crankshaft remains stationary and the entire rotor is rotated around it. Rotary engine combustion chamber is formed between the cavity made in the surface of the rotor to the housing surface. Because the rotor has three side surface of the cavity, then the combustion chamber at the rotary engine rotates in the direction of rotation of the rotor.
The engine view of 1975 Suzuki RE5. (Picture from: http://adf.ly/1Y0Isv)
At that time, only several motorcycle manufacturers make prototypes using this engine type, but only Suzuki who successfully made it to the mass product. Overall, the design of Suzuki RE5 is not as revolutionary as the engine. The instrument panel has a speedometer and rear lights cylindrical rotary tailored to the theme, at first glance similar to the design of the Suzuki GT750. This motor has a specially designed exhaust shielded and refrigerated, because the rotary engine exhaust gas tends to make the exhaust pipe is hot enough to burn the rider feet.
Right side view of 1976 Suzuki RE5. (Picture from: http://adf.ly/1Y0Isv)
But ... With all the above advantages, turned out to the Suzuki RE5 did not receive a good response in terms of sales. Perhaps, the consumers are less interested in the technology used on this bike. Or maybe they do not like how greedy its fuel consumption.

In 1976, Suzuki conducted minor changes, such as replacement speedometer instrument panel and rear lights using ordinary model remains unable to raise the sales charts. And finally in 1977, the production of engines and motorcycles were discontinued. A tragic ending for a Suzuki technology masterpiece. *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | BLACKCAT200]
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