Got a note the other day with a question about an engine, possibly for use in a motorcycle. The engine was this 1300cc 2 rotor rotary engine made by Rotamax. After looking at the specs it seemed like an interesting option.
Engine size is pretty reasonable, 22.7″-L x 17.4″-W x 17.9″-H, and it weighs 153 pounds. It puts out 170 horsepower and 130 foot pounds of torque which makes it a very capable powerplant. Rotary engines have always had the advantage of low vibration and Mazda has done some nice things with them in cars but their application in motorcycles has been limited.
I haven’t followed rotaries very much and I do not have any hands on time so whether they really would work well isn’t clear. I never understood why they didn’t take off, I heard emissions were a problem and the seals for the rotors would have to be very durable but beyond that, how did they perform? If Mazda gives any indication, they were pretty high performance engines for their size.
Would this work in a motorcycle? I don’t see why not, Norton made the John Player Specials back around 1990 and Suzuki made a rotary back in the ’70s, did anyone else make one? Whether they did or not, if someone put one of these in a motorcycle, it might make an interesting machine.