Rotary engines in motorcycles have always been a rare sight, in racers, rarer still, but it looks like Brian Crighton has built one and he wants to get on the track with it. The CR700P, is a twin rotor 700cc racer with a very respectable 200 horsepower and 100 foot pounds of torque and it weighs in at only 300 pounds! That should be enough to get a rider’s attention.
Brian began working on rotary engines at Norton back in the late 80s and played a very large part in their racing program with the John Player Specials and, after resigning from Norton, built a brand new rotary racer campaigned successfully by the Crighton Norton team in the early 90s.
Brian has come back with a totally new bike, the CR700P. The Rotron 200hp twin rotor uses a “pressurized gas cooling system,” I’m not exactly sure how that works, but they attribute the engine’s capability of sustained high rpm operation to it, so it must work pretty well.
I didn’t see any photos without the fairings, so what the engine looks like in the frame is a bit of a mystery, but I’m sure those will turn up soon enough. Rotary engines seem to be powerful little beasts and, though rotor seals have been a problem over the years, you have to think they’ve got that pretty well sorted by now. If they could get emissions under control, current power levels would make for an interesting street bike and might give some inline 4s a bit of a scare.
The bike looks good and the rider in the video seems extremely impressed with its power, now all it needs is a chance to prove itself on the track. I’m not sure what class or race series it’s aimed at, rotaries seem to have a difficult time fitting into the class structure against the standard internal combustion engines, so we’ll see where they land. It could make for an interesting competition. I wish them the very best of luck.
Thanks for the tip, Bob!