1975 Suzuki RE5

In Japan, Standard by AbhiLeave a Comment

Along with some options from Norton and the Hercules W2000, the Suzuki RE5 was one of the rare rotary-engine bikes that actually made it to market. The Suzuki was the most ‘popular’ of the rotary bikes, with slightly over 6,000 examples built. Nowadays, mention of a rotary engine usually makes gearheads think of the Mazda RX-7 and RX-8, but in the 70’s all four major Japanese motorcycle companies were at least in the prototype stage. Rotaries are adored because of their ability to produce high power levels from small displacement – the 497cc engine (built under license with NSU) was good for 62 horsepower. To help mitigate public apprehension over new technology, Suzuki offered a 12 month/12,000 mile warranty for all engine work. It was a complicated piece of work – twisting the throttle moved FIVE different cables.

Suzuki called the RE5 the future of motorcycling, thanks to its innovative rotary engine and distinctive styling. This is the ’75 model, which had more interesting design characteristics like the ‘tin can’ instrument cluster. The ’76 (and final model) was slightly neutered stylistically in an attempt to make the bike more conventional. For more on the RE5, check out this write-up from Motorcycle Classics.

This example has 8,804 miles and it’s presented as a “survivor” with patina that’s “too nice to be repainted, other than the headlight housing.” With that said, it’ll need a little mechanical work – carbs, front brakes, and the plastic oil tank.

Find this RE5 for sale in Denver, Colorado with bidding up to $4,000 and the reserve not yet met here on eBay.