Post Sale Update: This RE-5 sold for $4,995 after 1 bid on eBay.
As Honda and Kawasaki were dominating with inline four motors, Suzuki made a bold attempt at getting back on the front of the scene. Indeed, the Japanese maker decided to develop a bike using an “old” design: rotary engine technology. This functionally simple engine required many parts to run, notably two oiling systems, two ignition systems, and two cooling systems to prevent the engine from over-heating. To get more information on how the rotary engine works, check out Motorcycle Classics.
The particularity of Rotary engines is that their power had to be multiplied by two to match 4-stroke engines power. Therefore, although the RE-5 engine displaced 497cc, its real power was comparable to a 1000cc powerplant. Developing around 62hp, the bike could reach a top speed of 105 mph. But the major problem the bike was facing was its weight. Despite a promising engine and the buzz of an unique motor, the RE-5 weighed around 510 lbs dry. As a comparison, the CB750 for example was at 499 lbs wet. Because of this, and an engine that was very complicated to maintain, the bike was a commercial failure and nearly put Suzuki out of business. For more on the RE-5, let’s go back to Motorcycle Classics.
The RE-5 (VIN: RE5-15917) presented here is in great condition showing just less than 11.9k miles. The bike is claimed to be running well with carbs and brakes that have been gone through. The seat is cracked and will need to be addressed.
Find this RE-5 in Freeland, Michigan with bidding up to $4,995