Post Listing Update: This W2000 did not meet reserve with 18 bids up to $8,201.
One of my favorite eBay sellers is a gentleman in Chicago who a.) offers great bikes and b.) (more importantly) gives a lot of great information and photos in the listing. Here’s another excellent listing from him for a rare rotary motorcycle.
In the early 70s, Suzuki, Norton, and DKW all brought rotary-powered bikes to the market, but DKW was the first. Outside of the UK, it was sold as the Hercules Wankel 2000 (W2000), and while the engine was unconventional, everything else was as you’d expect. Bike magazine called it “an outstanding machine in its own right”, even ignoring the novel powerplant. Now we know that rotary power barely went anywhere, but this was a real breakthrough in the industry at the time. The engine was actually a single-rotor air-cooled snowmobile engine built by Fichtel & Sachs. Displacing 294cc, the engine produced 23 horsepower (although that was later increased to 32.) Cooling was taken care of by a large fan that you can see in front of the engine. Build quality was supposedly excellent, and the rotary engine barely yielded any vibration. It was supposedly very comfortable to ride, even up to the top speed of about 95 miles per hour. Want to learn more? Check out this writeup from Frank Melling over at Motorcycle-USA.
This example (VIN: 480000987) has 18,753 miles and it’s said to be an early production/quasi-production example that still requires premix. It needs nothing, is entirely original, and is ready to go. The seller believes he is the third owner but he’s not 100% sure. He obtained it in non-running condition and fixed it up. Find this rotary-powered Hercules for sale in Chicago, Illinois with bidding up to $5,600 and the reserve not yet met