Perhaps it’s the name that has made it difficult for a bike with this engine to gain popularity, or perhaps the’ve never been developed enough. Either way, it’s rare to see a bike on the road with a Wankel engine, even though they offer super smooth, turbine like power.
This 1975 DKW Hercules is a particularly rare model photographed outside Antique Motorcycles in Melbourne. These were the first Wankel engined motorcycles to hit the streets, beating the Norton Classic and Suzuki RE5. This model was well engineered but low on power, with only 292cc and 32 BHP. The Norton alternative had twin rotors and much more power but came along at a bad time in the British motorcycle world, which resulted in it’s demise.