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Lot 215

1975 Suzuki RE5

Estimated at £5,500 - £6,500

Lot details

Registration No: Un-registered / Nova
Frame No: RE5-12282
Engine No: RE5-12223
CC: 500CC
MOT: Exempt

Motorcycle Location: Lancashire

  • The worlds only mass-produced rotary-engined motorcycle
  • Rare early 'M' model with round instrument panel
  • Imported from the USA with Nova certificate
  • All original features in place

The Suzuki Motor Co. was established in 1909 by Michio Suzuki to produce machinery for the cotton industry. An initial diversification into 4 wheeled transport was curtailed by WW2 but after the war Japan had a need for cheap reliable transport so Suzuki, like a lot of others around the world, began to produce clip-on engines for pushbikes. These proved to be an immediate success and soon they were making full motorcycles and by the early 60s were second only to Honda in numbers of two-wheelers manufactured. Known for their two strokes Suzuki were at the forefront of the race to develop the Felix Wankel rotary engine concept releasing the RE5 in 1975, still the world's only mass-produced rotary engined motorcycle. Whilst a technological masterpiece it was perhaps ahead of its time and only about 5000 were made between 1975 and 1976.

This RE5 is the earlier 'M' model with its distinctive round instrument panel, rear light and indicators designed to emphasise the rotary theme. Its looks to have had some restoration work in the past, the black painted parts all appear to have been refinished at some stage and the seat base (fibre glass) is good. The mudguards and exhaust are solid with some corrosion showing on the chrome and like most Japanese bikes from this era the fuel tank will need sealing. The bike has retained a good degree of originality with most of its now impossible to find parts such as the indicators and headlamp that have very often gone missing on US imports still in place. It has recently been run using a test tank and a jump pack but will need a new battery, a good recommissioning and some restoration work before use but still provides a very good starting point for what is a now very rare and collectable bike. There is a NOVA number to allow the bike to be registered in the UK.

For more information, please contact:
Ian Cunningham
07415 871189


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