Although not (quite) the first rotary-engined motorcycle to reach production - that honour falling to the DKW/Hercules W2000 - Suzuki's RE5 nevertheless stunned the motorcycling public when it was unveiled at the Tokyo Show in 1973. An heroic engineering tour de force, the RE5 successfully addressed many of the technical problems that hitherto had bedevilled the rotary engine, albeit at a cost of increased complexity. Faced with stiff competition from Suzuki's own GT750, Honda's CB750 and the Kawasaki Z1, the RE5 failed to attract sufficient customers from within the notoriously conservative motorcycle-buying public and was withdrawn from production in 1977. Today though, this revolutionary motorcycle continues to be supported by a devoted band of devotees and can only become increasingly collectible.
This particular Suzuki RE5 was purchased from the auction sale at Norton Motors' Shenstone factory when it closed down in the mid-1990s. It had been purchased by Norton for their own use to study Suzuki's rotary engine technology. We are advised that Norton stripped, numbered and evaluated every component of the engine. The vendor has carried out a complete restoration, since when the machine has not been used. The odometer reading is 8,996 miles (the distance covered from new). Offered with a V5 registration document.