Brian Crighton Thinks About Production Rotary Engines for Road Bikes

Crighton CR700P: a 700cc twin rotary engine delivering 200 HP 2 photos
Photo: Brian Crighton
Crighton CR700P
Lighter than any other mills, insanely powerful though not as fuel efficient as traditional piston ones, rotary engines may still have a chance to make it big in the motorcycle world. Brian Crighton proudly pitted his Crighton Racing CR700P machine against the others and showed the potential of his engine.
An R&D engineer at Norton for many years, Crighton still dreams about a new generation of rotary engines. Only this time it's not a racing-oriented endeavor, but a stride for casual road bikes.

Brian Crighton talked with Faster and Faster and expressed his beliefs in the potential of rotary engines. Seeing how his own mill delivered 200 HP at 11,000 rpm and a hefty 135 Nm (just under 100 ft-lbs) 1500 rpm lower give him hope. Adding in that his racing CR700P bike tips the scales at only 136 kg (300.2 lbs), things look dangerous even for a bike like the new Panigale Superleggera.

The fuel efficiency can be bettered quite a lot, Crighton adds. Using the modern, higher-pressure injection, newer materials and all the tech hype used in contemporary machinery could bring mileage in the ballpark of piston engines.

Thanks to the pressurized gas cooling, weight can be kept to a minimum and this is yet another helping hand for potential road bikes using rotary engines in the future. Brian Crighton adds that if a big bike manufacturer invested in motorcycle rotary engines, we could see them rolling on the streets in quite a short time.

How does 200 HP form a 700cc engine sound, Honda?

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