Rotary Motorcycle: 1975 Hercules W-2000

hercules

This motorcycle falls into a category of vehicles I really like–let’s call them “enhanced survivors”–where the vast majority of the vehicle is clean and original, but the necessary maintenance and repairs have been done to put the machine into excellent running condition. No, it’s not a concours-winning show example, but it looks like it’s been loved and cared for since birth. Since I’m a big rotary engine fan as well, this Chicago, Illinois find courtesy of reader Jim S really piqued my interest. The Hercules is advertised here on eBay, with bidding currently at $4,750 but the reserve has not yet been met. The presentation by the seller is superb, with numerous beautiful photographs of both general views and details. They have also included more information about the Hercules Wankel 2000 than I thought available, including such minute details as how many with red tanks were in the initial shipment to the US distributor. The seller maintains a collection of rotary motorcycles; I would imagine they would be able to answer pretty much any questions you could come up with. What do you think of this unusual motorcycle?

herculesc

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Comments

  1. Tirefriar

    This would be a cool bike to own AND ride. Wouldn’t be my daily rider, but it is a great way to meet Jay Leno.

  2. Pat

    I worked on a couple of these. Two owners found out I worked RE5’s…. Same thing right?

  3. jim s

    the VanDerBrink auction has 1 of these listed on the online bidding with no photo and a $.50 bid.

  4. JW454

    Very good condition. First one of these I’ve ever seen.

  5. Road Rash

    Clearly not very good condition. Great pictures- they show the corrosion around the wheels, the engine, the frame, underneath the seat, pretty much everywhere. This seller has been listing this Hercules on and off for a few years, and I’ll bet anybody right now that it doesn’t meet reserve yet again, doesn’t find a buyer, and gets re-listed yet again. Seller’s hidden private feedback (why?) shows lack of recent buyers and completed deals. Just watch.

  6. Howard A Member

    Great find. Certainly rare. The Hercules rotary and the RE-5 Suzuki are really 2 very different machines. While they both had single rotor engines, ( I think) this Hercules was air-cooled and used pre-mix gas, (’76 they had oil injection) while the Suzuki was bigger (500cc compared to Hercules 300cc) more refined, liquid cooling and oil injection and twice the hp. They were odd beasts, but, from what I’ve heard, were surprisingly reliable ( for warm weather applications, like bikes, anyway) Cold weather was a different matter. Lots of problems with early Mazda’s in cold weather. I picked up an Evinrude “rotary” snowmobile once for nothing, that had like 100 miles on it. I never did get it running, and junked it. ( I know, some snowmobile collector is screaming right now) http://www.ridermagazine.com/road-tests/hercules-w2000-and-suzuki-re5-short-history-of-wankel-powered-motorcycles.htm/

  7. Klaus Reichardt

    I drove a 50cc as my first bike in Germany and the dealer was one of the few who got these in to sell; very unusual and now rare bike, but I think awesome. I did read that seller wants about $25K for it, which is not real. It needs a savior to be around but not at that price.

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