Test Suzuki RE5, Version A 2013

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Test Suzuki RE5, version A

Bikescatalog.com tested Suzuki RE5, version A of Mr. Berry. Anthem with the roundness after a titanic work of restoration, Berry can praise himself to have one of the most beautiful Suzuki RE5 in Europe. Rare and original, this Suzuki with rotary engine was manufactured during three years, and only 94 specimens were sold in France. Small round of horse-gear…

Test Suzuki RE5, version A

When one raises the cover which covers the motorcycle of Berry, it is the astonishment which dominates. Initially because of the round shapes of the instrument panel or the rear lights, but then and especially of the quality of the restoration, which leaves speechless mouth? The motorcycle is completely of origin, to the black slices which accompany the screws by the casings. It is also very beautiful, because it brings you directly in the Seventies, more the record perhaps as regards technology innovation motorcycle.
Suzuki had invested much, in collaboration with factory NSU, for the design, the manufacturing and the marketing of this only motorcycle with rotary engine built on a large scale. “Unfortunately, she had bad reputation, exaggerated with my direction, in terms of consumption and of cooling”, Berry explains us.
If one adds to it a very particular design and a raised selling price, one understands rather well why she did not have success discounted by Suzuki Motor Company. Only 2,000 specimens were sold in the world. However, as we will see it, this Suzuki RE5 does not miss assets on the level of control. Its principal qualities are at the level of the driving uniformity, its power (for the cubic capacity) and almost total absence of vibrations.

A two years work

According to Berry, “most important when one finds Suzuki RE5 to be restored is to make sure that the rotor is not gummed, because one does not find practically any more parts internal (O ring, segments, springs…). If it is gummed, there are no more explosions, because the aspiration of the mixture is not done any more.
I very boned and remade in the beginning, except the rays which are out of stainless. A two years work, difficult, sometimes filled with doubts and which cost me, with final, more than 3,000 € in paintings, standings, chromium plating’s and other treatments. I did myself all polishing, the assemblies and the adjustments. The large specialist in France, which in addition provided me parts and a technical assistance; it is Maillard, in Ardeche. If I thus disregard time spent, it costs me in all 7,000 €.”
Information taken, a Suzuki RE5 A in this state is currently worth between 12,000 and 15,000 € in Europe and a little less in the USA, because it is here that it was sold. That of Berry is a model of 1974, series A. the B movie, produced with very few specimens, had instrumentation and the more conventional fires derived from GT 750. Of the latter, the Suzuki RE5 takes again a great part of the part-cycle.
With a weight in functioning order of 250 kg, a 2,210 mm length and a centre of gravity placed rather high, useless to tell you that it is difficult to handle with the stop. The shoring up on the power station is in addition a true galley: in addition to the weight, there is not even handling (except on models the USA)! “It is for that, tells us Berry, that almost all have the split frame of the saddle, because one draws above all the time”.

A single sonority

The startup, even with the kick, is easy. When one turns the ignition key to the first notch, the protection of the cylindrical instrument panel opens (it is rather funny!). There is then a checklist in the shape of a plethora of indicators, of which that which validates the two oil pumps – for the lubrication of the crankshaft, the other to send oil (2T) in the carburetor which will be also used to clean the 3 oil scrapers.
There is even a small digital display which indicates engaged speed… The position of control is typical of these years: bust right, arms tended and legs folded to 90 °. Contrary to the operations with the stop, the handiness of the Suzuki RE5 is rather good at low speed, and one feels continuation in confidence. The only a little odd reaction is the over steer side of the motorcycle.
In the roundabouts for example, or a steep turn, before trend has “fall”. This is certainly due to the geometry of the machine, but especially to a centre of gravity placed high. It is necessary to be done there, just like it is necessary to compose with not very powerful suspensions, especially with the front one, which has difficulty boxing the asperities at the beginning of race.
Braking is of time; before with full discs and a back drum which is a simple speed reducer. The unit is rather powerful, because Berry remade all to nine, including the pistons of clamps. But what astonishes more, one arrives there, it is the engine! The noise is a mixture of flat BMW and a two-stroke engine of big-engine car.
With 1500 tr/min, mode of idle, it is already percussion; with acceleration, it is straightforwardly the apotheosis! I really thank to this sonority that one has the feeling not to have to make with an engine not like the others. Except for a hole with acceleration, the rises in mode are extraordinarily linear and absent from vibrations. For Berry, “it is the most outstanding characteristic of this engine.
It is almost electric and accelerates in the same way and with as much force, to 2,000 as with 5000 tr/min. Contrary to a classical engine, if you disconnect with 3,000 turns with an engaged speed, the mode does not pack at all… With regard to the hole with acceleration, it is due to a bad synchronization of the carburetor twin spool (or on double floor here). It is necessary for that to use a specific bevel protector which one does not find any more.
I am currently studying how to build one of them.” The separated box 5, the same one as that of GT 750, except for a dead point difficult to find hot, is very soft, just like the clutch and the final transmission. Already in the Seventies, Suzuki was with the point in this field!

Test Suzuki RE5, version A

A motorcycle to roll, but…

The restoration of this Suzuki RE5, at the same time was a very pleasant and surprising idea to lead, is for Berry a way of rolling different: “I did not give again life with this motorcycle to make a museum piece, but to roll of it with during the WE or my free time.
It is an extraordinary motorcycle, which I restored with meticulousness and which appears reliable. Not only once, the ventilator did not ignite, and concerning consumption, it is lower than that of H2. But especially, it is a motorcycle which gives much pleasure to lead and that, it is most important!” Remain to be seen how to mitigate the absence of spare parts or how to make if the rotor returns the heart… But there too, Berry has answers: “When one wants, one finds! Very particular the candles, I find some for example in the USA.
Maillard, which had bought all the stock of parts to the former importer, has still not bad things and moreover, I am about to buy another Suzuki RE5 of bargain…”

Test Suzuki RE5 rotary: all in roundness

Test Suzuki RE5, version A

The very particular melody of the rotary engine confirms that one deals with an engine not like the others.

Suzuki RE5: exceptional motorization

Test Suzuki RE5, version A

The cubic capacity of 487 Cm3 made it possible to the RE5 to develop about sixty horses with 6   500 turns. A rather high power and a couple for the time compared to the cubic capacity and especially immediately available. On the other hand, its important consumption, near to that of a two-stroke, took part, inter alia, with its absence of success (fine of the first oil crisis).

Suzuki RE5: double front brake

Test Suzuki RE5, version A

In term of part-cycle, the Suzuki RE5 inherits the equipment of GT750. It is thus equipped with the same double brake disc as the “hot-water bottle”.

Suzuki RE5: liquid cooling

Test Suzuki RE5, version A

One of the main difficulties of the rotary engine is to control its operating temperature. The Japanese company adopted an effective liquid cooling for its single rotor.