Furion M1 Hybrid SportBike with Wankel rotary engine
Furion M1 Hybrid SportBike

Furion M1 hybrid has rotary engine

No, it’s not the 1970s again — Furion Motorcycles of France plans to resurrect the Wankel rotary engine for their hybrid M1 motorcycle that also has an electric motor.

Rotary engines were big news in the 1970s, most notably in the Mazda RX-8.

There were also many motorcycles with rotary engines. Norton had several models. Others included the Hercules/DKW W-2000, Yamaha RZ201, Kawasaki X99 RCE, Van Veen OCR1000 and Suzuki RE5.

Hercules Wankel rotary engine
Hercules Wankel

Wankel rotary engines seemed a stroke of genius at the time with the cylinders rotating around the stationary camshaft. They were light and compact with high power and smooth revving.

But they had poor fuel economy and high emissions. Furion has now been resolved that by using a back-up electric motor.

Furion M1 Hybrid

Furion Motorcycles’ hybrid M1 sportsbike is so far only CAD images on a computer screen.

However, they say they will power it with a 654cc Wankel rotary engine, an electric motor and five lithium-ion batteries.

The rotary produces 93kW of power (125hp) at 9000rpm and 105Nm of torque at 6000rpm, while the bike weighs 209kg.

An electric motor adds 41kW (55hp) and 100Nm for a total of 134kW (180hp) and 205Nm.

Despite all that power, they claim range of 400km on just 16 litres of fuel.

Furion M1 sits in a tubular trellis frame on 43mm upside-down forks and rear monoshock with 310mm dual disc brakes and six-speed transmission.

Furion M1 Hybrid SportBike with Wankel rotary engine

Hybrid future

Furion is not the only company looking at hybrid technology for the future.

Honda is making hybrid scooters, Yamaha is helping to develop hybrid engines for cars, Indian motorcycle company TVS is planning a hybrid motorcycle and the American Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has developed a stealth off-road motorcycle powered by a petrol engine and an electric motor.

Honda PCX Hybrid scooter battery swap rotary
Honda hybrid and electric PCX scooters

Furion M1 tech specsFurion M1 Hybrid SportBike with Wankel rotary engine

  • Dual-rotor + electric engine 40kw
  • Capacity : 2 × 327 (654cc)
  • Power: 93kW/125hp @ 9000rpm + 41kW/55hp (electric)
  • Total Power: 134kW (180hp)
  • Torque: 105Nm @ 6000rpm + 100Nm (electric)
  • Total Torque: 205Nm
  • Compression: 10.1: 1
  • Mileage: 4L/100km
  • Length: 2095mm
  • Seat: 810mm
  • Clearance: 140mm
  • Wheelbase: 1435mm
  • Wet weight: 209kg
  • Fuel capacity: 16litres
  • Tyres: 120/70/17; 190/50/17
  • Frame: Tubular trellis frame, motor carrier
  • Suspension: USD 43mm forks (adjustable rebound, compression and pre-load); Monoshock horizontal gas type back-link (adjustable pre-load, and rebound)
  • Brakes: Dual 310mm petal discs, 4-piston radial calipers; 250mm petal disk, single-piston caliper transmission
  • Final drive: Chain
  • Clutch: Multi-disc in oil bath
  • Transmission: 6-speed
  1. Motorcycles are often at the leading edge of engineering but I think the hybrid route is doomed to a short life. I wouldn’t pay for a bike with an internal combustion engine (in any format) plus a fuel tank AND an electric motor and batteries that costs more than most sports bikes. A well-engineered modern bike gives lots of performance for reasonable economy. As battery technology improves, there will be a place in the bike world for maintenance-free bikes that give good performance with a 150 to 250kms range between recharges, but hybrid… nah.

  2. Interesting concept. The early Suzuki rotary also had an air cooled exhaust system to cope with high exhaust temperatures. Double skin with an inlet facing forwards.

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