Tuesday, April 23, 2024
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Engine design goes full circle as Chinese fund rotary

Chinese technology company Kuang-Chi’s recent £24m investment in Dorset-based Gilo Industries Group has triggered development of a rotary-engined motorcycle.

Gilo’s subsidiary Rotron, maker of rotary engines for unmanned drones and other applications, plans to manufacture a batch of 100 exclusive super-fast machines.

The project is the brainchild of Rotron employee and rotary guru Brian Crighton, a former Honda dealer and a key figure behind Norton’s 1980s rotary racing venture and the Duckhams Crighton team’s track successes of the early 1990s.

“The Chinese guys are keen for it to happen,” Crighton told BDN. “We’re starting with a clean sheet of paper and won’t build bikes until a new engine is fully tested. It will be different from anything else and expensive.”

Acknowledging oil-in-fuel Wankel engine exhaust emissions issues, Crighton envisages the machine as a track day tool with MotoGP-level power. However, he believes rotaries not designed for maximum power could be cleaned up by catalytic converters.

A 200bhp gas-cooled 700cc Crighton-Rotron racer was tested in 2013 by ex-Superbike ace Jamie Whitham, who described it as “ridiculously fast”.

 

Pictured is Crighton’s 2013 Rotary racer, built with Rotron support

 

 

 

 

 

    

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