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"..the down-side was the inevitable focus on the two-stroke engine and ultimately led to the design stagnation we have today."

yeah, too bad grand prix 500 racing is slow and boring...that's what happens when you allow 2 strokes in racing
 

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I think they meant as long as one rider isn't the only one winning people will actually watch the races. If you know that such and such junior is gonna win 12 out of 13 races without afight that entire season, what's the purpose of watching.
 

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Some one did make wankle motorcycles, I think it was Norton. I can use my internet savvy and hunt it down if anybody is interested. I am surprised that the wankle has not been used more, it has a good power to weight ratio.





 

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And sucks fuel like a funny car. The wankel engined Norton was called the Norton Classic. Suzuki made one, and so did DKW. I can't think of anyone else who did, except for a few cars.



Foxy

 

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norton's rotary-engined machines (ca. 1987-91) were built for street and track. the classic (naked, air-cooled) and commander (touring, full faired,liquid-cooled) were street versions, they also had an 'f1', liquid-cooled race replica. both were 588 cc twin rotor jobs. the full race versions won the uk formula 1 championship in 1989, the machine also took a solid 2nd in the 1990 iom senior tt. an nr750 or mv f4s serie oro might be real rare and exotic, but the norton rotaries are even more unique. the rest of the norton story is tragic, and not for this tread.
 

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I think that the "stagnation" that has come about in GP's is more to do with the rule book than the use of two strokes. But I have to say that I for one welcome the inclusion of Four strokes and the advances in engine technology and motorcycle design that this will bring. The main reason for the change has not been the fact the racing has become boring or the class has become stagnated but simple because the two stroke engine is seen to be the "dirty" option and not enough of the huge costs involved in development on the track lead to development on the road, where as a direct link can be seen between the development of GP1 four stroke engines and road bikes. Everybody knows that the two stroke engine is by far the most efficent configuration for the production of horsepower but the development costs are lost as far as road bikes are concerned. With regard to the comment that 500 GP is "slow", compared to what ?
 

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One of the reasons for the demise of the Norton Rotary Race bike was the fact that it was ultimately kept uncompetitive at international because the japanese factories, who dispite what everyone thinks control motorcycle racing would not except the fact that the Norton was in fact only 588cc. When you take this into account the performance of the machine was even more amazing, the rotary 588 was clocked at 197mph at the Northwest 200 being riden by Robert Dunlop. Other factors also saw the end of this bike not least of all lack of money and support from Norton itself, the Wankel engine is also very difficult to get through current emissions tests and keep the power. The team was alway run on a shoe string and for some years the "race shop" was the old kitchen area at the Norton factory. If anybody ever got to hear the thing at a race circuit then it is a sound you will never forget, I had the privilege to be overtaken by Tervor Nation at a Brands Hatch practice day many years ago and it is something that will live with me for ever, the shear noise and heat generated by the thing was scary. The exhaust gas temperature was something like 1200 degrees C. A great shame we will never see it's like again.
 
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