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Hercules Wankel 1974


W-2000 from 1974, with Wankel rotary engine.

In 1974, thanks to Sachs support, Hercules became the first company to offer a Wankel-engined motorcycle for sale to the general public. The engine is named after its inventor, German engineer Felix Wankel. He received his first patent for the engine in 1929, began development in the early 50s at NSU, completing a working prototype in 1957. NSU then licensed the concept to companies around the world, which have continued to improve the design (see also: Suzuki RE5 Rotary 1976).

The W-2000 had a single-rotor air-cooled engine of 294cc that produced 25 bhp, later increased to 27 bhp (20 kW). Engine lubrication was by manually adding oil to the fuel in the tank. Two years later Hercules launched the W-2000 Injection in which engine lubrication was from a separate oil tank via a pump.

The vehicle has been fully restored and is running well.

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