While almost every car and motorcycle manufacturer uses a piston engine in all of their vehicles, Mazda experimented with Felix Wankel’s engine design from 1967 to 1995. They tried to adapt the technology to two-wheeled vehicles.
Suzuki’s RE5 is probably the most famous model that came out of those efforts, and some of the insanely designed bikes are still around today. The single-rotor 497cc RE5 produced 62 horsepower and did not sell well after its introduction in 1974.
Around that time, British manufacturer Norton also began experimenting with motorized motorcycles; his first Wankel-powered bike was the police case Interpol II, which hit the streets in 1984. Norton followed that up with four civilian models: the Classic in 1987, the Commander in 1989, the F1 in 1990, and the F1 Sport in 1991.
However, the same flaws that made rotary engines the most difficult part of automotive history also made it difficult for motorcycle manufacturers. Sealing the rotor tips from leaking water is not possible, meaning the engines burn more fuel and are less fuel efficient and less exhaust gas than pistons.