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#885510 07/14/22 7:52 pm
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Wankelated Starfire-

[Linked Image]

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Wiki link to Dave Garside, the BSA developement engineer who built it.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Garside


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Now, how to name that thing.

Wankfire....Starfankle......Wankstar.....Stankle?

Madness.

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I'm surprised to read that Wiki article describing the Starfire as "underpowered". From what I've read, it produced 32hp, 85% more than stock, and weighed less.

Another effort... looks like this one may have actually been used?

[Linked Image]

A-Short-History-of-Wankel-Motorcycles-The-Vintagent-bsa.wankel.jpg
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call it the "Wanker".

sorry, that is just wrong. the engine was good idea that never really worked in the real world

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UGLY enough, ain't it?

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I don't know, looks like it shoehorned rather neatly into the Starfire, keeps the bike's overall nice lines... at least from the side shown.

In addressing the power issue (I guess), the next step was to to install a twin-rotor into a Triumph Bandit. Allegedly made 70hp! I do have a picture of that bike, but am unable to post it here (png rather than jpg).

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Originally Posted by Steve Erickson
I'm surprised to read that Wiki article describing the Starfire as "underpowered". From what I've read, it produced 32hp, 85% more than stock, and weighed less.

Another effort... looks like this one may have actually been used?

[Linked Image]


I once read that the noise was so loud from only a single silencer that they had to add two. Some serere modifications to that cradle frame, the front down tubes have been moved quite a bit to accomodate the rotary engine.


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Perkin's Norton Rotaries book shows this as the starting point of their rotary development
[Linked Image from live.staticflickr.com]
A single rotor Fitchel and Sachs rotary in a Starfire frame.
The first twin rotor engine using air and charge cooling was fitted to a BSA A75 (Perkins ?) Bandit frame in 1970, the 38HP R2.
[Linked Image from live.staticflickr.com]

(Steve - import the .png to Paint and export it as .jpg)

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To bring this story bang up to date.
Last weekend at Elvington, Guy Martin took the latest incarnation of the Norton Rotary, the Crighton CR700W from a standing start to 188mph in a mile


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Bandit-

OK, we'll try this...[Linked Image][Linked Image]

damn... stereo. Well, just close one eye...

Last edited by Steve Erickson; 07/15/22 3:52 pm.
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DMadigan #885626 07/15/22 10:33 pm
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Hi D Madigan, your top picture is a DKW, it is a Sachs unit but theres no Starfire involved. Keep the pics coming , I have always been fascinated by these things.


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The Perkins book caption says "This was BSA's starting point when they bought the Wankel license (in reality a single rotor Hercules for further evaluation)".
Then in the text it says "... two engineers managed to ft the Fichtel and Sachs fan cooled engine into a Starfire frame."
So the text may not be referring to the picture. However, the bike does have a BSA logo on the tank and a BSA star in the side panel.
There also is a picture of a twin rotor prototype test ridden by John Nutting in the summer of 1974. Looks like a UK T140.

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Originally Posted by Andy Higham
To bring this story bang up to date.
Last weekend at Elvington, Guy Martin took the latest incarnation of the Norton Rotary, the Crighton CR700W from a standing start to 188mph in a mile


andy, are these the straightliners? do you have any links to any organization webpages or records of events like these?

i cant ever seem to find them when i look for british landspeed records.


i'm old enough to remember when patriotism meant not trying to overthrow the government.
Mitch #885664 07/16/22 4:14 am
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Originally Posted by Mitch
call it the "Wanker".

sorry, that is just wrong. the engine was good idea that never really worked in the real world
Then why was it a good idea?
The rotary sucked gas like a two stroke and lasted half as long. But it didn't smoke. laughing


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Originally Posted by DavidP
Originally Posted by Mitch
call it the "Wanker".

sorry, that is just wrong. the engine was good idea that never really worked in the real world
Then why was it a good idea?
The rotary sucked gas like a two stroke and lasted half as long. But it didn't smoke. laughing

And rotoary engines are still being used today in various vehicle types.

You could say the early days of the motorcycle would never have made it in the real world and you’d probably go quicker on a bicycle… but you need to create a something for it to evolve.


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Originally Posted by Steve Erickson
I'm surprised to read that Wiki article describing the Starfire as "underpowered". From what I've read, it produced 32hp, 85% more than stock, and weighed less.

Another effort... looks like this one may have actually been used?

[Linked Image]
I attempted to correct some blatant inaccuracies regarding a certain model BSA on Wiki years ago. They wouldn't let me unless I jumped thru a ton of requirements with their peer review group, and more.

I no longer trust anything posted to that site.


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Rotary engines do smoke. They used charge cooling where the fuel/oil is drawn in from the carburettor, through the motor and into the combustion chamber. On the later water cooled motor they use an oil injection pump to feed the oil into the fresh air and the air went through the carburettor after going through the motor.
So it is like a two stroke, it burns the oil in the engine. Shell Rotella was used on the later engines.

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Originally Posted by kevin
Originally Posted by Andy Higham
To bring this story bang up to date.
Last weekend at Elvington, Guy Martin took the latest incarnation of the Norton Rotary, the Crighton CR700W from a standing start to 188mph in a mile


andy, are these the straightliners? do you have any links to any organization webpages or records of events like these?

i cant ever seem to find them when i look for british landspeed records.

Kevin, PM sent


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In the '70's, Arctic Cat snowmobiles sold a model that had a Wankel in it. My dad was a dealer. It didn't smoke.


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Gary E #885723 07/16/22 7:59 pm
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smoked like a 2 stroke ( oil is introduced intentionally into the combustion chamber for Vain-lubrication )
made a 303 single and a 606 twin ( I think as a prototype )
seen here in a grass-moble mode

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Originally Posted by Gary E
In the '70's, Arctic Cat snowmobiles sold a model that had a Wankel in it. My dad was a dealer. It didn't smoke.

Its well known that the Wankle has a seal problem. The straight edge seal on the apex on the point of each lobe wears out. The useful service life of the Wankle is short compared to a ringed piston engine. Part of the Wankle's apex lobe seal problem is that the spark plug is recessed and as the apex seal sweeps past the recess there is wear. There are other apex seal issues related to design. and a variety of re-designs for the seal attempted to correct the issues. None worked. One idea was to premix oil to lube the seal resulting in smoke. The apex seal is spring loaded and the seals wipe past the spark plug recess kills it in relatively short order. I know of no current production Wankle rotaries in a vehicle. The last was the Mazda RX8 and it died back around 2012 or so. Mazda was being killed with Wankle warranty work.

Felix Wankle's brilliant design was patented in the 1920s. One current idea to bring back the Wankle is high tech ignition with no spark plug, LED perhaps or diesel ignition. Another is hydrogen as fuel since it runs cooler with longer seal life. Mazda seems to have plans and I'm sure they have numerous white papers for the bean counters.

I wanted an RX8 real bad but did not want to have to rebuild it..

When I was a kid, dad traded a Ford Falcon for a Benz. The showroom had NSU Wankel Spiders and they looked so cool! The body was designed by Bertone.

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It was not Wankel's design. He applied for his patent when the Umbleby patent of essentially the same design ran out. When at NSU, Dr. Froede decide it would only be viable by a kinematic inversion where the housing would now stay still and the rotor turn in the chamber. Previously both housing and rotor turned.
There are no Wankel rotaries in current vehicles because they would not pass pollution standards. I doubt Crighton's is road legal.
This is the one you want:
[Linked Image from live.staticflickr.com]
not that Seymour-Powell bodge.

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My son bought a new Mazda RX8, it didn’t take long for a crank seal problem to appear, it now sits in his garage with few miles on it. He plans to rebuild it someday.
Cruising on the highway the tachometer would read 14,000 RPM. Don’t see that every day.


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[Linked Image][/quote]
(Non-functioning link to the second picture in the thread).

Two mufflers in series? Is this a motorcycling first?

Last edited by sammysnail; 07/17/22 12:40 pm.

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