Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Whirling Around

The Wankel Rotary engine has fascinated numerous manufacturers over the years. MZ were amongst the first to produce a Wankel-engined motorcycle, anticipating the efforts of Norton, Suzuki, Yamaha, Hercules and Van Veen in the '70s.

Although it never entered production this Wankel prototype from 1965, the "KKM 350", was based on the ES250 ‘Trophy’ model, and had a single-rotor, air cooled engine producing 24 hp and 140 km/h.


  1. It wasn't the first Wankel powered MZ prototype. They also built one based on the BK350 with the rotor across the frame to line up with the gearbox. I saw a very blurry photo of one (possibly the only one!) in a book. Seems that almost everyone had a go at a Wankel engined bike, and there were plenty of Wankel engined prototype cars (Mercedes ran Wankel engined endurance racers at one tine).

  2. Yeah, I did come across the BK350 one as well but, as you say, the photo was tiny and not very good.Good general history of MZ here, includes the rotaries -