The Hercules W2000 was the first ever production rotary engined motorcycle and for that reason deserves a place in history. Frank Melling brings us the history of this some times forgotten wonder in Memorable Motorcycles: Hercules W2000.
- The Engine was fed by CV Bing which worked very well.
- Each lobe of the Hercules rotary engine has a volume of 294cc.
- Hercules W2000 Rotary side view.
- Hercules were heavily constrained by their licence with NSU which meant that their Rotary engines were not allowed to produce more than 30hp.
- Now isn’t that beautiful? There is just one moving part and the motor is both light and small. Theoretically at least, it is also cheap to manufacture. What more could one want?
- In Britain the Hercules was badged as a DKW which was considered to be the stronger brand name.
- One of the rarest logos in the motorcycling world.
- Hercules W2000s are as rare as unicorn horns and on the rare occasions when they do come up for sale they make ridiculous sums of money.
- The frame was a really rough affair and the paintwork was: 'What can you do for $5?' rather than 'Let’s make a really nice motorcycle.'
- Rotary ownership was not an experience which caused exotic dreams at night. The engine was surprisingly torquey and pulled very smoothly from low revs but it was not exciting.
- The engineers may have a 3 day long description of a what a rotary motor is but even they can keep the guages clean and simple.
- Wankel exhausts run extremely hot.