On Friday 21st October, Advanced Innovative Engineering welcomed a friendly group of motorcycle enthusiasts from the Rotary Owners’ Club to uniquely share some significant motorcycling history.
The ROC members travelled from all over the country on their beloved, classic Norton rotary engine bikes and enjoyed an opportunity to meet up in their leathers to celebrate the legacy and developments of the world-renowned Norton motorcycle rotary engine.
The Norton Concept with a Cutting-Edge Twist
When Norton Motorcycles undertook a major brand relaunch in Lichfield during the 1980s, utilising the rotary engine as it’s unique selling point, it was deemed an unequivocal success.
Within twelve months, development began on the Norton rotary engine for a racing motorbike, with very promising prototype results. In 1989 Steve Spray made his debut outing for the JPS Norton Team on the rotary engine race bike and won both the TT F1 British Championship and the Powerbike International Open Race. The results quickly silenced sceptics of the rotary engine.
Fortunately, rotary engine development didn’t come to a stand-still when the JPS Norton team disbanded. Engineers at AIE collaborated with Norton engine specialist David Garside, to revolutionise rotary engine technology once again. With Garside’s technical advisory role and unique patents, AIE succeeded in addressing the inherent deficiencies of the rotary engine; an accomplishment that was of great interest to ROC members.
Alex Vaughn, Business Development for AIE explained to the members that by combining patented SPARCS (Self-Pressurising-Air Rotor Cooling System) technology with the latest Wankel rotary engines, previous drawbacks of rotary engines are eliminated. This new technology, alongside ceramic apex seals, ensures that the AIE 650S rotary engine is economical to run and market-leading in terms of power, weight, efficiency and reliability.
ROC members were invited to tour the AIE development facilities, where following tea and biscuits they had the opportunity to view testing areas, rotary components and were informed of the latest advancements in rotary-hybrid technology.
The Rotary Owners’ Club visit was deemed successful and enjoyable for all involved. Members were welcomed to return for another visit to witness AIE’s advancements and the continuing evolution of the rotary engine that started life within the revered Norton motorcycle.