Is This Rotary Engine Hybrid Motorcycle the Future?


I love rotaries, but rotary engines have a lot of problems in cars. Despite their tremendous power-to-weight advantages over traditional piston engines, rotary engines lack the kind of torque and flexibility you’d get from, say, a turbocharged V6. What rotaries like is revs- and lots of ’em. That’s what makes them halfway decent racing engines. If only there was a way to build a high-rpm Wankel-engined screamer that also had some balls low-end torque!

Enter: the all-new Furion M1 hybrid motorcycle.


2017 Furion M1 Hybrid Motorcycle | This Is It

The Furion’s 654 cc dual-rotor Wankel produces 125 HP at around 9000 rpm. That gets mated to an electric motor that’s fed by lithium-sulphur batteries and rated at an equivalent 55 HP. That’s 180 combined HP from a bike that weighs just 460 lbs. It’s no featherweight- but it’s no road sofa at that weight, either!

Mazda had the same idea back in 2012, but designer Marc Evenisse and four-time Supermoto champion Adrien Chareyre seem to have come up with the idea independently. As impressive as the concept and the bike’s parentage is, though, it’s important the M1 is just a concept. As of today, it exists solely as pixels on a computer screen.

They sure are some slick-looking pixels, though, aren’t they? Take some time to check out the renderings, below, and marvel at the sporty proportions granted to this hybrid motorcycle design by the tubular trellis-style frame, 43 mm diameter upside-down adjustable forks, and horizontally-mounted mono-shock rear suspension. If you think the Furion M1 looks the part (I think so!), let us know what you think in the comments section at the bottom of the page.


2017 Furion M1 Hybrid Motorcycle | Gallery

Source | Images: Furion Motorcycles, via Paul Tan.

About the Author

I've been in the auto industry 1997, and write for a number of blogs in the IM network. You can also find me on Twitter, at my Volvo fansite, or chasing my kids around Oak Park, IL.
  • WebUserAtLarge

    I don’t think any ICE in any form is “the Future”.

    • trackdaze

      If the ICE is there doing a minimum on a casual or partime basis and is effectively mocking oil thats fine by me.

      Until batteries weigh less and cost less than its equivalent in batteries hybrids have their place.

      I think the rotory given its size, relative lack of complexity and where it delivers its power makes sense as a hybrid power booster and range extender.

      • WebUserAtLarge

        I am not arguing the validity of having ICE as an efficient range extender in a near term solution. I do stand by my statement that ICE is NOT!!! “a Future” in any way, shape or form. 🙂

      • John

        The Tesla has a range of 325 miles. No need for range extenders.

        • trackdaze

          A camry has a range of 500.
          The hybrid is 550.

          Fill em up in minutes.

  • kevin mccune

    Kinda like beating a dead horse, the ICEs have sort of “stonewalled ” any improvements now be will small gain for great expense .

    • trackdaze

      The world is not as binary as you would hope.

      they can decontent and detune them to run occasionally for those that are anxious about not finding any electricities on the odd occasion. The cost and weight advantage will be with hybrids for a while yet.

      Similarly they might want top end power in supplement to the low end torque leccy motors provide.

      • kevin mccune

        True you have to pump the fuel to make raw HP , a vette might get 30 mpg , but it will not get the same mpg going 160 mph.

  • Burnerjack

    As I understand it, what killed the Wankel was low efficiency and unacceptable emission levels. While the motor’s high energy density level is perfect for the application, the other two are still problematic. Overall complexity might be a real turnoff for the general market. Private racing teams might be interested though.

    • John

      Those problems are now solved. But the Wankel operates best running at a constant speed – a range extender.



  • Ernie Brink

    Some Other Dude2 months ago
    nickoli98898 months ago
    +The real doktorbimmer
    You have a serious reading comprehension problem, to the point where you are trying to even counter points in which we are in agreement. Mario’s post was spot on and I urge you to re-read it. You have basically re-stated everything I have said, except you get hung up Pascal’s principle whenever anyone utters the word pressure. I don’t know how many times it needs to be stated, but the flow is neither incompressible nor (quasi)static.

    For whatever reason, you jump straight to combustion (flame propagation) without ever uttering a word about chamber filling because you KNOW that combustion chamber shape effects the flow path and therefore velocity and pressure. Of course, being compressible and of multiple species and phases, the flow is obviously much, much more complicated than my plain description (fuel separation, etc) – but, all the more to my point.

    Colliery to my point about piston crown design, the domed pistons you see adopted in almost all modern engines are designed largely to introduce tumble, which aid to better homogenize the mixture. Also, as I already stated, they create a squash area during compression stroke, and upon ignition, direct the propagating flame front. My point to all of this is I do not see why this can not be studied on rotary engines. But again, here you go off sputtering nonsense about the largely irrelevant Pascal’s principle to no end.

    There is a nice paper on this concept which should be relatively easy for you to comprehend:
    “Enhancement of Combustion by Means of Squish Pistons” by Katsuhiko Miyamoto

    In fact, just google Wenkel CFD and you will find some nice papers/visualizations of the pressure and velocity gradients that exist within these engines, which are, again, irrefutably influenced by wall/chamber design.

  • John

    The man who invented Lith-Ion batteries at Oxford university has claimed to have increased battery storage by three times. Others using plastic, etc by two. The point is that batteries are set to improve greatly in the very near future. The western world is slowly moving over to EVs.

    In the meantime hybrids will take over. Volvo have announced they will no longer make a 100% IC engined vehicle. The rotary is a superb being small, low weight, quite and smooth unit that acts as the on-board generator – a range extender. That is until EVs eclipse all IC engines.