Norton Commander engine problem

Apr 9, 2009

I have a Norton Commander from 1992, with a wankel 588cc engine.

It seems that one of the rotors does not fire up, and is the other rotor that drags it. The plugs get full of oil after a minutes trying to get engine running in that situation, and we have to get the pulgs out and clean them.

Is this a known problem?

Thanks in advance, my technical english is very limited, please ask if I didn't make myself clear.

Hello and welcome to the forum,

There are not many Norton rotary owners here, I think, Gonçalo?

However, the person I recommend that you should contact is Graham Wilshaw at Startright Motorcycles, as he is a Norton rotary expert.
I'm glad you had an answer for him mate. I've only seen a rotary in Classic bike mags. You are certainly worth whatever we are paying you!
Hello, actually I did not have an answer because I got the bike to a local mechanic that put the bike running again. But I am back on writing cause the bike stoped again:

The problem started with the batteries getting empty too fast. I had the bike at a local mechanic who figured out that electricity was getting at the batteries at 15V, so he replaced some electrical part to fix that, but the bike stoped working after a few runs. After a few kilometers the engine would start to fail, and the rpm tachometer going lose, and lacking power until I had to get to 2nd gear to get back home.

Than I could connect to a "specialist", a mechanic that works with wankel engines at Mazda, and does work at home with airplane and boat wankel engines. He took a look at the bike and said it is an electrical problem and would not try to fix it. He showed me that while the engine is running, both exhausts are outputting correctly, and he took off one of the spark plugs and said the compression is ok.

Currently, the bike starts with auxiliary help to the batteries, otherwise they get empty in little time. After few seconds the rpm tachometer goes lose and it reads top rpm although the engine acceleration is idle and after that it looks like the power is cut and the engine stops.

Any ideas/solutions on how to get the bike back on running?


(Listed in the Contact Us section on their site.)

It sounds like the battery is not charging now. Would take it back to the guy who "fixed" the 15V charging problem.

Good Luck!

Thanks, I just sent the mail!

I'm not comming back to that mechanic beacuse he was clearly not understanding what was going on.

I think the next step will have to be some Norton guys fixing what he did, and the initial problem...
Perhaps the voltage regulator is failing?

Similar problems can happen with the old style zener diode, it will drall excess current from both battery and alternator until the system gives up.

(I'm just GUESSING that the late rotary bikes no longer used zener diodes, but modern solid state regulator systems)