Motorcycles

Ludicrous torque: France's hybrid rotary motorcycle concept

Ludicrous torque: France's hyb...
The Furion M1 design is lighter than a KTM 1290 Super Duke R, and has about 45 percent more torque
The Furion M1 design is lighter than a KTM 1290 Super Duke R, and has about 45 percent more torque
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The Furion M1 design is lighter than a KTM 1290 Super Duke R, and has about 45 percent more torque
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The Furion M1 design is lighter than a KTM 1290 Super Duke R, and has about 45 percent more torque
Furion M1: 125 gasoline horsepower plus 55 electric make for a huge 180-hp peak
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Furion M1: 125 gasoline horsepower plus 55 electric make for a huge 180-hp peak
A fully fueled wet weight of 209 kg is well and truly in the super-naked ballpark despite the M1's extra machinery
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A fully fueled wet weight of 209 kg is well and truly in the super-naked ballpark despite the M1's extra machinery
Furion M1: instant electric torque meets screaming rotary horsepower
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Furion M1: instant electric torque meets screaming rotary horsepower
Furion M1: bodywork wouldn't look out of place on a Kawasaki streetfighter
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Furion M1: bodywork wouldn't look out of place on a Kawasaki streetfighter
Furion M1: single sided swingarm
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Furion M1: single sided swingarm
Furion M1: dual-rotor Wankel engine in front, 55 horsepower electric stacked behind. Battery pack lives under the passenger seat and doesn't look large
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Furion M1: dual-rotor Wankel engine in front, 55 horsepower electric stacked behind. Battery pack lives under the passenger seat and doesn't look large
Furion M1: Attractive trellis frame
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Furion M1: Attractive trellis frame

This concept from French company Furion pairs a twin-rotor, compact 654cc Wankel rotary engine with a 40-kilowatt electric motor to produce a massive 180 hp (134 kW) and a ludicrous 151 lb-ft (205 Nm) of instant, tire-deforming torque. Could a hybrid streetbike deliver the same kind of street lunacy as the BMW i8?

Some of the most exciting machines in the car world are using hybrid drive to get the best combination of electric's instant torque and efficiency, and the roaring emotional soundtrack, high-revving horsepower and easy refueling of a combustion engine.

Take BMW's extraordinary i8, with its compact three-cylinder engine driving the rear wheels and a smaller electric system driving the front ones. The combination makes for just about the ideal car for driving thrills at road speeds.

You don't see a lot of hybrid motorcycles, though – these sorts of systems are big, complicated and tough to squeeze into a bike frame where space is limited – which makes this set of CAD renders from Furion an interesting proposition.

Furion M1: Attractive trellis frame
Furion M1: Attractive trellis frame

To fit the whole shebang in, this team has gone for a compact rotary engine – a dual rotor, 654cc Wankel making 125 horses (93 kW), paired with a 55-hp (41-kW) electric motor to give a total of 180 hp (134 kW).

That's a lot of horses, it's up there with the new KTM 1290 Super Duke R at the top of the super-naked food chain. But as with the i8, it's the torque that matters here. If the Furion delivers on its spec sheet, you're looking at a monstrous 151 lb-ft (205 Nm). That's around 45 percent more torque than the Super Duper Duke, which is an absolute stomper in and of itself. And thanks to that electric motor, you're getting all that twisting force a lot sooner.

Power is put down through a typical six-speed transmission, and it's not clear how the two drive systems combine. Likewise, we don't know how big the lithium battery pack will be, or what all-electric range it'll have if any. However, diagrams indicate the battery pack will live under the slim seat unit, which doesn't allow space for anything very substantial.

Furion M1: dual-rotor Wankel engine in front, 55 horsepower electric stacked behind. Battery pack lives under the passenger seat and doesn't look large
Furion M1: dual-rotor Wankel engine in front, 55 horsepower electric stacked behind. Battery pack lives under the passenger seat and doesn't look large

But according to the company's calculations, the hybrid system should be great for fuel economy, with a 16-liter (4.2-gal) tank delivering more than 400 km (249 mi) of range. That's the equivalent of 4 l/100km, or just under 59 mpg.

Furion lists the wet weight of the M1 Wankel Hybrid as 209 kg (461 lb), or about 5 kg (10 lb) lighter than a fully fuelled Super Duke R. With its tasty trellis frame, digital dash, stubby bellypan exhaust and bodywork reminiscent of the Kawasaki Z series, it's not a bad looker, either.

It'll likely be complicated and fiddly to tune and service, so there are plenty of ways for this kind of concept to go wrong. But having experienced just what an awesome road car the i8 is, I'm mad keen to see what hybrid drive can bring to the bike world. I can definitely see room for a super-naked hybrid rotary streetbike in my garage, if Furion ever gets it to production, of course.

You can check out the bike's design in the video below.

Source: Furion Motorcycles

Design Moto Furion

7 comments
JimFox
Rubbish, doomed to failure.
Penguin
It begs the question "why?" - it will be super expensive if it's ever built, which is kind of doubtful, a rotary engined motorcycle would be nice to see though.
ChairmanLMAO
FURION iR8
VincentWolf
The all electric LS218 will blow it away with 200 hp and 168 ft lbs torque.
DouglasAnkrum
....Rotary/Wankel.....high emissions and poor fuel economy......have these issues been resolved....? And, it sounds expensive.....
MarcJackson
They can't package the claimed power or energy densit into the energy storage. You need to supply how many kW of power, 41! That requires super capacitors new experimental ones like our Graphene supercapacitors from Swinburne University combined with the new Li-ion chemistry like that developed at the QUT Battery lab with Nano Nouvelle copper graphite polymer current carriers from the Sunshine Coast, Qld. So they don't explode from to much heat production from load. The software to control this if it is too be worthwhile is complex. The rotary kills the thermodynamic efficiency of the hybrid system. You need to use Turbulent Jet Ignition as used by Ferrari and Mercedes in Formula One another Australian Innovation that needs a very large flow of air to support Ultra lean needing 1.8 times the surf flow this requirement forces the use of the Bishop rotary valve as it had an unobstructed flow path combined with phasing you can run Jet Assisted Compression Ignition at low loads, mild ultra lean heat dilution intensified with EGR in get midrange and homogeneous ultra lean combustion for high loads keeping TE between 40-60% with a single cylinder controlled by sensing cylinder pressure and Artificial Intelligence of the 7 energy sources and their characteristics not forgetting the excess air from ultra lean supports multi phase combustion, injection off further fuel (non pre mixed) at max rate of heat release 10 degrees atdc.
dougspair
My brother and I ride bikes...but these have seats so high we can barely touch down...we're both 6 feet tall...