Crighton CR700W Is A Terrifying Rotary Powered Monster

We are not worthy of that kind of performance.

Crighton CR700W
[Photos: Crighton]

Crighton CR700W

The Crighton CR700W uses a twin-rotor Wankel engine to produce a massive 220 horsepower. What makes it even more shocking is the dry weight of only 286lbs. If that doesn’t grab your attention, nothing will.

The aluminum block rotary engine is only 690cc, but manages 220 horsepower and 105 lb-ft of torque. The Crighton CR700W uses either Ohlins or Bitubo race suspension depending on how you option it.

Brembo monoblocs and Michelin racing slicks perform the bike’s braking duties. But the obvious highlight of the bike is the engine.

With only three moving parts, it is insanely compact and weighs just 101lbs despite a 6-speed transmission and slipper clutch. Among other fantastically unique engineering solutions, the rotary engine flows water internally for better head dissipation. Interestingly enough, the CR700W’s aluminum chassis houses the oil reservoir internally.

Typically the apex seals that keep a rotary engine running with proper compression are the weak points. However, Crighton claims the exotic materials used in their seals show “close to zero wear characteristics.”

Crighton CR700W

If you’re hoping to see one of these stellar machines riding around your town, you are out of luck. The Crighton CR700W is a full on track bike. Carbon wheels, no indicators and no limits.

The cost of ownership is a whopping $116,000 for one of the 25 bikes that will be built. Though its not cheap, Brian Crighton is a legend in motorcycle racing history. While working at Norton in the 80s, Crighton tuned a 588cc Norton rotary as a pet project in his free time.

The bike he tuned managed a shocking 120 horsepower and 170mph. The racing versions of his bikes that followed dominated championships until the rotary engine design was banned by regulators. Thankfully that hasn’t stopped Crighton from building a mean stable of track bikes.