Crighton CR700W | 220hp Wankel Weapon

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If I told you, you could have a race bike with a MotoGP spec power-to-weight ratio and you could do a full season on it without stripping the engine, you’d think I was talking out of my bottom, wouldn’t you? Well before today, the 30th October 2021, I would have been. But not anymore. And it’s all thanks to Crighton Motorcycles and Rotron Power Ltd, who have just pulled the covers off their all-new, ultra-exclusive, Crighton CR700W. And it sounds like it’s going to be a right weapon.

If you were about in the 80s, you might remember Brian Crighton. Perhaps you’ll remember him as the three-time British Champion, but many will associate the name with Norton, and their rotary engines. He almost singlehandedly developed the RCW588, a rotary engined Norton that went on to win nearly everything it competed in, including the 1994 British Superbike Championship, until the rules were changed, effectively banning them from competition.

Fifteen years later, (2009) Crighton joined forces with Rotron Power Ltd, to create Crighton Motorcycles, and after twelve years of development, the Crighton CR700W was finally born. And was born, not only out of Crighton’s passion for racing and engineering, but his faith in the rotary engine design. And the result is pretty bloody exciting!


The 690cc, twin rotor engine makes a whopping 220bhp at 10,500rpm and 142Nm of torque at 9,500rpm. That’s fairly impressive in itself, but when you take into account the bikes weight, it’s nothing short of petrifying. The CR700W weighs just 129.5kg. that gives it a power to weight ratio of 1.68hp per kg which is closer to a MotoGP bike than it is anything else.

And they’ve not just built a really trick engine, either. They’ve put it in a super saucy chassis too, made from 7000 series aluminium alloy, whatever that means. It comes with Dymag wheels, Brembo brakes, and you can choose between Öhlins and Bitubo suspension.

Not only is this going to be ridiculously fast, they’re saying it’ll be dead reliable too. Because of the fact that it’s fairly low-revving, and they’ve used some very posh sounding ultra-low friction materials inside, they’re claiming it’ll be ‘resoundingly robust and reliable’ and that it’ll ‘run a full season before requiring internal inspection’.


If that’s the case, I’m impressed, and I really want one. In fact, I’d be seriously considering chopping the old ZX-10R race bike in for one, if I thought they’d let me race one at the TT (they certainly wouldn’t in the Superbike or Superstock TT).

In actual fact I’d be quite lucky to get my hands on one anyway. Actually very lucky, since they are only making 25 of them. And they’re £85,000 each, so just out of my price range.

But this isn’t just a fast motorbike. It’s a special motorbike. And one that’ll definitely get you noticed. I just wish I could afford one.


9 Responses

  1. Seeing as the engine will be smaller than the size of a biscuit tin and has basically one moving part, an internal inspection and/or rebuild will probably take a solid afternoon’s work… I’m gutted it’s ‘just’ a race bike if I’m honest, as a 200ish bhp road version would be beautiful.

  2. Spondon haven’t been in business for 10 years so god knows there they’re getting the extrusions from let alone the jigs and people to build it and that’s before you get into the minefield of the engine and the Israeli defence contractors that own the IP.
    Looks like another outfit that’ll be collecting deposits and fucking off. Some serious due diligence required here, Creighton has already tried to regurgitate his Wankel a couple of times

  3. Then why don’t they build a 1000cc version and get sponsorship to run in motogp and wipe the competition out? Now, I would pay to watch that!

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