Welcome to the W-2000 section of ROTARY RECYCLE USA.

The Hercules W-2000 is honored as being the first Rotary-powered motorcycle offered for public sale through a dealer network. It was labeled as a “full-production model” in press releases, flyers, and brochures. But in reality, the W-2000 was built as a “limited trial” machine to test the public acceptance of a new power source for motorcycles.

ROTARY RECYCLE USA was present when the first W-2000 Rotary made its debut in September of 1974 at the Los Angeles Hilton. A jam-packed ballroom of prospective buyers, enthusiasts, curiosity seekers, factory representatives, and a well-represented band of press reporters were also in attendance.

Through the large, double-doored archway into the main ballroom were two elevated, red W-2000 Rotary engine motorcycles mounted on a slowly revolving turntable, with special colored lights positioned to enhance/highlight their detailed appearance. Over both machines hung a blue and white banner, which read “Hercules Rotary Engine Cycles, First In The World.”

BASIC HISTORY: Though introduced in September of 1974, the first container of W-2000s was delivered to ROTARY RECYCLE USA on January 25, 1975 (some 3-½ months later). This container consisted of 40 pre-mix models, of which 34 had red tanks and 6 had yellow tanks. Armed with these new machines, the Rotary sales team fanned out across the United States and praised the merits of the Wankel engine as the power source of the future for motorcycles. Consequently, Rotary sales were quite active and did show serious promise, with new dealers joining the W-2000 parade.

On May 16, 1975, a new model — the KC-30 GS Enduro Rotary dirt bike — was introduced. Two were delivered to ROTARY RECYCLE USA and were basically used as prime demonstrators to entice quantity orders. The new GS Rotary caused quite a lot of excitement and was taunted as the “one to beat.” However, this fanfare later stopped dead in its tracks due to the high cost of $2,900 (plus change).

Meanwhile, the W-2000 continued to fluctuate up and down in sales for most of the summer. By the end of August, Rotary sales became extremely slow. This, in part, was due to the anticipation of a new W-2000 model. The much-awaited event arrived on September 27, 1975, when the new 1976 W-2000 Rotary motorcycle was unveiled to the public (the colors offered were midnight black and Danube blue). The special feature of this 1976 model was that it now came with the exclusive oil-injection, “auto-mix” system, which eliminated the hand mixing of gas and oil together.

This new gas and oil model was an instant success, and sales of the W-2000 Rotary rose sharply. Once again, new dealers joined the Rotary network, and it seemed as though the Hercules W-2000 Rotary had found its place in the motorcycle family. Even though increased sales and new dealers were on the rise, on November 25, 1976 — out of nowhere — Hercules W-2000 motorcycle production came to an abrupt halt.

EPILOGUE: Nothing was wrong with the Hercules W-2000 bike or engine; it ran perfectly. The reason production stopped was because it did not meet a set monthly quota by 25 units.