French startup Furion is currently seeking funds for its rotary-engined hybrid motorcycle, called the M1. Rotary engines for motorcycles are not a new idea, of course, with Suzuki having the first mass-market rotary back in the mid 70s, the RE5, and Norton in the late 80s with the twin-rotor Commander and F1.

There is a lot to recommend installing a rotary engine in a motorcycle. The engine is small, light and runs smooth, and lends itself well into bike’s overall design package, giving a lot of power for a reduced amount of cubic capacity, though this doesn’t hold true these days when you have 600 cc inline-fours pumping out close to 120 hp.

The flip-side, of course, is a rotary’s reputation for eating rotor tip seals, burning lubricant which then leads to poor emissions and a penchant for guzzling fuel. So, what is Furion doing different with the M1?

For starters, the Furion M1’s power plant is a 654 cc (two x 327 cc rotor) Wankel engine that puts out 125 hp at 9,000 rpm with a torque figure of 105 Nm at 6,000 rpm. This is coupled to an electric motor fed by lithium-sulphur batteries that is rated at an equivalent 55 hp and 100 Nm torque, giving a final figure of 180 hp and 205 Nm.

This makes for some very impressive numbers, when compared to what Furion claims is a 209 kg wet weight for the M1. The engine is suspended in a trellis frame, and interestingly, the call-out drawing for the M1 shows a Stirling cycle engine mounted in the lower front-half of the chassis.

Suspension is with 43 mm diameter upside-down forks, fully adjustable for rebound, compression and preload, while the rear is a horizontally-mounted monoshock, adjustable for preload and rebound. Fuel for the Furion M1 is carried in a 16-litre tank, while seat height is set at 810 mm.

Furion claims the M1 will be able to travel over 400 km on a single tank of fuel, which gives it a very impressive range compared to typical sports bikes. The brain child of designer Marc Evenisse and four-time Supermoto champion Adrien Chareyre, the M1 currently exists only as pixels on a computer screen.

According to Evanisse, the Furion M1 is “an original motive combination with the key to an unusual sound, the musical fruit of the two rotors of the engine.” What do you think? Worth the investment or just another pipe dream? Leave a comment with your thoughts and opinions below.