At 300 lbs dry and producing 200hp, the Crighton Racing CR700P should catch your attention right away. Diving deeper into the machine, the CR700P’s 700cc twin-rotor rotary engine should further pique your interest — and then of course there is the Crighton Racing’s interesting past.

Astute observers will note that the Crighton Racing CR700P looks exactly like the Norton NRV588, and that is because of the involvement of Brian Crighton in both projects. A continuation of the project that started out in the Norton Motorcycles R&D laboratory in 1986, the Crighton Racing CR700P is the realization of Crighton’s dream to build a rotary-powered motorcycle that can top the very best racing bikes in the world.

For a bit of back story, Crighton’s work at Norton eventually evolved into the NRV588 project by the time 2006 hit the calendars. Finding rotary engines banned in virtually every racing league, and watching Norton Motorcycles go a different direction with its brand, the 700cc project was spun out of Norton and into Crighton’s own marque, Crighton Racing.

Now debuting the 700cc iteration of the twin-rotor machine, the Crighton Racing CR700P revives our rotorlust, and looks bonkers both on paper and on video.

The frame is still the SPONDON number from the NRV588 days, with the rest of the chassis being fairly “normal” with its Brembo/AP Racing brakes and Bitubo suspension pieces. The showcase element is of course the Rotron RT700 Twin Rotor Rotary engine.

Making 200 hp at 11,000 rpm and 100 lbs•ft of torque at 9,500 rpm, the Crighton Racing CR700P is easily in liter-bike territory with its engine output, though it is a bit peaky, as rotaries tend to be. We imagine the CR700P is a bit like a 500cc two-stroke in its power delivery, a thought that seems to be confirmed by the company’s video below. “Fucking quick” is the phrase, is it? Where can we sign-up for a turn boys?





Technical Specifications of the Crighton Racing CR700P:

Engine Type Rotron RT700 Twin Rotor Rotary
Displacement 700cc
Compression Ratio 10:1
Max Power 200HP @ 11,000RPM
Max Torque 100 lbs/ft @ 9,500RPM
Cooling System Rotron Pressurised Gas
Clutch Type Multiplate Slipper
Primary Drive Kevlar Belt
Ignition System GEMS ECU
Fuel System GEMS ECU
Transmission 6 Speed Sequential
Chassis Frame 7000 Series Aluminium Beam
Front Suspension Bitubo
Rear Suspension Bitubo
Front Brake Brembo 4 Piston 320mm Discs
Rear Brake AP Racing Single 2 Piston 195mm Disc
Tyres Dunlop
Wheelbase Aprox. 1,445mm
Dry Weight 136kg
Fuel Capacity 22 Litres
Oil Tank Capacity 1.2 Litres

Source: Crighton Racing

  • Richard Gozinya

    Great to see someone continuing the rotary engine, since Norton chickened out on that. Bet that thing is a pants shitting blast to ride.

  • coreyvwc

    Amazing bit of engineering right there! My god that little rocket ship must be terrifying to ride though! hahaha

  • Anvil

    Imagine an 850cc version of this in MotoGP. That would make things a bit more interesting, even if it never got on the podium.

    Someone ring Carmelo about 2017. And maybe give Hayden a call, too.

  • irksome

    Now there’s a snappy advert phrase…

    “It’s fucking quick!”

  • TexusTim

    wow..sounds like a two stroke on steroids.

  • TheSwede

    Woah momma, that thing sounds mean!

  • Neil

    Richard, Thank you.

    You have just given me my new catch phrase….

    “Pants Shitting Blast”….

    Now if they would market this beast to the masses…..


  • Jimbo

    Problem with Rotarys (rotaries?) is that they have terrible fuel economy. Small capacity but big power and big consumption. It is unlikely they would ever go maistream on Motorcycles and certainly not in MotoGP where the principle of “filtering down tech” ie they want to develop tech for bikes that will eventually find itself on the road is pushing Dorner et al to make fueling a constraint in the races. Could even an 850 rotary in MotoGP (@anvil) complete a race on 20 litres of fuel?

  • If rotaries have been banned by every racing league, where is this bike going to be raced? Wouldn’t it have made sense to have developed this bike to be the ultimate sport-bike for the street instead?

    I’d love to see some pictures of the engine, or, even better, inside the engine. Early Norton rotaries used a unique method of cooling the internals with intake air. That appears to have been abandoned. Are the intake and exhaust ports in the side housings, or are they peripheral? It would be nice to know what new technology has been applied in the past 20 years.

  • smiler

    Jamie has a lovely Tsubaki chrome chain on. Remember seeing the F1 in the transatlantic series. All the other bikes were stood still as it went past. Beautiful. The Owner of Norton (Gartiner) owns Spondon as well.
    Isn’t a 2 stroke motor quite like a rotary. Rotary takes the principle further though?

  • philly Phil

    i’d really like to see more different engine configurations in racing…they should really get this in WSBK or MotoGP…I guess GP would be better since they don’t have to homologate it…

    this is the type of thing that racing needs to get ppl back to watchin it! Let the electric bikes too for all i care

  • philly Phil

    awww man, i love those classic frame mounted stabilizers!

  • Doctor Jelly


    A wankel is and isn’t really like anything. It’s more like a 2 stroke in terms of power and how it makes that power (more combustions per revolution) but more like a 4 stroke in terms of the combustion events (intake, compression, combustion, exhaust are all seperate events). But it uses ports like a 2 stroke and intakes air like a 4 stroke (can be naturally aspirated instead of having to force air in).

    Wankels are just nifty cool engines that have a few major downfalls (seals, heat, powerband, fuel consumption), but a few major advantages (weight, peak power, minimal moving parts). Check out how they work because it’s pretty brilliant!

  • MikeD

    Haaa, another misfit/outcast from the motorcycle world (Yes, i’m looking at you too, BUELL). Best of luck to him but where’s he supposed to run this thing and make his point ? And what’s up with the single shock on the side ? IS almost 2014, get with the times.

    Wankels are COOL & all that but they still have a mountain of “side effects” to fix before we get to see them by the SHIPLOAD on the streets.
    I would rather much see someone advance 2 Smokes in the 2 wheeled sector like Evinrude & Mercury did for the Marine side.

  • MikeD

    P.S: That thing got one seriously wicked top end.

  • The rotary engine has always been a design that was ahead of the technological capabilities of the day, even diehard Mazda finally gave up on it as a production engine. But it is ideally suited for motorcycle applications, small light and none of the reciprocal inertia problems posed by piston engines.

    This is an impressive achievement, and if somebody gets it right, it could spell the end of the piston Engine in motorcycles, at least in racing.