"Rock On Rokon" the History of Rokon Motorcycles taken from the January/February 1995 issue of Compressed Air Magazine 
"The True History of Rokon Motorcycles" by Bob "Bob" Gallagher

Check out Bob's article, he has done alot of research and corrects alot of the misinformation about the history of Rokon.

Rokon in the ISDT
1973 ISDT pictures
More 1973 ISDT pictures
Dave Mungenast on a Rokon 1974
Dave Mungenast's 1975 ISDT Rokon
1975 ISDT Check List
Jim Hollander's Overall Win 1976
Team Rokon
Prototype and Special Rokons.
Early Prototypes of the RT340
RX500
Rotary Powered Rokon
Tom Kean's Rokon Side Hack


Early  Prototypes of the RT340

This picture shows a Mikuni carburetor installed with remote air filter, early productions had a pumper carburetor.  A jackshaft, no reduction box, on the driven pulley.  A down pipe exiting on the left side of the machine.  Judging from the standard brake stay arm, I'd say this one also has a disk brake in the rear.  The gas tank and seat look like Yamaha DT stuff to me.

This picture looks like the bike in the first picture.  It looks like a Kim-Tab mag wheel with disk brake, like the early production models.  The front wheel is spoked with a brake brake.  You can also see the down pipe in the view.

This picture looks a lot more like the early production model.  The gas tank looks familiar along with the front brake.  Rear brake arm and master cylinder are like the production models.   One major difference is, no reduction box, just a jackshaft from the driven pulley.  This bike also has the down pipe unlike the early production model.  This idea will return with the RTII.  Check out the wheels on this one.  They look like Kim-Tabs without the smaller snowflake spokes.  I wonder if they were removed or if they were specially made.

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I was over at Classic Motorcycles L.L.C. the other day and Becky was good enough to loan me this picture of Dave Mungenast on a Rokon so I could post on the History Page.  These are pictures of the 1974 ISDT in Camerino, Italy.  Dave rode for the Canadian Trophy Team and finished with a Bronze metal.  If anyone else has any period picture of Rokon's they would like posted on the History Page just let me know.
 



 



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Here is a picture that Joe Smith found in an old magazine.

True grit Rokon team riders (l-r) Jim Hollander, Dave Mungenast, and Gary  Snider sit out the final Bad Rock check in another sizeable Rokon finish.  Rokon has built what might be the ultimate cowtrailer from their Trials experience: easy to ride for long distances, faster than most bikes in the woods, faster than anything up a hill, and railroad spike reliability.  They are made in America and for that we are proud.

Jim Hollander added: It looks like it may be Jim Fogle on the left.


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I recently received the following e-mail from Jim Hollander.

"I just learned of your rokonworld website and am fascinated by it.  I have saved  4 Rokons from 1975-1976 and obtained the only 501cc Rokon the  factory (actually a fellow out in the mid-west built  it for the factory) ever built, the 501cc  Maico top end, gas tank below the seat, air intake under the false gas tank shape, countershaft sprocket in line with the swing arm pivot point so no chain slack changes while suspension works, hand built frame, etc.  I have recently acquired a digital camera and when I get the hang of the digital I can make JPEGs of the bike if RT-340 owners are interested.  The other interesting Rokon I saved is my 1976 ISDT gold  medal bike from Austria."

I replied "Your 501 Rokon sounds really interesting.  I'd like to see your pictures, I'll put them on the Rokon Web Page."  I received this reply.  I found it and these pictures furnished by Jim very interesting.

"The Rokon 501 was a one-off handbuilt machine made by Doug Drussel for the factory.  It was to go into production in 1976
but did not.  The "gas tank" shell actually is actually a cover for a very high air cleaner, and the gas tank is in an aluminum tank
underneath the seat.  The rear brake is on the gearbox output shaft, and the chain slack remains constant throughout the rear
suspension travel since it is on the swingarm pivot axis.  The aluminum torque convertor cover on the left side is hinged on the
front, and pivots outward.

The engine is a Maico 501cc mated to a Sachs 340 lower end, with a motoplat electronic ignition.  The photo actually shows a duplicate of the original white fiberglass covering.  The original was used to make a two-piece mold, so that duplicates could be made.  The original white fiberglass and the mold are also with the machine.

The 501 Rokon was bought at the 1978 factory bankruptcy auction, along with ten  partially built new trailbreakers.  The trailbreakers were missing the wheels, gas tanks, handlebars, etc. and the parts were purchased from other auction buyers, including the factory Sales Manager Doug Duncan.  The trailbreakers ($140. each)  were eventually completed and sold for
$1000. each which was used to pay for the first Hot Grips® tooling.  Hot Grips® has been in business and is doing well on the internet at www.hotgrips.com

Without the ten trailbreakers, millions of heated grips would probably never have been produced.  They have been the original equipment heated grips on the Yamaha snowmobile line since 1990.

Jim Hollander, President
Hot Grips® Mfg. Inc.


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I received this e-mail and picture from Michael Cosbar.  I'm trying to contact Michael to see if I can get a better picture of this rotary powered bike.

I aquired a Rokon prototype 340 back in 1989. It is one of two rotary powered experimental bikes built in Keene,N.H. The other  was powered by a 13 horse sachs, and mine is powered by a 33 horse Sachs motor.As far as anyone knows, the other no longer exists. The build date was sometime in 1974.

It is basically a 340, with some unusual modifactions. The goose neck angle has been altered, so the serial number has a weld going through it. It now reads RT3-08. It has the yellow glass tank and the mag wheels. The rear brake rotor was spaced off the wheel for some reason, probably to make the caliper contact better.

There are many parts sourced from other bikes, the fenders are Kawasaki, headlamp is Suzuki, Honda tailamp, BMW muffler, Bettor air forks, clip on street bars, Carlisle flat track tire.

Currently, it is registered and insured, and I ride it regularly. It causes a scene wherever I go, particularly at shows, and Harley bars. (made in USA always works)

Michael sent me some more pictures of his rotary Rokon.


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