How Mazda, a Strange Recycling Symbol and Dorito Chips all Connect
What is this symbol? And how is it connected to Mazda? On first look it appears to be somehow symbolizing recycling, or Rotary Engines, and if that was your guess, you aren’t really wrong. But, there is certainly more.
This is the logo for a Motorcyle Company known as Van Veen that produced cycles from around 1972 until 1981. Van Veen was run by Henk Van Veen a dutch importer of motorcycles who had a crazy idea to cram a rotary engine into a motorcycle. So, he chose a bike, a Moto Guzzi V7 as the frame, and then an engine.
Now, contrary to much of what you see on the internet (such as wikipedia) stating that his first prototype used a Comoto Rotary, Van Veen actually chose another engine. A Mazda rotary.
The first engine this slightly crazy man decided to cram into those bikes was none other than the same engine that Mazda used in their RX2, the 10a.
Alas though, after just a few years of selling his OCR 1000 wankel rotary bike, the company stopped producing them in 1981. As much as we wished he continued to use the Mazda engine, he did not, but that original prototype still exists. If you happen to read Dutch, check out more here: https://cybermotorcycle.com/docs/downloads/vanVeenMotorRijwiel.pdf
Though we never got to see them use the Mazda engines for production, or later start using the RX7 engines (boy that would have been awesome!), there have been others that have followed in Van Veen’s path and built Mazda rotary cycles.
Here is a custom built 13b powered rotary bike by Rodney Aguiar.
Who knows, maybe one of these days Mazda will even start making rotary motorcycles! After all, they did start by making 3 wheeled cars!
P.S. Don’t forget your love of Dorito engines.