View Full Version : Opinion on Hirth V Rotax

Hornet - n/a
8-Jun-07, 12:15 AM
Just wondering what peoples opinions are regarding Hirth Engines. I notice alot of the craft in the UK seem to be running Rotax. I have been looking at the 65hp Air Cooled Hirth.

Jeremy - n/a
8-Jun-07, 07:03 PM
I can answer this from a microlight perspective, which may help.

The first Hirth engines that hit the microlight world about ten or fifteen years ago suffered from poor reliability and pretty poor dealer support, at least here in the UK.

Rotax engines weren't a great deal better in the early days, but they had the advantage of a very good dealer network and they put right any problems quickly and with little fuss. Hirth pretty much disowned their dealers, leaving them with very small margins and full responsibility for fixing the various faults.

Newer Hirth engines (those made in the last 5 years or so) seem to be at least the equal of Rotax engines in terms of reliability and performance, but are way behind on the popularity stakes here as Rotax now have the lions share of the market.

Rotax still have the very best dealer support here in the UK that anyone could hope for and this is often enough to swing the decision towards buying a Rotax, at least for a microlight.


"Props beat fans every time............."

Hornet - n/a
9-Jun-07, 07:03 AM
Thanks for the info Jeremy, In Australia the Hirth & Rotax are avialilabe and the prices for comparable engines are similar so there is not much between them in price. But I wondered why I hardly ever saw a Hirth in anything while the Rotax engines seem popular. Unfortunately for us in Australia we can't get our hands on any 3cylinder engines for the rotax importer.

Hov Pod - n/a
15-Jun-07, 11:17 AM
Dear Sir

This is Pete from Hov Pod in UK.

We have found Rotax engines to perform faultlessly and the service and backup from them is great. The manuals are very detailed and the parts lists cover everything.

The engines work very well, we recently had a customer who had used his Hov Pod for over 700 hours in a salt lake conditions and only had to replce some exhaust springs.

We use standard exhaust silencing and mufflers that work very well. We have craft in many parts of the world from central Africa to Norway using Rotax without a problem.

The electrical terminations are high quality whereas on some Hirth engines they were very dangerous push on tab style connectors prone to falling off.

Hope this helps


jon_curtis - n/a
15-Jun-07, 01:03 PM
hi pete

the hovpods used to have the hirth engines in them? now rotax? was this a reliability thing?

Hov Pod - n/a
15-Jun-07, 02:33 PM
The engines themselves were OK but aspects such as support, parts availability, build quality, noise levels were better on Rotax. Also as we are building so many craft lead times and delivery were very poor. We've just placed an order for 15 Rotax engines as we can get them.


jon_curtis - n/a
15-Jun-07, 05:16 PM
cant say fairer than that! nice to see you guys inputting on the forum!

so as you are buyin so much rotax, any chance of getting some cheap bits off you guys http://hovercraft.org.uk/images/icons/smiley_icons/icon_razz.gif

do you use elecy start on the rotax's, if memory serves the hirth were both pull start and elecy start.

Hov Pod - n/a
15-Jun-07, 09:11 PM
Hi Jon

Did look into the elec start you mentioned to me but didnt really get a response.

Hirth did have a nice elec start tucked out the way but this is one area where Rotax are not so good.

The standard one sticks out the front and for us gets in the way. The PTO end version requires an external flywheel (as i recall) and this is then very exposed, we deemed it too unsafe to suitibaly guard all moving parts from all angles.

We did source another supplier with a heavy duty starter for use either with or without the standard Rotax pull start. For us space limitations mean we can fit both starters to the 503 but the 582 is just slightly to big.

With regard to spares we only really hold plugs, springs, belts etc and engines ready for fit out to craft, but if you cant get anything from Skydrive by all means drop us a line.