In this paper, novel variable flux reluctance machines (VFRMs) with different rotor pole numbers, which employ a doubly salient structure together with field windings identically located in the stator for each phase, are investigated and compared. Different from other doubly salient machines, such as switched reluctance machines (SRM) and doubly fed doubly salient machines (DFDSM), the equation for determining the stator/rotor pole numbers, i.e., , is no longer limited in VFRMs. More feasible selections of rotor pole numbers can be used if the stator/rotor pole numbers can satisfy . Thus, for a 6-stator pole machine not only the rotor pole number can be selected as even numbers, such as 4- and 8-rotor poles, which are commonly used for SRM and DFDSM, but odd numbers, such as 5- and 7- rotor poles, are also feasible. The benefits of using 5- and 7-rotor poles are the cancellation of even-order harmonics together with the third-order harmonic in the flux-linkage and back-EMF. Hence, more sinusoidal back-EMF can be obtained to produce a lower torque ripple. The cancellation in 5- and 7-rotor pole machines is because the flux generated by field and armature windings can pass through the adjacent stator poles to form a shorter flux path, which can further increase their average torque. To validate the analysis, four prototype machines with different rotor pole numbers are manufactured and tested.