1 of 10 – 1921 Megola Touring 640cc

In Germany, Standard, Vintage by AbhiLeave a Comment

Megolas are fascinating for many reasons, but the obvious one is the 640cc 5-cylinder radial engine built into the front wheel. Yet, that’s somehow not even the craziest thing about this powertrain. It has only one gear, and no clutch. So you either had to bump start it or get the front wheel spinning with the bike on the center stand. Because of the lack of clutch, the owner’s handbook had a helpful suggestion if you encountered something that was blocking the road and you didn’t want to deal with shutting off the motor and restarting it – just keep circling until your route was clear!

A few replicas have been made since the 80s, but this is claimed be one of the originals. Silodrome suggests that of the 2,000 examples that were built, just 10 remain today. The design was created by Fritz Cockerell in 1920, and in his insanity he developed a motor that rotates around the front axle 6 times faster than the speed of the wheel. The 640cc motor was good for 14 horsepower and a top speed of 52 miles per hour. Later models were capable of almost hitting 90. For more information (including a rare ride report), check out this article by Alan Cathcart on Motorcyclist.

This example is claimed to come from a well-known German collection with documentation back to 1978. Everything is said to work, but because the asking price is fairly astronomical it’s probably best if I leave you with a video of the motor starting and spinning with the front wheel in place:

Find this touring Megola for sale here on Hans Devos Classic for $325,876 outside of Tremelo, Belgium.