2012-08-23 14:06:02+0000
  • Make:
  • Megola
  • Model:
  • Sport
  • Year:
  • 1922

A German made motorcycle produced between 1921 and 1925. The Megola Sport has an air cooled 5 cylinder 640cc engine and a top speed of 68 mph (109 km/h).

The long history of the motorcycle has seen some weird and wonderful machines, but the Megola is perhaps the most remarkable of them all. The Megola name comes from a combination of the names of its designers Meixner, Cockerell, and Landgraf.

Designer Fritz Cockerell built the first prototype of the Megola in 1920, mounting the engine's five cylinders in a star formation within the rear wheel. The concept of fitting the power unit into the wheel hub was not new, yet fitting the engine to the front wheel, which he did in 1922, was. This was the first and one of the only motorcycles in the world to locate it there. Each of the bike's five air-cooled cylinders had a displacement of 128 cc. There was no clutch or gearbox; so instead, while the engine and wheel rotated forward, the crankshaft, which operated via the gear train, functioned six times as quickly in the opposite direction, which meant that the driving forces were equally distributed. The engine produced 14 hp at 3,000 rpm, and, at its maximum of 3,600 rpm, it turned the front wheel at no less than 600 rpm, giving a top speed of 68 mph, an impressive achievement for its day.

Cockerell incorporated a host of other unusual features, including two fuel tanks. The main tank was hidden under the bodywork, and the fuel from it was taken to a much smaller tank above the engine via a manual hand pump. Because the engine occupied most of the front wheel area, Cockerell used two independent brakes for the rear wheel.

The Megola came well-equipped: a fuel gauge, tachometer, and ammeter were all standard equipment. The Megola was available in either touring or sport variants. While the former featured a sprung rear wheel and soft saddle, the latter came without rear suspension, but with a more powerful engine.

In just under five years, the company sold approximately 2,000 motorcycles. The Megola ceased production in 1926, in the midst of Germany's rampant inflation and general economic instability. The Megola Sport can be seen in person at the Deutsches Museum in Munich, Germany.

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