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The Flying Merkel

February 15, 2012

No, not “flying Angie”, my dear German friends, Flying Merkel. The original founder Joseph Merkel in Milwaukee Wisconsin was one of the motorcycle innovators of the early 1900’s. He founded his  production of single cylinder motorcycles in 1902.

Merkel developed the first type of a spring front fork and also the first type of a rear suspension. From 1905, Merkel also developed bikes for the upcoming racing scene in the U.S. . Merkel and his technology got acquired in 1911 by the Miamin Cycle Manufacturing Company which gave them the market leadership in technology. Merkels continued with their success, among others with a won endurance race from Chicago to St. Louis in 1914. Several factors, such as the dawning WWI meant the end of the further production of Merkels in 1917.

Not even two decade they stayed, but an important influence on future motorcycle construction they had.

Incredible with today’s eyes that they were raced once and apparently still a few of them are up and running today – if they are allowed to.

Check out the full story and especially the racing pics.  This is what they sound like.  

And this one lives at MC Collection in Sollentuna, Stockholm, Sweden.

Want one? Well, if you get hold of one, you might want to be prepared to slaughter your piggy bank, one of them got sold for 82.000 US Dollars.

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