The Megola Motorcycle

Designed by the trio Meixner, Cockerell and Landgraf, the Megola was produced between 1921 and 1925 in Munich, Germany.

The 640 cc rotary engine was mounted within the front wheel and was made of 5 cylinders with side-mounted valves and it displaced 640 cc. The crankshaft was the front axle, which remained stationary while the cylinders rotated with the wheel. There was no clutch or transmission.

To start the Megola, you had to push start or spin the front wheel while the bike was on its stand. The top speed was 85 km/h (52 mph) resulting in a win at the German Championship in 1924, while later, sportier models were said to be capable of 140 km/h (88 mph). The box section frame contained the main fuel tank which fed by gravity a smaller tank mounted on the axle. The front suspension consisted of semi-elliptical springs. A total of 2000 Megolas were built and only 10 rideable examples remain, with one existing in the Guggenheim Museum in New York, USA.

8 Responses to “The Megola Motorcycle”

  1. 1 Bigalyts Feb 15th, 2011 at 1:32 pm

    With no Clutch and No Tranny, I guess that they would call it a Crash Box!

  2. 2 Barry Brown Feb 16th, 2011 at 6:37 am

    The Megola is an intriguing design . The one Leno has , was a race bike and a WW 2 “expropriation” purportedly used to smuggle cash into the US shortly after that conflict.
    The real killer machine along similar lines was the prototype 1937 Killinger und Freund ,pun intended, with a 3 cylinder radial engine AND a 2 speed transmission like the Megola in the front wheel. It also had a monocoque chassis construction. This bike was also war booty and is being restored in the USA.

  3. 3 Steve 'brewdude' Garn Feb 16th, 2011 at 8:58 am

    I saw this bike in person and it is an awesome piece of history. In fact, I have a poster of it up in the shop.

  4. 4 martin Twofeather Feb 16th, 2011 at 2:46 pm

    Wow, Cyril that is so cool…..

  5. 5 maroco Feb 17th, 2011 at 2:24 pm

    Incredible motorcycle concept.

  6. 6 Quint w/ Feb 18th, 2011 at 2:07 am

    How the hell do you dream up something like that, and create it? In the 1920’s!Impressive. I find myself having to go back and look at it again.

  7. 7 pelican Feb 18th, 2011 at 1:01 pm


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Cyril Huze