THE Megola
Bike SA|November 2020
Article about engineering dead-ends in motorcycling but, in choosing the Megola
Harry Fisher
I had thought of writing an article about engineering dead-ends in motorcycling but, in choosing the Megola for this month’s Great Bikes? column, it seemed as if I had come across the greatest dead end of all time and so decided to combine the two!

The Megola was a German-designed and built a motorcycle from the early 1920s. The name derives loosely from the names of the three designers, Meixner, Cockerell, and Landgraf.

Fritz Cockerell came up with the design in 1920. Quite why he thought that placing a rotary engine within the front wheel was a good idea is not actually recorded anywhere, sadly. Actually, the prototype had the engine mounted in the rear wheel so the question of why put it in the front wheel is even more confusing.

The fact that he chose a rotary engine is not all that unusual when you consider that many aircraft during the first world war were powered by such engines, even though, by the early 1920s, the drawbacks of the design meant that the engine was about to become obsolete and would soon be phased out for aircraft.

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