1911 Flying Merkel
Board Track Racer
Joseph Merkel was a significant pioneering force in the earliest days of motorized two wheeled transportation and is credited with many design and engineering firsts. He built his first moto-cycle in 1902 and continued until 1911 when he sold his company to Miami Cycle and Manufacturing Co. of Middletown OH. who changed the name to Flying Merkel.
The Flying Merkel Board Track Model was devoid of most of Josephs Merkel's features to cut down on the total weight of the machine.
The race version had no suspension, brakes, clutch, or muffler to get the weight down to less than 200 lbs and the wheelbase to 53". The engine was a 61 ci inlet over exhaust V-Twin with European ball bearings on the crankshaft, cams and magneto to rid the motor of friction and create 17 HP which went directly through a jackshaft and rear drive chain. The machine was either started on a stand by pedaling or being pushed to start. the rider only had a throttle, compression release and kill switch. Only one real Flying Merkel Board Track Racer known to exist. It sold in 2015 for $423,500 . This machine is a recreation. The motor is real but the rest of the motorcycle has been recreated to exacting specifications of the original. It would make a stunning display piece in any private collection or museum to help tell the story of the fastest motorcycles of the era.