Up on the auction block is the classic 1921 Megola 640cc Touring Model by the Bonhams Auction House in UK.
The 1921 Megola 640cc Touring Model is a classic not because of its style, but its a true classic because of its age. Going back to the pre-war era engineers didn’t have the constraints that modern day engineers had to abide by due to safety and emissions regulations. The only constraints the engineers had back in the day were their resources and their imagination.
The Megola was manufactured in Germany from 1921 to 1925. It was designed and engineered by Fritz Cockerell, who also decided to have the Megola powered by a 640cc five-cylinder radial engine that was built into the front wheel. Electric engine Starters, and kick stands weren’t present back in the 20’s on motorcycles which is why the Megola gets started by pushing, or by rotating the wheel with the machine on its stand.
There was no clutch or gearbox, the torquey engine easily which acts as a direct drive motor made light of its lack of a variable transmission and was capable of getting the Megola to a top speed of around 70mph. The ‘frame’ consisted of a box-like steel fabrication, welded and riveted together. Its front section contained the fuel, which was pumped to a header tank mounted on the right side of the leaf-sprung front fork.
Despite its unlikely appearance (we think the Akira bike is influenced by it) the Megola performed well in competitions – there was even a works team – the racing version had a top speed of around 85mph. It is estimated that only some 2,000-or-so Megolas were completed during the four years of production, and today the few remaining survivors are highly prized by collectors. Approximately 15 original machines are known to exist.
The estimated selling price is expected to range between $ 160,000 to $221,000 USD upon being successfully auctioned at Bonhams.