1911 Flying Merkel
Lot 303
1911 Flying Merkel 61ci Twin Board Track Racer Recreation Engine no. 3258
Sold for US$ 40,950 inc. premium
Lot Details
1911 Flying Merkel 61ci Twin Board Track Racer Recreation
Engine no. 3258
The most iconic racing motorcycle of the golden age of American motorcycling was the famed Flying Merkel. A product from the Pottstown, Pennsylvania Merkel-Light Motor Company, the machine became a legend. The svelte 61 cubic inch V-twin engined racer featured a unique narrow "pistol grip" gas tank and was flamboyant in its Merkel Orange paint with its name emblazoned across the length of the tank. It was as beautiful as it was potent. The company claimed Flying Merkels won 87% of the races and endurance runs entered in 1910. In fact, in their 1910 debut, the Flying Merkels won 3 "first" places in four races.

The original racers were developed by Maldwyn E. Jones and constructed under the direct supervision of Joseph Merkel. They used the lightest and latest loop frame construction in these special machines and removed every ounce of superfluous weight to enhance the powerful motorcycle's performance. Merkel's patented truss spring fork made sure the motorcycle tracked accurately to the riders' demands on the track. Merkel incorporated ball bearing races in both his street motorcycles and his competition machines as they were superior to common plain bushings used in motorcycles of that day. Large intake valves of the atmospheric type helped propel the motorcycle to exceptional speeds.

Painstakingly replicated to exacting detail by the Antique Motorcycle Works of Oregon, this Flying Merkel board track racer is a beautiful and operable representation of one of the world's most famous track bikes. Based upon an original Flying Merkel engine, the Antique Motorcycle Works faithfully reproduced this board track racer to the most minute detail. The engine features nickel plated cylinders, a correct open magnet Bosch magneto and a competition choke box on the Schebler carburetor. Merkel pioneered the loop frame and the board tracker utilized a unique configuration to lower the weight in the chassis while securing the engine on pads and from cylinder brackets. Unlike its street brethren which drove the motorcycle through a belt final drive, the racer used roller chain. This exquisite Flying Merkel board track racer, which won its class at the Concourse d'Elegance of Oklahoma, is a beautiful and accurate representation of competition motorcycles from a bygone era and would complement any museum or personal collection of historic machines. Offered on a bill of sale.
  1. Motor Cars (US)
    Auction Administration - Motorcycles
    Work +1 415 391 4000
    FaxFax: +1 415 391 4040