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Origins

This bike was built to spec by Timeless Motor Company in New Mexico. The previous owner, Mike Hanlon, is also a master mold maker, machinist, and all around motorcycle enthusiast.

The Flying Merkel was a motorcycle of the American company Merkel in Milwaukee, which relocated later to Middletown, Ohio. The motorcycle was produced from 1911 to 1915. The Flying Merkel had a conservative engine-control system featuring an automatic inlet valve and a pre-set outlet valve. The V-shaped engine initially displaced 884 cc and delivered 6 hp through a two-speed gearbox and a belt, and had a maximum speed of 97 km/h (60 mph). A motorsports version without brake was available with a 997 cc motor including roller bearings, Bosch magneto ignition, Schebler carburetor and chain drive. The roadworthy version had a band brake on the rear wheel and was sold for $325 USD.

An innovation was the motorcycle fork, patented by Joe Merkel as a “truss fork” and which could be seen as a predecessor of the telescopic fork. The Flying Merkel had an automatically dripping oil feeder, which was subsequently copied by Indian and Harley-Davidson. In 1913 a new model appeared: the engine had now an automatically controlled inlet valve and a spring-loaded kickstarter. Production ceased in 1915. The Flying Merkel achieved its iconic status through the shape of its tank and the colorful body paint.