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 Merkel won 3 "first" places in four races.
Always considered a premium quality motorcycle, Merkel company had several owners and locations over the years. Originating in Milwaukee about 1902, Merkel’s company merged with Light Manufacturing and moved to Pottstown, Pennsylvania in 1909 and the name Flying Merkel was added. Then in 1911 Merkel Light was moved to Middletown, Ohio after Miami Cycle Manufacturing purchased the company but ceased manufacturing in 1917.
This 1915 Flying Merkel board track racer replica sculpture is ¾ the original size and is constructed from scratch using copper, bronze, brass, aluminum and zinc. The seat and grips are made of leather and the tires are carved from mahogany. This remarkable recreation is a testament of the pioneering years of American racing ingenuity, which you can smell and feel on this machine. It simply oozes character and cool!
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