Everybody wants to save the earth, nobody wants to help mom do the dishes.  --P.J. O'Rourke

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

1923 Megola Sport Racer - Rotary Engine Motorcycle

Now here is something you don't see everyday, a motorcycle with a rotary engine driving the front wheel. It's not a Wankel rotary engine (a la RX-7), but rather a radial rotary of the type found in early airplanes. In this instance the crankshaft is actually the front axle and the engine rotates with the wheel. The crank was hollow and did double duty as an intake manifold. It seems crazy now, but the Megola was actually competitive in racing and won the 1924 German Championship. While the engine may look small, it is actually 640cc, about the same as a modern midsize bike (though it only produced 14hp). According to the Wiki's 2000 Megola's were made, but only 10 serviceable examples remain. If you would like to see a restored one in action check out this youtube video here


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