The radial-engined Megola “…probably the most unorthodox motorcycle ever made on a commercial basis…” I agree. Update with video.

More info on the vintage world and a great high resolution photograph of one of the most unusual bikes ever built.    I can’t even begin to imagine how all that mass would effect the handling on a motorcycle like this.

And yes I fully admit that I’m schilling a little but they keep sending me these really great photo’s so fair’s fair.  And a special Thank you to Katherine Boyle at Bonhams for the photo and info.


And for fun here’s a video of one running and being ridden.

BONHAMS TO SELL RARE, RADIAL-ENGINED MEGOLA MOTORCYCLE IN PARIS AUCTION

“…probably the most unorthodox motorcycle ever made on a commercial basis…”

Headlining the motorcycles consigned to Bonhams first sale at the Grand Palais, Paris is a rare, radial-engined Megola. Powered by a 640cc five-cylinder engine built into the front wheel, the Megola was described by motorcycling historian Erwin Tragatsch as “probably the most unorthodox motorcycle ever made on a commercial basis”. Only some 2,000-or-so were produced in Germany between 1921 and 1925, and today the few survivors are highly prized by collectors. The example on offer was restored circa 1990, has been tested by La Vie de la Moto magazine and shown at the Salon Moto Légende. It is estimated to sell for €145,000-200,000.

Demand for the legendary Vincent marque continues unabated and this sale contains three fine examples from the same UK-based private collection: a 1949 Rapide Series B (€26,000 – 30,000), 1950 Comet Series C (€7,500 – 9,000) and 1954 Black Knight Series D with fully enclosed bodywork (€33,000 – 37,000).
Another iconic British make, Brough Superior is presented by the recently rebuilt 1936 SS80 on offer. First introduced in 1922, the SS80 – so-called because of its guaranteed 80mph (129km/h) top speed in road trim – achieved instant fame when a stripped-for-racing version ridden by George Brough became the first sidevalve machine to lap Brooklands at over 100mph (161km/h). Estimate €38,000 – 45,000.

Early BMWs are among the most collectible of pre-war European motorcycles and the two in this sale – a circa 1928 R62 sidecar outfit ‘barn find’ (€32,000 – 35,000) and a fully restored 1928 R42 solo (€20,000 – 30,000) – represent opposite ends of the condition spectrum.

Rendered increasingly rare by the passage of time, ‘barn finds’ have become more and more sought after in recent years and the circa 1923 Wanderer v-twin in the sale is a particularly charming example. Estimate €17,000 – 20,000.

Ben Walker, Head of Motorcycles at Bonhams comments, “It is wonderful to be offering such a fine selection of motorcycles at Paris’ premier venue. It will be particularly interesting to see what price the rare Megola fetches.”

http://www.bonhams.com/motorcycles

For sale enquiries please contact Ben Walker on 08700 273616 or ben.walker@bonhams.com

For further press information please contact Katherine Boyle on 0207 468 8363 or Katherine.boyle@bonhams.com / press@bonhams.com

Notes for Editors
Bonhams
Bonhams, founded in 1793, is one of the world’s oldest and largest auctioneers of fine art and antiques. The present company was formed by the merger in November 2001 of Bonhams & Brooks and Phillips Son and Neale UK. In August 2002, the company acquired Butterfields, the principal firm of auctioneers on the West Coast of America. Today, Bonhams offers more sales than any of its rivals, through two major salerooms in London: New Bond Street, and Knightsbridge, and a further five throughout the UK. Sales are also held in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Carmel, New York and Boston in the USA; Toronto, Canada; and France, Monaco, Hong Kong, Australia and Dubai. Bonhams has a worldwide network of offices and regional representatives in 25 countries offering sales advice and valuation services in 57 specialist areas. By the end of 2009, Bonhams had become UK market leaders in ten key specialist collecting areas.For a full listing of upcoming sales, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments, go to http://www.bonhams.com (May 2010).

BONHAMS TO SELL RARE, RADIAL-ENGINED MEGOLA MOTORCYCLE IN PARIS AUCTION
“…probably the most unorthodox motorcycle ever made on a commercial basis…”

Headlining the motorcycles consigned to Bonhams first sale at the Grand Palais, Paris is a rare, radial-engined Megola. Powered by a 640cc five-cylinder engine built into the front wheel, the Megola was described by motorcycling historian Erwin Tragatsch as “probably the most unorthodox motorcycle ever made on a commercial basis”. Only some 2,000-or-so were produced in Germany between 1921 and 1925, and today the few survivors are highly prized by collectors. The example on offer was restored circa 1990, has been tested by La Vie de la Moto magazine and shown at the Salon Moto Légende. It is estimated to sell for £120,000-166,000.

Demand for the legendary Vincent marque continues unabated and this sale contains three fine examples from the same UK-based private collection: a 1949 Rapide Series B (£22,000 – 25,000), 1950 Comet Series C (£6,000 – 7,500) and 1954 Black Knight Series D with fully enclosed bodywork (£27,000 – 31,000).

Another iconic British make, Brough Superior is presented by the recently rebuilt 1936 SS80 on offer. First introduced in 1922, the SS80 – so-called because of its guaranteed 80mph (129km/h) top speed in road trim – achieved instant fame when a stripped-for-racing version ridden by George Brough became the first sidevalve machine to lap Brooklands at over 100mph (161km/h). Estimate £32,000 – 37,000.

Early BMWs are among the most collectible of pre-war European motorcycles and the two in this sale – a circa 1928 R62 sidecar outfit ‘barn find’ (£27,000 – 29,000) and a fully restored 1928 R42 solo (£17,000 – 25,000) – represent opposite ends of the condition spectrum.

Rendered increasingly rare by the passage of time, ‘barn finds’ have become more and more sought after in recent years and the circa 1923 Wanderer v-twin in the sale is a particularly charming example. Estimate £14,000 – 17,000.

Ben Walker, Head of Motorcycles at Bonhams comments, “It is wonderful to be offering such a fine selection of motorcycles at Paris’ premier venue. It will be particularly interesting to see what price the rare Megola fetches.”

http://www.bonhams.com/motorcycles

For sale enquiries please contact Ben Walker on 08700 273616 or ben.walker@bonhams.com

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2 comments

  1. One of my mentors in 1965 was a Older German engineer who had left Germany before The Nazis came to power. When I met him he was full of motoring stories. One was a serious wreck that he had on a Megola when the lower end went out.
    I believe “shrapnel and spokes” were the words he used.
    The front wheel must have been gyroscope central.

  2. As someone else pointed to me, that is a “rotary” engine, not a “radial”. While it is radial in layout, that name was reserved for motors with fixed crankcases/cylinders/heads, and rotating cranks. Motors with fixed cranks, and rotating crankcases/cylinders/heads were call “Rotaries”

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