"The Merkel" brand first appeared
in Milwaukee Wisconsin in 1902 when Joseph Merkel
set-up shop producing single cylinder motorcycles.
By 1905 Merkel had decided to engage in competition,
and produced several racing machines. Merkel's
motorcycles were to set many performance standards
during the emerging American racing scene.
The company was purchased in 1909
by the Light Manufacturing Company. In 1911
the Miami Cycle Manufacturing Company purchased
Merkel, and production was moved to Middletown
Ohio. The Miami Company was building bicycles
and Motorcycles using names best known as Raycycle,
and Miami. The Merkel acquisition gave Miami
the high-end product that it needed to be regarded
as a premiere manufacturer. In 1914 The flying
Merkel won the National endurance run from Chicago
to St Louis. Maldwyn Jones then broke a world's
record on the Vanderbilt Course. When he returned
to Middletown he was given a hero's welcome.
The final Merkel machines were produced in 1917
||1911 Flying Merkel Belt Drive Single
||Manufactured by the Merkel Light
manufacturing company. This is a very
rare and desirable early American
made veteran motorcycle.Picture courtesey
of Bator International Inc.
|1912 Flying Merkel 980cc vee-twin
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