The Megola motorcycle was designed by Fritz Cockerell in 1920, it’s powered by a 5-cylinder radial engine mounted inside the spokes of the front wheel.
The are a few benefits to this layout and a couple of drawbacks, on the positive side there is very little power lost to mechanical drag and the engine’s simplicity means that it’s quite reliable.
The body of the Megola is of box steel construction using both rivets and welds, fuel is stored inside the frame and gravity fed to a small auxiliary tank mounted to the right side of the forks. This kind of monocoque body construction was unusual for the era – in fact it’s still unusual now.
The radial engine used in the Megola has a capacity of 640cc, with each cylinder displacing 128cc, and a bore/stroke of 52mm x 60mm.
Although it only produced 14hp, all of its power output was applied directly to the front axle – giving the Megola a top speed of 85 km/h (52 mph) – with further refined, more sporting examples later capable of a reported 140 km/h (88 mph).