Home Technology 1921 Megola 640CC Five Cylinder Rotary Powered Motorcycle

1921 Megola 640CC Five Cylinder Rotary Powered Motorcycle

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 Megola had a unique design, laid down by Fritz Cockerell in 1920, using a rotary engine mounted within the front wheel.

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The engine contained five cylinders with side-mounted valves, each of which displaced 128cc, with a bore/stroke of 52x60mm, and a total displacement of 640 cc.

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The 5 cylinders rotated around the front axle at 6x the wheel speed; thus while the cylinders were at maximum of 3600rpm the front wheel was turning at 600rpm, or roughly 60 mph (given the wheel diameter).

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A hand-controlled butterfly valve was located in the hollow crankshaft to regulate throttle. Power output was a modest 14 bhp (10 kW) but was applied directly to the wheel.

This arrangement produced a very low centre of gravity and provided for excellent handling.The engine was very flexible, lacking both a clutch and a transmission. Starting it required a person to either spin the front wheel while the bike was on its stand, or to push-start.