The Merkel brand first appeared in Milwaukee Wisconsin in 1902 when Joseph Merkel set-up shop producing single cylinder motorcycles. Merkel was among the most innovative of the pioneer motorcycle companies. By 1905 Merkel had decided to engage in competition and produced several racing machines. Merkel’s motorcycles were to set many performance standards in the emerging American racing scene. These machines and their riders enabled Merkel to develop a patented spring front fork that was to become the forerunner of the modern telescopic front fork. This fork became the instrument of choice on racing machines of other builders. Also, the monoshock rear suspension was developed, a system used today on modern motorcycles.
The Flying Merkel Website
• The Flying Merkel :: J.P. Schantin Crossing the Great American Desert :: Library of Congress
• The Flying Merkel website