Anyone here own a Miami / Flying Merkel Bicycle?


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Freqman1

Riding a '37 Dayton Super Streamline
Jul 14, 2009
15,042
14,758
Evans, GA

hoofhearted

Saint Lactose The Tolerant
Jan 20, 2010
3,381
3,896
Fairborn, Ohio
Trying to finish up the FM monograph. I am of the opinion that the Five Spoke ring (26T 1" or 60T 1/2") was NOT used on any FM bikes. The only place you see this ring is 1918/19 and not on any bike labeled as a FM. Anyone have evidence to the contrary? V/r Shawn

The use of the 5-spoke 60T, 1/2'' pitch goes back to
1915 with the Miami Bulldog. The fotos below show
three different rings used on the same model for
1915.

The same ring was first used in 1918/1919 with the
F-M ... as per the advertising pages you include with
your statement.

I know of no FM catalogs from those years ... and am
unable to support my statement.

Both Carlton and I believe that ring was used in '18 and
'19 ... possibly into very early 1920 ... on the F-M.



1915 miami bulldog.jpg




1915-Miami-Bulldog-catalog-.jpg


1915  Miami Bull Dog ... Tall Frame.jpg


This 1915, all original Miami Tallframe Bulldog
is no longer in my stable. It resides elsewhere where it can continue to be loved.
The new owner made me an offer I could not refuse.
 
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Freqman1

Riding a '37 Dayton Super Streamline
Jul 14, 2009
15,042
14,758
Evans, GA
Patric the problem I have with the 1918/1919 literature shown in the thread is that the bike both you and Carlton refer to as a 1918 is simply labeled "Motorbike" unlike some of the other illustrations that call out the brand e.g. Flying Merkel. I see this ring in none of the FM catalogs. Not saying it didn't happen just don't see any evidence of it. If we make this leap then any chain ring used by Miami could be fair game for a FM. V/r Shawn
 

hoofhearted

Saint Lactose The Tolerant
Jan 20, 2010
3,381
3,896
Fairborn, Ohio
Patric the problem I have with the 1918/1919 literature shown in the thread is that the bike both you and Carlton refer to as a 1918 is simply labeled "Motorbike" unlike some of the other illustrations that call out the brand e.g. Flying Merkel. I see this ring in none of the FM catalogs. Not saying it didn't happen just don't see any evidence of it. If we make this leap then any chain ring used by Miami could be fair game for a FM. V/r Shawn

Shawn ... thank you for your clarification.

Totally see your point, and am agreeing with you.
Out of respect to the reader, need to add that I
added words (they show up in RED) to those same
ads.

Am at a loss for words .. but only temporarily.

Don't know if an accurate truth will ever be revealed,
in any catalog .. advertising .. or illustration provided
by Miami Cycle in 1918 and 1919 --- but am keenly-
aware that the knowledge we have (now) .. did not exist
for us, not that long ago.

I continue to walk having hope that more information
will be revealed to us -- and I remind myself that much
more research is indicated.


....... patric
 
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Freqman1

Riding a '37 Dayton Super Streamline
Jul 14, 2009
15,042
14,758
Evans, GA
Patric I agree that until we see the 'missing link' catalogs, literature, or bikes there will be many gaps and unknowns. I'm getting close to a final draft and have been dedicating a couple of hours each night to this endeavor. The one thing I am missing is a picture of a 60T "cloverleaf cutout" chain ring. I am not talking the D&J ring with the four attaching bolts (shown below)
D&J Half Inch Cloverleaf.png


but a 60T 1/2" pitch ring like this
image miami cutout.jpg


Does one exist or is the D&J the only 60T "cloverleaf cutout" ring? V/r Shawn
 

hoofhearted

Saint Lactose The Tolerant
Jan 20, 2010
3,381
3,896
Fairborn, Ohio
Patric I agree that until we see the 'missing link' catalogs, literature, or bikes there will be many gaps and unknowns. I'm getting close to a final draft and have been dedicating a couple of hours each night to this endeavor. The one thing I am missing is a picture of a 60T "cloverleaf cutout" chain ring. I am not talking the D&J ring with the four attaching bolts (shown below)
View attachment 481656

but a 60T 1/2" pitch ring like this
View attachment 481657

Does one exist or is the D&J the only 60T "cloverleaf cutout" ring? V/r Shawn
Shawn ... I don't believe a 60T, ''cloverleaf cutout'' was ever available.
That ''cloverleaf cutout'' ring has been presented by Miami Cycle as
a 1''-inch pitch only. Could be wrong .....

Tooth count would be 22T ... 24T ... 26T and 28T.

...... patric


fm  1916.jpg



 
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Freqman1

Riding a '37 Dayton Super Streamline
Jul 14, 2009
15,042
14,758
Evans, GA
Not trying to be a Richard but for the last year I've been dissecting and analyzing nearly every word in this thread to produce a monograph on Flying Merkels. When people veer off topic it only ads to the clutter and makes it difficult for people searching info related to the topic. Unfortunately this has ruined some good threads on the forum to which people quit contributing. V/r Shawn
 

Dave Stromberger

I'm Afraid I Can't Do That
Staff member
System Administrator
May 20, 2006
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Having re-read this thread again, and again, and ag... absorbing all the info... I see that a bike posted by @redline1968 and commented on by @hoofhearted (CLICK HERE) has all the same frame build characteristics as my double-bar "New Falcon" that was suspected, but not confirmed to be Miami built (CLICK HERE). If we assume that the crankset (that doesn't even fit correctly!) and fork/headset are not original, this frame matches the construction of the bike owned and posted by @redline1968. Can we safely call this "New Falcon" a Miami built bike?

miami-cycle-manuf-co-archbar-003-jpg.jpg


the-new-falcon-001-jpg.jpg
 

redline1968

Riding a '38 Autocycle Deluxe
Oct 16, 2008
4,698
2,975
Seattle, United States
Not that I'm anywhere proficient in this area.(freqman seems to know more) but the fender arches are thicker on the Miami frame. Yours looks like the cups are too large for the frame. I'd say it's quite possible the fork has been replace or the cups have been. The patina looks the same on the fork. I'd look at the inside to see if there is color and see if it matchs.
 

Wcben

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Jan 11, 2012
980
389
Fort Lauderdale, United States
Shawn ... I don't believe a 60T, ''cloverleaf cutout'' was ever available.
That ''cloverleaf cutout'' ring has been presented by Miami Cycle as
a 1''-inch pitch only. Could be wrong .....

Tooth count would be 22T ... 24T ... 26T and 28T.

...... patric


View attachment 481676

The "rideabout" from the early teens had a big 1/2" cloverleaf chainwheel....
image.jpeg
image.png
image.png
 

barracuda

I live for the CABE
Oct 27, 2009
1,777
1,725
Niles, California
82934111_135965872157.jpg


Find a Grave obituary for Joseph Frederic Merkel

Birth: Mar. 7, 1872
Manistee
Manistee County
Michigan, USA

Death: Jul. 5, 1958
Rochester
Monroe County
New York, USA

Son of George Merkel & Mary Magdalen nee Huenekens

Rochester (NY) Democrat and Chronicle, Mon. July 7, 1958, p. 16:1.
Joseph F. Merkel Mass Tomorrow; Cycle Inventor, 86.

Requiem mass for Joseph F. Merkel, 86, of 1222 Genesee Park Blvd., a retired mechanical engineer and the inventor of a motorcycle and a motorbicycle, will be celebrated at 9 a.m. tomorrow in Our Lady of Good Counsel Church. Mr. Merkel, who retired from General Railway Signal Co. nine years ago after 35 years with the firm, died of stroke in St. Mary's Hospital Saturday, July 5, 1958. He designed and manufactured the Merkel Motorcycle in Milwaukee before coming here 41 years ago. In Rochester he patented and built the Evans Cycle Motor. The company was in Cady Street. Mr. Merkel also was a designer for the Ever Ready Corp. on Long Island for several years before joining the GRS engineering staff. He was a native of Manistee MI. Mr. Merkel was a life member of the Rochester Council of the Knights of St. John and a member of the Fourth Degree Assembly of the organization. He is survived by two daughters, Sr. Marie Margaret of the Sisters of St. Joseph, a teacher in St. Francis de Sales High School in Geneva, and Mrs. Elsie McIntyre of Rochester; a son, Richard L. Merkel of Houston TX, a public relations director for the Trans-Texas Airways. The prayer service will be held at 8:30 a.m. in the Joseph A. Murphy Funeral Home, 363 Chili Ave. Burial will be in Holy Sepulchre Cemetery.

MERKEL-Joseph F. Merkel, 1222 Genesee Park Blvd., entered into rest Sat. July 5, 1958 He is survived by two daughters, Sr. Marie Margaret, Sisters of St. Joseph, DeSales High School, Geneva NY, and Mrs. Elsie McIntyre, Rochester; one son, Richard L. Merkel, Houston TX. He was a member of Rochester Council #178 Knights of Columbus, and the Fourth Degree Assembly.

Joseph Merkel
INDUCTED: 1998 AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame
Founder of Merkel Motorcycles, engineer

Joseph Merkel was the founder of Merkel Motorcycles, manufacturer of machines better known as the "Flying Merkel." The Flying Merkel was one of the leading racing and road machines of the 1910s, earning numerous victories in a variety of contests of the day. Joseph Merkel was considered to be one of the finest engineers in U.S. motorcycling. He came up with dozens of innovative designs, many of which were copied by other motorcycle makers. 

Merkel was born in Manistee, Michigan, in 1872. His father was employed in the logging industry and like many boys of his era, young Joseph went to work at a young age. He worked as an engineer on a logging railroad in 1886 when he was just 14 years old. At 15 Merkel went to work at a machine shop and learned the particulars of making machined parts that were light and durable. The practical mechanical experience gained in machining gave him a desire to learn more. He enrolled at Michigan Agricultural College (now Michigan State University) to study mechanical engineering. 

In 1897, Merkel accepted a draftsman position at E.P. Allis Co. (later to become Allis-Chalmers Co.) in Milwaukee.

By the turn of the century, Merkel had opened his own business that manufactured bicycle parts. By 1901, Merkel was attaching small motors to bicycles and the Merkel Motorcycle was born. A motor-powered tricycle Merkel had built in 1900 was thought to be one of the first self-propelled vehicles built in Wisconsin. 

Merkel didn't stop at motorcycles. In 1906, his company built 150 automobiles featuring a powerful 30-horsepower engine. 

In 1908, Merkel merged his company with the Light Motor Co. and the new Merkel-Light Motor Co. moved activities to Pottstown, Pennsylvania. 

Flying Merkels were known for having one of the finest rides in all of motorcycling and also as one of the most reliable motorcycles on the road. Merkels were more costly than many motorcycles of the time, but Merkel engines utilized the best German-made bearings and other high-quality materials, which led to excellent reliability. 

Merkel also helped design a unique front and rear suspension system on his motorcycles. The rear suspension was a mono-shock design that proved to be decades ahead of its time. Yamaha would later make a similar single rear shock design popular again on racing machines of the 1970s and beyond. Even more impressive than the rear suspension was the front fork of the Flying Merkels. The fork was so good (telescopic in principle, using dual coil springs, yet looking like an unsprung trussed fork) that many other manufacturers put Merkel forks on their factory racing machines even through the 1920s, years after Merkel had ceased production. 

Riders such as board track stars Morty Graves and Fred Whittler, and dirt track racers like Maldwyn Jones and Cleo Pineau, brought fame to the Flying Merkel through racing. Merkel rarely got directly involved in the racing end of his company, leaving that to other employees, but he attended many of races. With few exceptions, Merkel did not field full-fledged factory racing teams, but the company did pay many Merkel racers' expenses through its sales division.



Early in 1911, Miami Cycle and Mfg. Co. purchased Merkel-Light and transferred all operations to its Middletown, Ohio headquarters. Merkel came along with his company in the purchase. Merkel stayed with the company he founded until 1914 when he sold his interest in the company. Merkel went on to design and patent the Merkel Motor Wheel, which was later manufactured by Indian Motocycle Co. 

By the 1920s, Merkel had moved to Rochester, New York, to take over experimental design for the Cyclemotor Corp. Merkel earned a lot of praise from the motorcycling industry in the early 1920s when he convinced the New York legislature to assess lower highway fees on motorcycles since they caused much less wear and tear to the road than automobiles. 

The Flying Merkel continued on without Merkel at the helm until just before the onset of World War I. After the war, Miami Cycle Mfg., like dozens of other American manufacturers, did not return to the motorcycle business. The Flying Merkel was relegated to the history books. 

Little is known about Merkel after his stint with Cyclemotor in the early 1920s. He was an avid golfer and secretary of the Genesee Golf Club near Rochester. He was also a prominent booster in the Knights of Columbus and was involved in many charities. 



Family links:
Spouse:
Mary Katherine Odenbrett Merkel (1875 - 1924)*

Children:
Elizabeth Maria Merkel McIntyre (1907 - 1994)*
Mary Margaret Merkel (1912 - 2004)*
Richard Lawrence Merkel (1930 - 1987)*

Burial:
Holy Sepulchre Cemetery
Rochester
Monroe County
New York, USA

Created by: Michael J. Petrie
Record added: Jan 04, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 82934111

82934111_1473327582.jpg


1919_Evans_01.jpg
 

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