Merkel Motor Wheel idea


Dec 2, 2017
Back in 1917, Joe Merkel created the Merkel Motor Wheel. It was a small engine that adapted to a modified fender and a coaster brake hub to turn any bicycle into a motorbike.

Here's a few pics of a restoration:

Now i'm wondering if it's at all feasible to build our own motor wheels from regular 4 stroke engines. Obviously there's a few changes that would need to be made. The most apparent is the fact that Merkel's wheel has a reverse rotation, which means that our engines would need to be placed on the opposite side. Since I currently have no welding or forging tools at my disposal, I'd have to work with what I can get from the local bike shops and hardware stores. My plan would be to:

1) mount a small 4hp engine (like an old briggs) on the right side of the wheel
2) fasten bearing pillows to the motor shaft.
3) slide the (now gutted) coaster brake hub over the bearings.
4) Attach centrifugal clutch with bolt holes to attach to fender.
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