1912 VINTAGE POPE FLYING MERKEL MOTORCYCLE DEALER 8X12 PHOTO RACING SIGN PENNANT
GREAT REPRODUCTION 8X12 PHOTO OF A VERY EARLY MOTORCYCLE DEALER, WITH GREAT SIGNS, AS HE PROUDLY DISPLAYS THEM. ON THE FAR RIGHT IS A FLYING MERKEL MOTORCYCLE - THE OTHER 3 ARE POPE MOTORCYCLES.
This would be a fantastic addition to your collection! It is a reproduction 8 x 12 inch glossy real photo. It is crisp and clear and perfect focus. You will love it! I will ship in a photo mailer for safety. (Note: ONLYCLASSICS-WEB-IMAGE print-does not appear on product-only on scan) Thanks for looking!..p1274
The first Pope on the left is a "Model H", the economy model, a 4h.p. side valve single and the Pope on the right is the "Model M", a 5h.p. overhead valve chain drive single. The second Pope from the left that the guy has his hand on is a "Model K" "Big 4", an overhead valve 4h.p. belt drive single which was offered in 1912 and 1913 only.
*******HISTORY OF POPE AND FLYING MERKEL MOTORCYCLES*******Pope was a well-known name in the fledgling automotive industry, and Colonel Pope was behind the Pope-Hartford, and Pope Toledo. The first Pope motorcycle appeared in 1908, and was a V-belt drive single with atmospheric intake, and no clutch or gearbox. It was a good little bike, but it was this model L that took the industry by storm when it appeared in 1913. The Pope had an overhead valve, V-twin of 61cu.in. (1000cc)! Although the Pope Company didn’t support a factory race team, privateers on Popes occasionally managed to humble the pros on Indians, Excelsiors, Flying Merkels, Thors and Harleys that first year, on the board-tracks. They were soon eclipsed by the 8 valve Indians, Harleys, and ohc Cyclones, but these were specially constructed racers, and the Pope twin was never intended to be more than a roadster. "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 during 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 developed was the monoshock rear suspension, a system used today on modern motorcycles. Merkel's slogan became: "All roads are smooth to The Flying Merkel". Merkel also used ball bearings as opposed to bronze bushings in the engine. In contrast to primitive atmospheric pressure intake valves, Merkel designed a cam-actuated mechanism. Merkel also pioneered a throttle-controlled engine oiler that long preceded Harley's and Indian's use of such a device. The company was purchased in 1909 by the Light Manufacturing Company, and was moved in its entirety to Pottstown Pennsylvania, producing machines with the "Merkel Light" and subsequently "The Flying Merkel" names. Joseph Merkel began immediately experimenting with frame and suspension improvements, and new engine designs. A young test rider by the name of Maldwyn Jones rode one of Merkel's creations. An inventive mechanic and racer, Jones set up the bike and defeated the reigning champion Erwin G (Cannonball) Baker in a ten mile race. The following season, Jones turned professional and won three of four races on a machine bearing "The Flying Merkel" logo on the tank. Jones went on to become a national champion racer and helped Merkel achieve recognition among performance enthusiasts. In 1911 the Miami Cycle Manufacturing Company purchased Merkel, and production was moved to Middletown Ohio. The Miami Company, organized in 1895, was building bicycles and Motorcycles using names best known as Raycycle, and Miami. The Merkel acquisition gave Miami the high-end product that it needed to be regarded as a premiere manufacturer. The factory racing team by then expanded to include such names as LS Taylor, FE French, CF Pinneau, and W Wikel. In 1914 The flying Merkel won the National endurance run from Chicago to St Louis. Maldwyn Jones then broke a world's record on the Vanderbilt Course. When he returned to Middletown he was given a hero's welcome. Engineering innovation, high quality, and racing successes were not enough to sustain this progressive endeavor. The onset of war and, a contracting market, and increased competition caused production of The Flying Merkel to falter. The final Merkel machines were produced in 1917.
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