The Megola had a unique design, laid down by Fritz Cockerell in 1920, using a rotary engine mounted within the front wheel. 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 (39 cu in). 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). 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. The cylinders could be disassembled without having to remove all the wheel spokes in order to service the engine. The tires were tubed with the front inner-tube being a circular sausage shape rather than a complete doughnut-like torus shape, so that it could be changed without removing the wheel and engine. The box section frame contained the main fuel tank which fed by gravity a smaller tank mounted on the axle. The front suspension consisted of semi-elliptical springs.
The top speed was 85 km/h (52 mph) resulting in a win at the German Championship in 1924, while later, sportier models were said to be capable of 140 km/h (88 mph). A total of ~2000 Megolas were built, and perhaps only 10 rideable examples remain, and one was displayed at the Guggenheim Museum 'Art of the Motorcycle' exhibition in New York City, United States.