His Merkel-Light model of motorcycles was popular but the glory of this brand began in 1911 when his business was bought by an Ohio company and produced the Flying Merkel for competition. This new project was certainly earlier : the Flying Merkel name had been released two years before.
The motorcycle competition develops at the same time. The first board track racing, also known as motordrome, opens near Los Angeles in 1910. Inspired by the velodrome of the bicycle racing, it is a circular track 1.6 km in circumference. In 1911, a Flying Merkel achieves a great endurance performance by running 80 Km at an average speed of 120 Km/h.
On March 21 in Las Vegas, Mecum sells a Flying Merkel also made in 1911, still in its original configuration. This remarkably authentic motorcycle has even retained its bright orange tank paint. It is estimated $ 350K, lot S79.
Competition was very tempting but the involved people did not appreciate the difficulties of funding for this activity. The fragile Los Angeles wooden track closed after a fire in 1913 and Merkel production ceased in 1915.