The motorcycle has been a mode of transport and an icon in revolutions, pop culture, and world war. It is also a significant racing vehicle and an icon of competition and class, depending on the model and type. Motorcycles are good for commuting and getting an optimal country breeze; a car will not offer the speed that a bicycle will not provide.
So, where did all this start, and when was the first motorcycle made anyway? Let’s dive into this and much more on the exciting history of a bike. However, if you like books then you can read Dale Areson’s Hangmen Motorcycle Club.
History of Motorcycle- The Invention of a Motorcycle
Gottlieb Daimler and Wilhelm Maybach created the first motorbike in Germany in 1885. Although they built upon earlier technologies, they were the first to employ internal combustion powered by gasoline. These earlier creations were two-wheeled, steam-powered automobiles. The two outrigger wheels on the wooden motorbike provided stability while turning. Additionally, it had an Otto-cycle one-cylinder engine.
After this first invention, subsequent companies were able to make commercial motorcycles. This started in Germany too, as expected, courtesy of Hildebrand and Wolfmuller. They were able to display their first real motorcycles in 1894.
England was also not left behind in the manufacture of motorcycles, and in 1895, Excelsior Motor Company graced the field with their first productions. In 1898, the US joined the production when the Meltz Company produced their first motorcycles.
Mostly, the bicycle production companies tried to incorporate the internal combustion trick in their bicycle models.
Motorcycle History in World War I
World War I spiked the need for mass production of motorbikes. They would be used as a means of communication among the soldiers. The riders also acted as the military police during the war. Actually, the motorcycles kind of replaced and complimented the horses in a big way.
Companies in the US and Britain would dedicate a more significant part of the motorcycle production to World Wars. Triumph Motorcycles in Britain was the leading supplier of motorcycles to the Allied Forces. On the other hand, Harley-Davidson in the USA got numerous contracts from the world war.
The former benefited even more, given that their motorcycle production kept incorporating new advancements. In fact, one of their models, Triumph Type H, is an actual resemblance to the modern motorcycle. It was already using a four-stroke single-cylinder engine, and it was faster.
History of Motorcycle- Motorcycle Racing
Due to the frequent innovations in the motorcycle, there was a need for competitions that would expose new inventions in the field. In 1907, the Isle of Man hosted the first Tourist Trophy Motorcycle races.
The success of this race and the improvements that graced the industry afterwards saw more coming up over the years.
The Boom of Motorcycle Business
More companies embraced the motorcycle business after World War II, and you can guess that the innovations were numerous. Companies such as English Royal Enfield and Indian Motorcycle Manufacturing Company joined the existing DKW, Triumph Motorcycles, and Harley-Davidson. However, all these companies were based in Europe and the USA.
With advanced technological innovations and minimized cost of production, other companies from Asia came in. Japan was the first, with brands that have shown resilience in the motorcycle industry to dates, such as Yamaha, Suzuki, and Kawasaki.
Then there was Honda, which made the most sales in the 1990s decade.
Other big names in the industry are Ducati, BMW, and Victory.
Types of Motorcycles
Over time, the innovations in the motorcycle industry have led to specialization. Today, there are different motorcycles based on their route of specialization. These include;
- Road motorcycles
- Off-road motorcycles
- Motocross motorcycles
- Racing road, off-road, and motocross motorcycles
Over time, motorcycles have become a vehicle that more people want to own. They are environmentally friendly since they have low fuel consumption. They also reduce traffic on the road, when compared to personal cars.
Other than bicycles, most governments are vouching for motorcycles as a mode of transport.
There are different motorcycle postures, depending on the type of motorcycle that you are riding.
Like bicycles, there are different tricks that you can play on your motorcycle, but they could be risky, hence left to professional bikers.
Other postures include;
- Cruiser posture: The rider takes a low seat height while sitting upright or slightly leaning towards the back.
- Sports posture: the rider sits with a forward-leaning posture to break the wind at high speed.
- Standard posture: here, the rider sits slightly leaning forward.
Motorcycle accidents could indeed bear the most fatalities. This is because one is not covered, unlike in a vehicle, hence injuries are bound to affect the better part of the body. Unlike ordinary bicycles, motorcycles are high-speed cycles, which add to the risk of accident injuries being major.
However, unlike in the first races and motorcycle biking, there are ways to mitigate the accidents. One significant way is to use certified helmets, which ensure that your head is well-protected, hence evading brain injuries. Heavy clothing is also protective in case of a motorcycle accident.
The history of motorcycles is just as fascinating as the motorcycle itself. It has evolved to become the most affordable and convenient motor. From being wooden, today, we have strong steel and aluminium frames. Today, motorcycles not only run on two-stroke but four-stroke engines as well.
And from Gottlieb Daimler and Wilhelm Maybach got numerous motorcycle companies trying to satisfy the insatiable motorbike market.