What is a motorcycle?
A: A motorcycle, often called a bike, motorbike, or cycle, is a two- or three-wheeled motor vehicle.
Motorcycle design varies greatly to suit a range of different purposes such as what?
A: Long distance travel, commuting, cruising, sport including
racing, and off-road riding.
Motorcycling is riding a motorcycle and related social activity such as what?
A: Joining a motorcycle club and attending motorcycle rallies.
In 1894, Hildebrand & Wolfmüller became the first what?
A: Series production motorcycle, and the first to be called a motorcycle.
In 2014 who were the three top motorcycle producers globally by volume?
A: They were Honda, Yamaha (both from Japan), and Hero MotoCorp (India).
In developing countries, motorcycles are considered utilitarian due to what?
A: Lower prices and greater fuel economy.
According to the US Department of Transportation the number of fatalities per vehicle mile traveled was how much higher for motorcycles than for
A: 37 times.
What are the three major types of motorcycle?
A: Street, off-road, and dual purpose.
There is often a racing counterpart to each type, such as what?
A: Road racing and street bikes, or motocross and dirt bikes.
Street bikes include what?
A: Cruisers, sport bikes, scooters and mopeds, and many other types.
Off-road motorcycles include many types designed for what?
A: Dirt-oriented racing classes such as motocross and are not street
legal in most areas.
Dual purpose machines like the dual-sport style are made to do what?
A: To go off-road but include features to make them legal and comfortable on the street as well.
Each configuration offers either specialized advantage or broad capability, and each design creates a what?
A: A different riding posture.
In some countries the use of “what" is restricted?
A: Pillions (rear seats).
What was the first internal combustion, gas fueled motorcycle?
A: The Daimler Reitwagen.
It was designed and built by whom?
A: German inventors Gottlieb Daimler and Wilhelm Maybach in Bad Cannstatt, Germany in 1885.
What did it rely on to remain upright while turning?
A: It relied on two outrigger wheels.
What did the inventors call their invention?
A: The Reitwagen ("riding car").
It was designed as a what?
A: An expedient test bed for their new engine, rather than a true prototype vehicle.
The first commercial design for a self-propelled cycle was a three-wheel design called what?
A: The Butler Petrol Cycle, conceived of Edward Butler in England in 1884.
Where did he exhibit his plans for the vehicle?
A: At the Stanley Cycle Show in London in 1884.
The vehicle was built by whom?
A: The Merryweather Fire Engine company in Greenwich, in 1888.
The Butler Petrol Cycle was a three-wheeled vehicle, with the rear wheel directly driven by a what?
A: A 5⁄8 hp, 2.4 cu in gasoline engine.
How was it started?
A: Starting was by compressed air.
The engine was liquid-cooled, with a radiator over what?
A: The rear driving wheel.
How was the speed controlled?
A: By means of a throttle valve lever.
No braking system was fitted; How was the vehicle stopped?
A: By raising and lowering the rear driving wheel using a foot-operated lever; the weight of the machine was then borne by two small castor wheels.
Where was the driver seated?
A: Between the front wheels.
It wasn't, however, a success, as Butler failed to find what?
A: Sufficient financial backing.
If a two-wheeled vehicle with steam propulsion is considered a motorcycle, then the first motorcycles built seem to be what?
A: The French Michaux-Perreaux steam velocipede which patent application was filled in December 1868.
When did Excelsior Motor Company, originally a bicycle manufacturing company based in Coventry, England, begin production of their first motorcycle model?
A: In 1896.
What was the first production motorcycle in the US?
A: It was the Orient-Aster, built by Charles Metz in 1898 at his factory in Waltham,
Many of the nineteenth century inventors who worked on early motorcycles often did what?
A: Moved on to other inventions.
Daimler and Roper, for example, both went on to do what?
A: Develop automobiles.
In 1898, what company in England began producing motorbikes?
A: Triumph Motorcycles.
By 1903 it was producing how many bikes per year?
A: Over 500 bikes.
When did Indian begin production?
A: In 1901 and Harley-Davidson was established two years later.
By the outbreak of World War I, who was the largest motorcycle manufacturer in the
A: Indian, producing over 20,000 bikes per year.
During the First World War, motorbike production was greatly ramped up for the war effort to do what?
A: Supply effective communications with front line troops.
Messengers on horses were replaced with dispatch riders on motorcycles doing what?
A: Carrying messages, performing reconnaissance and acting as a
American company Harley-Davidson was devoting how much of its factory output toward military contract by the end of the war?
A: Over 50%.
The British company Triumph Motorcycles sold more than 30,000 of its Triumph Type H model to whom during the war?
A: Allied forces.
With the rear wheel driven by a belt, the Model H was fitted with what
A: A 499 cc (30.5 cu in) air-cooled four-stroke single-cylinder engine.
It was also the first Triumph without what?
The Model H in particular, is regarded by many as having been what?
A: The first "modern motorcycle".
It was so popular with its users that it was nicknamed what?
A: The "Trusty Triumph."
By 1920, who was the largest manufacturer?
Their motorcycles were being sold by dealers in how many countries?
By the late 1920s or early 1930s, DKW in Germany took over as what?
A: The largest manufacturer.
In the 1950s what began to play an increasing part in the development of racing motorcycles?
Moto Guzzi produced competitive race machines, and by 1957 nearly all the Grand Prix races were being won by what?
A: Streamlined machines.
The following year, 1958, full enclosure fairings were what?
A: Banned from racing by the FIM in the light of the safety concerns.
From the 1960s through the 1990s, small two-stroke motorcycles were popular worldwide, partly as a result of what?
A: East German MZs Walter Kaaden's engine work in the 1950s.
In the 21st century, the motorcycle industry is mainly dominated by whom?
A: The Indian motorcycle industry and by Japanese motorcycle companies.
In addition to the large capacity motorcycles, there is a large market in smaller capacity (less than 300 cc) motorcycles, mostly concentrated where?
A: In Asian and African countries and produced in
China and India.
A Japanese example is the 1958 Honda Super Cub, which went on to become what?
A: The biggest selling vehicle of all
time, with its 60 millionth unit produced in April 2008.
Today, this area is dominated by mostly Indian companies with whom emerging as the world's largest manufacturer of two wheelers?
A: Hero MotoCorp.
Its Splendor model has sold how many units to date?
A: More than 8.5 million.