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History of Motorcycle

Updated on March 31, 2011


The motorcycle, bike often called for short, is a 2-wheel vehicle equipped with motor, belonging to the category of motorcycles.


Originally this type of vehicle was defined as motor bikes, because of his descent from the bicycle. The term "motorcycle" is derived from its trade name "Motocyclette" with which he was presented the first model produced by Werner Paris that, earlier, had developed the application of the auxiliary engine to a bicycle town, depositing its patent and title January 7, 1897. The term "Motocyclette" spread quickly and became so popular throughout Europe, even in the first decade of the twentieth century, to force the Paris court, for reasons of public interest, to cancel the original grant of exclusivity of the brand and the brothers Werner recognize it in the public domain.

Basic Principles


The motorcycle has two wheels in line and the stability of the vehicle in motion is guaranteed by the principle of conservation of angular momentum. Changes in direction are controlled by the motorcycle handlebars, with utilization of gyroscopic effects caused by conservation of angular momentum.


In the motorcycle itself, excluding the special case of the scooter, the rider and any passenger sitting on half leaning on a saddle, the driver uses the handle for the support of the hands and control on the left side, any friction ; on the right side are the commands relating to the braking system (and sometimes on the front wheel braking) and on the throttle that controls the speed. The feet instead rely on special platforms, from which the right foot operates the rear brake (sometimes in a particular installation, the pressure on the command operates in part also on the front brake) and left (except for automatic transmission vehicles) changing gears. In the past the right position of the two left pedal controls was changing depending on the model.


The propulsion of the vehicle is guaranteed by the presence of an internal combustion engine fueled with gasoline. four-stroke engines are used, or two-stroke engines, the latter are gradually decreasing in number, mainly because of pollution regulations. This type of vehicle in order to travel on the roads, it must meet the requirements dictated by the codes of the street in force in different countries and have a regular approval. Even the necessary requirements to operate the vehicle and for admission or otherwise of passenger transportation are encoded within the codes and may differ from country to country.


The motorcycle can sometimes be combined with an external element, a side-cars capable of transporting people called sidecar or, more rarely, a trailer back for the transportation of cargo and baggage.


A Brief History of the Motorcycle


The invention of the motorcycle goes back to the engineer Frenchman Louis-Guillaume Perreaux that filed the patent (n.83691) March 16, 1869 and released a two-wheeled vehicle is operated under steam.


The first motorcycle with an internal combustion engine was made by two German inventors Gottlieb Daimler and Wilhelm Maybach, who built the first prototype in 1885, in a small workshop in Cannstatt (near Stuttgart).

In 1894 the first working models were offered for sale by Hildebrand & Wolfmüller and from that moment he saw a changing of the motorcycle, thanks to companies around the world, both in Europe and the USA.


As in the parallel history of the automobile, the world of motorcycle production has gone hand in hand with that of the competitions and if, in automobiles, and in 1894 we developed a competition worthy of the name with the Paris-Rouen, The following year he recorded the first registration of motor bicycles to the Paris-Bordeaux-Paris.


If the first models built were nothing but bicycles which were applied to the propulsion, the technical and aesthetic evolution has been continuous, as well as the clearance design with two-wheeled human-powered. In the early decades of the twentieth century was that the classic type of motion underlug and saw the first examples of suspension to improve ride comfort.


Until the sixties the production was for the most part European, with British industry, German and Italian in particular evidence in recent decades, the lion's share is made by the Japanese industries.


The types of motorcycles

With the advance of technology and specialized types of motorcycles have become increasingly broadened with time and the market of the twenty-first century you can find a multitude of different types, for those uses that are more extreme than those of the versatility its workhorse.


A basic division can be made between the two wheels are designed and manufactured for use strictly road Spaziante versions from spartan to those specific to the great voyages to the replicas of those used in the competition on the track, the second type is represented by the motion which is possible, if not recommended, off-road use. For this second type, the choice is very broad, ranging from models replicate those used in specific competitions, ending with those where the use outside the beaten track we can reveal even difficult.


Even with regard to joint displacements, the passage of time has seen its volume rise and the motorcycle media today can be considered one that has a capacity of around 600 cm 3 fitted with aerodynamic front (a dome) with protective functions and the possibility subsequent installation of containers (the trunks), everything in order to be used nicely in any weather condition. Only in the sixties of last century the same displacement was the preserve of a few models, the most prestigious ones (defined as a superbike at the time) that at the beginning of the twenty-first century, space requirements have now almost doubled.


Even marketing reasons or fashion have created over time the names under which they now recognize enough of the types of specific models. In most cases, the terminology derives from the English language.


Road use of motorcycles

Naked, with the meaning of model nude, almost completely devoid of wind protection. What links too much on cost savings and weight, focusing on agility and ease of use.

Grand Cruiser and Cruiser models massive, generally with large displacement engines and equipped with everything that can make a trip more enjoyable in any weather condition, even with luggage due to the presence of motovaligie. Equipped with extensive wind protection with a shelter from bad weather conditions and often specific accessories for use even in winter.

Race Replica, with performance models that reflect toughest lines and technical solutions from motorcycle racing such as MotoGP and Superbike. Almost always have large pods which are based here in search of achieving high speeds.

Motorcycles off-road use


Cross, models that are inspired by those of motocross, with technical solutions that allow use on dirt roads at speeds sufficiently supported and in the presence of jumps or bumps.


Enduro (and formerly regular), whose progress has gone hand in hand with the development of the competitions of the same name, with technical solutions suitable for use on unsurfaced tracks, comparable to the cross.


ATs are motorcycles that can go all the terrain, which follow the style of motorcycle enduro, but cheaper and more suitable for everyday use.


Trial and Motoalpinismo, models for which there are also special competitions, which do not require high speed but the characteristics of lightness and agility of overcoming almost any obstacle.

Types historical and niche

Chopper, Bikes undergo a radical process of personalization, as to reduce the number of components deemed unnecessary or not strictly necessary.


Custom, born in the USA but with many admirers in Europe, with the front wheel bikes are very moved forward over the handlebars, where the driver is driving in a position almost lying down, often using a appoggiaschiena back. Bikes are also characterized by a lot of chrome and flashy paint jobs often.


Triton and Cafe Racer, motorcycle craft that have been the greatest exponent of British motorcycle racing in the sixties.


Scrambler, one of the first attempts to have a multi-purpose motorcycle, used on road and off-road paths are not binding.


Dakar and other synonyms calling the idea of the desert, born from the experience gained in the African competitions Dakar Rally, often with features in common with the enduro models.


Motard, whose models are called Supermotard racing and where the technical specifications must find the right compromise for the simultaneous use on road and motocross tracks.


The drivetrain

The components of motion can be divided into several categories




Basics of motorcycle, but not relevant to the propulsion:


frame and subframe (also known as or subframe subframe), static elements acts in connection Chassis, engine and superstructure;


saddle needed to allow the session on the bike, this on virtually all motorcycles, with the exception of modern trials bike;


platforms chassis attachments that allow for correct posture of the feet / legs;


stand / Side stand, elements that allow the parking of motorcycles, present individually or in tandem;


suspenders-damping systems, dynamic elements to absorb the bumps and ensure the proper contact with the ground;


       front fork element, usually also connected to the handlebars, the latter required for the directionality of the medium;

       swingarm rear element, that only in very rare cases, a rigid element such as the bicycle;

wheels, rotating parts of the chassis;


       rim supports the tire, the braking system with rotating and / or transmission system;

       tire key element for the tightness of the mean;

braking system, has both a static and a dynamic part, and both allow the slowing or stopping the vehicle, this system is generally present in both front and rear, but in some rare cases, as in some models of chopper is missing the element front.

Engine and Related


Basics for the propulsion of the vehicle:


mechanical parts of engine block transmission / transformation efficiency of the engine, not to be confused with the "motor dealer" (without the cylinder engine block);


         thermal unit part that deals with the transformation from chemical to mechanical energy

         and requires a certain cooling;

         housing element that captures and holds the key parts of the engine block;

         it may need to change the variation of the ratio between the engine and drive wheel;

        clutch is used to connect or disconnect the motor from the gearbox or final drive;

ignition system needed for the thermal chemical conversion of the fuel;


supply system allows the correct power of the engine;


exhaust system allows the proper treatment of exhaust gases;


Starter system to allow easy starting of the engine;


transmitting all the organs that connect the cylinder to the wheel is divided into primary (from the engine to the gearbox) and secondary (exchange rate at the wheel) which may be the universal joint, the system ring / pinion gears with a chain or toothed belt .



Elements not necessarily present or necessary for the conduct of half:


fairing item / s required to cover the mechanical parts are exposed and to protect the air, the wings are included in this category;


electrical auxiliary electrical system is not necessary for the operation of the bike, but useful and / or required for the movement;


      lighting the facility needed for lighting and position reporting;


      directional indicators useful to more easily meet the obligation established by law to report their change of direction, or anchored to the fork placed in the eventual fairing;

      Block / commands that contain elements positioned on the handlebar switches for operation of the electric starter;

      instrumentation measuring elements or warning, acts to indicate certain operating conditions, located on the front of the vehicle and generally tied to the top plate of the fork or, more  rarely, to the shell;

               tachometer indicates the engine operating regime;

               odometer shows the path followed;

               speedometer shows the speed of travel;

               thermometers can indicate both the outdoor temperature data that are specific

               to organs and their engine cooling;

               indicator of the level of the fuel, replaced the use of petrol tap with reserve position;

               spies operating profits for the reporting of most of the damage;

mirrors useful for displaying media sopraggiungenti behind;


carrier elements that allow the transport of boxes or packages, a variant is the "helmet";


motovaligie bags that are attached laterally or posteriorly, rarely on the tank means to increase capacity.


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    • kashmir56 profile image

      Thomas Silvia 

      7 years ago from Massachusetts

      Very well done hub on the History of Motorcycle, would have been much better if you had added a few pictures .

      Awesome hub !!!


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