The thrill of a ride is enough to get many riders hooked, but did you know that motorcycles are also good for you, the economy and the environment? Motorcycles provide a fun, exhilarating way to travel without having to pay for gasoline or parking spaces. Plus, they can easily beat cars in terms of fuel efficiency!
While several inventors attempted to put engines on bicycles in the 1800s, the first internal combustion engined motorcycle (often referred to as the Daimler Reitwagen, or riding wagon) was created by German inventors Gottlieb Daimler and Wilhelm Maybach in 1885. The machine remained upright while rolling due to the physical property of conservation of angular momentum in the two wheels, a principle that was used in earlier boneshaker bicycles.
After the invention of the Daimler Reitwagen, a number of motorcycle manufacturing companies began popping up all over Europe and America. Some of the most famous motorcycle manufacturers include Metz, Indian Motorcycles (originally named Hendee Manufacturing Company) and, of course, Harley-Davidson.
In the 1920s and 30s, these motorcycle titans experienced a surge in popularity due to their friendly price points, speedy travel capabilities and stylish aesthetics. Bikers started forming clubs and hosting competitions to get together and showcase their skills. In addition, the image of the “bad boy biker” was portrayed in movies and television, further popularizing motorcycling amongst the general public.
Today, there are countless motorcycle options for riders of all experience levels. Some of the most common motorcycles are cruisers, which feature a more relaxed rider position and lower seat height than other types of bikes. Other types of motorcycles include dual-purpose, sport, racing and utility models. Regardless of what you choose, it’s important to conduct pre-ride inspections to ensure your vehicle is in tip-top shape and safe to use.