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History of Motorcycles

Aug 23, 2008
The history of the motorcycle goes back over 100 years, when an American gentleman made a steam powered motor that would be small enough to fit onto his bicycle. Howard Roper from Roxbury, Massachusetts, got tired of pedaling his bicycle over long distances. Taking months and months to draw diagrams and thinking just how he could make a steam engine that would be small enough to relieve the pressure from his legs and feet as he traveled from place to place on dirt roads and paths. Finally in 1867, Roper succeeded; it was powered by burning coal to create the steam. This bike has been displayed in many fairs and circuses over the years.

In 1885, Gottlieb Daimler and Wilhelm Maybach (later to be the founders of the Mercedes, the forerunner of the Mercedes Benz), produced the first petroleum powered motor bicycle. However, not until 1894 was a motorized two wheeled vehicle (Hildebrand & Wolfmuller) made available for the transportation market.

As engines became too powerful for just a bicycle, and the designs changed very quickly, the leading manufacturer of motorcycles, (the Indian brand), had already produced well over 20,000 motorcycles a year until World War I.

By the 1920's, Harley Davidson took this lead away from the Indian Company as the Harley Davidson Company had acquired many dealers in as many as 67 countries throughout the world. By the end of World War II, BSA bikes took the title away from Harley Davidson, and until the 1950's had produced 75,000 bikes a year.

Through the 1990's, there had been extensive work done on two stroke bike engines due to Walter Kaaden's work in the 50's in East Germany.

Although Harley Davidson is still the leading bike manufacturer for the motorcycle market, Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki, and Kawasaki are also doing very well with their developments of a durable and elegant looking street bike.

Motorcycles have even gone into dirt bike track racing and cross-country racing. Several world records have been made on dirt bikes and some bike names have ended up in the Guinness Book of World Records. Motorcycles have a place in some of the Olympic Games as the advancements and the changes have been changed to the extent of taking parts off the original bike to make it lighter.

Motorcycles have jumped many cars, trucks, and even the Grand Canyon. Today riders are doing back flips, hand stands, and various other daredevil stunts.

Looking through EBay, you will be able to find many different antique motorcycles from the old Indian Frames to the Harley Davidson 1983 Wide Glide, a TR6 Triumph Trophy, and Suzuki DRZ 2003 and DRZ 250. Some of these bikes have been Chromed Out and restored to a very beautiful luster.

There is no better feeling than to be riding down the road and being able to feel the wind in your face and the freedom you feel when you are riding a motorcycle. Motorcycles are today becoming more and more popular due to the fuel crises all around the world. With the smaller size engine and the less fuel consumption, motorcycles may be the next thing we see for commuters.
About the Author
For more information about motorcyles and motorbikes including motorcycle auctions, pls. visit http://www.my2wheeler.com
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