A Brief History of the Motorcycle begins in 1879, when Daimler, a German entrepreneur, experimented with gasoline motors for boats. His company, Daimler Benz, would become one of the world’s leading car manufacturers and ultimately become Mercedes-Benz. In the late 1880s, dozens of companies began producing self-propelled “bicycles” that could be ridden by themselves. Hildebrand & Wolfmuller, a company in Germany, were the first to build motorcycles on a production line. And in Waltham, Massachusetts, Charles Metz built the first mass-produced motorcycle.
There are several components that make a motorcycle work. The motorcycle’s front lights are the primary means of guiding traffic, and the rear lamp emits a brighter light when the driver brakes. In addition to the engine, the motorcycle’s suspension and braking system are designed and developed by KTM’s subsidiary WP Suspension. The motorcyclist’s left foot presses the pedal to change the speed of the motorcycle’s engine to the speed of the wheels.
The transmission of the motorcycle completes the tasks of both a manual and an automatic gearbox. With a manual transmission, the rider shifts gears manually by pressing pedals or levers on the handlebars. With an automatic transmission, the rider can stop the engine without having to shift gears manually. This type of transmission uses gears and bearings to maintain the RPM of the engine at the desired range and speed. The main shaft of the motorcycle is driven by the engine via a clutch pack. The output/countershaft delivers power to the rear wheel via a sprocket. The motorcycle’s fixed gear is fixed to the main shaft and rotates at the same speed as the main shaft.
A motorcycle’s moment of inertia, or mass, is measured in kilograms per square meter. The front wheel of a motorcycle, moving at fifty miles per hour, has a mass of 0.6 kg per square meter. This means that turning the front wheel by a half degree produces a roll moment of 3.5 N*m. This amount of force is derived from the center of mass, which is 0.6 m in height.
The motorcycle’s steering geometry affects the gyroscopic effect of its spinning wheels and the center of gravity. While Daimler’s motorcycle steered more like a boat than a bicycle, its direct descendants can negotiate crowded pit lanes in first gear. Today, however, the motorcycle’s steering geometry is optimized for faster steering action and more stability. But why is this important? And what can we do to improve its performance?
The evolution of the motorcycle began in the early 1800s when the steam-powered bicycles were introduced by Louis-Guillaume Perreaux. In 1871, another American named Lucius Copeland strapped a small boiler engine to a penny-farthing bicycle. The combined power of both bicycle and motorcycle reached about 12 mph. Despite being credited with the invention of the motorcycle, the first steam-powered two-wheeler was not until the late nineteenth century that the motorcycle truly took off.
In the United States, sales of the motorcycle rose 19.4% from the previous year to the same time next year and are projected to increase by another 33.8% through 2024, according to the Motorcycle Industry Council. As a result, motorcycle dealerships are now selling showroom bikes to keep up with demand. And even if you don’t own a motorcycle, there’s a good chance that you’ve been eyeing a new model.