Motorcycles have come a long way from the early designs in the 1800s to the different types available in the market today. This article takes a look at the history of these machines to see how much they have changed throughout the years.
The early motorcycles were essentially motorized versions of the safety bike, a bicycle which has wheels of the same size.
Several inventors tried their hands on creating their version of the motorized safety bike but none would be as significant as the one invented by German inventors Gottlieb Daimler and Wilhelm Maybach in 1885.
Their bicycle was powered by a petroleum-fed engine. Later designs by other inventors chose to use the internal combustion engine which was a relatively new invention at the time.
But not all early motorcycles were run by fossil-fuel-powered engines. In 1867, an American inventor Sylvester Howard Roper created a steam-driven engine. Another was by a Frenchman, Louis-Guillaume Perreaux created a motorcycle based on the same concept in 1868.
By the early 20th century, the race was on for the production of motorcycles. Different companies included motorcycles into their line of products such as Triumph which originally produced bicycles.
Several companies were also created that specialized in motorcycle production such as Harley-Davidson and the Indian Motocycle Manufacturing Company.
The use of motorcycles gained even more popularity after WWII when veteran soldiers rode these vehicles to give them the sense of adventure they felt during the war. In the 1950s to the 1960s, a new player came into the market.
Japanese motorcycles went in and later on dominated the world of motorcycles. Japanese brands still have a large share in today’s motorcycle production, but American and European brands like Harley-Davidson and Ducati maintain a high degree of loyalty among its users.