The History of Motorcycles
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
The early motorcycles were essentially motorized versions
of the safety bike, a bicycle which has wheels of the same
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
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.