Many children grew up in families where motorcycles are a part of their lives, I for one am part of that demographics. My cousins and Uncles are huge fanatics of scooters and big bikes and whenever they will pick me up at home or elsewhere, I was always at the back of a motorcycle. My mom, the typical conservative and overprotective Filipino mother, was oftentimes against it but she really did not have any choice if she wanted one of our relatives to pick me up and bring me to point B.
As a safety precaution, we always wear the proper gear: pants, t-shirt and just add a jacket on, closed shoes, and of course a helmet. My family is always on the lookout for motorcycle helmets on sale, why buy in full price when there is a sale right? Also, there are motorcycle helmets for big heads so if you are leaning towards on that size range, you can still get to purchase one for yourself or for a relative.
I never really did learn how to fully operate a motorcycle, maybe because I am bad at balancing. However, numerous youngsters appreciate operating and riding a bike, and guardians will find that it can enable them to be more responsible. They additionally learn valuable skills about operating vehicles and safety at an early age.
History of the Motorcylcle
According to howstuffworks.com, motorcycles evolved from the “safety” bicycle, a bicycle that offered many advantages in stability, braking and ease of mounting. The essential features of a safety bike included:
- Spoked front and rear wheels of the same size – roughly 30 inches in diameter (compared to the “ordinary” bicycle, which had a 48-inch front wheel and a 30-inch rear wheel)
- A chain-driven rear wheel
- A front chainwheel roughly twice as large as the rear sprocket
- A low center of gravity
- Direct front steering
The first bicycle to provide all of these features and gain market acceptance was the Rover Safety, designed by John Kemp Starley in 1885. After the Rover pattern took over the market, safety bicycles were simply called “bicycles.”
It didn’t take long for someone to take the user-friendly safety bicycle design and strap on an internal combustion engine. The first to do so successfully was Gottlieb Daimler, who is credited with building the first motorized bicycle — or motorcycle — in 1885. Daimler’s motorcycle included a single-cylinder Otto-cycle engine mounted vertically in the center of the machine. It also had one wheel in front, one wheel in back and a spring-loaded outrigger wheel on each side for added stability. Its chassis consisted of a wooden frame and wheels with wood spokes and iron rims. Such designs were called “boneshakers” because of the rough, jarring ride they delivered.
The next notable motorcycle was designed in 1892 by Alex Millet. Millet incorporated the basic safety bicycle design, but added pneumatic (cheap motorcycle) tires and a five-cylinder rotary engine built into the rear wheel. The cylinders rotated with the wheel, while the crankshaft formed the rear axle.
The Hildebrand & Wolfmueller was the first successful production two-wheeler, patented in Munich in 1894. More than 200 vehicles made it onto the road. Hildebrand & Wolfmueller decided to cool their parallel-twin engine with water, which required a water tank and radiator. Their solution was to build the coolant system into the top of the rear fender.
In 1895, DeDion-Buton introduced an engine that would revolutionize the motorcycle industry by making mass production possible. The DeDion-Buton engine was a small, light, high-revving four-stroke engine that could generate half a horsepower. Although DeDion-Buton used the engine in its motortricycles, motorcycle manufacturers around the world copied and used the design.
American production motorcycles were also based on the DeDion-Buton engine. The two most famous American motorcycle manufacturers to incorporate the DeDion-Buton engine, however, were the Indian Motorcycle Company and Harley-Davidson.