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Evolution of the motorcycle

Posted by Sam Smeeton on Tuesday, September 11, 2018 Under: Guest Motorcycle Articles
While the invention of the Motorcycle is subject to great debate and contention even today, what is certain is that its evolution is both impressive and fun to look at. From the early steam models and gas powered predecessors, to today's high performance designs, the journey of the Motorcycle's development is a testament to man's ingenuity and skill.



The idea of a two wheeled motorized vehicle appears to have occurred to multiple people at around the same time. Hence, there is a multitude of different designs and forms in the earliest years of the motorcycle. There where several steam powered motorbikes made in the 1860's. The most famous of which is probably from American inventor, Sylvester Howard Roper, whom unfortunately died while demonstrating his creation.

By the 1880's internal combustion engines were all the rage. They were also fitted in the first Motorcycles that available for sale to the general public. And as the technology improved the engines got bigger and more powerful. This led to motorcycle design outgrowing their bicycle origins.

The early 1900's up to the half of the point century saw great improvements on Motorcycle design and safety. This is the time that their use on the streets grew and also when the military started using them. They were also first seen in races at that time. It was mostly Europeans and Americans that manufacture Motorcycles with the British dominating most of the market.

It was not until the late 1940's that the Japanese started making Motorcycles. Honda came out with great improvements on the design and quality of the motorcycle. The company soon dominated the industry with their high quality and inexpensive motorcycles. This caused several American and European Motorcycle companies to struggle and even go bankrupt.

The best selling Motorcycle in all of history is the Honda Super Cab. It is not the prettiest nor is it the fastest of Motorcycles but it sure made the Motorcycle as widespread and famous as it is today. First made in 1958, it is still manufactured by Honda to this day. Its simple and timeless design coupled with its high durability is what helps to keep it relevant more than fifty years after it first came out.

Putting a helicopter engine on two wheels sounds like a scene from a Wile Coyote cartoon. It is hard to imagine anyone seriously attempting it in the real world. And yet the evolution of the Motorcycle went down that path with the invention of the Y2K Turbine Superbike. It is officially the most powerful production Motorcycle in the world. It is powered by a Rolls-Royce-Allison Model 250 engine. It has a mind boggling, recorded top speed of 370 km per hour, that is faster than most bullet trains around the world.

Today Motorcycles are manufactured by companies from all over the world. The market is still largely dominated by the Japanese. Constant competition among the manufacturers have led to unthinkable innovations on the motorcycle's design. Today's Motorcycles are safer and perform better than ever before, It is very exciting to think of what the future Motorcycles might be like.

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I have been riding motorcycles for over 30 years and still get a buzz every time I get on one. Enjoy the blog and ride safe.

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