Essay about History of the Motorcycle

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History of the Motorcycle

My goal is to explain the evolution of the motorcycle and how their importance has grown in our society. Motorcycles have changed a great deal over the past decade or so. They are constantly being bettered and improved. Slight changes are always being made to these man made machines.
The motorcycle is an amalgamation of a motor and a bicycle. Motorcycles aren't the only two-wheeled form of motorized transportation, there are others like minibikes, mopeds, and motor scooter ( "Motorcycles", 1). Some standard equipment on motorcycles today are: gas tank, battery, spark plugs, muffler, generator, shock absorbers, oil pump, headlight, and turn signals ( "Motorcycles", 2)
The first two-wheeled vehicles began to appear in the late eighteenth century. They had no steering and were propelled by a rider pushing there feet along the ground. Steering was later added in 1817. In 1842, Kirkpatrick MacMillon created cycle with pedals and cranks (Wilson, 8). 1869, Michaux and Louis-Guillaume Perreaox attached small steam engine to a "bone shaker" (Wilson, 8). Dr. Nicholaus Otto patented the four-stroke principle in 1876. The Copeland brothers built a prototype steam-powered bicycle in 1884. Also in 1884, Count Albert De Dion and Georges Bouton built a gasoline motor, which would be built and sold in various sizes (Wilson, 10).
In 1885, Gattlreb Daimler mounted an engine in a wood-framed machine that had a twist grip controlled break. "The engine was positioned vertically in the center of the machine; drive to the rear wheel was by belt to a counter shaft, then by gear to rear wheel (Wilson, 9)." 1887, Edward Butler built tricycle with electric ignition and a float-feed carburetor....

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...s them in battle. There are many different professional racing circuits, varying from street racing, drag racing, motocross, ice racing, and trail riding. Also, many people like to ride motorcycles for leisure. Pretty much anyone can have one so the are very abundant in the world today.
As shown, motorcycles have changed and evolved a great deal over the past hundred plus years. Companies continue to improve past improvements making better and better bikes. Who knows what the future has in store for the wonderful machines, but I'm looking forward to see what happens.


Melling, Frank & Dave Minton. Superbikes. New York: Hamylyn, 1975.

Wilson, Hugo. The Ultimate Motorcycle Book. New York: Darling Kindersley, 1993., "Motorcycles", "Harley-Davidson History", "History"

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