BMW's first motorcycle, the 1923-1925 R32
The following outline is provided as an overview of motorcycles and motorcycling:
Motorcycle -- two-wheeled,single-track motor vehicle. Other names include: motorbike, bike, & cycle.
Motorcycling -- act of riding a motorcycle, around which a variety of subcultures and lifestyles have built up.
- Legal definition of motorcycle - a 'powered two-wheel motor vehicle'. Most countries distinguish between mopeds up to 49 cubic centimetres (3.0 cu in) and the more powerful, larger, vehicles known as motorcycles. Scooters do not count as a separate category, and are deemed to be "motorcycles". Some jurisdictions include some forms of three-wheelers as motorcycles.
- Motorcycles can be described as all of the following:
Types of motorcycles
The design of a motorcycle reflects the purpose for which it is to be used. The main types of motorcycle include:
- Street motorcycle - designed for riding on paved roads; features smooth tyres with a light tread pattern and at least 125 cubic centimetres (7.6 cu in) engine.
- Cruiser - mimics the style of American machines from the 1930s to the early 1960s, including those made by Harley-Davidson, Indian, Excelsior and Henderson; models evocative of the early cruisers make up 60% of the U.S. market
- Bobber - usually has had the front fender removed, the rear fender 'bobbed' or made smaller, and all superfluous items removed to make it lighter
- Chopper - has a longer frame design accompanied by a stretched front end (or rake). To achieve a longer front end, while the frame is being designed, the fabricator tilts the neck of the frame at less of an incline and installs a longer fork.
- Sport bike - optimised for speed, acceleration, braking, and cornering on paved roads, typically at the expense of comfort and fuel economy in comparison to less specialised motorcycles.
- Café racer - a type of motorcycle that has been modified for speed and good handling rather than comfort. Cafe racers' bodywork and control layout typically mimic the style of Grand Prix roadracers of the 50's or 60's with or without fairings. They tend to feature an elongated fuel tank, a small, rearward mounted and humped single seat, and low, race style handlebars mounted on the front forks.
- Streetfighter - a sport bike that is customised by removing the fairing, with other changes that result in an overall more aggressive look
- Touring motorcycle - designed for long-distance touring and heavy commuting; although any motorcycle can be ridden to tour or commute, manufacturers provide specific models designed to address these particular needs
- Sport touring motorcycle - blends performance with long-distance capabilities while providing comfort and relative safety to the rider, and tend to include accessories, such as a trunk or saddlebags for storage, to enhance the touring experience
- Standard motorcycle - versatile, general purpose street motorcycle, with an upright riding position.
- Universal Japanese Motorcycle - Japanese motorcycle with a transverse air-cooled four-cylinder engine in a conventional tube frame with a dual seat, mostly made in the 1970s and early 1980s
- Custom motorcycle - unique or individually produced in a very limited quantity, as opposed to stock bikes which are mass-produced. Is usually highly stylised or has an unusual frame geometry or engine design. Many styles including café racer, streetfighter, and chopper began as customized motorcycles before manufacturers mass-produced bikes styled after popular custom machines.
- Rat bike - motorcycle maintained at little to no cost, or often of a deliberately exaggerated state of disrepair
- Dual-sport motorcycle - type of street-legal motorcycle designed for both on and off-road use
- Enduro motorcycle - motorcycle made specifically for the Enduro sport, with the long travel and medium-hard suspension of a motocross bike enhanced with motorcycle features such as a headlight and quiet muffler to make the bike street-legal for parts of the track
- Motocross motorcycle - a light weight, high power, off road competition race bike
- Supermoto motorcycle - a dual purpose, single cylinder, light weight bike fitted with equipment better suited to street riding or racing such as 18 inch front wheel and road tyres
- Off-road motorcycle
- Motocross motorcycle
- Track racing motorcycle - customised for track racing, with no brakes and fueled with methanol
- Trials motorcycle - an extremely lightweight design, that lacks seating (designed to be ridden standing up) and that has suspension travel that is short, relative to a motocross or enduro motorcycle
- Small class
- Minibike - sometimes called a mini-moto or pocket-bike, it is a considerably smaller motorcycle; most traditional minibikes use a two stroke engine to turn the rear wheel via a chain
- Mini chopper - mini choppers are scaled-down versions of choppers, and are usually constructed from 1" steel tubing or 3/4" steel black pipe; the tube or pipe is bent and then welded together to get the desired angles and shapes of the frame, which is usually custom made
- Moped - a type of low-powered motorcycle designed to provide economical and relatively safe transport with minimal licensing requirements
- Pit bike - a small off-road motorcycle originally used for riding around the pits or staging area of a motocross race; since the early 2000s, pit bike racing, a sport similar to motocross, has become popular in the United States, especially in Southern California
- Scooter - a step-through motorcycle with a seat, a floorboard, and small or low wheels. Most modern scooter designs have swingarm-mounted engines
- Underbone - a step-through motorcycle with a structural down-tube and conventionally sized wheels, but without a floorboard
- Electric motorcycle - has an electric motor powered by one or more batteries or fuel cells
- Enclosed motorcycle
- Utility motorcycle
- Other designs and variations
- Related three-wheeled vehicles
Major component parts
Brough Superior SS 100 1925
First motorcycle ride - it is generally accepted that the first motorcycle ride was by Gottlieb Daimler's son Paul on a new machine called Einspur ('one track') near Stuttgart in Germany on 10 November 1885. However, several pioneering engineers and inventors preceded Daimler, mostly with steam engines powering their cycles. These include:
Many pioneering engineers and inventors followed Daimler in using internal combustion engines . These include:
- Max Friz - German mechanical engineer and contributor of engine design that led to the founding of BMW in 1917
- Harry Ricardo - pioneering motorcycle engine designer influential in the early years of the development of the internal combustion engine
- Edward Turner - motorcycle designer and General Manager of Triumph where he led the development of many important technical ideas found on motorcycles today
- John Britten - New Zealand mechanical engineer who designed a world-record-setting motorcycle with innovative features and materials
- Mike Tomkinson - motorcycle engineer whose Bol d'Or endurance racers incorporated numerous innovative features.
- David Garside - BSA engineer who developed the F&S Wankel into a powerful Norton motorcycle engine.
Museums and exhibitions
There are a number of museums which feature collections of motorcycles, either as part of a larger exhibition of vehicles, or dedicated entirely to motorcycles. Some of those museums are listed below:
FIM Motocross World Championship, taking place at Mallory Park
Motorcycle sport - broad field that encompasses all sporting aspects of motorcycling. The various disciplines are not all races or timed-speed events, as several disciplines test a competitor's various riding skills. Riders have raced motorcycles for over a hundred years, with the first official competition recorded as the Paris-Rouen race in July 1894. This was quickly followed by races all over Europe and the US. In 1907, the Isle of Man TT races took over 66 kilometres (41 mi) of the island's roads and has continued since. Motorcycle sport now takes many different forms, including:
Motorcycle racing - motorcycle sport involving racing motorcycles, on or off a track.
Organisations and clubs
Although motorcycling can be a solitary form of transport, there are clubs for almost every aspect; including charities, social clubs, criminal or outlaw clubs, lobby groups that guard against restrictive legislation, and specialist clubs for specific makes or types of motorcycle. Examples include:
Motorcycle club - group of individuals whose primary interest and activities involve motorcycles.
Ernesto 'Che' Guevara (left) holding the handlebars of his 500 cc single cylinder Norton motorcycle
Notable motorcycle sportspersons
- Giacomo Agostini - Grand Prix motorcycle racer, winner of fifteen World Championship titles and 122 Grand Prix race wins
- Erwin 'Cannonball' Baker - US promotional rider known for setting transcontinental speed records on motorcycles and in cars in the early 20th century
- Toni Bou - winner of thirteen trial World Championship titles
- Ricky Carmichael - very successful motocross racer
- Geoff Duke - Grand Prix motorcycle racer, winner of six World Championship titles, and the first racer to wear a one-piece leather racing suit
- Joey Dunlop - motorcycle racer who won 26 races at the Isle of Man Tourist Trophy meets
- Bud Ekins - stunt rider and stunt coordinator
- Stefan Everts - winner of ten FIM Motocross World Championship titles
- Carl Fogarty - superbike racer, four-time World Superbike champion
- Mike Hailwood - Grand Prix motorcycle racer, winner of 9 World Championship titles and 14 Isle of Man TT races; first to win 3 races at one IoM TT, in 1961 (125 cc, 250 cc, & 500 cc)
- Ernst Jakob Henne - a German motorcycle racer in the 1920s
- Dougie Lampkin - winner of twelve trial World Championship titles
- Mary McGee -first woman to officially race motorcycles
- John McGuinness successful road racer at the Isle of Man TT, the North West 200, the Macau Grand Prix and the Bol d'Or.
- Guy Martin - an English motorcycle racer and television personality.
- Sammy Miller, MBE - motorcycle sportsperson, museum collector, patron of the National Association for Bikers with a Disability (NABD)
- Evel Knievel - stunt rider known for jumping motorcycles over tall, long, or otherwise dangerous obstacles; and for multiple injuries from bad landings
- Phil Read - motorcycle racer who successfully competed in MotoGPs, the Isle of Man TT and in Bol d'Or endurance races.
- Valentino Rossi - Grand Prix motorcycle racer, winner of nine World Championship titles and 111 Grand Prix races
- Kenny Roberts - first American to win a motorcycle Grand Prix, winner of the AMA Grand Slam, racing team owner and safety advocate
- Juha Salminen - winner of thirteen World Enduro Championship titles
- Barry Sheene - Grand Prix motorcycle racer, winner of three World Championship titles
- John Surtees - Grand Prix motorcycle racer, winner of seven World Championship titles; the only racer to have won world championship titles on both two and four wheels
- Mick Doohan - Grand Prix motorcycle racer, winner of five World Championship titles
- Kari Tiainen - winner of seven World Enduro Championship titles
Motorcycling in the media
- ^ Cossalter, Vittore (2006). Motorcycle Dynamics. Lulu. ISBN 978-1-4303-0861-4.
- ^ Foale, Tony (2006). Motorcycle Handling and Chassis Design. Tony Foale Designs. pp. 4-1. ISBN 978-84-933286-3-4.
- ^ Note: Some definitions also include some forms of three-wheelers.
- ^ "The Dawn of the Superbike: Honda's Remarkable CB750". AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame. American Motorcyclist Association. Retrieved 2010.
- ^ Art of the Bobber by Spencer Drate, Judith Salavetz, Alex Mardikian - 2006
- ^ Hough, David L. (2003), More Proficient Motorcycling: The Ultimate Guide to Riding Well (2nd ed.), USA: BowTie Press, p. 253, ISBN 1-931993-03-3,
sportbike: a motorcycle designed for aggressive performance, especially cornering
- ^ "sport bike". Oxford English Dictionary (3rd ed.). Oxford University Press. September 2005. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.) ("...a powerful, lightweight motorcycle, designed for optimal speed and handling" )
- ^ McCraw, Jim (July 2005), "About That Bike...", Popular Mechanics, Hearst Magazines, vol. 182 no. 7, pp. 68-70, ISSN 0032-4558, retrieved 2010
- ^ Domino, Kevin (2009), The Perfect Motorcycle: How to Choose, Find and Buy the Perfect New Or Used Bike, 671 Press, pp. 50-51, 70, ISBN 0-9821733-3-4
- ^ a b Maher, Kevin; Greisler, Ben (1998), Chilton's Motorcycle Handbook, Haynes North America, pp. 2-11-2-12, ISBN 0-8019-9099-8
- ^ Bennett, Jim (1995), The Complete Motorcycle Book: A Consumer's Guide, Facts on File, pp. 15-16, 19-25, ISBN 0-8160-2899-0
- ^ Wallis, Michael; Clark, Marian (2004), Hogs on 66: Best Feed and Hangouts for Road Trips on Route 66, Council Oak Books, ISBN 9781571781406,
Streetfighter -- Also known as a 'hooligan' cycle, this is a sports-bike stripped of all superfluous bodywork
- ^ Doeden, Matt; Leonard, Joe (2007), Choppers, Lerner Publications, ISBN 9780822572886,
streetfighter: a type of superbike customised for maximum speed and performance
- ^ Domino, Kevin (2009), The Perfect Motorcycle: How to Choose, Find and Buy the Perfect New Or Used Bike, 671 Press, pp. 47-58, ISBN 0-9821733-3-4
- ^ Cumulative Global Production of Cub Series Motorcycles Reaches 60 Million Units (press release), Honda, 21 May 2008, retrieved 2010
- ^ Squatriglia, Chuck (23 May 2008), "Honda Sells Its 60 Millionth - Yes, Millionth - Super Cub", Wired, retrieved 2010
- ^ "That's 2.5 billion cc!", American Motorcyclist, Westerville, Ohio: American Motorcyclist Association, p. 24, May 2006, ISSN 0277-9358, retrieved 2010
- ^ Edstrom, Christian (November 30, 2007). "To Save the Polar Bears, Ride a Cub". New York Times.
- ^ "Chassis". Motorcycle-Glossary.com. Retrieved 2007.
- ^ a b c Brown, Roland (2002). Classic Motorcycles. Joanna Lorenz. ISBN 1-84038-433-6.
- ^ "The Wild One". Retrieved 2010.
- ^ Timothy Shary; Alexandra Seibel (2007). Youth culture in global cinema. University of Texas Press. p. 17.