Motorcycles are a two-wheeled vehicle with an internal combustion engine powered by gasoline. Their body, called the frame, is usually made of steel and has handlebars and a seat. Two tires are attached to the front and back of the frame. They are much like car tires but smaller. Brakes, a headlight, taillight, turn signals, and a horn are important safety features on a motorcycle. A windshield may also be used for protection from the elements.
Inventors put engines on bicycles as early as the 1800s, but it wasn’t until 1884 that an inventor patented a petrol (gasoline) powered motor cycle. After the first internal combustion motorcycle was built, more and more inventors were inspired to create their own versions of the motorized bike. Around the turn of the 20th century, the first production motorcycle companies began to emerge. Now-forgotten firms like Germany’s Hildebrand & Wolfmuller were followed by the iconic American brands Indian Motorcycle and Harley-Davidson.
Today’s motorcycle riders can enjoy hands-free mesh technology to stay in touch with friends and family while riding, as well as Bluetooth speakers that bring their favorite music into the ride for a fully immersive experience. Motorcycles have come a long way since their bad reputation as intimidating machines for tough guys and are now a safe, fun, affordable means of transportation that appeals to a broad range of people.
Whether you’re commuting to work, enjoying the camaraderie of a group ride on the weekend, or exploring pristine off-pavement scenery, motorcycling engages all your senses and creates an exhilarating feeling of freedom. But there are also some risks to consider when you choose to ride a motorcycle. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, motorcyclists are 28 times more likely to die in a crash than people who drive passenger cars.