A short history of the motorbike



A few interesting facts

Motorcycles are extremely popular nowadays since they are a statement of power and masculinity. But did you know they derived from the common safety bike that had front and rear wheels and a pedal crank system?

Moreover, the idea of building a motorbike was quite common in the 19th century so that one single engineer cannot redeem the invention. On the contrary, various inventors and engineers from all over Europe were credited with the idea and the early interests of developing such a product.


Early history

The first steam-powered motorbike dates back to 1867. It was designed and engineered in the factory of the famous bicycle inventor, Pierre Michaux. His son, who was also an inventor, was the one who first designed the bike pedals and attached a small steam-powered engine to a regular bike.

Over the next decades, the primordial design received constant improvements from the Americans, the French, and the Germans. Inventors Daimler and Maybach of German descent were the first ones to produce a motorcycle with a diesel-based engine at the end of the 19th century, in 1885.

It was their device with a small 264 cc engine that is credited as the first motorcycle in the history of this famous vehicle. One decade later, in 1895, the Hildebrand & Wolfmuller company first started the mass-production of this item and by the beginning of the 20th century, various manufacturers from all over the world decided to invest in their own motorcycle concepts.


Recent history

The motorcycle became extremely popular since the 1900s, so it comes as no surprise that by the beginning of the World War II there were already thirty different manufacturers in England alone.

However, due to the fast reconstruction of Japan after the war, the English supremacy in the market for motorbikes begins to fade away. Japanese manufacturers like Kawasaki, Yamaha, and Suzuki become more and more popular and were exported all over the world.

Thirty years later, in the 1980s, the Japanese industry of motorcycle manufacturing seemed to take a step back as several important European and American deluxe manufacturers entered the market.

The American company Harley-Davidson becomes more popular by the day and focuses on design and power, while other European brands like BMW, Ducati, and Victory challenge the youth sector of the market.

Did you know?

There many fun and interesting things you should know about motorbikes, so stating just a few was a difficult task for us.

The founder of Forbes magazine, Malcolm Forbes, owned no fewer than 50 Harley-Davidson motorcycles.

It takes around eight motorbikes to fill up the parking space of a car.

It took Emilio Scotto from Argentina around ten years to gain a spot in the Guinness World Book of Records for having completed the longest journey on a motorbike. He covered approximately 457,000 miles and over 200 countries and territories.