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 (www.comptons.com "Motorcycles", 1). Some standard equipment on motorcycles today are: gas tank, battery, spark plugs, muffler, generator, shock absorbers, oil pump, headlight, and turn signals (www.comptons.com "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.
The Hildebrand & Wolfmueller were patented in 1884. "It had a step-trough frame, with its fuel tank mounted on the downtube. The engine was a parallel-twin, mounted low on the frame, with its cylinders going fore-and-aft. The connecting rods connected directly to a crank on the rear axle, and instead of using heavy flywheels for energy storage between cylinder-firing, it used a pair of stout elastic bands, one on each side outboard of the cylinders, to help out on the compression strokes. It was water-cooled, and had a water tank/radiator built into the top of the rear fender (www.motorcycle.com "History", 2)."
In 1897, Michel and Eugene Werner built a machine with a De Dion-style engine. The engine was located over the front wheel and it drove via twisted rawhide belt. The weight on the front forks caused steering problems. The cycle was revised in 1901. The Werners "split the frame in front of the pedals and bolted the engine into the gap. The frame was strengthened by adding a horizontal member running above the engine (Wilson, 11)." This new layout improved weight distribution and handling making a better ride. The new Werner had an electric-ignition and a spray-type carburetor. Even though it had no clutch, no...