A motorcycle that often goes by the name of a cycle, motorbike, or bike is a 2-wheeled vehicle. The history of motorbikes dates back to the 19th century (the second half). The first motorcycle made in 1867 was steamed powered. It was produced in a factory that belonged to a famous and well-known bicycle inventor named Pierre Michaux.
Below are some fun and interesting facts about motorbikes that may interest you:
1. The Guinness World Records states that the first internal-combustion-engine motorized bike was named the Daimler Reitwagaen, invented in 1885 by Wilhelm Maybach Gottlieb Daimler in Germany. The bike was called the “Einspur.” This bike was later lost to a devastating fire.
2. In California, is it legal to ride a motorbike between 2 cars in either lane (lane splitting), but only 53% of the state residents are aware that this way of driving is legal.
3. The term “Motorrad” in German or “motorcycle) in English was used first in 1894 by Hildebrand & Wolfmüller.
4. In Medellin, a city in Columbia, motorcycle assassinations were reduced by 39% when a ban was put in place that prohibited passengers from riding as passengers on motorbikes. This ban was put into place specifically for male passengers.
5. Billy Baxter was the first blind person to ever set a record for riding on a motorbike in 2003. Billy lost his sight while serving in Bosnia.
6. In 2000, the leading motorcycle businesses from across the globe reached what was known as a “gentlemen’s agreement” to put an end to the speed war involving one-upmanship to attempt to produce the fastest production bikes in the world. This had to do with concerns that speeds may escalate to very dangerous speeds before the speed war would end. The limit agreed on was 186 mph.
7. In Indiana, motorbikes that stop at red stop lights are only required to stop for 120 seconds before treating a stop light like the stop signs where they are permitted to proceed through intersections with caution.
8. Malcolm Forbes, the founder of Forbes magazine, once owned 50 Harley-Davidson motorcycles.
9. Kawasaki creates not only motorbikes but also manufacturers ships, space rockets, personal watercraft, trains, electronics, jet engines, equipment tractors, missiles, and helicopters.
10. The use of helmets was mandated following Lawrence of Arabia’s (Colonel T.E. Lawrence’s) death caused by a motorbike accident. He died after swerving to miss 2 boys riding on their bicycles.
11. The longest journey that was ever made on a motorcycle came from Emilio Scotto from Buenos Aires, Argentina. The Guinness World Book of Records stated that Emilio Scotto covered over 457,000 miles (735,000 km) and 214 territories and countries from the 17th January 1985 to 2nd April 1995.
12. Suzuki, another well-known motorbike manufacturer, first started as one of the looming businesses that catered to a developing industry in silk in the earlier part of the 20th century. Today, the company is also well-known for producing various products such as marine engines, cars, and wheelchairs.
13. Most of today’s well-known motorbike manufacturers are versatile in the product ranges that they offer.
14. Yamaha, another motorbike brand, began as a piano maker. Today it still produces musical instruments and other popular products such as industrial robots, golf carts, boats, car engines, electronics, wheelchairs, and RVs.
15. Many celebrities in Hollywood ride motorbikes; a few famous ones include: Steve Tyler, Tom Cruise, Ryan Gosling, Pink, Richard Hammond, Justin Timberlake, George Clooney, Ryan Reynolds, David Beckham, Ewan McGregor, Clint Eastwood, Bob Dylan, Brad Pitt, Keanu Reeves
16. Vespa, an iconic Italian scooter, was what former CEO Andre Pininfarina of the care designer Pininfarina and the Italian Coach Builder was riding when he collided with a Ford Focus died.
17. Keanu Reeves spent some of his profits made from The Matrix to purchase motorbikes for the movie’s stuntmen.
18. According to the Guinness World Book of Records, the longest motorbike was 86 ft 3 inches (26.29 meters) long. Created by Bharat Sinh Parmar from India, it was first introduced at Lakhota Lake in January 2014.
19. Motorcyclists are close to 30 X more likely to sustain serious injuries and die than motorists.
20. Japan was responsible for building a motorbike that was powered indirectly by human-waste. It was named the Toilet Bike Neo, and the creator is Toto, a high-end toilet manufacturer. These bikes use human waste that is converted into biofuel.
21. The first Harley-Davidson produced only traveled 25 mph. This bike only featured a single-cylinder engine that first used empty tomato cans as the carburetor.
22. The famous red and black logo for the Harley Davidson was painted by Davidson’s aunt.