of Motorcycles

The History of Motorcycles (part one)… The vehicle that made Sturgis a phenomenon!

If you are like me some of the best experiences in life have come while riding a motorcycle. Who can forget the mountain rides or pulling a twelve hour sprint. The motorcycle is not only part of the American society but also the worlds.

Where did the motorcycle come from when was it first made?41554681_14445068

The first motorcycle was actually steam powered.

People debate if in 1869 the The Michaux-Perreaux Steam Velocipede, Germany” or the The Roper Steam Velocipede. United States” was the first steam motorcycle to be built.

Unfortunately both turned out to be cumbersome and the steam power presented safety and reliability issues.

The break through came in 1894 with the building of the 1428 cc water cooled four-stroke Hilderbrand and Wolfmuller. Built in France many consider this to be the world’s first production motorcycle.

The engine was a parallel twin design producing 2.5 horsepower and capable of a blistering twenty-five miles per hour still fast enough to beat a horse and more reliable.

Over the next decade numerous companies took a try at producing motorcycles most either had design flaws or went out of business.

People were excited about affordable reliable transportation but who would step forward and mass produce an affordable motorcycle?

In 1903 a company called Harley Davidson built a single cylinder engine based motorcycle. Harley Davidson was formed by 21 Year old William S. Harley and 20 year old Arthur Davidson little did they know what a force Harley Davidson would turn into in the motorcycle industry.


Many companies were building small runs of bikes and as companies began to refine the reliability and design of motorcycles more companies went out of business. As we entered the 20th century there were the big three Harley Davidson, Indian and Triumph.

In the next part of the History of motorcycles we discuss the Asian and European Influence.



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