30 Informative Facts About Motorcycles

Last updated on September 8th, 2017

Motorcycles are designed to be driven by just one driver. However, what is awesome about motorcycles is clear, and that is they can have a passenger riding the back of them as well. There are also some specially made motorcycles that have a sidecar built on them and a passenger can also be seated to ride in the sidecar. These vehicles are used to transport people from one place to another and are a form of transportation just like cars are.

#1. What is one advantage that motorcycles do have over automobiles? Motorcycles are much lighter in weight than cars. Because they are lighter in weight means that they can accelerate faster than cars do on the average.

#2. Why are motorcycles not as safe as other automobiles are? The answer to this question is simple. Motorcycles don’t have the protective chassis built around them as cars do have.

#3. Motorcycles are used in a lot of poor countries for transportation because a lot of people don’t have the money to buy a car. It is much easier to afford a small motorcycle as opposed to a car that is more expensive in price tag.

#4. Modern sports bike tires don’t contain any actual rubber in them. Why is that? It is because they are often composed of synthetic rubber and the reason for this is the synthetic rubber works far better as a compromise for durability and traction.

Motorcycle with sidecar
A 1947 Vincent H.R.D. Series B with Steib sidecar. image credit – Davocano

#5. What was the longest distance for riding a motorcycle? The longest distance for riding a motorcycle was 2,019.4 miles in a 24 hour period. The record was set by an American and that American was L. Russell Vaughn. L. Russell “Rusty” Vaughn was for the Continental Tire Test Track on August 10, 2011. The location was Uvalde, Texas, USA, and Vaughn did use his own Harley-Davidson FLHTK Electra Glide Limited 2010 bike. He completed 238 laps on the test track and won himself a place in the Guinness Book of World Records.

#6. Actor Erik Estrada from the popular TV cop series from the 1970s called CHIPS, had to have an intense 8-week course on how to learn to ride a motorbike for the television show. He also didn’t have an existing motorcycle license at all during the whole time that CHIPS was in production as a series.

#7. A lot of today’s leading motorcycle companies did have very humble beginnings. What does this mean? It means that they didn’t start out designing and producing motorcycles. For example, Ducati was a family owned business that started out in 1935. They opened their business in Bologna, Italy, and was first known for making radio parts before building motorized bicycles.

#8. Insurance companies say that up to 25% of the bike theft claims received by them are fake.

#9. The first gas powered motor cycle was invented by Gottlieb Daimler of Germany in 1885. The motor cycle was built from a wooden frame with a gas engine attached to it. The motorcycle had iron rims and wooden spokes. However, the bike did not deliver a comfortable ride because of the lack of much suitable pneumatic tires.

#10. The first series production motorcycle was built by Hildebrand and Wolfmuller in 1894.

#11. Honda, Yamaha, and Hero MotoCorp are the world’s three leading motor cycle manufacturers.

#12. The term motorcycle was coined by British inventor Edward Butler in 1884 when he was inventing a three wheeled petrol vehicle.

#13. Indian Army’s Daredevil Team is credited with building the world’s largest motorcycle pyramid. Ten bikes were used by 201 men to construct the pyramid that was one of a kind. The event took place on 5 July 2001 at Gowri Shankar Parade Ground, Jabalpur, India. The pyramid traveled a distance of 129 m (424 ft).

#14. When cornering a bike, the front tire provides almost 75% of the grip.

#15. Japanese toilet manufacturing company “TOTO” manufactured a bike that runs on animal waste. The bike has an engine of 250cc and it can run a distance of 180 miles on a tank of animal waste. It is a three wheeled vehicle with its seat constructed out of a toilet. Source

#16. Pneumatic tires were invented by John Boyd Dunlop.

#17. Did you know that Kawasaki, a renowned motorcycle manufacturer, also manufactures spaceships? And the company only started building bikes in 1962.

A Harley Davidson motorcycle
A Harley Davidson motorcycle. Image credit – Decio “desmodex

#18. “Harley Davidson” the famous motorcycle company built “push bikes” between 1917 and 1923.

#19. If you are obsessed with high speed, learn that the first production motorcycle to cross 100mph was the Brough Superior. And the first man to reach the speed of 300mph on a bike was Don Vesco in 1975.

#20. If you are running short of parking space for cars, learn that technically at least eight motorcycles can be parked in the space required to park a single car.

#21. Motorcycles are built for various purposes including their use for off-roading, long distance travel, commuting, racing etc.

#22. Malcom Forbes, founder of Forbes magazine owned 50 Harley Davidson motorcycles.

#23. In 1901, the first successful motorcycle ever built in the world is credited to “Indian motorcycles” and was built in Springfield, Massachusetts by Carl Hedstrom.

#24. To ride a motorbike on road, many countries require the drivers to hold a valid driving license. Moreover, off-road motorcycles are not allowed to be driven on public roads.

#25. Between 1901 and 1904 several other companies including Harley David, Royal, Merkel, Yale, Reading-Standard, Rambler, Tribune and Curtiss, started building motorcycles.

#26. The initial phase of motorcycle manufacturing saw the installation of a motor on an existing bicycle. However, in the quick succession, manufacturers started building bulkier and sturdier frames with bigger engines.

#27. In the U.S., according to the National Highway Transport Safety Administration’s riders in the age group of 40-55 years are highly prone to get killed in a motorcycle accident.

#28. According to a source, almost 75% of the motorcycle accidents happen due to their collision with another automobile; and intersections are the most common place for motorcycle accidents.

#29. Use of motorcycle helmets was made compulsory after the ground breaking research led by Dr Hugh Cairns after the death of Colonel T.E. Lawrence (“Lawrence of Arabia”) who was fatally injured in a motorcycle accident. The research concluded that the adoption of crash helmets as standard by both military and civilian motorcyclists would result in considerable saving of life. Source

#30. Helmeted riders have fewer neck injuries than un-helmeted riders.

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