World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Outline of motorcycles and motorcycling

Article Id: WHEBN0029214104
Reproduction Date:

Title: Outline of motorcycles and motorcycling  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Motorcycle tyre, Motorcycle accessories, Motorcycle frame, American Motorcyclist Association, BMW Motorcycle Owners of America
Collection: Motorcycles, Motorcycling, Outlines
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Outline of motorcycles and motorcycling

A 1954 Triumph T110
BMW's first motorcycle, the 1923-1925 R32

The following outline is provided as an overview of motorcycles and motorcycling:

Motorcyclesingle-track, engine-powered,[1] two-wheeled[2] motor vehicle. It is also called a motorbike, bike, or cycle.

Motorcycling – act of riding a motorcycle, around which a variety of subcultures and lifestyles have built up.


  • Motorcycles 1
    • Description 1.1
    • Types 1.2
    • Design 1.3
      • Parts 1.3.1
    • History 1.4
      • Pioneers 1.4.1
      • Innovators 1.4.2
      • Industrialists 1.4.3
    • Museums and exhibitions 1.5
    • Lists 1.6
  • Motorcycling 2
    • Safety 2.1
      • Equipment 2.1.1
      • Accidents 2.1.2
    • Types 2.2
    • Sport 2.3
      • Racing 2.3.1
    • Organisations and clubs 2.4
      • Organisations 2.4.1
      • Clubs 2.4.2
    • Notable motorcyclists 2.5
    • Notable motorcycle sportspersons 2.6
    • Motorcycling in the media 2.7
      • Film 2.7.1
      • Television programmes 2.7.2
      • Books 2.7.3
      • Exhibitions 2.7.4
    • Lists 2.8
  • See also 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5




The design of a motorcycle reflects the purpose for which it is to be used. The main types of motorcycle include:

A 1969 Harley-Davidson chopper, a replica of the "Captain America" bike from Easy Rider
Honda CB750 inline four, the first to be called a 'superbike',[3] and the archetypal Universal Japanese Motorcycle
  • Street motorcycle – designed for riding on paved roads. Features smooth tires with a light tread pattern and at least 125 cc (7.6 cu in) engine.
    • Cruiser – mimics the style of American machines from the 1930s to the early 1960s, including those made by Harley-Davidson, Indian, Excelsior and Henderson. Models evocative of the early cruisers make up 60% of the U.S. market.
      • Bobber – usually has had the front fender removed, the rear fender "bobbed" or made smaller, and all superfluous items removed to make it lighter.[4]
      • Chopper – has a longer frame design accompanied by a stretched front end (or rake). To achieve a longer front end, while the frame is being designed, the fabricator tilts the neck of the frame at less of an incline and installs a longer fork.
    • Sport bike – optimised for speed, acceleration, braking, and cornering on paved roads,[5][6][7][8] typically at the expense of comfort and fuel economy in comparison to less specialised motorcycles.[9][10]
      • Café racer – a type of motorcycle that has been modified for speed and good handling rather than comfort. Cafe racers' bodywork and control layout typically mimic the style of Grand Prix roadracers of the 50's or 60's with or without fairings. They tend to feature an elongated fuel tank, a small, rearward mounted and humped single seat, and low, race style handlebars mounted on the front forks.
      • Streetfighter – a sport bike that is customised by removing the fairing, with other changes that result in an overall more aggressive look.[11][12]
    • Touring motorcycle – designed for long-distance touring and heavy commuting. Although any motorcycle can be ridden to tour or commute, manufacturers provide specific models designed to address these particular needs.
      • Sport touring motorcycle – blends performance with long-distance capabilities while providing comfort and relative safety to the rider, and tend to include accessories, such as a trunk or saddlebags for storage, to enhance the touring experience.
    • Standard motorcycle – versatile, general purpose street motorcycle,[9] with an upright riding position.[8]
      • Universal Japanese motorcycle – Japanese motorcycle with a transverse air-cooled four-cylinder engine in a conventional tube frame with a dual seat, mostly made in the 1970s and early 1980s.
  • Custom motorcycle – unique or individually produced in a very limited quantity, as opposed to stock bikes which are mass-produced. Is usually highly stylised or has an unusual frame geometry or engine design. Many styles including café racer, streetfighter, and chopper began as customized motorcycles before manufacturers mass-produced bikes styled after popular custom machines.
  • Dual-sport motorcycle – type of street-legal motorcycle designed for both on and off-road use.
    • Enduro motorcycle – motorcycle made specifically for the Enduro sport, with the long travel and medium-hard suspension of a motocross bike enhanced with motorcycle features such as a headlight and quiet muffler to make the bike street-legal for parts of the track.
    • Motocross motorcycle a light weight, high power, off road competition race bike.
    • Supermoto motorcycle A dual purpose, single cylinder, light weight bike fitted with equipment better suited to street riding or racing such as 18 inch front wheel and road tyres.
  • Off-road motorcycle
    • Motocross motorcycle
    • Track racing motorcycle – customised for track racing, with no brakes and fueled with methanol.
    • Trials motorcycle – an extremely lightweight design, that lacks seating (designed to be ridden standing up) and that has suspension travel that is short, relative to a motocross or enduro motorcycle.
Honda Super Cub, the archetypal underbone and the world's best-selling motor vehicle[13][14][15][16]
  • Small class
    • Minibike – sometimes called a mini moto or pocketbike, it is a miniature motorcycle. Most traditional minibikes use a two stroke engine to turn the rear wheel via a chain.
    • Mini chopper – mini choppers are scaled-down versions of choppers and are generally constructed from 1" steel tubing or 3/4" steel black pipe. The tube or pipe is bent and then welded together to get the desired angles and shapes of the frame, which is usually custom made.
    • Moped – a type of low-powered motorcycle designed to provide economical and relatively safe transport with minimal licensing requirements.
    • Pit bike – a small off-road motorcycle originally used for riding around the pits or staging area of a motocross race. Since the early 2000s pit bike racing, a sport similar to motocross, has become popular in the United States, especially in Southern California.
    • Scooter – a step-through motorcycle with a seat, a floorboard, and small or low wheels. Most modern scooter designs have swingarm-mounted engines.
    • Underbone – a step-through motorcycle with a structural downtube and conventionally sized wheels, but without a floorboard.
  • Electric motorcycle – has an electric motor powered by one or more batteries or fuel cells.
  • Utility motorcycle
  • Other designs and variations
    • Derny – motorised bicycle for motor-paced cycling events
    • Feet forwards motorcycle – motorcycle on which the rider reclines with his feet positioned ahead of his body
    • Cabin cycle – vehicle with a hull that wraps around the basic bicycle or motorcycle design
    • Rat bike – motorcycle maintained at little to no cost, or often of a deliberately exaggerated state of disrepair
    • Motorised tricycle – motorcycle or scooter with three wheels




Brough Superior SS 100 1925


Lucius Copeland 1894

First motorcycle ride – it is generally accepted that the first motorcycle ride was by Gottlieb Daimler's son Paul on a new machine called Einspur ("one track") near Stuttgart in Germany on 10 November 1885.[18] However, several pioneering engineers and inventors preceded Daimler, mostly with steam engines powering their cycles. These include:

Many pioneering engineers and inventors followed Daimler in using internal combustion engines. These include:


  • Max Friz – German mechanical engineer and contributor of engine design that led to the founding of BMW in 1917
  • Harry Ricardo – pioneering motorcycle engine designer influential in the early years of the development of the internal combustion engine
  • Edward Turner – motorcycle designer and General Manager of Triumph where he led the development of many important technical ideas found on motorcycles today
  • John Britten – New Zealand mechanical engineer who designed a world-record-setting motorcycle with innovative features and materials


Museums and exhibitions

There are a number of museums which feature collections of motorcycles, either as part of a larger exhibition of vehicles, or dedicated entirely to motorcycles as in the list below:








FIM Motocross World Championship

Riders have raced motorcycles for over a hundred years, with the first official competition recorded as the Paris–Rouen race in July 1894. This was quickly followed by races all over Europe and the US. In 1907 the Isle of Man TT races took over 66 kilometres (41 mi) of the island's roads and has continued since.[18] Motorcycle sport now takes many different forms, including:


Motorcycle racing is a motorcycle sport involving racing motorcycles. Types of motorcycle racing include:

Organisations and clubs

Although motorcycling can be a solitary form of transport, there are clubs for almost every aspect, including charities, social clubs, criminal or outlaw clubs, lobby groups that guard against restrictive legislation, and specialist clubs for specific makes or types of motorcycle.[18] Examples include:



Notable motorcyclists

Ernesto 'Che' Guevara (left) holding the handlebars of his 500 cc single cylinder Norton motorcycle

Notable motorcycle sportspersons

Joey Dunlop on his Honda RC30 ready for the Senior TT
  • Giacomo Agostini – Grand Prix motorcycle racer, winner of 15 World Championship titles and 122 Grand Prix races
  • Erwin "Cannonball" Baker – US promotional rider known for setting transcontinental speed records on motorcycles and in cars in the early 20th century
  • Toni Bou – winner of 13 trial World Championship titles
  • Ricky Carmichael – very successful motocross racer
  • Geoff Duke – Grand Prix motorcycle racer, winner of 6 World Championship titles, and the first racer to wear a one-piece leather racing suit
  • Joey Dunlop – motorcycle racer who won 26 races at the Isle of Man Tourist Trophy meets
  • Bud Ekins – stunt rider and stunt coordinator
  • Stefan Everts – winner of 10 FIM Motocross World Championship titles
  • Carl Fogarty – superbike racer, four-time World Superbike champion
  • Mike Hailwood – Grand Prix motorcycle racer, winner of 9 World Championship titles and 14 races at the Isle of Man Tourist Trophy meets; first racer to win three races at one Isle of Man Tourist Trophy meet, in 1961 (125 cc, 250 cc, and 500 cc)
  • Ernst Jakob Henne – a German motorcycle racer in the 1920s
  • Dougie Lampkin – winner of 12 trial World Championship titles
  • Sammy Miller, MBE – motorcycle sportsperson, museum collector, patron of the National Association for Bikers with a Disability
  • Evel Knievel – stunt rider known for jumping motorcycles over tall, long, or otherwise dangerous obstacles, and for multiple injuries from bad landings
  • Valentino Rossi – Grand Prix motorcycle racer, winner of 9 World Championship titles and 105 Grand Prix races
  • Kenny Roberts – first American to win a motorcycle Grand Prix, winner of the AMA Grand Slam, racing team owner and safety advocate
  • Juha Salminen – winner of 13 World Enduro Championship titles

Motorcycling in the media


Television programmes




See also


  1. ^ Foale, Tony (2006). Motorcycle Handling and Chassis Design. Tony Foale Designs. pp. 4–1.  
  2. ^ Cossalter, Vittore (2006). Motorcycle Dynamics. Lulu.  
  3. ^ "The Dawn of the Superbike: Honda's Remarkable CB750",  
  4. ^ Art of the Bobber by Spencer Drate, Judith Salavetz, Alex Mardikian - 2006
  5. ^  
  6. ^ "sport bike".   ("…a powerful, lightweight motorcycle, designed for optimal speed and handling" )
  7. ^ McCraw, Jim (July 2005), "About That Bike…",  
  8. ^ a b Domino, Kevin (2009), The Perfect Motorcycle: How to Choose, Find and Buy the Perfect New Or Used Bike, 671 Press, pp. 50–51, 70,  
  9. ^ a b Maher, Kevin; Greisler, Ben (1998), Chilton's Motorcycle Handbook,  
  10. ^ Bennett, Jim (1995), The Complete Motorcycle Book: A Consumer's Guide, Facts on File, pp. 15–16, 19–25,  
  11. ^ Wallis, Michael; Clark, Marian (2004), Hogs on 66: Best Feed and Hangouts for Road Trips on Route 66, Council Oak Books,  
  12. ^ Doeden, Matt; Leonard, Joe (2007), Choppers, Lerner Publications,  
  13. ^ Cumulative Global Production of Cub Series Motorcycles Reaches 60 Million Units (press release),  
  14. ^ Squatriglia, Chuck (23 May 2008), "Honda Sells Its 60 Millionth – Yes, Millionth – Super Cub",  
  15. ^ "That's 2.5 billion cc!",  
  16. ^ Edstrom, Christian (November 30, 2007), "To Save the Polar Bears, Ride a Cub",  
  17. ^ "Chassis". Retrieved 2007-07-03. 
  18. ^ a b c Brown, Roland (2002). Classic Motorcycles. Joanna Lorenz.  
  19. ^ "The Wild One". Retrieved 16 October 2010. 
  20. ^ Timothy Shary; Alexandra Seibel (2007). Youth culture in global cinema. University of Texas Press. p. 17. 

External links

  • This outline displayed as a mindmap, at
  • Global motorcycle sales statistics
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.