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The American Sylvester Howard Roper (1823-1896) invented a steam cylinder engine (powered by coal) in 1867. This can be considered the first motorcycle, if the description of a motorcycle is allowed to include a steam engine.two
Wilhelm Maybach and Gottlieb Daimler built a motorcycle with a frame and four wooden wheels and an internal combustion engine in 1885. Its speed was 18 km / h and the engine developed 0.5 horsepower.3 4
Gottlieb Daimler used a new engine invented by engineer Nikolaus August Otto. Otto invented the first four-stroke internal combustion engine in 1876. He called it the “Otto Cycle Engine” and, as soon as it was completed, Daimler (Otto’s former employee) turned it into a motorcycle that some historians consider the first of the story.5 In 1894 Hildebrand and Wolfmüller presented in Munich the first motorcycle that was manufactured in series and with clear commercial purposes. The Hildebrand and Wolfmüller remained in production until 1897.6 7 The Russian brothers living in Paris Eugéne and Michel Werner mounted a motor on a bicycle. The initial model with the engine on the front wheel began to be manufactured in 1894.8
Derbi motorcycle. 49 cc. 1966
In 1902 the Scooter was invented (comes from the English scooter), also known as auto armchair, by the French Georges Gauthier. The scooter is a two-wheeled vehicle, bicycles, fitted with a protective dashboard. It was manufactured in 1914. It was very popular, especially among young people. It incorporates two small diameter wheels and an open frame that allows the driver to be seated instead of astride. It also has a body that protects all the mechanisms, and offers some small storage space for small objects and a spare wheel. They are urban vehicles, although long trips can also be made. What stands out in this type of transport is the comfort of handling and ease of driving, and not the development of high speeds.
In 1910 the sidecar appeared, a cart with a side wheel that is attached to one side of the motorcycle. It consists of a frame (single wheel) and a body that protects the passenger. The motorcycle that is dragging it becomes a three-wheeled vehicle and its driving is controlled by turning the handlebar, as the tipping cannot be executed. It had already appeared years before, but on bicycles and with the proliferation of so-called “utility” vehicles, in addition to the recent ban on their manufacture by governments, it has practically disappeared from circulation.
After returning from World War II (1945), American soldiers seemed unhappy with the motorcycles that were built by Harley-Davidson and Indian. The bikes they had ridden in Europe were lighter and more fun to ride. These veterans began hanging out with other former soldiers to relive some of the camaraderie they had felt in the service. These groups realized that their motorcycles needed the changes that Harley did not provide. Thus was born the custom motorcycle.8
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