A motorcycle is a two-wheeled vehicle powered by an engine. Motorcycles are often associated with motorsports like racing, but they also have many uses on the road and for everyday transport. In recent years, there has been a boom in small, vintage-looking motorcycles that have modern components. This has led to major manufacturers making a whole line of “new-old” models. These typically have lower seats, fuel injection and other modern components.
The first internal combustion, petroleum fueled motorcycle was designed and built by Gottlieb Daimler and Wilhelm Maybach in 1885. Their invention was based on the boneshaker and safety bicycles of that time, but differed from them in that it had a petrol (gasoline) engine attached to the rear wheel.
Motorcycles have excellent acceleration performance, and even modest performance bikes will out-accelerate any car on the road. However, their exposed engines, riders and gear create a lot of drag compared to the smooth, streamlined bodies of cars. This drag increases at the square of your velocity, so to double your speed, you need four times as much power.
Motorcyclists are known for their tight-knit social groups, and there are numerous clubs that focus on a specific geographical area, make or model of motorcycle. These groups are generally referred to as rider organizations, and some have their own subcultures, such as the cafe racers of 1950s England or the rockers and mods of 1960s Britain. Experienced motorcyclists know local traffic laws, and they don’t take risks on the roads. They always obey the speed limit, turn signals and lane markings; postpone rides in bad weather or when roads are icy; check behind them at intersections and use their high-beam headlights when needed.