Sometimes, it’s easy to take things for granted and perhaps not truly appreciate what we have, or what it’s worth. Especially with ‘stuff’, apart from those with certain food allergies or conditions, when it comes to what they can and can’t eat. There does, however, tend to be very little thought that goes into where our machines or products come from, unless you’re a diehard fan that is.
Anyhow, by way of paying respect to the heritage of some of the great motorcycles that we see today, here’s a bit of history to add a bit of substance to the wonder that is, motorcycles.
Many, Many Years Ago
The first motorbikes were actually more ‘steam bikes’ until the first petrol powered motorcycle was created back in 1884 and, yes, that is a long, long time ago.
Needless to say, that they didn’t look anything like the machines that we see at dealers such as Wheels Motorcycles these days, they were essentially a push bike frame with a combustion engine strapped to it.
Prior to that, people relied on pedal powered push bikes which came on the scene at around the 1860’s, as you can see, it didn’t take too long before some bright spark thought, I know, let’s strap an engine to this thing and see what it can do! Whether it was just for pure enjoyment or for a bigger purpose might require a little more research, what is clear though is that there was a bit of rivalry going on at the time, cut-throat stuff.
Although the motorcycle was actually invented in 1884, the chap that did all the leg work didn’t appear to get the recognition one would expect because, when he took it to the people who could mass produce the masterpiece it seems that they took their time and the bike wasn’t available for sale until 1888.
In the meantime, the man who is to be known as the inventor of the motorcycle, Mr Karl Benz, released his version which was founded in 1986.
The rest is old news really, we know that motorcycles started off very basic and although they were masterpieces, they weren’t exactly very safe. By today’s standards they probably wouldn’t even be called prototypes, however as time went on, more research and development went into improving the motorcycle in every way.
One of the many wonders in life is why man has such a need for speed which is precisely what the main driving force was to move things forward.
The engines became more powerful and as such it became a necessity to improve other technologies that enabled the bike to perform properly, like, stay in a straight line and to actually brake when they needed them to.
There were a few instances of technological breakthroughs, but the real advancements came by way of WWI and WWII whereby manufacturers such as Harley Davidson, Triumph, Royal Enfield and Indian Motorcycles designed bikes that specifically designed, equipped with gun holsters and such like, for going to war.
At that point, there was a great need to produce lots of bikes at a very fast pace so, the infrastructure started to take place
It Didn’t Take The Japanese Long To Catch On
Before long, Japanese motorbikes entered the global market and began to take top spot in various nations. Honda, Suzuki, Kawasaki, and Yamaha motorcycles continue to hold the top spot when it comes to motorcycle sales globally, all the way from Japan to the UK and pretty much everywhere else in between.
The great thing is that some of the original motorcycle manufacturers from Europe, as well as a few from the United States, for example, ‘Harley Davidson’ continue to compete and rival each other in various ways.