Open Cars History

Motorcycles History

Motorcycles_historyBirthday of motorcycle is considered to be on August 29, 1885. At that date german engineer Gottlieb Daimler got a patent for a motorcycle, which was first demonstrated in November 1885.


Period from 1900 to 1905 was called an “age of motorbike”. At that time, the motorcycles had a great demand, and hundreds of companies started to produce them, which led to the low quality of products. Many bicycle factories added motorbikes to their main production. The most popular motorbike models were the french De Dion and Peugeot, belgian Minerva and FN, german Fafnir.

By 1914, the motorcycle became a reliable and sturdy machine, it was an easy and cheap means of transportation on the worst roads. These qualities, motorcycle had to confirm in the war.

Great Britain was the first to use bikes during the war. But only in the I World War motorcycles’ production became a truly mass: motorcycle companies received orders for tens of thousands of machines. Motorcycles were used for communications, heavy motorcycles with sidecars were equipped with machine guns.

After the II World War there were three main classes of motorcycles:

  • The most common were “average” motorcycles with a single-cylinder engine of 300-500 cc volume.
  • Heavy motorcycles – 500 cc and above, as a rule, they had a two-cylinder V-type engine.
  • Light motorcycles – up to 300 cc – were often equipped with a single-cylinder engine.

At that time the most famous companies were: ABC, AJS, Brough-Superior, BSA, Velocette, Douglas, Matchless, Northon, Royal Enfield, Scott, Sunbeam, Triumph. In the development of motorcycles also took part american producers – Harley-Davidson, Indian Excelsior, and the german companies – BMW, DKW, NSU, Zundapp, Wanderer, Puch, Italian Gilera, Moto Guzzi, Benelli, Biachi and others.

Production of motor vehicles increased greatly in the period from 1950 to 1960. Important role in this played scooter, which became very popular at that time in the postwar Europe.

The USA market in the postwar period was invaded by imported bikes from the UK, Germany and Italy. Local firms were not ready for such attack, and only Harley-Davidson, betted on the traditional big V-twin motorbikes, survived.

The beginning of the sixties seemed to be a sunset of motorcycles. It seemed that only cheap and economical motorbikes could have demand.

The seventies were a time of a new motorcycle boom – but in an entirely different basis. The bike became a means of self-assertion, sport equipment, a favorite toy.

What is a modern motorcycle? It’s a gorgeous toy in the most of the highly developed countries.

Some publications claim that the bike completely lost its transport function and turned into a car for fun. But for millions of people in India, Russia and China, it remains the only alternative to a public transport.

You might also like

Kawasaki History
Kawasaki company was founded in 1878 by Shozo Kawasaki. It was engaged in shipbuilding. The company became...
Harley-Davidson History
Harley-Davidson Motor Company is an american manufacturer of motorcycles based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin....
Suzuki Motorcycles History
In 1909, the japanese company "Suzuki Loom Works" was founded by Michio Suzuki. The company started with...
Yamaha History
Yamaha Motor company was founded on July 1, 1955 in Japan. At that time there were 150 motorcycle manufacturers...