Whether you are looking for a new way to commute or just want to make weekend road trips more fun, a motorcycle is the perfect choice. But it’s important to know the basics of these powerful machines before you jump on one for the first time.
The earliest motorized bikes were very similar to bicycles. Like a bike, they had two wheels, a seat and a handlebar (which is used to steer). But instead of pedals, these early motorbikes powered their engines with small internal combustion engines.
In the post-World War II era, industrialization took hold in many countries, and factories began to produce these motorized vehicles in great numbers. These bikes gave factory workers a more convenient, quick and economical method of transportation than cars or buses, and could also be equipped with a sidecar to allow spouses and children to join in the fun on country jaunts and holidays.
While these motorcycles were extremely popular in their heyday, they didn’t last very long as larger and more powerful Japanese manufacturers scaled up and entered the market. By the 1970s, Honda, Yamaha, and Kawasaki had largely overtaken the more established British companies.
While there are dozens of different types of motorcycles in production today, and hundreds of more vintage models, all motorcycles can be broken down into seven basic categories. These include: