Essay about History of the Motorcycle

866 Words 4 Pages
History of the Motorcycle

My goal is to explain the evolution of the motorcycle and how their importance has grown in our society. Motorcycles have changed a great deal over the past decade or so. They are constantly being bettered and improved. Slight changes are always being made to these man made machines.
The motorcycle is an amalgamation of a motor and a bicycle. Motorcycles aren't the only two-wheeled form of motorized transportation, there are others like minibikes, mopeds, and motor scooter (www.comptons.com "Motorcycles", 1). Some standard equipment on motorcycles today are: gas tank, battery, spark plugs, muffler, generator, shock absorbers, oil pump, headlight, and turn signals (www.comptons.com "Motorcycles", 2)
The first
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The engine was a parallel-twin, mounted low on the frame, with its cylinders going fore-and-aft. The connecting rods connected directly to a crank on the rear axle, and instead of using heavy flywheels for energy storage between cylinder-firing, it used a pair of stout elastic bands, one on each side outboard of the cylinders, to help out on the compression strokes. It was water-cooled, and had a water tank/radiator built into the top of the rear fender (www.motorcycle.com "History", 2)."
In 1897, Michel and Eugene Werner built a machine with a De Dion-style engine. The engine was located over the front wheel and it drove via twisted rawhide belt. The weight on the front forks caused steering problems. The cycle was revised in 1901. The Werners "split the frame in front of the pedals and bolted the engine into the gap. The frame was strengthened by adding a horizontal member running above the engine (Wilson, 11)." This new layout improved weight distribution and handling making a better ride. The new Werner had an electric-ignition and a spray-type carburetor. Even though it had no clutch, no suspension, poor breaks, and not much power the 1901 Werner was a major part of the real beginning in the evolution of the modern motorcycle.
By 1903, motorcycles were being designed and manufactured all over Europe and America. Also in 1903, William S. Harley and Arthur Davidson completed a motorcycle prototype. The Harley-Davidson Motor Company put out…