What Is a Motorcycle?

A motorcycle is a two-wheeled motor vehicle steered by a handlebar from a saddle-style seat. Its engine powers an attached transmission, allowing it to move forward when the rider engages the throttle. Most modern motorcycles are very lightweight, reducing their center of gravity and making them easier to maneuver. They typically use a combination of tubes and sheets for their frames. Aluminum and steel are common materials for the frame and wheels, while carbon fiber, titanium, and forged magnesium parts have become increasingly used for their strength-to-weight benefits.

The first motorcycles were created in the late 1800s, using steam boilers as engines. By the early 1900s, manufacturing and engineering processes had been refined to the point where they could be mass-produced. Factory workers who only a few years earlier had been fighting wars were now able to afford their own personal transportation, opening up whole new vistas of excitement, acceleration, and freedom.

Modern motorcycles are very popular with riders of all ages and backgrounds. From the old world cruiser to the off-road dirt bike, they give out an undeniable charm that has allowed them to endure and even grow in popularity over the last few decades.

Becoming an experienced motorcycle rider takes time and dedication. Always ride safely and be aware of other vehicles on the road, obeying traffic laws and speed limits at all times. The majority of multi-vehicle motorcycle crashes are caused when other drivers simply don’t see the rider.