Outline of motorcycles and motorcycling

A 1954 Triumph T110
BMW's first motorcycle, the 1923-1925 R32

The following outline is provided as an overview of motorcycles and motorcycling:

Motorcycle — two-wheeled,[1] single-track motor vehicle.[2][3] Other names include: motorbike, bike, & cycle.

Motorcycling — act of riding a motorcycle, around which a variety of subcultures and lifestyles have built up.




Main article: Types of motorcycles

The design of a motorcycle reflects the purpose for which it is to be used. The main types of motorcycle include:

A 1969 Harley-Davidson chopper, a replica of the 'Captain America' bike from Easy Rider
Honda CB750 inline four, the first to be called a 'superbike',[4] and the archetypal Universal Japanese Motorcycle
2015 BMW R1200RT Sport Touring Motorcycle
Honda Super Cub, the archetypal underbone and the world's best-selling motor vehicle[15][16][17][18]


Main article: Motorcycle design

Major component parts

Main article: Motorcycle components




Brough Superior SS 100 1925
Main article: Motorcycle history


Lucius Copeland 1894

First motorcycle ride – it is generally accepted that the first motorcycle ride was by Gottlieb Daimler's son Paul on a new machine called Einspur ('one track') near Stuttgart in Germany on 10 November 1885.[20] However, several pioneering engineers and inventors preceded Daimler, mostly with steam engines powering their cycles. These include:

Many pioneering engineers and inventors followed Daimler in using internal combustion engines . These include:



Museums and exhibitions

There are a number of museums which feature collections of motorcycles, either as part of a larger exhibition of vehicles, or dedicated entirely to motorcycles. Some of those museums are listed below:


Main article: Motorcycling






FIM Motocross World Championship, taking place at Mallory Park, England

Motorcycle sport – broad field that encompasses all sporting aspects of motorcycling. The various disciplines are not all races or timed-speed events, as several disciplines test a competitor's various riding skills. Riders have raced motorcycles for over a hundred years, with the first official competition recorded as the Paris–Rouen race in July 1894. This was quickly followed by races all over Europe and the US. In 1907, the Isle of Man TT races took over 66 kilometres (41 mi) of the island's roads and has continued since.[20] Motorcycle sport now takes many different forms, including:


Motorcycle racing – motorcycle sport involving racing motorcycles, on or off a track.

Organisations and clubs

Although motorcycling can be a solitary form of transport, there are clubs for almost every aspect; including charities, social clubs, criminal or outlaw clubs, lobby groups that guard against restrictive legislation, and specialist clubs for specific makes or types of motorcycle.[20] Examples include:


Motorcycle clubs

Motorcycle club – group of individuals whose primary interest and activities involve motorcycles.

Notable motorcyclists

Ernesto 'Che' Guevara (left) holding the handlebars of his 500 cc single cylinder Norton motorcycle

Notable motorcycle sportspersons

Joey Dunlop on his Honda RC30 ready for the Senior TT

Motocross riders

Motorcycling in the media


Television programmes





  1. Cossalter, Vittore (2006). Motorcycle Dynamics. Lulu. ISBN 978-1-4303-0861-4.
  2. Foale, Tony (2006). Motorcycle Handling and Chassis Design. Tony Foale Designs. pp. 4–1. ISBN 978-84-933286-3-4.
  3. Note: Some definitions also include some forms of three-wheelers.
  4. "The Dawn of the Superbike: Honda's Remarkable CB750". AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame. American Motorcyclist Association. Retrieved 20 February 2010.
  5. Art of the Bobber by Spencer Drate, Judith Salavetz, Alex Mardikian - 2006
  6. Hough, David L. (2003), More Proficient Motorcycling: The Ultimate Guide to Riding Well (2nd ed.), USA: BowTie Press, p. 253, ISBN 1-931993-03-3, sportbike: a motorcycle designed for aggressive performance, especially cornering
  7. "sport bike". Oxford English Dictionary (3rd ed.). Oxford University Press. September 2005. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.) ("…a powerful, lightweight motorcycle, designed for optimal speed and handling" )
  8. McCraw, Jim (July 2005), "About That Bike…", Popular Mechanics, Hearst Magazines, vol. 182 no. 7, pp. 6870, ISSN 0032-4558, retrieved 4 June 2010
  9. Domino, Kevin (2009), The Perfect Motorcycle: How to Choose, Find and Buy the Perfect New Or Used Bike, 671 Press, pp. 5051, 70, ISBN 0-9821733-3-4
  10. 1 2 Maher, Kevin; Greisler, Ben (1998), Chilton's Motorcycle Handbook, Haynes North America, pp. 2–112–12, ISBN 0-8019-9099-8
  11. Bennett, Jim (1995), The Complete Motorcycle Book: A Consumer's Guide, Facts on File, pp. 1516, 1925, ISBN 0-8160-2899-0
  12. Wallis, Michael; Clark, Marian (2004), Hogs on 66: Best Feed and Hangouts for Road Trips on Route 66, Council Oak Books, ISBN 9781571781406, Streetfighter -- Also known as a 'hooligan' cycle, this is a sports-bike stripped of all superfluous bodywork
  13. Doeden, Matt; Leonard, Joe (2007), Choppers, Lerner Publications, ISBN 9780822572886, streetfighter: a type of superbike customised for maximum speed and performance
  14. Domino, Kevin (2009), The Perfect Motorcycle: How to Choose, Find and Buy the Perfect New Or Used Bike, 671 Press, pp. 4758, ISBN 0-9821733-3-4
  15. Cumulative Global Production of Cub Series Motorcycles Reaches 60 Million Units (press release), Honda, 21 May 2008, retrieved 31 October 2010
  16. Squatriglia, Chuck (23 May 2008), "Honda Sells Its 60 Millionth – Yes, Millionth – Super Cub", Wired, retrieved 31 October 2010
  17. "That's 2.5 billion cc!", American Motorcyclist, Westerville, Ohio: American Motorcyclist Association, p. 24, May 2006, ISSN 0277-9358, retrieved 31 October 2010
  18. Edstrom, Christian (November 30, 2007). "To Save the Polar Bears, Ride a Cub". New York Times.
  19. "Chassis". Motorcycle-Glossary.com. Retrieved 3 July 2007.
  20. 1 2 3 Brown, Roland (2002). Classic Motorcycles. Joanna Lorenz. ISBN 1-84038-433-6.
  21. "The Wild One". Retrieved 16 October 2010.
  22. Timothy Shary; Alexandra Seibel (2007). Youth culture in global cinema. University of Texas Press. p. 17.
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