A motorcycle (or motorbike) is a vehicle used to transport people from one place to another. It does not have 4 wheels like a car. It has 2 wheels like a bicycle, and it has a motor like a car. A motorcycle is usually driven by one person. A passenger can also ride on the back of the motorcycle. Some motorcycles have a sidecar that can carry another passenger.
In 1901, the first successful motorcycle was made by the company called "Indian motorcycles" in Springfield, Massachusetts. Since then, many other companies have made them. Major manufacturers include Honda, Suzuki, Yamaha. A well known American manufacturer of motorcycles is Harley-Davidson.
Since motorcycles are lighter than almost all cars, they can accelerate more quickly. But it also makes them not as safe as cars, because they do not have a protecting chassis around them like cars. Very often motorcycle riders are injured heavily in accidents. Motorcycle riders should wear a helmet and other protective clothing like shoes and gloves, of which some have armor. This special clothing may reduce the rider's injuries in an accident. Motorcycles also do not protect riders against wind and rain. That makes it difficult to drive in winter or during bad weather.
In poor countries, motorcycles are used by many as a cheap method of transportation. Many people who do not have the money to buy a car can afford a small motorcycle. In rich countries, large powerful motorcycles are used more as a hobby or sport.
Off road Edit
On-road bikes (ones that are allowed on public roads) require the rider to have a special type of driver's license to be ridden legally. Off-road bikes are not allowed to be driven on public roads.
Speed and stunts are the main goals for off-road bike sports. Many on-road bikes are much faster than off-road bikes and can be used in sports such as motorbike racing.
- Setright, L.J.K. (1979), The Guinness book of motorcycling facts and feats, Guinness Superlatives, pp. 202, 211, ISBN 0-85112-200-0
- "History of Individual Motocross World Championships". fim-live.com. Archived from the original on 23 September 2011. Retrieved 11 October 2011.