Motorbike Accessories

Motorcycle Clubs
Motorcycle Dealers
Motorbike Information
Motorcycle Manufacturers
Motorbike Rental
Motorbike Sales
Motorcycle Shows
Motorbike Tours
Fuel Price Watch
Useful Motorcycle Links

Motorcycle Information

Few Things You Should Know About Motorcycles
Last year, four million motorcycles were in use in the United States alone. Whether relied upon as a primary means of transportation, used to provide weekend recreation, souped up and sped along for racing, or displayed as antique, millions of people across the world have shown that the novelty most definitely has not worn off

The Europeans took the lead in developing the motorcycle in the early twentieth century. One Englishman proclaimed his countrymen loved the cycle because they enjoyed mechanical things. However, Americans enjoyed their motorcycles as well.

Indian motorcycles are still beloved enthusiasts claim that there are still 50,000 Indian motorcycles on the road.Indian bikes might reach 60 m.p.h., but handbooks cautioned riders to not exceed 10 m.p.h. through town. These early handbooks are full of advice and etiquette for the motorcyclist.

Some period gems include: do not ride with the muffler open as the noise scares restive horses, and worries invalids and nervous people, do not run away in case of accident but stand by like a man don not get rattled, and do not ride by a motorcyclist who is stalled by the side of the rode as you may be in the same fix yourself some day.

As might be imagined, the motorcycle evolved from a vehicle powered by sheer human energy the bicycle. French bicycle maker Pierre Michaux and his sons Ernest and Henri first fitted a bicycle with cranks and pedals precursors to the modern-day motor in 1861. The Michauxes velocipede was an instant hit and the family became the largest velo producer in Europe with a large factory at Bar-le-Duc in France. Working with Michaux, L.G. Perreaux devised a steam-powered motorcycle engine, called a velo-a-vapeur, which was patented in 1868. Sylvester Howard Roper of Roxbury, Massachusetts pioneered a similar invention in the United States around that time as well.

Raw Materials
The primary raw materials used in the manufacture of the body of motorcycle are metal, plastic and rubber. The motorcycle frame is composed almost completely of metal, as are the wheels. The frame may be overlaid with plastic. The tires are composed of rubber. The seat is made from a synthetic substance, such as polyurethane. The power system consists of a four-stroke engine, a carburetor to transform incoming fuel into vapor, a choke to control the air-fuel ratio, transmission, and drum brakes. The transmission system contains a clutch, consisting of steel ball flyweights and metal plates, a crankshaft, gears, pulleys, rubber belts or metal chains, and a sprocket. The electrical system contains a battery, ignition wires and coils, diodes, spark plugs, head-lamps and taillights, turn signals and a horn.

A cylindrical piston, made of aluminum alloy (preferred because it is lightweight and conducts heat well), is an essential component of the engine. It is fitted with piston rings made of cast iron. The crankshaft and crankcase are made of aluminum. The engine also contains a cylinder barrel, typically made of cast iron or light alloy

The Future
Motorcycles remain popular and the collecting and riding of antique models is just as popular as riding the new versions. While sleek, new versions will continue to be produces, it is anticipated that the value of older models will continue to rise.

Legal Definitions
A motorcycle is broadly defined by law in some countries for the purposes of registration, taxation or licensing riders as a two-wheel motor vehicle fit to drive. Other countries distinguish between mopeds and other small bikes and the larger, more powerful vehicles. In Canada and some U.S. jurisdictions, three-wheeled motor vehicles fall under the auspices of motorcycle regulations.

In the United Kingdom, the rules on which motorcycle may be ridden by whom are complex. A moped, which can be ridden at age 16, has a maximum design speed not exceeding 50 km/h (31 mph) and engine capacity no greater than 50 cc. A learner motorcycle, which can be ridden from age 17, has an engine up to 125 cc with a power output not exceeding 11 kW (15 hp).

In New Zealand, learner and restricted motorcycles may only have a 250 cc engine capacity. This distinction draws some criticism, as it allows 15-year-old learner riders to operate bikes capable of reaching speeds in excess of 250 km/h (160 mph).

The legal age to be eligible to apply for a New Zealand motorcycle licence is 15 years and over. New Zealand employs a three stage system for motor vehicle licensing. At age 15, an individual can gain their first licence known as their learner licence. They must hold this for at least 6 months before they are able to move on to their restricted licence. They must then hold this "restricted licence" for one and half years. After a period of 6 to 18 months, depending on age and additional training, a holder of a restricted licence may sit the third and final stage known as the full licence. Until an individual has their full licence they are only able to ride a motorcycle which has an engine capacity of 250 cc or less.

The laws of some countries allow anyone with a car licence to legally ride mopeds not exceeding 50 cc in capacity, meaning that they do not need to show any competency in handling such a vehicle.

The laws and regulations for legal moped usage in the U.S. vary by state. The specifics of the motorcycle and moped laws in the U.S. can be obtained from each individual states Department of Motor Vehicles websites

In Australia You must be at least sixteen years and nine months old before you are issued with a Learner riders licence.You may book into and attend a pre-learner course at the age of sixteen years and six months, as Certificates of Competence for course attendance are valid for three months from date of issue.