It’s easy to mistake the motorbike for a marvel of modern engineering. Their sleek design, powerful engines, and advanced technology makes them seem like they could only be products of our current era. The truth, however, couldn’t be more different, as motorbikes have been part of the world for over one hundred years, and while there have been some incredible advancement in that period of time, the premise of a motorbike has not changed for most of the last century.
Like the games at River Belle Casino today, bikes today come in all shapes and sizes, from drag racers that can tear down a straight in a few seconds to agile off-roaders designed to take on just about any terrain imaginable. Much like the auto mobile, bikes have a standard, basic design. An internal combustion engine, a set of wheel, a transmission, and some way to steer the vehicle. Compared to the bikes that race at today’s venues, the bikes of old may seem prehistoric, but they gave rise to the machines we know and love today.
The end of the 1800s was perhaps one of the biggest changes the world had ever seen. Mankind had invented the internal combustion engine, and despite its simplicity at the time, it didn’t take engineers long to realise that they had a machine that was capable of performing tasks that even the strongest horses couldn’t keep up with. It dawned on them that they were able to connect wheels to this new engine, allowing them to turn as a much faster rate than they’d ever seen before.
The prototypes of both the car and the bike were both two-wheeled vehicles, and they did little more than move forward. Cars took much longer to be refined, as they were bigger, required more powerful engines, and the additional two extra wheels meant finding ways to keep the vehicle balanced and capable of precise steering.
Bikes, on the other hand, were a different story. The early engines were perfect for the two-wheelers, they were light, they had the design of the already-established bicycles, and they were able to attain much faster speeds. And so, the first bike ever made began production.
The year was 1894, and the Industrial Revolution was well underway. Hildebrand and Wolfmuller, two inventors from Germany, began to piece together a rudimentary vehicle that made use of an engine, rode on two wheels, and was steered with handlebars. This was the first bike of all time, and was, in fact, the first time the word, “motorcycle” had been used.
This pushbike was equipped with a 1488cc engine, powerful even by today’s standards. It quickly went into production, and was a smash hit, becoming a world favourite in a very short space of time. At a glance, the first bike ever made is not different from the bikes we have today, save for a few differences in the chassis, but it was a design that has remained timeless.