The motorcycle is associated with speed, thrill and danger – but that’s also part of what draws people to it. Its undeniable charm, combined with the unmatched feeling of control and freedom that it brings, have made it one of the most popular forms of transportation in the world. Whether it’s a Harley or an old-world Cruiser, there is something about a motorcycle that appeals to riders of all ages and backgrounds.
The earliest motorcycles were powered by steam, as in the Michaux-Perreaux and Roper steam velocipedes that debuted in the 1800s. Several decades would pass before the internal-combustion gasoline powered Daimler Reitwagen was developed by Gottlieb Daimler and Wilhelm Maybach in 1885. Today, motorcycles are fueled by gasoline, kerosene or diesel and can reach speeds of 200 miles per hour.
Modern technology continues to improve the motorcycle experience. For example, adaptive headlights provide dynamic illumination throughout a turn and a computerized throttle prevents stalling. Helmet communication systems such as the Cardo PACKTALK SLIM allow motorcyclists to stay in contact with each other during group rides, as well as communicate with other drivers of nearby vehicles.
Regardless of what kind of motorcycle you ride, safety is key. Obey traffic signals, signs, and speed limits; keep a safe distance between your bike and other vehicles; and always check behind you and signal before changing lanes. Keeping your bike in good shape, such as lubricating the drive chain after every ride and using a weatherproof cover, can help reduce the risk of mechanical problems and crashes. Remember to always be on the lookout for pedestrians and other vehicles, especially when entering or exiting curbs or driveways.