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A Bit about Motorcycles

Motorcycles are a continuation of riding pushbikes although they are fitted with a combustion engine. Bicycles are used all over the world. Children can learn to ride bikes from a very young age. Parents often hold up cycles and help them along by holding on and pushing forward. Riding bicycles are entertaining!

According to my online research there is conflicting information regarding the first motorcycle. One report says, in 1885 Daimler Reitwagen made by Gottlieb Daimler and Wilhelm Maybach in Germany made the first internal combustion, petroleum-fueled motorcycle. In 1894, Hildebrand & Wolfmüller became the first series production motorcycle.

The history of British motorcycling began all the way back in 1884, when the first commercial design for a self-propelled bicycle was invented by Englishman, Edward Butler. The Butler Petrol Cycle was a three-wheeled contraption, powered by a 600cc engine that generated 0.6bhp. However, it wasn’t successful, as Butler could not secure funding for ongoing production.

One successful manufacturer, Rudge motorcycles as seen in the photo above were produced from 1911 to 1946. The firm was known for its innovations in engine and transmission design, and its racing successes. Their sales motto was "Rudge it, do not trudge it."

The famous 'Multi' introduced in 1912 with its variable gear ratios quickly became a sought-after machine breaking many records and providing the company with their first TT win in 1914.

1923 saw the introduction of an in-house manufactured 4-speed gear box and the first four valve cylinder head on a 350cc which produced more power than the 500cc it replaced!

The firm eventually went out of business due to financial problems.

Have a great day!

Prof. Carl Boniface



Vocabulary builder:

Pushbikes (n) bicycles, cycles, tandems, trail bike, mountain bike, racing bike

Combustion engine (n) = an engine that derives its motive force from the energy of combustion

Trudge (n) slog, trek, hike, march, haul, trail

Ratios (n) = relations, proportions, percentages, shares, fractions, quotients, relationships

Sought-after (adj) = desirable, coveted, wanted, fashionable, popular, preferred, trendy

TT races (n) = The Isle of Man TT or Tourist Trophy races are an annual motorcycle racing event run on the Isle of Man in May and June of most years since its inaugural race in 1907. The event begins on the UK Spring Bank Holiday at the end of May and runs for thirteen days. It is often called one of the most dangerous racing events in the world as many competitors have died.

In-house (adj) = internal, home, intramural, domestic, (ant) external (3rd party)

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