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Who invented the motorcycle?

The motorcycle we currently ride today was developed in 1885 by the German engineer Gottlieb Daimler.

     Daimler was born on March 17, 1834 in a village near Stuttgart, Germany. He became a gunsmith's apprentice in 1848 and continued until 1862.  During this time he gained factory experience


In 1872, his interests turned to the internal combustion engine, when he joined Gasmotorenfabrik Deutz as technical director. Here he met up with Nikolaus Otto, pioneer of the four- cycle engine. It was during this time he became convinced steam engines were an outmoded form of power for the future. Wilhelm Maybach, a man who also understood the drawbacks of steam, soon joined the quest to produce and perfect the gasoline engine.


By 1876 the commercial development of the Otto four - cycle engine was complete. Daimler insisted on precision and wanted to spend more time on research and development while Otto was content with two engines a day leaving the plant doors. Daimler decided it was time to move on.


     In 1881 Daimler and Maybach set up a factory for developing light weight, high speed internal combustion engines. At first, the development of a reliable self-firing ignition system seemed impossible, but after many trials an air-cooled single-cylinder engine operating at 900 revolutions per minute was developed. This new design was 770 revolutions per minute faster than Otto’s engine. Daimler and Maybach patented this design in 1885.

That same year, Daimler and Maybach created what is known as the world's first motorcycle by mating this newly designed engine to a bicycle.


Click here to see the original patent of Daimler and Maybach's engine!
Click here to see the original patent of the first motorcycle!
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