Motorcycles are two-wheeled vehicles that have an engine, steering, brakes, and somewhere to sit. Originally, they were powered by steam engines but the invention of the internal combustion engine saw them quickly ramp up in size and performance. Motorcycles use a combination of engineering principles developed for bicycles and cars, with the gyroscopic effect of the wheels and the fact that they point in the direction of travel helping them stay upright.
Motorcycle construction has standardised around a steel or aluminium frame, with telescopic forks holding the front wheel and disc brakes. A petrol or electric motor drives the rear wheel via a chain, shaft, belt or belt drive. Other body parts, designed for aesthetic or performance reasons may be added.
The rider experience on a motorcycle is physically and mentally much more comfortable than riding a car. You aren’t sitting in a cloud of exhaust, you aren’t rubbing oil on your wrists or the family jewels (studies show that vibration can cause low sperm count), and you don’t have to worry about how often to change the filter.
The biker culture was born out of post-war veterans who missed the bonds that they had with their comrades, and started to build new brotherhoods, this time around a motorcycle instead of a weapon (Lauchs, 2019). The violence that grew up alongside them gave bikers a bad reputation, but as times have changed, the culture has evolved away from the violence, into the peace-loving “peacock mods,” and more orthodox hardcore groups.