Motorcycles are vehicles powered by an internal combustion engine for personal transportation. Motorcycles have a much lower weight than cars, so they can accelerate much more quickly and easily. However, this also makes them more susceptible to accidents, especially since the rider is not protected by a metal frame like a car. In addition, motorcyclists are far more likely to be injured in an accident than car drivers. To avoid serious injuries, it is important for riders to maintain a high level of awareness of other traffic. It is also advisable to use special clothing and helmets that provide added protection against the elements. It is also a good idea to avoid alcohol or drugs, as these can affect judgment, coordination, balance, throttle control and the ability to shift gears.
The word “motorcycle” was originally used to refer to any two-wheeled vehicle with an engine. Early examples included steam powered velocipedes, such as the Michaux-Perreaux steam velocipede and Sylvester H. Roper’s steam cycle that were constructed around 1867. Many of the inventors of these early machines went on to develop automobiles, including Gottlieb Daimler and Wilhelm Maybach, who created the first gasoline powered two-wheeled automobile in Germany in 1885.
The most common purpose for riding a motorcycle is for recreational purposes. This includes cruising, sport (including racing) and off-road riding. There are many types of motorcycles, and they can vary widely in size, power and configuration. It is important for prospective riders to try different bikes in a controlled environment before buying one, and it is a good idea to take a riding course to learn the basic skills and safety tips before getting on the road.