History of Motorcycles

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With gas prices rising higher and higher everyday, many people turned to alternate forms of transportation. One of the most popular forms of transportation is motorcycles. These vehicles can save a lot of money at the pump. Sports involving motorcycles are also becoming more and more popular everyday. Motocross is the second most popular motorsport in America behind NASCAR. This growth of the motorcycle industry got me curious about these amazing machines and how they work.

The first motorcycles were made in America. In 1867, American, Sylvester Howard Roper invented a steam-engine motorcycle that was powered by coal called the Roper Steam Velocipede. German, Gottlieb Daimler invented the first gasoline-powered motorcycle in 1885. This is considered by most to be the first true motorcycle. Daimler used a four-stroke engine that was invented by Nicolaus August Otto. It was the first four-stroke internal combustion engine (Tank). There are two main types of engines used in the motorcycle industry. They are two-stroke engines and four-stroke engines. The primary difference between the two is in a two-stroke engine power is made every revolution of the engine. Four-stroke engines make power once every two revolutions. A two-stroke engine will make more power because of the way it operates. However, the disadvantage to the two-stroke engine is that it burns gasoline as well as oil. This is not only more harmful to the environment but it is not best suited for most motorcycles. Two-stroke engines are used in motocross and some other motorsports where weight and power are more important, but advancements in four-stroke engines have made two-stroke engines obsolete (House). In a two-stroke engine, a piston moves up and down in a cylinder and is responsible for compressing an air/fuel mixture by moving upward in the cylinder. The piston then moves back down around the explosion of the ignited mixture. The piston then transfers the energy of the explosion to...
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