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motor vehicle whose design is based on the bicycle. The German inventor Gottlieb DaimlerDaimler, Gottlieb
, 1834–1900, German engineer, inventor, and pioneer automobile manufacturer. His improvements in the internal-combustion engine, made in the 1880s, contributed largely to the development of the automobile industry.
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 is generally credited with building the first practical motorcycle in 1885. The motorcycle did not become dependable and popular, however, until after 1900. The typical motorcycle has an air-cooled engine supported in a metal frame between two wheels. Sometimes a third wheel is added to support an open carriage, called a sidecar, which is attached to the motorcycle. The motor is a two- or four-cycle gasoline engine with one to four cylinders. Its piston displacement generally ranges from 50 to 1,500 cc. Although the motorcycle is not as safe a vehicle as the automobile, its convenience and economy have made it very popular; it is widely used for pleasure riding, racing, and commercial transportation of light goods. Modern touring motorcycles provide automatic transmission, stereo sound, and luggage space. Motorcycles are widely used by the police for traffic patrols. Use of the motorcycle has increased greatly in recent years as a result of the development of the inexpensive, lightweight motorcycle, manufactured chiefly in Asia. Dirt bikes, motorcycles specially designed and outfitted for off-road use, are also now common. The motor scooter, a variation on the motorcycle, has smaller wheels and has most of its working parts enclosed by a shield. The driver sits on a seat with his or her feet on a wide metal platform behind the front shield. Another variation on the motorcycle is the moped, a bicycle to which a small (under 50 cc) auxiliary engine has been attached. Motorcycle racing is done both on paved and unpaved surfaces, over closed and cross-country courses, for a variety of vehicle classes. Particularly popular is motocross, in which dirt bikes are raced over an off-road closed course with numerous turns, jumps, hills, and other irregular terrain.



a two-wheeled or three-wheeled (tricycle) vehicle with an internal-combustion engine having a displacement of more than 49.8 cu cm. The first motorcycles appeared in Western Europe in the late 19th century. Between 1924 and 1932 experimental models were developed and tested in Moscow, Izhevsk, and Leningrad (the Soiuz, IZh-1, IZh-2, IZh-3, IZh-4, IZh-5, and NATI-750). Serial production was begun in Leningrad in 1933 (model L-300: piston displacement, 300 cu cm; power, 4.7 kilowatts [kW]) and Izhevsk (model IZh-7, which is similar to the L-300).

Motorcycles are classified according to purpose as touring (transportation), sports, and special-purpose types. Touring motorcycles (Tables 1 and 2), which are small and light, have good maneuverability and excellent rough-road performance, and are simple to maintain, are used for personal transportation. The special-purpose types include patrol, escort, and commercial motorcycles.

A motorcycle consists of several groups of mechanisms: the engine, the power train (transmission), the running gear (undercarriage), and the electrical system. The engine is a two- or

Table 1. Specifications of touring motorcycles produced in the USSR
 M-106Voskhod-2Planeta-3IZh lupiter-3Ural-31 M-66Dnepr1 MT-9
1Manufactured only with sidecar 2For motorcycles with sidecars 3One speed in reverse
Engine displacement (cu cm)..........123.5173.7346347649649
Number of cylinders (number of cycles)..........1 (2)1 (2)1 (2)2 (2)2 (4)2 (4)
Cylinder bore (mm)..........5261.757261.757878
Piston stroke (mm)..........585885586868
Compression ratio..........9.5:17.5:17.2:17.5:17.0:17.2:1
Maximum power, kW (hp)..........6.62 (9)8.1 (11)13.2 (18)18.4 (25)23.6 (32)23.6 (32)
Engine speed at maximum power (rpm)..........5,2005,4005,0005,4005,0005,200
Maximum speed (km/hr)..........8595110120 (90)2105100
Number of speeds..........4444443
Empty weight (kg)..........100112156158 (253)2320320
Standard fuel consumption (1/100 km; speed in km/hr shown in parentheses)..........2.75 (50)2.8 (50)3.55 (55)3.75 (55)2 (5.8) 25.8 (55)5.8 (55)
Table 2. Specifications of some foreign-made touring motorcycles
 JAWA 50 (ČSSR)Motobecan D125 (France)ČZ 175 (ČSSR)MZ250 (GDR)Pannonia P20 (Hungary)Kawasaki 305S2 (Japan)BMW P60/5 (FRG)Honda SV750 (Japan)Munch TTS (FRG)
Engine displacement (cu cm)..........481241722492463465997361,200
Number of cylinders..........121122244
Number of cycles..........222222444
Cylinder bore (mm)..........5843587056537.356175
Piston stroke (mm)..........65436565505.237.096366.6
Compression ratio..........7.8:110:18.7:18.5:110.5:17.3:19.2:19:111:1
Maximum power, kW (hp)..........2.9(4)11.04(15)11.04(15)13.9(19)16.9(23)33.2(45)29.4(40)49.2(67)64.8(88)
Engine speed at maximum power (rpm)..........6,5007,0005,6005,5007,5008,0006,4008,5006,500
Maximum speed (km/hr)...........60120115130130170165200215
Number of speeds.............354455454
Weight (kg)............69108112143142150210218240

four-cycle carbureter type, which is cooled by the airstream (some sports and high-performance touring motorcycles are water-cooled). The power per liter of displacement for two-cycle engines of touring motorcycles is 51.5–98.2 kW/I (70–130 hp/l ); for four-cycle engines, 37–66 kW/l (50–90 hp/l ); and for sports motorcycles, 146–220 kW/l (200–300 hp/l ). The power train consists of a clutch, a gearbox, a front (motor) transmission, and a rear (main) transmission. The clutch is of the single-disk or multidisk type (the latter type is used on most motorcycles). The gearbox has two to six speeds, with four in most touring motorcycles. The front transmission (from the engine to the gearbox) is of the chain type or, less frequently, of the pinion type. The rear transmission (from the gearbox to the rear wheel) is of the chain type (sometimes a propeller shaft). The electrical equipment includes a power source (AC or DC generators and storage batteries), an ignition system, a light system (headlights and taillights), and a signal system (turn, brake, and horn signals).

In the USSR, motorcycles are produced in Minsk (displacement, 125 cu cm), Kovrov (displacement, 175 cu cm), Izhevsk (one- and two-cylinder types with a piston displacement of 350 cu cm), and Kiev and Irbit (displacement, 650 cu cm). The output of motorcycles and motor scooters in the USSR was 533,000 in 1960,711,000 in 1965, 833,000 in 1970, and 1,022,000 in 1973. In terms of combined production of motorcycles, motor scooters, and motor bicycles, the USSR is second in the world (more than 1.5 million per year); production in Japan is about 3.5 million (1973).


Abrosimov, A. A., and A. A. Tarbov. Mototsikly K-750, M-61, M-62. Moscow, 1962.
Zabelin, V. A., and M. P. Isaev. Izhevskie dorozhnye mototsikly, 2nd ed. Izhevsk, 1964.
Mototsikly K-125, K-175 i ikh modifikatsii. 2nd ed. Moscow, 1966. Mototsikl. Moscow, 1971.
Gintsburg, M. G. Ustroistvo i obsluzhivanie mototsiklov, 4th ed. Moscow, 1972.


What does it mean when you dream about a motorcycle?

Unless we regularly ride one, motorcycles in dreams often represent youthful energy and/or adolescent rebelliousness. A sense of freedom and/or a sense of danger.


(mechanical engineering)
An automotive vehicle, essentially a motorized bicycle, with two tandem and sometimes three rubber wheels.


a two-wheeled vehicle, having a stronger frame than a bicycle, that is driven by a petrol engine, usually with a capacity of between 125 cc and 1000 cc
References in periodicals archive ?
Citing last year's data when nearly 40 biker gangs were busted, the police said no one gang could be behind the recent incidents.
But, while the depth of the rivalry is clear, the exact reason for Mr Tobin's murder remains a mystery due to the "shroud of secrecy" surrounding biker gangs.
One of their key tasks is identifying the criminal threats of the future - and biker gangs are near the top of the agenda.
POLICE have issued a picture of a man they are trying to trace in connection with a biker gang battle at an airport.
The incident happed in court during a high security murder trial of rival biker gangs.
Killings involving enemy biker gangs have taken place in America and increasingly in Europe.
LANCASTER - In the wake of pre-dawn raids Tuesday by 200 law enforcement officers, authorities announced that they had smashed a drug ring linked to white supremacist and biker gangs that distributed methamphetamine as far away as New York.
WITNESSES have told how a restaurant car park became a battleground for biker gangs when a brawl escalated into a deadly shoot-out.
One of their main tasks is identifying the criminal threats of the future - and biker gangs are one of their key concerns.
Larner was one of eight men convicted at Birmingham Crown Court earlier this year for their part in the mass brawl between rival members of the Hell's Angels and Outlaws biker gangs at the airport in January 2008.
The force had applied to Stratford District Council to pull the plug on the festival's licence, amid fears of heightened violence between rival biker gangs.
LANCASTER - Local and federal law enforcement officers smashed a nationwide methamphetamine ring Tuesday, capping an 18-month investigation that found direct links to white supremacists and biker gangs.