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Encyclopedia > Motorcycle
A variety of parked motorcycles

A motorcycle or motorbike is a single-track, two-wheeled motor vehicle powered by an engine. Styles of motorcycles vary depending on the task for which they are designed, such as long distance travel, navigating congested urban traffic, cruising, sport and racing, or off-road conditions. In many parts of the world, motorcycles are among the least expensive and most widespread forms of motorised transport. A motorcycle is a single-track two-wheeled motor vehicle powered by an engine. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 800 × 524 pixels Full resolution (997 × 653 pixel, file size: 157 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) Motorcycle parking at Indy (by dmason) URL: http://www. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 800 × 524 pixels Full resolution (997 × 653 pixel, file size: 157 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) Motorcycle parking at Indy (by dmason) URL: http://www. ... A single track railway is one where traffic in both directions shares the same track. ... Although any motorcycle can be so equipped and used to tour with, manufacturers have brought specific models designed to address the particular needs of long-distance touring and heavy commuting riders to market. ... Ducati Monster S4R Suzuki GS500E fully naked bike Honda CB600F Hornet Naked bike refers to a class of road motorcycles without fairings. ... BMW R1200C Cruiser Cruiser is the term for motorcycles that mimic the design style of American machines from the 1930s to the early 1960s, such as those made by Harley-Davidson, Indian, Excelsior and Henderson, even though they have benefited from advances in metallurgy and design. ... Classic Road Racing Road Racing on temporarily closed public roads Motorcycle sport is a broad field that encompasses all sporting aspects of motorcycling. ...

Contents

History

Main article: Motorcycle history
Replica of the Daimler-Maybach Reitwagen
Replica of the Daimler-Maybach Reitwagen
A 1913 Fabrique National in-line four with shaft drive from Belgium
A 1913 Fabrique National in-line four with shaft drive from Belgium
A pre-war Polish Sokół 1000
A pre-war Polish Sokół 1000

The inspiration for arguably the first motorcycle was designed and built by the German inventors Gottlieb Daimler and Wilhelm Maybach in Bad Cannstatt (since 1905 a city district of Stuttgart) in 1885.[1] The first petroleum-powered vehicle, it was essentially a motorised bicycle, although the inventors called their invention the Reitwagen ("riding car"). Motorcycle history begins in the late 1800s. ... Download high resolution version (1520x1474, 409 KB) Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Download high resolution version (1520x1474, 409 KB) Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 800 × 600 pixels Full resolution (1024 × 768 pixel, file size: 566 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) motocykl Sokół 1000; zdjęcie udostępnione przez Mareksilarki (c) 2005 na bazie GNU FDL Polish motorcycle Sokół 1000, picture uploaded to Polish wiki by... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 800 × 600 pixels Full resolution (1024 × 768 pixel, file size: 566 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) motocykl Sokół 1000; zdjęcie udostępnione przez Mareksilarki (c) 2005 na bazie GNU FDL Polish motorcycle Sokół 1000, picture uploaded to Polish wiki by... Sokół 1000 (also known as CWS 1000 and M 111) was the heaviest Polish pre-war motorcycle manufactured by the PZInż works, both for civilian and military use in the Polish Army. ... Gottlieb Daimler Gottlieb Wilhelm Daimler (March 17, 1834 - March 6, 1900) was an engineer, industrial designer and industrialist, born in Schorndorf (Kingdom of Württemberg) what is now Germany. ... Wilhelm Maybach Wilhelm Maybach (February 9, 1846 – December 29, 1929), was an early German engine designer and industrialist. ... For other uses, see Stuttgart (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Stuttgart (disambiguation). ... Pumpjack pumping an oil well near Lubbock, Texas Ignacy Łukasiewicz - inventor of the refining of kerosene from crude oil. ... For other uses, see Bicycle (disambiguation). ...


However, if one counts two wheels with steam propulsion as being a motorcycle, then the first one may have been American. One such machine was demonstrated at fairs and circuses in the eastern U.S. in 1867, built by Sylvester Howard Roper of Roxbury, Massachusetts.[1]


In 1894, Hildebrand & Wolfmüller became the first motorcycle available for purchase.[2] In the early period of motorcycle history, many producers of bicycles adapted their designs to accommodate the new internal combustion engine. As the engines became more powerful, and designs outgrew the bicycle origins, the number of motorcycle producers increased. In 1894, the Hildebrand & Wolfmüller was the first motorcycle that was available for purchase. ... The internal combustion engine is an engine in which the combustion of fuel and an oxidizer (typically air) occurs in a confined space called a combustion chamber. ...

An historic 1941 Crocker
An historic 1941 Crocker

Until the First World War, the largest motorcycle manufacturer in the world was Indian, producing over 20,000 bikes per year. By 1920, this honour went to Harley-Davidson, with their motorcycles being sold by dealers in 67 countries, until 1928 when DKW took over as the largest manufacturer. Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... The Crocker Motorcycle Company was an American manufacturer of single-cylinder speedway racing motorcycles from 1932, powerful V-twin road motorcycles from 1936, and the Scootabout, one of the first modern styled motor scooters, in the late 1930s. ... Ypres, 1917, in the vicinity of the Battle of Passchendaele. ... Logo on a 2003 Harley Davidson The Harley-Davidson Motor Company (NYSE: HDI) is a manufacturer of motorcycles based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. ... DKW Auto Union logotype Dampf-Kraft Wagen (German: steam-powered vehicle) or DKW is a historic car and motorcycle marque. ...


After the Second World War, the BSA Group became the largest producer of motorcycles in the world, producing up to 75,000 bikes a year in the 1950s. The German company NSU Motorenwerke AG held the position of largest manufacturer from 1955 until the 1970s. Mushroom cloud from the nuclear explosion over Nagasaki rising 18 km into the air. ... The Birmingham Small Arms Company (BSA) was a British manufacturer of vehicles, firearms, and military equipment, and still exists as an airgun sport manufacturer and distributor. ... Logo of the Company NSU, 1951 NSU Motorenwerke AG (normally just NSU) was a German manufacturer of cars and motorcycles which was founded in 1873, and was acquired by Volkswagen in 1969. ...


From the 1960s through the 1990s, small two-stroke motorcycles were popular worldwide, partly as a result of East German Walter Kaaden's engine work in the 1950s.[3] “East Germany” redirects here. ...


Today, the Japanese manufacturers, Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki, and Yamaha dominate the motorcycle industry, although Harley-Davidson still maintains a high degree of popularity in the United States. Recent years have also seen a resurgence in the popularity of several other brands sold in the U.S. market, including BMW, KTM, Triumph, Aprilia, Moto Guzzi and Ducati. This article is about the Japanese motor corporation. ... Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd. ... Suzuki Motor Corporation ) is a Japanese multinational corporation company producing a range of automobiles (especially Keicars and small SUVs), a full range of motorcycles, ATVs, outboard motors, wheelchairs, and a variety of other small combustion-powered engine products. ... Yamaha Motor Corporation (ヤマハ発動機株式会社) is a motorized vehicle-producing company, initially part of the Yamaha Corporation. ... Logo on a 2003 Harley Davidson The Harley-Davidson Motor Company (NYSE: HDI) is a manufacturer of motorcycles based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. ... A 1924 BMW R32 at the 2006 BMW MOA international rally in Vermont. ... Kronreif & Trunkenpolz, Mattighofen (KTM) is an Austrian motorcycle manufacturer. ... Triumph Motorcycles is an English motorcycle manufacturer, originally based in Coventry. ... An Aprilia RS125, model of 1998. ... Moto Guzzi is an Italian motorcycle manufacturer that was established in 1920. ... Ducati Motor Holding is an Italian motorcycle manufacturer. ...


Outside of the USA, these brands have enjoyed continued and sustained success, although Triumph, for example, has been re-incarnated from its former self into a modern world-class manufacturer. In overall numbers, however, the Chinese currently manufacture and sell more motorcycles than any other country and exports are rising. The quality of these machines is asserted to be somewhat lower than their Japanese, European and American counterparts [citation needed].


Additionally, the small-capacity scooter is very popular through most of the world. The Piaggio group of Italy, for example, is one of the world's largest producers of two-wheeled vehicles. The scooter culture has, as yet, not been adopted widely in North America.[citation needed] A typical mid 1980s twist and go scooter. ... Piaggio is a company based in Italy that produces cars, motorcycles, scooters and aeroplanes. ...


Technical aspects

Construction

Main article: Motorcycle construction

Motorcycle construction is the engineering, manufacturing, and assembly of components and systems for a motorcycle which results in performance, cost and aesthetics desired by the designer. With some exceptions, construction of modern mass-produced motorcycles has standardised on a steel or aluminium frame, telescopic forks holding the front wheel, and disc brakes. A one- to six-cylinder gasoline powered engine coupled to a manual, five- or six-speed sequential transmission drives the swingarm-mounted rear wheel by a chain, driveshaft or belt. Motorcycle construction is the engineering, manufacturing, and assembly of components and systems for a motorcycle which results in the desired performance, cost and aesthetics. ... For other uses, see Steel (disambiguation). ... Aluminum redirects here. ... 1968 BMW R60US with conventional telescopic fork Yamahas inverted telescopic fork The worlds first oil-damped telescopic fork, on a 1939 BMW R12 Trailing link fork on a 1928 BMW R57 Unusual trailing bottom link on a Honda Rune Earles front forks on three BMWs BMW Telelever fork... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Vehicle brake. ... A motorcycle engine is an engine found in a motorcycle, which serves to propel the motorcycle. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Sequential Manual Transmission. ... Plunger suspension on a 1953 BMW R51/3 A swingarm is the main component of the rear suspension of most modern motorcycles and ATVs. ... This article is about the mechanical device. ... A Gilmer belt is a system for transferring power between axles in a machine. ...


Fuel economy

Motorcycle fuel economy benefits from the relatively small mass of the vehicle, compared to its passengers and to other motor vehicles, and subsequent small engine displacement. However, poor aerodynamics of exposed passengers and engines designed for goals other than fuel economy can work to reduce these benefits. Riding style has a large effect on fuel economy: some riders report being able to double fuel economy by using low accelerations and lower speeds than usual, although this is the extreme case.


Fuel economy varies greatly with engine displacement and riding style ranging from a low of 29 mpg (U.S.) (8.1 L/100 km) reported by a Honda VTR1000F rider,[4] to 107 mpg (U.S.) (2.2 L/100 km) reported for the Verucci Nitro 50 cc Scooter.[5] A specially designed Matzu Matsuzawa Honda XL125 achieved 470 mpg (U.S.) (0.5 L/100 km) "on real highways - in real conditions."[6]


Dynamics

Motorcycles must be leaned in order to turn. This lean can be induced by a method known as countersteering, in which the rider turns the handlebars in the direction opposite of the desired direction of turn. In other words, press forward on the handgrip in the desired direction—press right to go right, press left to go left. This concept is counter-intuitive and often very confusing to novices—and even to many experienced motorcyclists.[7] A simplified mathematical model of bike and rider demonstrating the dynamic of a right turn Bicycle and motorcycle dynamics is the science of the motion of bicycles and motorcycles, in entirety or in parts, due to the forces acting on them during balancing, steering, braking, and suspension. ... Countersteering is the name given to the counter-intuitive technique used by cyclists and motorcyclists to turn corners. ... Something is counter-intuitive if it does not seem likely to be true using the tool of human intuition or gut-feeling to perceive reality. ...


Short wheelbase motorcycles, such as sport bikes, can generate enough torque at the rear wheel and enough stopping force at the front wheel to lift the other wheel off the pavement. These actions, if performed on purpose, are known as wheelies and stoppies respectively. If carried past the point of recovery the resulting upset is known as "looping" the vehicle. Bike wheelbase, head angle, fork offset, and trail Bicycle and motorcycle geometry is the collection of key measurements (lengths and angles) that define a particular bike configuration. ... An R/C truck pops a wheelie after a jump. ... The stoppie, also known as the endo, is a motorcycle and bike trick in which the back wheel is lifted and the bike is ridden on the front wheel. ...


Additions

Various additions may be attached to a motorcycle or come as an integral part of a motorcycle from the factory.

Full fairing on a Honda Gold Wing
Fairing
Main article: Fairing

A plastic or fibreglass shell, known as a "fairing", is placed over the frame on some models to shield the rider from the wind, aid in aerodynamics and protect engine components in an accident and also from theft. Drag is the major factor that limits motorcycle speed, as it increases at the square of the velocity, with the resultant required power increasing with the cube of velocity. As can be seen from the streamlined appearance of new performance motorcycles, there is much aerodynamic technology included in the design. Unfortunately, since the 1958 FIM ban on "dustbin" fairings no major manufacturer has been bold enough to overcome the effect of the turbulence caused by the spinning front wheel, which prevents the motorcycle from cutting a clean path through the air. The "dustbin" fairing can improve aerodynamic performance without unacceptably compromising the rider's ability to control the machine, although with a weight penalty. Honda Goldwing, seen at a rally at Slimbridge, near Bristol, England. ... Honda Goldwing, seen at a rally at Slimbridge, near Bristol, England. ... The Honda Goldwing motorcycle had its debut in 1975, and became one of the most popular motorcycles in history. ... The wing root of a simple aircraft, an American Aviation AA-1 Yankee, showing a wing root fairing A fairing is a structure whose primary function is to produce a smooth outline and to reduce drag. ... For other uses, see Plastic (disambiguation). ... There is a disputed proposal to merge this article with glass-reinforced plastic. ... The wing root of a simple aircraft, an American Aviation AA-1 Yankee, showing a wing root fairing A fairing is a structure whose primary function is to produce a smooth outline and to reduce drag. ... An object falling through a gas or liquid experiences a force in direction opposite to its motion. ...

An example of a fairing on a Honda CBR1000F
An example of a fairing on a Honda CBR1000F

In the absence of a fairing or windshield, a phenomenon known as the windsock effect occurs at speeds above 100 km/h (62 mph), where the rider becomes a major source of drag and is pushed back from the handlebars, tiring the rider. However, these motorcycles still effectively push their way through the atmosphere with brute force. A cabin cycle, which has a hull that wraps around the basic cycle frame, solved the problem of aerodynamics by isolating driver from outside air. Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Cabin cycle is a form of land vehicle that has a hull that wraps around the basic bicycle or motorcycle design. ...


Modern fairings on touring and sport-touring motorcycles dramatically improve a rider's comfort and attention on long rides by reducing the effect of the wind and rain on the body. They also help keep a rider warm in cold weather, reducing hypothermia. Heated hand grips, and even heated seats, also improve rider comfort in cold weather. Motorcycles from a number of manufacturers now have electric windshields, introduced on the 1986 BMW K100LT, which raise and lower the windshield with the push of a button to the optimum height for conditions. A 1924 BMW R32 at the 2006 BMW MOA international rally in Vermont. ...

Craven's Golden Arrow panniers
Craven's Golden Arrow panniers
Saddlebags or panniers

Saddlebags or panniers mount on either side of the rear wheel behind the saddle to carry parts, tools, and/or travel gear. They can be made of fiberglass, ABS, leather, Cordura, or other appropriate sturdy material. They are normally standard items on touring motorcycles, but are usually optional on other types of motorcycles. They can be model-specific and available from a motorcycle's manufacturer, or after-market and designed to fit on numerous models. Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Medium size seatbag mounted to road saddle Illustration of medium size seatbag maximum capacity In cycling, a saddlebag or seat bag is a bag attached under the saddle, used mainly to hold bicycle repair equipment, such as spare inner tubes, tube patches, glue, repair tools and waterproofs. ... For the locomotive, see Pannier tank locomotive A pannier is a basket, bag, or similar container, possibly large, and carried either in pairs slung over the back of a beast of burden, or attached to a bicycle or motorcycle. ... Bundle of fiberglass Fiberglass (also called fibreglass and glass fibre) is material made from extremely fine fibers of glass. ... Monomers in ABS polymer Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene, or ABS, (chemical formula (C8H8· C4H6·C3H3N)n is a common thermoplastic used to make light, rigid, molded products such as piping, golf club heads (used for its good shock absorbance), automotive body parts, wheel covers, enclosures, protective head gear, and toys including... Modern leather-working tools Leather is a material created through the tanning of hides and skins of animals, primarily cattlehide. ... Cordura is the registered name of a certified fabric from INVISTA. It is used in a wide range of products from luggage and backpacks to boots, to military wear and performance apparel. ... Although any motorcycle can be so equipped and used to tour with, manufacturers have brought specific models designed to address the particular needs of long-distance touring and heavy commuting riders to market. ...

Heated handgrips on a BMW
Heated handgrips on a BMW
Heated hand grips/seats

As motorcycles lack climate control or proper protection from the wind, some manufacturers offer heated seats or hand grips to relieve the discomfort of wind chill during night riding or the colder months. They can also be added on as after market accessories and are powered by the bike's battery. Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ...

Luggage rack

A common addition to many bikes is an attachment onto which bags or other luggage can be fastened. This removes the need for rider backpacks and is generally a more secure and safe way to add carrying capacity to a motorcycle.

Sidecar
Main article: Sidecar
IMZ-Ural motorcycle with sidecar
IMZ-Ural motorcycle with sidecar

A sidecar is a one-wheeled device attached to the side of a motorcycle, producing a three-wheeled vehicle. Early sidecars were intended to be removable devices that could be detached from the motorcycle. Sidecars gradually superseded forecars and trailers. The forecar comprised a two-wheeled attachment attached to the front of the motorcycle; the trailer was just that, leaving the passenger to be hauled along behind the vehicle. In neither case could rider and passenger converse easily – this may be why early sidecars were often called 'sociable' attachments. BMW R51/3 motorcycle with sidecar Ural Retro with sidecar Vespa scooter with sidecar This article concerns sidecar as an attachment to a motocycle. ... Image File history File links Ural-sidecar-600. ... Image File history File links Ural-sidecar-600. ... Ural logo IMZ - Irbitskiy Mototsikletniy Zavod (Ирбитский мотоциклетный завод = ИМЗ) is a Russian maker of heavy motorcycles (especially with sidecars). ... BMW R51/3 motorcycle with sidecar Ural Retro with sidecar Vespa scooter with sidecar This article concerns sidecar as an attachment to a motocycle. ... BMW R51/3 motorcycle with sidecar Ural Retro with sidecar Vespa scooter with sidecar This article concerns sidecar as an attachment to a motocycle. ... A Forecar was a car body style adopted by several makers of light cars and motor cycles in the first decade of the 20th century. ...

Trailer hitch
Main article: Motorcycle trailer

A trailer hitch or tow hitch is a device mounted on a motorcycle that enables it to tow a motorcycle trailer, usually in order to haul additional gear. No motorcycle manufacturer recommends that a trailer be towed by one if its motorcycles because it creates additional safety hazards for motorcyclists. Motorcycle trailer is a term used to describe a trailer used either to carry motorcycles or to be pulled behind a motorcycle in order to carry additional gear. ... Utility trailer A Trailer is generally an unpowered vehicle pulled by a powered vehicle. ... The various pieces of a tow hitch (also known as a tow bar) are as follows (as seen on cars and non-industrial trucks). ... Motorcycle trailer is a term used to describe a trailer used either to carry motorcycles or to be pulled behind a motorcycle in order to carry additional gear. ...

Trunk
Main article: Trunk (motorcycle)

A motorcycle trunk is a storage compartment in the vicinity of the seat, other than panniers or saddlebags. A trunk mounted above and to the rear of the seat is also called a top box. Motorcycle with a trunk A motorcycle trunk is a storage compartment in the vicinity of the seat, other than panniers. ... Motorcycle with a trunk A motorcycle trunk is a storage compartment in the vicinity of the seat, other than panniers. ... For the locomotive, see Pannier tank locomotive A pannier is a basket, bag, or similar container, possibly large, and carried either in pairs slung over the back of a beast of burden, or attached to a bicycle or motorcycle. ... Medium size seatbag mounted to road saddle Illustration of medium size seatbag maximum capacity In cycling, a saddlebag or seat bag is a bag attached under the saddle, used mainly to hold bicycle repair equipment, such as spare inner tubes, tube patches, glue, repair tools and waterproofs. ...


Social aspects

Main article: Motorcycling

Imme R 100,Germany, 1948/1949 A 125 cc motorcycle, the Italian-manufactured Cagiva Planet. ...

Subcultures

A motorcycle rally in Ontario
A motorcycle rally in Ontario

Around the world, motorcycles have historically been associated with subcultures. Some of these subcultures have been loose-knit social groups such as the cafe racers of 1950s Britain, and the Mods and Rockers of the 1960s. A few are believed to be criminal gangs. Image File history File linksMetadata Trenton. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Trenton. ... In biology, a subculture in a population of a microorganism is when one microbe colony in such a population is transferred onto blank growth medium and allowed to freely reproduce. ... Summary Cafe Racers are a type of motorcycle as well as a type of motorcyclist and have their roots in the 1960s British counterculture group the Rockers or Ton-up Boys; although were also common in Italy, amongst Italian motorcycle manufacturers and other European countries. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... The definitive Wild One. ...


Social motorcyclist organisations are popular and are sometimes organised geographically, focus on individual makes, or even specific models. Example motorcycle clubs include: American Motorcyclist Association, Harley Owners Group, Gold Wing Road Riders (GWRRA), and BMW MOA. AMA Logo The American Motorcyclist Association is a U.S. organization of more than 280,000 motorcyclists that organizes numerous motorcycling activities and campaigns for motorcyclists legal rights. ... The Harley Owners Group is a club for Harley-Davidson motorcycle owners. ... Founders of BMW MOA in Chicago in 1972. ...


Many motorcycle organisations raise money for charities through organised events and rides. Some organisations hold large international rallies in different parts of the world that are attended by many thousands of riders. // Legal definitions A charity is a trust, company or unincorporated association established for charitable purposes only. ... A motorcycle rally is a gathering of motorcycle enthusiasts. ...


In recent decades, motorcyclists have formed political lobbying organisations in order to influence legislators to introduce motorcycle-friendly legislation. One of the oldest such organisations, the British Motorcycle Action Group, was founded in 1973 specifically in response to helmet compulsion, introduced without public consultation.[8] In addition, the British Motorcyclists Federation (BMF), originally founded in 1960 as a reaction to the public perception of motorcyclists as leather-jacketed hooligans, has itself moved into political lobbying. The British Motorcyclists Federation (BMF) is a United Kingdom basted riders rights group. ...


Likewise, the U.S. has ABATE, which, like most such organisations, also works to improve motorcycle safety, as well as running the usual charity fund-raising events and rallies, often for motorcycle-related political interests. Some other lobbying organisations are listed in Category:Motorcyclists organizations. State Motorcyclists Rights Organizations (abbreviated SMRO) exist in the United States, where they are often called ABATE. They are best known for their opposition to mandatory motorcycle helmet laws. ... // Motorcycles have a far higher fatality rate per unit of distance travelled when compared with automobiles. ...


Mobility

While the reasons for people choosing to ride motorcycles are many and varied, those reasons are increasingly practical, with riders opting for a powered two-wheeler as a cost-efficient alternative to infrequent and expensive public transport systems, or as a means of avoiding or reducing the effects of urban congestion.[9] In places where it is permitted, lane splitting, also known as filtering, allows motorcycles to use the space between vehicles to continue moving through stationary or slow traffic.[10] Lane splitting, lane sharing, or lane filtering is the controversial practice of operating a vehicle, most commonly a motorcycle, in the unused space between vehicles. ...


In the UK, motorcycles are exempt from the £8 per day London congestion charge other vehicles have to pay to enter the city during the day. Motorcycles are also exempt from toll charges at some river crossings, such as the Severn Bridge, Dartford Crossing, and Mersey Tunnels. Some cities, such as Bristol, allow motorcycles to use bus lanes and provide dedicated free parking. In the United States, those states that have high-occupancy vehicle lanes also allow for motorcycle travel in them. Other countries have similar policies. The white-on-red C marks all entrances to the congestion charge zone although in some areas the charge zone is poorly signed, and accidental journeys into the zone can occur The London congestion charge is a fee for some motorists entering the Central London area. ... The word toll has several meanings. ... For the Ontario community, see Severn Bridge, Ontario. ... , The Queen Elizabeth II Bridge The Dartford Crossing joins Dartford and Thurrock across the River Thames, to the east of London. ... mers ... This article is about the English city. ... A bus lane in Mannheim, Germany A bus lane in Athens, Greece. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ...


In many cultures, motorcycles are the primary means of motorised transport. According to the Taiwanese government, for example, "the number of automobiles per ten thousand population is around 2,500, and the number of motorcycles is about 5,000."[11]


Safety

Motorcycles have a far higher rate of crippling and fatal accidents per unit distance than automobiles. According to the U. S. Highway Safety Authority, in 2004 15.0 cars out of 100,000 ended up in fatal crashes while the rate for motorcycles is 69.3 per 100,000 (a ratio of 4.6 to 1). The picture is worse when distance travelled are taken into account: in 2004 in the U.S., there were 0.4 motorcyclist fatalities per million miles compared to 0.012 passenger car occupant fatalities per million miles (a ratio of 33 to 1). // Motorcycles have a far higher fatality rate per unit of distance travelled when compared with automobiles. ... A motorcyclist wearing full safety clothing of helmet, gloves, boots and leathers To improve motorcycle safety many developed countries mandate the wearing of protective clothing by motorcyclists, especially a helmet. ... A railing accidentally collapses at a college football game, spilling fans onto the sidelines An accident is something going wrong unexpectedly. ... “Car” and “Cars” redirect here. ...


The two major causes of motorcycle accidents in the United States, i.e., (1) motorists pulling out or turning in front of motorcyclists and violating their rights-of-way and (2) motorcyclists running wide in turns and crashing, are made more likely when motorcyclists mix drinking with riding.[12] Motorcyclists can do much to anticipate and avoid these crashes by getting proper training, increasing their conspicuousness to other traffic, and separating alcohol and riding.

An MSF rider course for novices
An MSF rider course for novices

The United Kingdom has a number of organisations which are dedicated to improving motorcycle safety by providing advanced rider training over and above what is necessary to pass the basic motorcycle test. These include the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) and the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA). Along with increased personal safety, riders with these advanced qualifications often benefit from reduced insurance costs. Image File history File links Action-w. ... Image File history File links Action-w. ... Institute of Advanced Motorists logo The Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) is a charity based in the United Kingdom whose objective is to improve car driving and motorcycle riding standards, and hence enhance road safety, through the proper use of a system of car/motorcycle control based on Roadcraft (commonly... The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) is a British charity which aims to promote safety in all fields. ...


Motorcycle Safety Education is offered throughout the United States by a number of organisations ranging from state agencies to non-profit organisations to corporations. The courses, designed by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF), include a Basic Rider Course, an Intermediate Rider Course and an Advanced Rider Course. The Motorcycle Safety Foundation is a US national, not-for-profit organization sponsored by the U.S. manufacturers and distributors of BMW, Ducati, Harley-Davidson, Honda, Kawasaki, KTM, Piaggio/Vespa, Suzuki, Victory and Yamaha motorcycles. ...


In some Australian jurisdictions, such as New South Wales,[13] the Australian Capital Territory[14] and the Northern Territory,[15] it is compulsory to undertake a rider training course before being issued a Learners Licence. “NSW” redirects here. ... Capital Canberra Government Constitutional monarchy Administrator none Chief Minister Jon Stanhope (ALP) Federal representation  - House seats 2  - Senate seats 2 Gross Territorial Product (2006)  - Product ($m)  $19,167 (6th)  - Product per capita  $57,303/person (1st) Population (End of November 2006)  - Population  333,667 (7th)  - Density  137. ... Slogan or Nickname: The Territory, The NT, The Top End Motto(s): none Other Australian states and territories Capital Darwin Government Constitutional monarchy Administrator Ted Egan Chief Minister Clare Martin (ALP) Federal representation  - House seats 2  - Senate seats 2 Gross Territorial Product (2004-05)  - Product ($m)  $10,418 (8th)  - Product...


In Canada, motorcycle rider training is compulsory in Quebec and Manitoba only, but all provinces and territories have Graduated Licensing programs which place restrictions on new drivers until they have gained more experience. Eligibility for a full motorcycle license or endorsement for completing a Motorcycle Safety course varies from province to province. The Canada Safety Council (CSC), a non-profit safety organisation, offers the Gearing Up program across Canada and is endorsed by the Motorcycle and Moped Industry Council.[16] Again, training course graduates often benefit with reduced insurance premiums. This article is about the Canadian province. ... Motto: Gloriosus et Liber (Latin: Glorious and free) BC AB SK MB ON QC NB PE NS NL YT NT NU Capital Winnipeg Largest city Winnipeg Official languages English Government - Lieutenant-Governor John Harvard - Premier Gary Doer (NDP) Federal representation in Canadian Parliament - House seats 14 - Senate seats 6 Confederation... The Canada Safety Council is a national, non-profit, charitable organization dedicated to safety. ...


Types of motorcycles

Main article: Types of motorcycle

There are three major types of motorcycle, street, off-road, and dual purpose. Within these types, there are many different sub-types of motorcycles for many different purposes. A scooter (left) and a cruiser Motorcycles have been produced in myriad different models for innumerable purposes. ...

Harley-Davidson Softail Heritage Classic. A typical "cruiser" design
Harley-Davidson Softail Heritage Classic. A typical "cruiser" design
An Italian 125cc Cagiva Planet. A "standard" or "naked" motorbike
An Italian 125cc Cagiva Planet.
A "standard" or "naked" motorbike
A Kawasaki ZX-7RR sport bike
A Kawasaki ZX-7RR sport bike
A BMW R1200RT touring bike
A BMW R1200RT touring bike
A Honda motocross bike
A Honda motocross bike
The popular Kawasaki KLR650 dual-purpose motorcycle
The popular Kawasaki KLR650 dual-purpose motorcycle

Image File history File links Evb-my_hog. ... Image File history File links Evb-my_hog. ... Logo on a 2003 Harley Davidson The Harley-Davidson Motor Company (NYSE: HDI) is a manufacturer of motorcycles based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. ... The term softail refers to motorcycles and bicycles that feature a moveable rear suspension system with springs or shock absorbers to absorb bumps. ... Image File history File linksMetadata No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File linksMetadata No higher resolution available. ... (National Motorcycle and Engine Company), or known as Modenas for short is a Malaysian national motorcycle company producing various small motorcycle models below 200cc targeted for local market and export. ... Modern underbones use plastic cover sets, allowing users to customize their bikes easily such like this Modenas Kriss 2. ... Cagiva Planet 125 cc motorcycle. ... Cagiva Planet 125 cc motorcycle. ... Image File history File links The contributors own Kawasaki ZX-7RR. Extensively modified by the contributor this model is capable of speeds in excess of 180mph Template:Public Domain File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Image File history File links The contributors own Kawasaki ZX-7RR. Extensively modified by the contributor this model is capable of speeds in excess of 180mph Template:Public Domain File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd. ... Image File history File links R1200rt-blue. ... Image File history File links R1200rt-blue. ... A 1924 BMW R32 at the 2006 BMW MOA international rally in Vermont. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1600x1052, 643 KB) Please see the file description page for further information. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1600x1052, 643 KB) Please see the file description page for further information. ... This article is about the Japanese motor corporation. ... Motocross traditionally took place (and still does) in wet weather, leading to muddy scenes like this and hence the term Scrambling. Photo from New Zealand. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Size of this preview: 800 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (1600 × 1200 pixel, file size: 684 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Motorcycle Kawasaki KLR650 Metadata This file... Image File history File linksMetadata Size of this preview: 800 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (1600 × 1200 pixel, file size: 684 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Motorcycle Kawasaki KLR650 Metadata This file... The Kawasaki KLR650 is a dual-sport motorcycle intended for use on both paved and unpaved roads. ...

Street

  • Choppers: Highly customised motorcycles based on a cruiser-style frame with long rake (longer front forks) and wild paint jobs. Many are created more for show than ridability.
  • Cruisers: A range of small to large motorcycles designed for comfort and looks with a relaxed upright or reclined seating position. They often use lots of chrome and may be highly customised.
  • Electric motorcycles: Nearly silent, zero-emission electric motor-driven vehicles. Operating range and top speed suffer because of limitations of battery technology. Fuel cells and petroleum-electric hybrids are also under development to extend the range and improve performance of the electric motors.
  • Mini bikes: Very small bikes designed to be simple run-around fun for both children and adults. Generally they have no hand-operated clutch or gearbox to simplify operation. Also known as Mini Motos. Not street-legal in most countries and jurisdictions. May be used for racing by all age levels.
  • Mopeds: Small, light, inexpensive, efficient rides for getting around town. Usually started by pedalling (motorcycle + pedals = moped).
    • Underbones: Small motorcycle which is a crossover between a scooter and a true motorcycle with step-through frame, popular in Southeast Asia. While the fuel tank for most motorcycles are tear-shaped and located at the top and just behind the instrument panel, the fuel tank for an underbone motorcycle is located under the seat.
  • Naked bikes/Standard/Street bikes: Naked bikes have a riding position midway between the forward position of a sports bike and the reclined position of a cruiser. Unlike touring bikes, naked bikes often have little or no fairing (hence the title). Luggage capabilities are often an optional extra. Naked bikes are popular for commuting and other city riding as the upright riding position gives greater visibility in heavy traffic (both for the rider and to other road users) and are more comfortable than the hunched over sport bikes. Note that naked bike and standard are not fully interchangeable terms. Naked refers to the lack of bodywork and standard refers to the upright riding position.
  • Scooters: Motorbikes with a step-through frame and generally smaller wheels than those of a traditional motorcycle. Can be ridden without straddling any part of the bike. Available in sport, commuter, and touring models.
  • Sport bikes: Fast, light, sleek motorcycles designed for maximum performance, for racing or spirited road riding. They are distinguishable by their full fairings and the rider's tipped-forward seating position. They are also called "race replicas" because of their connection to the racing category for production motorcycles known as Superbike racing, and earlier similar race series (the term arose in the 1980s). The power to weight ratio of the 900 cc+ models typically matches or exceeds one bhp of power for every one kg of mass.
    • Racing bikes: Motorcycles designed for circuit or road racing, including mass-production motorcycles modified for motorcycle racing or sport riding.
    • Street customs: Highly customised motorcycles with wild paint jobs also built for show, but constructed from a sport bike frame instead of a cruiser-style frame.
  • Touring motorcycles: Touring bikes are designed for rider and passenger comfort, luggage carrying capacity, and reliability. Cruisers, sport bikes and some dual-sports can also be used as touring bikes with the addition of aftermarket luggage and sometimes seats. Common throughout the touring market are usually large-displacement fairings and windshields (for weather and wind protection), large-capacity fuel tanks (for long-range travel), engines optimised for progressive torque rather than highest possible power, and a more relaxed, basically upright seating position.
    • Sport touring motorcycles: Sport-tourers combine attributes of a sport bike and a touring motorcycle. They are built for comfortable long-distance travel while maintaining a forward-leaning riding position, good handling, and high performance.

Chopper refers to a motorcycle that was radically customized, especially the Harley-Davidsons as seen in the 1969 movie Easy Rider. ... BMW R1200C Cruiser Cruiser is the term for motorcycles that mimic the design style of American machines from the 1930s to the early 1960s, such as those made by Harley-Davidson, Indian, Excelsior and Henderson, even though they have benefited from advances in metallurgy and design. ... Electric scooter at the 2005 Vancouver EV gathering Electric motorcycles and scooters are rising in popularity because of higher gasoline prices. ... Zero emission refers to an engine, motor, or other energy source, that emits no waste products that pollutes the environment or disrupts the climate. ... An old style minibike A miniature dirt-bike (Pocketbike). ... Minibike race at Lelystad (NL) Pocketbike racing, also known as Minimoto or Mini GP racing, is a category of racing where miniature racing motorcycles (known as pocketbikes or minimoto) are raced around kart tracks. ... Mopeds are a class of low-powered motorized vehicles, generally two-wheeled. ... Modern underbones use plastic cover sets, allowing users to customize their bikes easily such like this Modenas Kriss 2. ... Location of Southeast Asia Southeast Asia is a subregion of Asia. ... Ducati Monster S4R Suzuki GS500E fully naked bike Honda CB600F Hornet Naked bike refers to a class of road motorcycles without fairings. ... For other uses, see Scooter. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Superbike racing is a category of motorcycle racing that employs modified production motorcycles. ... Start of a Motocross race Motorcycle Racing A Motor Cross Bike A Speedway Bike There are a variety of sports involving racing motorcycles. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Although any motorcycle can be so equipped and used to tour with, manufacturers have brought specific models designed to address the particular needs of long-distance touring and heavy commuting riders to market. ... Sport touring refers to a style of motorcycle design, or a philosophy of riding. ...

Off-road

  • Motocross bikes: Motorcycles designed for racing over closed circuits, often with jumps, over varied terrain of gravel/mud/sand. Sometimes simply called "dirt bikes" when not being raced, they can also be used for informal off-road recreation, or "mudding".
  • Supermotos: Beginning in the mid-1990s, motocross machines fitted with street wheels and tyres similar to those used on Sport bikes began to appear. These are known as "Supermotards", and riders of these machines compete in specially organised rallies and races.
  • Trials motorcycles: Motorcycles made as light as possible, with no seat (as they are designed to be ridden standing up), in order to provide maximum freedom of body positioning and stunt capability for use in observed trials competition.

Motocross traditionally took place (and still does) in wet weather, leading to muddy scenes like this and hence the term Scrambling. Photo from New Zealand. ... Backing it in A Supermoto rider hits the road Through the dirt A KTM Supermoto Supermoto (also called Supermotard due to its strong foothold in France) is a cross-over or evolution of motocross and road racing. ... Montesa Cota 4RT Motorcycle trials, also termed observed trials, is a non-speed event on specialized motorcycles. ... Montesa Cota 4RT Motorcycle trials, also termed observed trials, is a non-speed event on specialized motorcycles. ...

Dual-purpose

  • Dual-sports: Road-legal machines offering a compromise in highway and off-road performance, durability and comfort. Since the requirements are often conflicting, the manufacturer has to choose one or the other, resulting in a great variety of bikes in this category.
  • Enduros: Road-legal versions of a motocross machine, i.e., featuring high ground clearance and copious suspension with minimal creature comforts. Highly unsuitable for long distance road travel. The features that differ from the motocross versions are the silencers, the flywheel weights and the presence of features necessary for highway use.
  • Adventure Touring: Closely related to dual-sports, adventure tourers are motorcycles with lighter weight than just about any other bike considered a tourer, but heavier than any traditional dual-sport. Adventure tourers can handle with aplomb rough dirt paths such as fire roads however, for their weight they are generally not suited for anything more strenuous than that. The advantage is their increased number of luxury features and larger engines which make on-road riding much more enjoyable.

To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Stefan Merriman, 2004 World Enduro Champion on a Yamaha Some events have a mass le mans start, typically Hare and Hounds type events Enduro is a form of motorcycle sport run on courses that are predominantly off-road. ... Motocross traditionally took place (and still does) in wet weather, leading to muddy scenes like this and hence the term Scrambling. Photo from New Zealand. ...

Motorcycle rider postures

The motorcyclist's riding position falls along a spectrum of three basic postures:

  • Standard: In this position, the rider sits roughly upright, neutrally, neither leaning forward nor rearward, with hips roughly above the knees. The rider has excellent visibility and a higher seat height – but greater wind resistance.
  • Sport: In this position, the rider leans forward with the upper torso, crouching, and positioning weight on the forearms. The position offers the advantage of decreased wind resistance but an otherwise cramped position that can be difficult to sustain for longer periods.
  • Cruiser: In this, the rider sits at a lower seat height with upper torso upright to slightly rearward, knees forward (slightly below hip height to slightly above hip height) and legs extended forward. This position offers the advantage of comfortable circulation to the legs – though with a lower field of visibility and potential difficulty lifting off the seat, when crossing an obstacle for example.

Legal definitions and restrictions

See also: Restrictions on motorcycle use on freeways

A motorcycle is broadly defined by law in some countries for the purposes of registration, taxation or licensing riders as a two-wheel motor vehicle "fit to drive." Other countries distinguish between mopeds and other small bikes and the larger, more powerful vehicles. In Canada and some U.S. jurisdictions, three-wheeled motor vehicles fall under the auspices of motorcycle regulations. The concept of a freeway (a public way intended primarily for high speed travel over long distances) has resulted in a set of highways with engineering features such as long sight distances, wide marked lanes and the absence of cross traffic. ... Antique tricycle 19th century tricycle used in Iran A tricycle (often abbreviated to trike) is a three-wheeled vehicle. ...

In some jurisdictions, the term "motorcycle" includes trikes
In some jurisdictions, the term "motorcycle" includes trikes

In the United Kingdom, the rules on which motorcycle may be ridden by whom are complex.[17] A "moped", which can be ridden at age 16, has a maximum design speed not exceeding 50 km/h (31 mph) and engine capacity no greater than 50 cc. A "learner motorcycle", which can be ridden from age 17, has an engine up to 125 cc with a power output not exceeding 11 kW (14.8 hp). A "large motorcycle", which can only be ridden by a person age 21 or older with two years experience on a learner motorcycle, has a power output of at least 35 kW (46.9 hp). Otherwise, riders are restricted to riding motorcycles with a power output of not more than 25 kW (33.5 hp) for two years after passing their initial motorcycle test. For riders over age 21 there is a direct access route to gaining a licence to ride a large motorcycle, which allows somebody with no motorcycle experience to train and pass a test in around five days. All motorcycle riders in the UK must first take a one-day Compulsory Basic Training (CBT) course, regardless of which class of motorcycle they intend to ride. In addition a theory test must be taken prior to taking a practical test for any type of motorcycle licence. ImageMetadata File history File links Download high resolution version (1800x1276, 617 KB) File links The following pages link to this file: Tricycle ... ImageMetadata File history File links Download high resolution version (1800x1276, 617 KB) File links The following pages link to this file: Tricycle ... Antique tricycle 19th century tricycle used in Iran A tricycle (often abbreviated to trike) is a three-wheeled vehicle. ... Compulsary Basic Training (CBT) is a basic training course for motorcylists in the United Kingdom. ...

A scooter and a motorcycle
A scooter and a motorcycle

In New Zealand, "learner" and "restricted" motorcycles need only have a 250 cc engine capacity. This distinction draws some criticism, as it allows 15-year-old learner riders to operate bikes capable of reaching speeds in excess of 250 km/h (155 mph). Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1420x935, 577 KB) Author: Mohylek 20:23, 30 December 2005 (UTC) Summary A motorcycle and a moped Licensing File links The following pages link to this file: Types of motorcycle ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1420x935, 577 KB) Author: Mohylek 20:23, 30 December 2005 (UTC) Summary A motorcycle and a moped Licensing File links The following pages link to this file: Types of motorcycle ...


The laws of some countries allow anyone with a car licence to legally ride mopeds not exceeding 50 cc in capacity, meaning that they do not need to show any competency in handling such a vehicle.


The laws and regulations for legal moped usage in the U.S. vary by state.[18] The specifics of the motorcycle and moped laws in the U.S. can be obtained from each individual state's Department of Motor Vehicles' websites.[19]


See also

VentureOne computer generated image of 3 wheeler concept vehicle Electric motorcycles and scooters are vehicles with two or three wheels that use electric motors to attain locomotion. ... // Husaberg KTM Minsk Big Brute Chang Jiang Motorworks Chunlan Motorcycle Fushida-Battle Haojue Hongyi Motors Jincheng Suzuki Lifan Linhai Lu Hao Nanfang Motor Qianjiang (distributed as Keeway) Qinqi Taizhou Shake Ring Motorcycle, simplified Chinese: ; pinyin: Shandong (distributed as Pioneer in the US) Shanghai-Ek Chor Motorcycle Xingfu Wuyang Honda Zongshen... A moped is a motorized two-wheeled vehicle subject to local speed regulations. ... A motorized bicycle is a bicycle with an attached motor used to assist with pedalling. ... A motorized scooter is vehicle consisting of a footboard mounted on two wheels and a long steering handle, propelled by a small motor, such as a Segway, GoPed or BladeZ. A motorized kick scooter may have an electric or a gas motor. ... A typical mid 1980s twist and go scooter. ...

References

  1. ^ a b The Past—1800s: First motorcycle. The History and Future of Motorcycles and motorcycling—From 1885 to the Future, Total Motorcycle Website. Retrieved on 2007-06-28.
  2. ^ Brief History of the Marque: Hildebrand & Wolfmuller. Hildebrand & Wolfmuller Motorad, European Motorcycle Universe. Retrieved on 2007-06-28.
  3. ^ Ed Youngblood. Motocross goes International, 1947 through 1965. The History of Motocross, Part Two, Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum. Retrieved on 2007-06-29.
  4. ^ Total Motorcycle Fuel Economy Guide. Total Motorcycle Website. Retrieved on 2006-08-14.
  5. ^ Verucci Gas Scooters. Gekgo Worldwide, www.gekgo.com. Retrieved on 2006-08-15.
  6. ^ Doing More with Less Energy. The Craig Vetter Fuel Economy Contests - 1980 through 1985. Retrieved on 2006-08-15.
  7. ^ Joel Fajans (July 2000). "Steering in bicycles and motorcycles" (PDF). American Journal of Physics, v. 68 (7): pp. 654–59. Retrieved on 2006-08-04. 
  8. ^ About. MAG UK, www.mag-uk.org. Retrieved on 2007-10-10.
  9. ^ Bob Tomlins (September 1997). Rider training in Europe The Views and the Needs of the Rider (PDF). The Federation of European Motorcyclists. Retrieved on 2007-06-30.
  10. ^ All the info you need on lanesharing (lanesplitting). www.WhyBike.com. Retrieved on 2007-06-28.
  11. ^ Chung-Li. Sustainable Development Indicators for Taiwan. Workshop on Sustainable Development Indicators. Retrieved on 2006-08-14.
  12. ^ Hurt, H.H., Ouellet, J.V. and Thom, D.R (January 1981). The Hurt Report. Technical Report, Volume 1, Traffic Safety Center, University of Southern California. Retrieved on 2007-05-16.
  13. ^ Learner riders licence. Motorcycle Rider Training Scheme, Roads and Traffic Authority, NSW. Retrieved on 2007-05-16.
  14. ^ Learner Licence. Road Transport Information Management, www.rego.act.gov.au. Retrieved on 2007-05-16.
  15. ^ Motorcyclist Education Training And Licencing (METAL). Northern Territory Department of Planning and Infrastructure, www.ipe.nt.gov.au. Retrieved on 2007-05-16.
  16. ^ MMIC Information. Motorcycle and Moped Industry Council. Retrieved on 2007-05-16.
  17. ^ Mopeds and Motorcycles: Routes to your licence (PDF). UK Department for Transport. Retrieved on 2007-03-03.
  18. ^ Moped Laws. www.mopedarmy.com. Retrieved on 2007-05-16.
  19. ^ DMV Websites. www.mopedarmy.com. Retrieved on 2007-05-16.

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External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to:
Motorcycle
  • American Motorcyclist Association - the governing body for motorcycle sport in the U.S. The AMA lobbies for the rights of motorcyclists through the AMA-PAC.
  • Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme - the governing body for international motorcycle sport. The FIM also lobbies for the rights and interests of motorcyclists.
  • Motorcycle Glossary - definitions of motorcycle terms
  • Motorcycle Safety Foundation - an internationally recognised developer of comprehensive, research-based, motorcycle rider education and training.
  • Motorcycles at the Open Directory Project

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