Whether you’re looking to brush up on your motorcycle knowledge or impress your friends on your next motorcycle camping trip — this list of fun motorcycle facts has you covered! Check out some of the most bizarre and interesting pieces of information about the two-wheeled world out there:
1. Fun Fact 1: The First Motorcycle Was Made of WOOD!
Pictured: An 1885 Reitwagen at the Stuttgard Mecedes Benz Museum
While many speculate over which 2-wheeled machine of the 19th century was the first “true” motorcycle, most consider the “Reitwagen” (“Riding Car”) of 1885 to be the origin of modern motorcycles. Made by German inventors Gottlieb Daimler and Wilhelm Maybach, this single-cylinder primitive bike is considered one of the world’s first petroleum-powered transportation devices. Essentially a motorized bicycle with the pedals removed, the Reitwagen not only uses a wooden frame, but also wooden forks and wheels as well!
2. Fun Fact 2: Diesel Motorcycles Exist
Image Credit: royalenfields.com
This fun fact might be more of a painful one for petrol purists, but it’s true! The Royal Enfield Taurus is one example of a commercially produced diesel-powered motorcycle. Weighing in at 432lbs with a top speed of 65km/h, the Taurus might not be built for performance, yet the impressive mileage capacity, strong power to weight ration, rugged durability, and widely loved oddity of this 90’s motorcycle has given it a cult-like following among enthusiasts and collectors.
3. The Best-Selling Motorcycle Ever is NOT What You’d Expect…
Pictured: Police Honda Super Cub 110
Admittedly we’re wading into controversial waters here, but this fun motorcycle fact is actually arguably a scooter one. Clocking in at a respectable cc range of 49-125, the Honda Super Cub (or Honda Cub) is a worldwide favorite that has been in non-stop production since 1958. Celebrating an astonishing 100 million units produced in 2018, the iconic Honda model isn’t just the best-selling motorcycle/scooter ever, it’s the best-selling vehicle of all time!
4. The Harley “Hog” Came from Racing
Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons
Most riders around the world are familiar with the iconic Harley-Davidson term “hog” when referring to a motorcycle. However few riders know that this name actually came from Harley’s 1900’s racing team, the “Wrecking Crew.” The team allegedly had a small pig as a mascot, which one of the riders would place on the tank of their bike whenever it came time to do a victory lap. Legend has it that this is why the motorcycles themselves became known as “hogs” over time. In 1983, the “Harley Owners Group” or “HOG” was officially founded.
5. Yamaha’s Musical Beginnings
Image Credit: global.yamaha-motor.com
Sweet muffler music isn’t the only thing this brand giant makes, Yamaha, one of the best-known motorcycle and scooter producers in the world initially began as a piano manufacturer in 1887. However, the switch from music to motorcycles makes more sense than you might think when you look at who, and when, the company was making this pivotal shift…
In 1955, after WWII the company’s then-president Genichi Kawakami believed that in order to rebuild the country needed transportation more than pianos. Thus, Yamaha’s first motorcycle was created — the 125cc YA-1. Today Yamaha produces everything from motorcycles two swimming pools and wheelchairs (and still, high-quality pianos!).
And there you have it! 5 fast and fun motorcycle facts that are sure to impress, or at least surprise, your friends. Looking for more great content about motorcycle facts, safety, and information? Sign up below or find us on Facebook to join in on the conversation.