Did You Know?
Gottlieb Daimler, of Wurtemberg Germany, is generally regarded as the inventor of the first gasoline powered motorcycle, taking his inaugural ride on November 10, 1885. From that humble beginning over a century ago, a sport and industry sprang into being. Hundreds of makers world wide began producing well over a thousand different models of motorcycles, capturing the minds, hearts, and imagination of tens of millions of devotees and enthusiasts.
Daimler's invention bore little resemblance to the motorcycles of today, other than it was a two wheeled vehicle and even that was subject to interpretation. Evidently harboring some doubts regarding the stability of his creation, Daimler outfitted it with rather large outrigger ot trundle wheels to keep it from falling side ways.
The grandfather of motorcycles sported a springless wooden frame with a verticle fork and iron tired wooden wheels, topped by a padded saddle. The motor was a half- horsepower, single cylinder affair with a thin metal jacket surrounding the cylinder. Air was forced around the cylinder by a fan on the crankshaft to provide cooling for the tiny powerplant. Final drive was achieved by means of a flat leather belt, tensioned by an idler pulley.
This article courtesy of The Big Book Of Harley - Davidson.