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Online Papa Lazarou

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Significant Events in Motorcycling History
« on: March 14, 2014, 02:24:26 PM »
Well, to my mind, the first "motorcycle" built by Daimler wasn't significant, because it was more of a test bed. But it did show the potential, I spose. I don't really count the first trike, built by Butler.

I think the first were Hildebrand and Wolfmuller, who narrowly beat the English manufacturer Excelsior-this was significant and both makes survived for decades.

Early bikes seem to have been bicycles with engines in them. It wasn't until Triumph and other English and American brands started producing custom frames that the modern motorcycle was born. I think this is the proper start of motorcycling. Having ridden a 1923 Indian Chief, I am pleased that we no longer have suicide clutches, although later hand gear changes (was it BSA that out the clutch lever on the bars?) were fine-to me.

It wasn't until the 30's that the foot change was developed by Velocette-a huge leap forward.

Next came frames...

Next please?

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Offline stew71

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Re: Significant Events in Motorcycling History
« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2014, 02:42:37 PM »
I don't know about "next" per se, but WWI certainly kicked things along. Mass-production of Harleys and Triumphs for the war effort went a long way to put them in the hands of the general public. I think it was the Triumph Model H that was considered the real first motorcycle...no pedals, 4 stroke motor, multiple-gear gearbox and belt drive. 
With enough thrust, a pig flies just fine.

Online Black Hills

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Re: Significant Events in Motorcycling History
« Reply #2 on: March 14, 2014, 03:03:32 PM »
I suppose the original 4 valve heads and shaft drive by BMW in the 30's? didn't work then but worked once the materials and manufacturing practices made it possible.
the above are merely the ramblings of a hamfisted fuckwit who has broken too many helmets.

Online Papa Lazarou

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Re: Significant Events in Motorcycling History
« Reply #3 on: March 14, 2014, 03:09:46 PM »
I have completely left out what people did with early-and later-bikes. Racing, endurance etc.
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Offline marc11

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Re: Significant Events in Motorcycling History
« Reply #4 on: March 14, 2014, 04:06:18 PM »
The Kawasaki Z1. Nothing more to say....and I'm proud to say I owned one.

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Offline kneescrubber

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Re: Significant Events in Motorcycling History
« Reply #5 on: March 14, 2014, 06:59:48 PM »
Hydraulically damped telescopic forks. 1935. BMW.
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Offline Mac

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Re: Significant Events in Motorcycling History
« Reply #6 on: March 14, 2014, 07:29:42 PM »
Bold New Graphics - Honda, 1999 - Present
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Offline stk0308

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Re: Significant Events in Motorcycling History
« Reply #7 on: March 14, 2014, 10:38:43 PM »
I might have to work backwards a bit, but off the top of my head some significant events:

In sportbike parlance the 1992 Honda CBR900RR was an earth shaker.  Very light, very powerful, and actually good handling in the open class.

The 1991 return of the Triumph marquee, under John Bloor.

Introduction of fuel injection as standard on BMWs K series in 1983.  I believe there was a Suzuki, or a Kawasaki that went FI about the same time.   But BMW really jumped into it full bore with the new "flying brick" motor.  All the models, both 1000cc(4cyl) and 750cc(3cyl), came with FI motors.

ABS on BMWs in 1988.  A first for motorcycles.  Crude, but a step forward in tech.

The late 70's to early 80's corporate wars between Honda and Yamaha.  Huge numbers of motorcycles, and many of them new models, flooded out onto the market.  It was rampant competition that left warehouses of unsold bikes all over the world.  It was the last time one of the other Japanese brands really challenged Honda as top dog.

The Japanese "invasion" in the late 50's, early 60's.  Small, but reliable, bikes for very reasonable prices.  And as a subset of this event, the Honda CB750.  A true game changer in the big bike world!  Followed later by the Kawasaki Z1.

Ernst Degner defecting in 1961, and taking MZ/Walter Kaaden's two stroke magic with him to Suzuki.  Soon after, all the Japanese brands were copying the tech, which Kaaden had worked out behind the Iron Curtain.  True power motorcycles were soon to follow, and by the late 60's into the 70's were making frighteningly high HP numbers, on overtaxed frames, suspension, and brake systems of the time.  Example: the Kawasaki MACH # series of bikes.

I don't recall who did it first, but fully enclosing the valve train in the late 1920's-1930's.  Before that, valve springs were often exposed, and lubricated by an oil mist.  What was know as constant loss oiling.  Very messy!


Significant in a bad way, especially in America, was Henry Ford introducing the Model T.  Before that, motorcycles, and motorcycle sidecars, were often considered acceptable, and cheap, transportation.  The Model T, and it's price, helped replace the motorcycle with cars as cheap transport.
Motorcycling is not, of itself, inherently dangerous. It is, however, extremely unforgiving of inattention, ignorance, incompetence, or stupidity

Offline Veefer800canuck

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Re: Significant Events in Motorcycling History
« Reply #8 on: March 14, 2014, 10:45:47 PM »
No love for Freidl Münch?  :bigsmile:
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Offline Orson

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Re: Significant Events in Motorcycling History
« Reply #9 on: March 14, 2014, 11:44:47 PM »
It's simply known as "The Pass"

Schwantz stuffs Rainey at the 1991 German GP


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Re: Significant Events in Motorcycling History
« Reply #10 on: March 15, 2014, 12:43:03 AM »
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Offline kneescrubber

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Re: Significant Events in Motorcycling History
« Reply #11 on: March 15, 2014, 08:54:56 AM »
No love for Freidl Münch?  :bigsmile:

I have a signed t-shirt I got about 20 years ago.  :thumbsup:
Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.

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Online Black Hills

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Re: Significant Events in Motorcycling History
« Reply #12 on: March 15, 2014, 09:35:33 AM »
It's simply known as "The Pass"

Schwantz stuffs Rainey at the 1991 German GP

http://youtu.be/idzHUe8QdWw


The look back seals it!
the above are merely the ramblings of a hamfisted fuckwit who has broken too many helmets.

Offline Veefer800canuck

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Re: Significant Events in Motorcycling History
« Reply #13 on: March 15, 2014, 09:41:03 AM »
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« Last Edit: March 15, 2014, 08:20:44 PM by Veefer800canuck »
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Re: Significant Events in Motorcycling History
« Reply #14 on: March 15, 2014, 03:43:38 PM »
Bold New Graphics - Honda, 1999 - Present

 :baldy:

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Offline kneescrubber

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Re: Significant Events in Motorcycling History
« Reply #15 on: March 15, 2014, 06:19:11 PM »
I might have to work backwards a bit, but off the top of my head some significant events:

In sportbike parlance the 1992 Honda CBR900RR was an earth shaker.  Very light, very powerful, and actually good handling in the open class.

The 1991 return of the Triumph marquee, under John Bloor.

Introduction of fuel injection as standard on BMWs K series in 1983.  I believe there was a Suzuki, or a Kawasaki that went FI about the same time.   But BMW really jumped into it full bore with the new "flying brick" motor.  All the models, both 1000cc(4cyl) and 750cc(3cyl), came with FI motors.

ABS on BMWs in 1988.  A first for motorcycles.  Crude, but a step forward in tech.

The late 70's to early 80's corporate wars between Honda and Yamaha.  Huge numbers of motorcycles, and many of them new models, flooded out onto the market.  It was rampant competition that left warehouses of unsold bikes all over the world.  It was the last time one of the other Japanese brands really challenged Honda as top dog.

The Japanese "invasion" in the late 50's, early 60's.  Small, but reliable, bikes for very reasonable prices.  And as a subset of this event, the Honda CB750.  A true game changer in the big bike world!  Followed later by the Kawasaki Z1.

Ernst Degner defecting in 1961, and taking MZ/Walter Kaaden's two stroke magic with him to Suzuki.  Soon after, all the Japanese brands were copying the tech, which Kaaden had worked out behind the Iron Curtain.  True power motorcycles were soon to follow, and by the late 60's into the 70's were making frighteningly high HP numbers, on overtaxed frames, suspension, and brake systems of the time.  Example: the Kawasaki MACH # series of bikes.

I don't recall who did it first, but fully enclosing the valve train in the late 1920's-1930's.  Before that, valve springs were often exposed, and lubricated by an oil mist.  What was know as constant loss oiling.  Very messy!


Significant in a bad way, especially in America, was Henry Ford introducing the Model T.  Before that, motorcycles, and motorcycle sidecars, were often considered acceptable, and cheap, transportation.  The Model T, and it's price, helped replace the motorcycle with cars as cheap transport.

This one hits home on many levels.  :bigok:
Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Offline bomber

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Re: Significant Events in Motorcycling History
« Reply #16 on: March 18, 2014, 11:25:59 AM »
Pneumatic tires (tyres?)

Tubeless tires

Indian's first electric start

Electric headlamps

non-atmospherically operted inlet valves

We had two bags of grass, 75 pellets of mescaline, five sheets of high-powered blotter acid, a saltshaker half-full of cocaine, a whole galaxy of multi-colored uppers, downers, screamers, laughers... Also, a quart of tequila, a quart of rum, a case of beer, a pint of raw ether, and two dozen amyls. Not that we needed all that for the trip, but once you get locked into a serious drug collection, the tendency is to push it as far as you can.

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Re: Significant Events in Motorcycling History
« Reply #17 on: March 18, 2014, 07:39:20 PM »
Giving legions of hooligans their up-on-one-wheel start, the Yamaha RD 350..

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Torque is cheap.