Mechanic Advisor

20 Amazing Motorcycle Facts

Posted June 23, 2014 by Ken Kupchik

For all of you motorcycle enthusiasts out there, we didn't forget about you when we came up with 25 Amazing Car Facts last week. Now it's your turn to be amazed, as we've dug up 20 bike facts just for you. Even though they're only on 2 wheels, and much smaller than cars, motorcycles have played just as interesting a role in history as the automobile, having been with us for over a century. Here are 20 Amazing Motorcycle Facts:

1) British inventor Edward Butler is credited with coining the term 'motorcycle' when inventing a 3-wheeled petrol vehicle in 1884. 

2) Front motorcycle tires dispense water at three times the rate of rear tires. 

3) The very first Harley-Davidson motorcycle used a tomato can for a carburetor. 

4) It is estimated that 1 in 5 bikes that are not garaged get stolen, but insurance companies estimate that nearly 25% of bike theft claims are in fact fraudulent. 

5) In addition to motorcycles, Kawasaki also builds ships, power plants, industrial equipment, robots, and spaceships. 

6) Technically, up to eight motorcycles can fit into the same parking space occupied by one car. 

7) 'Vespa' means 'wasp' in Italian. 

8) The record for the longest-ever backwards motorcycle ride was set by Hou Xiaobin in Binzhou City, China, and lasted 150 km (93.2 miles). 

9) Sonny Barger, the founder of the Hell's Angels wrote in his autobiography that he prefers Japanese bikes over Harley-Davidsons. 

10) When taking a corner, 75% of the bike's grip comes from the front tire. 

11) The world's largest motorcycle pyramid was completed by the Indian Army's Daredevil Team, with 201 men riding on 10 bikes. 

12) There have been motorcycle manufacturers by all three of the following names: Devil, Satan, and Lucifer. 

13) Japan built a motorcycle called the TOTO which was powered by human waste. 

14) 'Hayabusa' is Japanese for peregrine falcon, which preys on blackbirds. It was also the name of a fighter plane used in World War 2: the Nakajima Ki-43, which was used as a Kamikaze plane towards the end of the war. 

15) Lawrence of Arabia (T.E. Lawrence) was killed in a motorcycle accident after swerving to avoid two boys on their bicycles. 

16) Triumph makes golf balls in addition to motorcycles. 

17) Ducati started out as a radio-component company 13 years before before World War 2. 

18) The world's longest motorcycle, built in Russia in 2005, is 31 feet long and seats up to 16 people. 

19) Modern sports-bike tires don't contain any actual rubber at all. They are made entirely from synthetic rubber, which is beneficial due to a balance between durability and traction.  

20) Considered the first motorcycle, the Roper steam velocipede was invented between 1867 and 1869 by inventor Sylvester H. Roper in Roxbury, Boston, MA. is one of the largest online mechanic resources in the US. We are the premier website for consumers to research and connect with reputable local mechanics for routine and specialty automotive repair. Our website features instructional videos, articles about maintaining your car, and detailed profiles of over 500,000 mechanics across the country. If you're a shop owner, please claim your shop page for free here