Thursday, December 3, 2015
Daimler...The 1st Recognized Motorcycle
1885: Gottlieb Daimler patents what is generally considered to be the first true motorcycle.
Daimler, the automotive pioneer usually associated with building the world’s first successful internal combustion engine (and, subsequently, the first automobile), staked his claim of priority in the two-wheeler world a year before developing his famous auto.
However, the idea of a motor-driven, two-wheeled vehicle did not originate with Daimler, nor was his the first such contraption to see the road. Sylvester Roper, who spent the U.S. Civil War working in a Union armory, built a primitive “motorcycle” as early as 1867. Roper’s supporters — and he has more than a few — argue that he should be credited with building the world’s first motorcycle.
What gives credibility to Daimler’s claim of developing the first “true” motorcycle is the fact that it was gasoline-driven. Roper’s post–Civil War hog, with a tiny two-cylinder engine, was powered by steam.
Daimler’s motorcycle was essentially a wooden bicycle frame (with foot pedals removed) powered by a one-cylinder Otto-cycle engine. It may have also included a spray-type carburetor, then under development for use in the Daimler automobile that appeared in 1886.