Every invention has its own ancestors. The first motorcycle in the world was a basis for further upgrading of 2-wheel transport, forming a whole motor-industry and mass biker movement.
By the end of 1885, close cooperation of 2 great engineers from Germany gave results. These were Gottlieb Wilhelm Daimler and Wilhelm Maybach. They are considered as inventors of first combustion engine. Besides, in 1885, they also invented such component of power unit, as carburettor and brought it to active use.
In November of 1885, Daimler successfully tested the first motorcycle, which got the name "Reitwagen"and was patented. There was a special public interest to inventions of Maybach and Daimler. Everyone, who new the engineer tried to stick their noses into every hi-tech (at that time) development.
Of course, first motorcycles are very different from iron horses of nowadays. Nevertheless, looking like a bicycle, they could gain quite a significant speed and it was a real breakthrough in improving comfort for all humanity.
After creating Reitwagen, both Daimler and Maybach continued their work and invented the first car. Though, the first model more looked like carriage with motor.
Specifications of the first motorcycle and car
The engineers were successful with motor-bicycle, when it was equipped with small-powered internal-combustion system. So, the first Reitwagen was equipped with wooden frame and wheels. Riding it, Maybach could cover a distance of 3 km. Firs ride was along Neckar river. Maximum speed during the trip was 12 km/h.
The succsess in motor-industry inspired the engineers to create a motor-carriage. This innovation of Daimler, manufactured in 1886, was equipped with similar to motorcycle's internal-combustion engine.
When he and Maybach delivered the unusual machine to the house, the neighbours, as usual, were very curious. The inventor said that this invention was a present for Mrs. Daimler.
The carriage was equipped with low-powered engine (1.5 hp) with a belt driving. Maximum speed of the first self-moving car was 16 km/h, which depended on number of passengers. So, the first engines were so feeble that one passenger could bring to nothing all advantages of engine.
First motorcycle was called a "riding cart wit kerosine engine"
That how was called the Reitwagen by its German creators. There was only one cylinder in vehicle's engine. The power of the motorcycle was quite low, even less than of first Maybach's car. It was just 0.5 hp. But it had a huge (at that time) volume - 264 ccm. Wooden wheels have metallic rim, which increased their abilities and strength. Daimler and Maybach used wooden spokes. As a result, weight of motorbike was 50 kg (this was light construction).
First motorcycle became a real breakthrough in vehicle manufacturing. Then were dozens of similar inventions. That was, in fact, forming of motor-industry.
After Reitwagen, there were Hildebrand&Wolfmuller, Indian, Harley-Davidson and Flying Merkel.
Speaking of American models, Harley-Davidson and Indian are considered as ancestors of modern outward styling of motorbikes.