A Brief History of Military Motorcycles

The creation of the first viable motorcycles began in earnest in the early twentieth century, and as is often the case with new types of vehicle – their militarisation was to happen not long after that. When we think about World War I we tend to think of the mechanisation of warfare, the emergence of…

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A Brief History of Diesel Motorcycles

If you are way out the back of nowhere, a long way from civilisation, there are few things so comforting as the sound of a diesel engine on tick-over; if you are in a car or truck that is. If you are on a motorcycle the probability that you will have the comfort of a…

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A Brief History of the Triple Cylinder Motorcycle Engine

The triple-cylinder engine, as applied to motorcycles, provides an engine that can be inherently balanced. If you listen to a triple-cylinder motorcycle, such as a Triumph Trident or BMW K75, it sounds smoothly balanced for good reason. You will also coincidently notice that an engine with a multiple of three cylinders sounds smooth by comparison…

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A Brief History of the Inline-4 Cylinder Motorcycle

Curiously the inline-4 cylinder engine was being fitted into motorcycles very early in motorbike history. I say curiously because we like to think of technology as starting out with the simplest design and then evolving into more complex forms. So although some early motorcycles were built using a single cylinder or horizontally opposed “boxer” twin,…

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A Brief History of the Universal Japanese Motorcycle

The creation of the Japanese sword gives us an insight into the thinking behind the creation of the Universal Japanese Motorcycle (UJM). In the time prior to the Japanese creating their own sword design they used a variety of design concepts mostly borrowed from China. But there came a point at which they seem to have collectively decided that the two handed sabre was the best choice…

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Harley-Davidson Big Twins – The Evolution

Thankfully 1984 was a great year for Harley-Davidson and not at all like the “1984” of British writer George Orwell’s novel. 1984 was the year Harley-Davidson introduced what many regard as their greatest engine, and for a true blue motorcycle enthusiast who wants to be able to strip his bike down to the last nut…

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5 Minute Histories: Ducati Monster

Miguel Galluzzi, the creator of the Monster, once said “In the mind of a motorcyclist you need a gas tank, a seat and a motor.” Galluzzi was working for Honda back when the seed of the idea that would become the Ducati Monster appeared in his mind. He was looking at a picture of a…

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