Motorcycle accessories are features and accessories selected by a motorcycle owner to enhance safety, performance, or comfort, may include anything from mobile electronics to sidecars and trailers. An accessory may be added at the factory by the original equipment manufacturer or purchased and installed by the owner post-sale as aftermarket goods; the most prominent of the plastic or fibreglass shells covering parts of the motorcycle is the "fairing". In practice, this may blend seamlessly with engine panels or wheel covers/mudguards; these systems act to protect the rider from some or all of the weather, may improve aerodynamics, are an important styling element. Modern fairings designed for each motorcycle and fitted as original equipment by the manufacturer, have eliminated the aerodynamic and structural failings of early add-on fairings. Both sports and tourer versions improve the rider's comfort in cold and wet weather and "bikini" versions protect the vulnerable crotch region from water ingress.
Called windshields or screens, windscreens can be built into a fairing or be attached to an otherwise unfaired bike. They are made from transparent high-impact polycarbonate or acrylic plastic, they may be shaped to direct air flow over or around the head of the rider if they are much shorter than the seated rider. The latest variation, first introduced on the 1986 BMW K100LT but becoming common, is electrically controlled height adjustment. Since motorcycles lack climate control or full protection from the wind, some manufacturers offer heated seats or hand grips to relieve the discomfort of low temperatures experienced during night riding or the colder months, they can be added on as aftermarket accessories and are powered by the bike's electrical system. Some touring motorcycles, such as the Honda Gold Wing, have louvred vents in the fairing which redirect warm air from around the engine or exhaust toward the rider; these motorcycles may feature vents for cooling the rider. A sidecar turns a motorcycle into a three-wheeled vehicle.
Their peak popularity came about when powerful motorcycles were available, but there were few cars about. Sidecars such as the British Watsonian were coach-built in wood and had doors, sliding windows and a sun-roof, but modern sidecars may be fibreglass or aluminium. Alignment of the sidecar is critical and the mountings come under considerable stress, making a quickly-detachable version impractical. In any case, the special sidecar tyres are poorly-suited to solo riding; the cornering of "an outfit" is controlled by the throttle and this makes for interesting effects: A sidecar wheel brake — a pedal side-by-side with the motorcycle rear brake — helps considerably. Sidecars place a heavy strain on wheel-spokes and suspension components. A banking false-sidecar known as the "Sidewinder" became available in the UK in the 1980s, intended to overcome learner-driver licensing requirement restrictions of 125 cc introduced in 1983, but its carrying capacity was restricted, being equivalent to a tool box.
A trailer hitch or tow hitch is a device mounted on a motorcycle that enables it to tow a motorcycle trailer. Legislation restricts them to carrying baggage and not passengers. Various options exist to transport items, other than passenger, on a motorcycle. Modern touring motorcycles have panniers or saddlebags fitted as standard or available as options, they come in pairs but may be used individually. Panniers mount on either side of the rear of the motorcycle underneath the seating position of the pillion passenger. "Hard" panniers come in an injection molded plastic such as ABS, "soft" panniers come in some form of textile or leather. Panniers are nearly always detachable and lockable, both of their mountings and their closure. Suitcase-like panniers, side-loading, are ideal for carrying clothing into hotel rooms while top-loading hard panniers are more suitable for shopping trips. Utility top-loading soft panniers may come in a "throw-over" form without mountings, they can be located by the yoke portion under the rider or pillion or may be loose.
The bag portion is attached to the yoke with zips, making their use as luggage more convenient. A trunk or top-box is a storage compartment fitted behind the seat complementing panniers or saddlebags. Original equipment versions may be removable or an integral part of the bike e.g. as fitted to the Honda Goldwing or BMW K1200LT, may be fitted with the motorcycle rear lights, a backrest for a passenger. The top box may be an aftermarket fitment. Trunk may refer to the under-seat storage space built into a motorcycle or scooter. A common addition to many bikes is an attachment onto which other luggage can be fastened; this removes the need for rider backpacks and is a more secure and safer way to add carrying capacity to a motorcycle. In the 1950s the popular British motorcycle Triumph came with a tank-mounted carrier. Load-security was better, but they lost popularity over the unproven, but keenly felt, danger to the rider in the event of a front-end collision. A tank bag is a storage compartment attached to the top of the gas tank.
Many mounting options exist, with straps and/or magnets being the most common. Other options include rigid collars that bolt to the tank around the fuel filler cap, a large pad fastened to the gas tank which serves as a mounting point for the bag us
Motocross is a form of off-road motorcycle racing held on enclosed off-road circuits. The sport evolved from motorcycle trials competitions held in the United Kingdom. Motocross first evolved in the U. K. from motorcycle trials competitions, such as the Auto-Cycle Clubs's first quarterly trial in 1909 and the Scottish Six Days Trial that began in 1912. When organisers dispensed with delicate balancing and strict scoring of trials in favour of a race to become the fastest rider to the finish, the activity became known as "hare scrambles", said to have originated in the phrase, "a rare old scramble" describing one such early race. Though known as scrambles racing in the United Kingdom, the sport grew in popularity and the competitions became known internationally as "motocross racing", by combining the French word for motorcycle, motocyclette, or moto for short, into a portmanteau with "cross country"; the first known scramble race took place at Camberley, Surrey in 1924. During the 1930s the sport grew in popularity in Britain where teams from the Birmingham Small Arms Company, Matchless, AJS competed in the events.
Off-road bikes from that era differed little from those used on the street. The intense competition over rugged terrain led to technical improvements in motorcycles. Rigid frames gave way to suspensions by the early 1930s, swinging fork rear suspension appeared by the early 1950s, several years before manufacturers incorporated it in the majority of production street bikes; the period after World War II was dominated by BSA, which had become the largest motorcycle company in the world. BSA riders dominated international competitions throughout the 1940s. In 1952 the FIM, motorcycling's international governing body, set up an individual European Championship using a 500 cc engine displacement formula. In 1957 it was upgraded to World Championship status. In 1962 a 250 cc world championship was established. In the smaller 250 cc category companies with two-stroke motorcycles came into their own. Companies such as Husqvarna from Sweden, CZ from the former Czechoslovakia and Greeves from England became popular due to their lightness and agility.
Stars of the day included BSA-works riders Jeff Smith and Arthur Lampkin, with Dave Bickers, Joe Johnson and Norman Brown on Greeves. By the 1960s, advances in two-stroke engine technology meant that the heavier, four-stroke machines were relegated to niche competitions. Riders from Belgium and Sweden began to dominate the sport during this period. Motocross arrived in the United States in 1966 when Swedish champion, Torsten Hallman rode an exhibition event against the top American TT riders at the Corriganville Movie Ranch known as Hopetown in Simi Valley, California; the following year Hallman was joined by other motocross stars including Roger DeCoster, Joël Robert, Dave Bickers. They dominated the event, placing their lightweight two-strokes into the top six finishing positions. Motocross began to grow in popularity in the United States during this period, which fueled an explosive growth in the sport. By the late 1960s Japanese motorcycle companies began challenging the European factories for supremacy in the motocross world.
Suzuki claimed the first world championship for a Japanese factory when Joël Robert won the 1970 250 cc crown. The first stadium motocross event took place in 1972 at the Los Angeles Coliseum. In 1975 a 125 cc world championship was introduced. European riders continued to dominate motocross throughout the 1970s but, by the 1980s, American riders had caught up and began winning international competitions. During the late 1970s and early 1980s, Japanese motorcycle manufacturers presided over a boom period in motocross technology; the typical two-stroke air-cooled, twin-shock rear suspension machines gave way to machines that were water-cooled and fitted with single-shock absorber rear suspension. In the 1990s, America's leading motorcycle sport governing body, the AMA, increased the allowable displacement limit for four stroke powered machines in the AMA motocross championship, due to the low relative power output of a four stroke engine, compared to the then-dominating two stroke design. By 1994, the displacement limit of a four stroke power motocross bike was up to 550 cc in the 250 class, to incentivize manufactures to further develop the design for use in motocross.
By 2004 all the major manufacturers had begun competing with four-stroke machines. European firms experienced a resurgence with Husqvarna, KTM winning world championships with four-stroke machinery; the sport evolved with sub-disciplines such as stadium events known as supercross and arenacross held in indoor arenas. Classes were formed for all-terrain vehicles. Freestyle motocross events where riders are judged on their jumping and aerial acrobatic skills have gained popularity, as well as supermoto, where motocross machines race both on tarmac and off-road. Vintage motocross events take place - for motorcycles predating the 1975 model year. Many VMX races include a "Post Vintage" portion, which includes bikes dating until 1983; the FIM Grand Prix Motocross World Championship is predominantly held in Europe, but includes events in North America, South America, Asia and Africa. It is the major Motocross series worldwide. There are four classes: MXGP for 450cc machines, MX2 for 250cc machines, MX3 for 650cc machines and Women's MX.
Competitions consist of two races which are called motos with a duration of 30 minutes plus two laps. The AMA Motocross Championship continues until late August; the championship consists of twelve rounds at twelve major tracks all over the continental United States. There are three classes: the 250 Motocross Class for 0–125 cc 2-stroke or 150–250 cc 4-stroke machines, the 450 Mot
A motorcycle fork connects a motorcycle's front wheel and axle to its frame via a yoke known as a triple clamp, which consists of an upper yoke joined to a lower yoke via a steering stem, a shaft that runs through the steering head, creating the steering axis. Most forks incorporate the front suspension and front brake, allow the front wheel to rotate about the steering axis so that the bike may be steered. Most handlebars attach to the top clamp in various ways, while clip-on handlebars clamp to the fork tubes, either just above or just below the upper triple clamp; the fork and its attachment points on the frame establish the critical geometric parameters of rake and trail, which play a major role in defining how a motorcycle handles and dives during braking. While the standard telescopic fork arrangement is found with few major differences among mainstream street motorcycles since the 1970s there have been many variations, including trailing or leading link, Earles and others, as well as non-fork steering such as hub-center steering.
A variety of fork arrangements have been tried during more than one hundred years of motorcycle development, several of which remain available today. A telescopic fork uses fork tubes; this is the most common form of fork commercially available. It may or may not include gaiters for protection against abrasive elements on the suspension cylinders; the main advantages of the telescopic fork are that it is simple in design and cheap to manufacture and assemble. Conventionally, the fork stanchions are at the top, secured by a yoke, the sliders are at the bottom, attached to the front wheel spindle. On some modern sport bikes and most off-road bikes, this system is inverted, with "sliders" at the top, clamped to the yoke, while the stanchions are at the bottom; this is done to reduce unsprung weight by having the heavier components suspended, to improve the strength and rigidity of the assembly by having the strong large-diameter "sliders" clamped in the yokes. The inverted system is referred to "USD" for short.
A disadvantage of this USD design is that the entire reservoir of damping oil is above the slider seal so that, if the slider seal were to leak, the oil could drain out, rendering any damping ineffective. A trailing link fork suspends the wheel on a link with a pivot point forward of the wheel axle. Most famously used by Indian Motocycle. A leading link fork suspends the wheel on a link with a pivot point aft of the wheel axle. Russian Ural motorcycles still use leading link forks on sidecar equipped motorcycles, aftermarket leading link forks are installed today on motorcycles when they are outfitted with sidecars, they are very popular with trikes, improving the handling while steering or braking. The most common example of a leading link fork is; the springer fork is an early type of leading link fork. A springer fork does not have the suspension built into the fork tubes, but instead has it mounted externally, where it may be integrated into the triple clamp; this style of fork may be found on antique motorcycles or choppers, is available today on Harley-Davidson's Softail Springer.
While it may have an exposed spring near the triple clamp, a springer fork is distinguishable from a girder fork by its two parallel sets of legs. The rear is fixed to the bottom triple clamp. A short leading link holds the forward leg which actuates the springs; the Earles fork is a variety of leading link fork where the pivot point is behind the front wheel, the basis of the Earles' patent. Patented by Englishman Ernest Earles in 1953, the design is constructed of light tubing, with conventional'shock absorbers' mounted near the front axle; the Earles fork has a small wheelbase change under braking or under compression, unlike telescopic forks. Their construction is much stronger than teleforks against lateral deflection caused by hard cornering, or when cornering with a sidecar; this triangulated fork causes the front end of a motorcycle to rise when braking hard, as the mechanical braking forces rotate'downward' relative to the fork's pivot point — this action can be disconcerting to riders used to telescopic forks, which have the opposite reaction to braking forces.
Several motorcycle manufacturers licensed the Earles patent forks for racing motorcycles in 1953, such as MV Agusta and BMW Motorcycle, while other companies used the Earles design on their roadsters or off-road machines. BMW used Earles forks on all their motorcycles between 1955 and 1968. One of the earliest types of motorcycle front suspension, the girder fork consists of a pair of uprights attached to the triple clamp by linkages with a spring between the top and bottom triple clamps; the design reached a peak in the "Girdraulics" used on the Vincent motorcycle. Girdraulic forks featured forged alloy blades for hydraulic damping. While both may have an exposed spring near the triple clamp, a girder fork is distinguishable from a springer fork by the wheel being fixed to the upright; the pivot points are short links mounted to bottom triple clamps. The spring is mounted to the gird
Harley-Davidson, Inc. or Harley, is an American motorcycle manufacturer, founded in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1903. One of two major American motorcycle manufacturers to survive the Great Depression, the company has survived numerous ownership arrangements, subsidiary arrangements, periods of poor economic health and product quality, as well as intense global competition, to become one of the world's largest motorcycle manufacturers and an iconic brand known for its loyal following. There are events worldwide as well as a company-sponsored brand-focused museum. Noted for a style of customization that gave rise to the chopper motorcycle style, Harley-Davidson traditionally marketed heavyweight, air-cooled cruiser motorcycles with engine displacements greater than 700 cm³ and has broadened its offerings to include its more contemporary VRSC and middle-weight Street platforms. Harley-Davidson manufactures its motorcycles at factories in Pennsylvania. Construction of a new plant in Thailand is scheduled to begin in late 2018.
The company markets its products worldwide. Besides motorcycles, the company licenses and markets merchandise under the Harley-Davidson brand, among them apparel, home decor and ornaments, accessories and scale figures of its motorcycles, video games based on its motorcycle line and the community. In 1901, 20-year-old William S. Harley drew up plans for a small engine with a displacement of 7.07 cubic inches and four-inch flywheels. The engine was designed for use in a regular pedal-bicycle frame. Over the next two years and his childhood friend Arthur Davidson worked on their motor-bicycle using the northside Milwaukee machine shop at the home of their friend, Henry Melk, it was finished in 1903 with the help of Walter Davidson. Upon testing their power-cycle and the Davidson brothers found it unable to climb the hills around Milwaukee without pedal assistance, they wrote off their first motor-bicycle as a valuable learning experiment. Work began on a new and improved second-generation machine.
This first "real" Harley-Davidson motorcycle had a bigger engine of 24.74 cubic inches with 9.75 inches flywheels weighing 28 lb. The machine's advanced loop-frame pattern was similar to the 1903 Milwaukee Merkel motorcycle; the bigger engine and loop-frame design took it out of the motorized bicycle category and marked the path to future motorcycle designs. The boys received help with their bigger engine from outboard motor pioneer Ole Evinrude, building gas engines of his own design for automotive use on Milwaukee's Lake Street; the prototype of the new loop-frame Harley-Davidson was assembled in a 10 ft × 15 ft shed in the Davidson family backyard. Most of the major parts, were made elsewhere, including some fabricated at the West Milwaukee railshops where oldest brother William A. Davidson was toolroom foreman; this prototype machine was functional by September 8, 1904, when it competed in a Milwaukee motorcycle race held at State Fair Park. It was placed fourth; this is the first documented appearance of a Harley-Davidson motorcycle in the historical record.
In January 1905, small advertisements were placed in the Automobile and Cycle Trade Journal offering bare Harley-Davidson engines to the do-it-yourself trade. By April, complete motorcycles were in production on a limited basis; that year, the first Harley-Davidson dealer, Carl H. Lang of Chicago, sold three bikes from the five built in the Davidson backyard shed. Years the original shed was taken to the Juneau Avenue factory where it would stand for many decades as a tribute to the Motor Company's humble origins until it was accidentally destroyed by contractors cleaning the factory yard in the early 1970s. In 1906, Harley and the Davidson brothers built their first factory on Chestnut Street, at the current location of Harley-Davidson's corporate headquarters; the first Juneau Avenue plant was a 40 ft × 60 ft single-story wooden structure. The company produced about 50 motorcycles that year. In 1907, William S. Harley graduated from the University of Wisconsin–Madison with a degree in mechanical engineering.
That year additional factory expansion came with a second floor and with facings and additions of Milwaukee pale yellow brick. With the new facilities production increased to 150 motorcycles in 1907; the company was incorporated that September. They began selling their motorcycles to police departments around this time, a market, important to them since. In 1907 William A. Davidson, brother to Arthur and Walter Davidson, quit his job as tool foreman for the Milwaukee Road railroad and joined the Motor Company. Production in 1905 and 1906 were all single-cylinder models with 26.84 cubic inch engines. In February 1907 a prototype model with a 45-degree V-Twin engine was displayed at the Chicago Automobile Show. Although shown and advertised few V-Twin models were built between 1907 and 1910; these first V-Twins produced about 7 horsepower. This gave about double the power of the first singles. Top speed was about 60 mph. Production jumped from 450 motorcycles in 1908 to 1,149 machines in 1909. By 1911, some 150 makes of motorcycles had been built in the United States – although just a handful would survive the 1910s.
In 1911, an improved V-Twin model was introduced. The new engine had me
Motorcycle speedway referred to as speedway, is a motorcycle sport involving four and sometimes up to six riders competing over four anti-clockwise laps of an oval circuit. The motorcycles are specialist machines which have no brakes. Competitors use this surface to slide their machines sideways, powersliding or broadsiding into the bends. On the straight sections of the track the motorcycles reach speeds of up to 70 miles per hour. There are now both domestic and international competitions in a number of countries including the Speedway World Cup whilst the highest overall scoring individual in the Speedway Grand Prix events is pronounced the world champion. Speedway is popular in Central and Northern Europe and to a lesser extent in Australia and North America. A variant of track racing, speedway is administered internationally by the Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme. Domestic speedway events are regulated by FIM affiliated national motor sport federations; the early history of speedway race meetings is a subject of much controversy.
There is evidence to show that meetings were held on small dirt tracks in Australia and the United States before World War I. On the 13th November 1905 motorcycle racing was held at the Newcastle NSW Rugby Ground, a distance of 440 yards. American rider named Don Johns was known to have used broadsiding before 1914, it was said that he would ride the entire race course wide open, throwing great showers of dirt into the air at each turn. By the early 1920s, Johns' style of cornering was followed in the US – where it was called "Short Track Racing" – by riders such as Albert "Shrimp" Burns, Maldwyn Jones and Eddie Brinck. Motorcycle Speedway can be traced back to the early 1920s. One track that staged speedway, amongst others, was at the West Maitland Showground, whose first speedway meeting was staged on December 15, 1923; this track had a motorcycle riding entrepreneur as its Secretary and his personal account has him inviting his friends and their associates to do a few laps one Sunday morning, the noise attracted the attention of the Showground committee and approval to race at the “Electric Light Festival “ was won.
Motorcycle racing under lights was a huge success and its promoter was New Zealand born John S Hoskins. These pioneers introduced the Speedway signatures of No Left Footpeg and the Steel Shoe fashioned from worn coal shovels, manufactured in this Steel region. Following the success of Maitland, Speedway meetings were conducted at Newcastle Showground in 1924; these events were successful and led to the construction of Newcastle Speedway off Darling St, Hamilton. Johnnie Hoskins became the Secretary of Newcastle Speedway Ltd; the Newcastle Herald reports the Grand Opening on the 14/11/1925 attracted an audience of 42,000 at that time it was one-third of Newcastle’s entire population. After Maitland, Newcastle Showground is the second oldest Motorcycle Speedway track in the world. However, its first recorded motorcycle race was much earlier in 1908; the first Australian Motorcycle Speedway Championship was held at Newcastle Showground in 1926. It was won by American rider Cec Brown. Visiting English and American racers were common, for they were paid showmen winning a year’s salary in just one night.
It was successful, so Newcastle Showground held the championship again in 1927. Fitting that Newcastle Showground held the first National Speedway Championship anywhere in the world. In 1926 Johnnie Hoskins took his Speedway show to Sydney’s Royal Showground. A wet Sydney summer nearly sent Hoskins broke, so he took the show on the road to Perth, where one good season made him wealthy again, he and his riders decided to take the show to England as the word had spread about this exiting sport. 14th April 1928, Johnnie Hoskins,13 Australian Riders and their motorcycles sailed from Perth on the passenger ship Oronsay to introduce Speedway Solo motorcycle racing to England, the rest is History. The first meeting in the United Kingdom took place at High Beech on 19 February 1928. There are, claims that meetings were held in 1927 at Camberley and Droylsden, Lancashire. Despite being described as "the first British Dirt Track meeting" at the time, the meeting at Camberley on 7 May 1927 differed in that the races were held in a clockwise direction.
Races at Droylsden were held in an anti-clockwise direction but it is accepted that the sport arrived in the United Kingdom when Australians Billy Galloway and Keith McKay arrived with the intention of introducing speedway to the Northern Hemisphere. Both featured in the 1928 High Beech meeting; the first speedway meeting in the UK to feature bikes with no brakes and broadsiding round corners on loose dirt was the third meeting held at High Beech on 9 April 1928, where Colin Watson, Alf Medcalf and "Digger" Pugh demonstrated the art for the first time in the UK. Proto speedway was staged in Glasgow at the Olympic Stadium on April 9, 1928 and the first professional meeting was staged at Celtic Park on April 28, 1928; the first meeting in Wales was staged at Cardiff White City on Boxing Day 1928. In the 1928/29 season at the Melbourne Exhibition Speedway, Australian Colin Stewart won the prestigious Silver Gauntlet, which required the rider to win the feature race 10 times in one season, he won it 12 times.
He achieved success at an international level, racing for Southampton Saints in 1929 and captained Glasgow in the Northern League in 1930 before moving to Wembley Lions in 1931, for whom he rode in just four matches, averaging 4.00 points per match. He
The United Kingdom the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, sometimes referred to as Britain, is a sovereign country located off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state, the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world; the Irish Sea lies between Great Ireland. With an area of 242,500 square kilometres, the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world, it is the 22nd-most populous country, with an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017. The UK is constitutional monarchy; the current monarch is Queen Elizabeth II, who has reigned since 1952, making her the longest-serving current head of state.
The United Kingdom's capital and largest city is London, a global city and financial centre with an urban area population of 10.3 million. Other major urban areas in the UK include Greater Manchester, the West Midlands and West Yorkshire conurbations, Greater Glasgow and the Liverpool Built-up Area; the United Kingdom consists of four constituent countries: England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Their capitals are London, Edinburgh and Belfast, respectively. Apart from England, the countries have their own devolved governments, each with varying powers, but such power is delegated by the Parliament of the United Kingdom, which may enact laws unilaterally altering or abolishing devolution; the nearby Isle of Man, Bailiwick of Guernsey and Bailiwick of Jersey are not part of the UK, being Crown dependencies with the British Government responsible for defence and international representation. The medieval conquest and subsequent annexation of Wales by the Kingdom of England, followed by the union between England and Scotland in 1707 to form the Kingdom of Great Britain, the union in 1801 of Great Britain with the Kingdom of Ireland created the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
Five-sixths of Ireland seceded from the UK in 1922, leaving the present formulation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. There are fourteen British Overseas Territories, the remnants of the British Empire which, at its height in the 1920s, encompassed a quarter of the world's land mass and was the largest empire in history. British influence can be observed in the language and political systems of many of its former colonies; the United Kingdom is a developed country and has the world's fifth-largest economy by nominal GDP and ninth-largest economy by purchasing power parity. It has a high-income economy and has a high Human Development Index rating, ranking 14th in the world, it was the world's first industrialised country and the world's foremost power during the 19th and early 20th centuries. The UK remains a great power, with considerable economic, military and political influence internationally, it is sixth in military expenditure in the world. It has been a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council since its first session in 1946.
It has been a leading member state of the European Union and its predecessor, the European Economic Community, since 1973. The United Kingdom is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the Council of Europe, the G7, the G20, NATO, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the World Trade Organization; the 1707 Acts of Union declared that the kingdoms of England and Scotland were "United into One Kingdom by the Name of Great Britain". The term "United Kingdom" has been used as a description for the former kingdom of Great Britain, although its official name from 1707 to 1800 was "Great Britain"; the Acts of Union 1800 united the kingdom of Great Britain and the kingdom of Ireland in 1801, forming the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Following the partition of Ireland and the independence of the Irish Free State in 1922, which left Northern Ireland as the only part of the island of Ireland within the United Kingdom, the name was changed to the "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland".
Although the United Kingdom is a sovereign country, Scotland and Northern Ireland are widely referred to as countries. The UK Prime Minister's website has used the phrase "countries within a country" to describe the United Kingdom; some statistical summaries, such as those for the twelve NUTS 1 regions of the United Kingdom refer to Scotland and Northern Ireland as "regions". Northern Ireland is referred to as a "province". With regard to Northern Ireland, the descriptive name used "can be controversial, with the choice revealing one's political preferences"; the term "Great Britain" conventionally refers to the island of Great Britain, or politically to England and Wales in combination. However, it is sometimes used as a loose synonym for the United Kingdom as a whole; the term "Britain" is used both as a synonym for Great Britain, as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Usage is mixed, with the BBC preferring to use Britain as shorthand only for Great Britain and the UK Government, while accepting that both terms refer to the United K
History of the motorcycle
The history of the motorcycle begins in the second half of the 19th century. Motorcycles are descended from the "safety bicycle," a bicycle with front and rear wheels of the same size and a pedal crank mechanism to drive the rear wheel. Despite some early landmarks in its development, the motorcycle lacks a rigid pedigree that can be traced back to a single idea or machine. Instead, the idea seems to have occurred to numerous engineers and inventors around Europe at around the same time. In the 1860s Pierre Michaux, a blacksmith in Paris, founded'Michaux et Cie', the first company to construct bicycles with pedals called a velocipede at the time, or "Michauline"; the first steam powered motorcycle, the Michaux-Perreaux steam velocipede, can be traced to 1867, when Pierre's son Ernest Michaux fitted a small steam engine to one of the'velocipedes'. The design went to America when Pierre Lallement, a Michaux employee who claimed to have developed the prototype in 1863, filed for the first bicycle patent with the US patent office in 1866.
In 1868 an American, Sylvester H. Roper of Roxbury, developed a twin-cylinder steam velocipede, with a coal-fired boiler between the wheels. Roper's contribution to motorcycle development ended when he died demonstrating one of his machines in Cambridge, Massachusetts on June 1, 1896. In 1868, a French engineer Louis-Guillaume Perreaux patented a similar steam powered single cylinder machine, the Michaux-Perreaux steam velocipede, with an alcohol burner and twin belt drives, invented independently of Roper's. Although the patent is dated 1868, nothing indicates the invention had been operable before 1871. In 1881, Lucius Copeland of Phoenix, Arizona designed a much smaller steam boiler which could drive the large rear wheel of an American Star high-wheeler at 12 mph. In 1887 Copeland formed the Northrop Manufacturing Co. to produce the first successful'Moto-Cycle'. The first commercial design for a self-propelled bicycle was a three-wheel design called the Butler Petrol Cycle, conceived of and built by Edward Butler in England in 1884.
He exhibited his plans for the vehicle at the Stanley Cycle Show in London in 1884, two years earlier than Karl Benz invented his first automobile, recognized as the inventor of the modern automobile. Butler's vehicle was the first design to be shown at the 1885 International Inventions Exhibition in London; the vehicle was built by the Merryweather Fire Engine company in Greenwich, in 1888. The Butler Petrol Cycle It was a three-wheeled vehicle, with the rear wheel directly driven by a 5/8hp 600 cc flat twin four stroke engine, equipped with rotary valves and a float-fed carburettor, Ackermann steering, all of which were state of the art at the time. Starting was by compressed air; the engine was liquid-cooled, with a radiator over the rear driving wheel. Speed was controlled by means of a throttle valve lever. No braking system was fitted; the driver was seated between the front wheels. It wasn't, however, a commercial success, as Butler failed to find sufficient financial backing. Another early internal combustion, petroleum fueled.
It was designed and built by the German inventors Gottlieb Daimler and Wilhelm Maybach in Bad Cannstatt, Germany in 1885. This vehicle was unlike either the safety bicycles or the boneshaker bicycles of the era in that it had zero degrees of steering axis angle and no fork offset, thus did not use the principles of bicycle and motorcycle dynamics developed nearly 70 years earlier. Instead, it relied on two outrigger wheels to remain upright while turning; the inventors called their invention the Reitwagen. It was designed as an expedient testbed for their new engine, rather than a true prototype vehicle. In the decade from the late 1880s, dozens of designs and machines emerged in Germany and in England, soon spread to America. During this early period of motorcycle history there were many manufacturers, since bicycle makers were adapting their designs for the new internal combustion engine. In 1894 Hildebrand & Wolfmüller became the first series production motorcycle, the first to be called a "motorcycle".
However, only a few hundred examples of this motorcycle were built. The first instance of the term "motor cycle" appears in English the same year in materials promoting machines developed by E. J. Pennington, although Pennington's motorcycles never progressed past the prototype stage. Excelsior Motor Company a bicycle-manufacturing company based in Coventry in Warwickshire, began production of their first motorcycle model in 1896, available for purchase by the public; the first production motorcycle in the US was the Orient-Aster, built by Charles Metz in 1898 at his factory in Waltham, Massachusetts. In 1898, Peugeot Motocycles presents at the Paris Motorshow the first motorcycle equipped with a Dion-Bouton motor. Peugeot Motocycles remains the oldest motorcycle manufacturer in the world. In the early period of motorcycle history, many producers of bicycles adapted their designs to accommodate the new internal-combustion engine; as the engines became more powerful and designs outgrew the bicycle origins, the number of motorcycle producers increased.
Many of the nineteenth-century inventors who worked on early motorcycles moved on to other inventions. Daimler and Roper, for example, both went on to develop autom