You’re sitting at a motocross competition watching as the
motorcyclesclear through the obstacles with riders flying over the ground and kicking up dust. Then something strikes your mind: how did the first motorcycle come to be?
The invention of the first motorcycle led to the production of automobiles a year later. Daimler's priority was to make the engine usable for mobile vehicles. The Daimler Reitwagen is credited as the first "true" motorcycle because it was gas-powered.
Specifications of the Daimler Reitwagen
There’s a meaning behind the name Reitwagen. Reitwagen means "riding wagon" or "single track" because the motorcycle had two wheels and rode on a single track, unlike a four-wheeled carriage that rode on two tracks.
The Daimler Reitwagen featured a 16.1-cubic-inch engine that produced 0.5 horsepower at 600 rpm. Its design included a wooden bicycle frame with pedals and featured a single-cylinder Otto-cycle four-stroke engine fixed on rubber blocks.
The Daimler Reitwagen stood out because it ran on gas, unlike previous engines that were steam-driven. It attained a top speed of about 7 mph.
3 fun facts about the first motorcycle
Here are three interesting facts about the Daimler Reitwagen, based on reports from
Daimler and Maybach patented the Daimler Reitwagen's full design on August 29, 1885. Their next step was to put the engine in a testbed to assess how the engine could function in a vehicle. Although their goal wasn't to build a motorcycle, they wanted to learn what the engine could do. Sadly, the prototype wasn't powerful enough for a full-size carriage.
The first rider was Daimler's son, Paul. He drove it from Cannstatt to Untertürkheim in Stuttgart, Germany, in November 1885. He was 17 years old at the time and traveled around 3.1 to 7.5 miles. The bystanders were astonished to see how he was able to control the vehicle with ease. However, the seat caught on fire since the ignition system was located directly below it.
The Reitwagen became a success and led to the production of automobiles a year later. It was the first vehicle featuring a high-speed internal combustion engine. Gottlieb Daimler and Carl Benz (of
Mercedes Benz) would later become the first car inventors. The first automobile was developed on January 29, 1886.
Get your motorcycle insured
There you have it, folks. Now you know some fun facts about the first motorcycle and how it led to car production. If you own a motorcycle, it's essential to have it insured against any accidents or theft.
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