From the Blog

Transport by motorcycle


The motorbike is an extremely popular method of transport. It is often a method used by young people before they purchase their first car, and today it is popular in developing world countries where motorbike ownership far exceeds car ownership. It was first produced in 1894 by the German company Hilderbrand and Wolfmuller, and by the end of the century there were companies being created in the United Kingdom and the United States. By the turn of the century both Triumph and Harley Davidson were producing motorbikes and they would go on to be two of the world’s most recognized motorbikes.

The Harley Davidson

Both these companies pointed their efforts during the First World War to helping the Allies by adapting the bikes for messenger use during the conflict. Triumph produced the Triumph Type H model which was 500 ccs and they sold over 30,000 of them to the armed forces. During the Second World War the bike was adapted for use by accompanying it with a side car. Often these side cars would have a fixed Vickers machine gun in place and the motorbike was seen as an ideal way to spring surprise attacks onto the enemy. As time progressed the machines that were being produced were becoming more powerful. Due the light weight of the motorcycle it has incredibly fast acceleration speeds, giving the riders a feeling of exhilaration.

As the 1960s the motorbike became closely linked with the British popular music culture. The large powerful noisy Harley Davidsons were favored by leather clad, long haired young riders who favored heavy rock and metal music. They were at odds with the emergence of the mods. The mods were short haired youngsters who dressed far smarter than the rockers, with their parka jackets being worn instead of leather jackets. Their chosen mode of motorcycle transport was the scooter. The two most popular manufacturers were Vespa and Lambretta. Tension between the two groups would escalate during bank holidays when they would head towards seaside resorts such as Brighton and Hastings, fighting pitched battles between each other. As time went on although the conflicts died away there remained a close relationship between rock music and motorbikes. The scooter has become more popular especially in Asia. Companies such as Sazuki and Yamaha are become more popular but the company that sells more motorbikes than anyone is Honda. In 2013 they sold 15,494,000 bikes. The great majority of these sales is for their range of scooters. The scooter is fast and cheap to run. It is environmentally friendly, easy to ride and in the congested world of the Asian city ideal for weaving through heavy traffic. The motorbike is a part of every public service today. The police traffic departments of every city will have numerous motorbikes. The flexibility of the machine means that it will always get to the scene of an accident quicker than any car. Hospitals now have doctors on motorbikes who can react to an accident faster than traditional ambulances. They will often appear on the scene immediately treating the casualties, only to be followed later by the ambulance, which will transport the casualties to hospital. The downside of travelling by a motorbike are the dangers involved. Statistically a rider on a bike is 37 more time likely to die in an accident than a driver in a car. Despite the law making all riders wear a crash helmet, there is little to protect the riders from the road and other obstacles when an accident does occur.There are various race championships involving motorbikes. These are fast and exhilarating events which are made even more exciting by the dangers involved. There have been many fatal crashes and these organized events despite the most advanced safety precautions being in place. In the developed world there are more car users than motorbike users but this trend is reversed in the developing world. With their being far more people in the developing world this means that there are more motorbikes being used in the world today than cars.