“Riding a bike is an art- a thing that you do because you feel something inside”, said Valentino Rossi, a renowned professional motorcycle road racer. True indeed, for if you are a bike enthusiast you share a certain kind of romance with it.
Apart from riding it, you are always engaged in knowing several facts about bikes. Here we bring to you a few amazing facts, which you just can’t miss if you love bike riding.
- Reitwagen was the first motorbike fueled by gas and built by Gottlieb Daimler and Wilhelm Maybach in the year 1885 in Germany.
- Modern sports bike tyres do not contain natural rubber. Slick tyres give you a better grip in the wet terrains or roads than the threaded tyres.
- Remember the jaw-dropping 65 feet motorcycle stunt in the movie, The Great Escape? Well, to disappoint you, Steve McQueen did not do the jump. American Triumph dealer, Bud Ekins did it in a single take!
- Hayabusa, besides being the name of your favourite bike is also the name of a World War II Kamikaze fighter plane. Hayabusa is also the name of a Japanese Peregrine falcon. Also, Vespa means wasp and Cucciolo; the first Ducati means puppy. Funny right?
- Gregory Dunham built the tallest bike in the Guinness Book of World Records. He rode it himself. The tires were 6 feet tall, and the bike was over 11 feet from the ground. It weighed 2.94 tonnes.
- Actors Larry Wilcox and Eric Estrada from the 1970s TV cop series, CHIPS, rode Kawasaki Z1000s with BMW fairings. He also underwent an eight-week course to ride the bike. The motorcycles used in the 1970s cult film, Easy Rider, were later put on sale.
- Many motorbike giants have started from modest backgrounds. Ducati initially made parts for radios whereas, Yamaha originated in the year 1887 as a piano manufacturer.
- Suzuki established itself by making looms for the growing Japan’s silk industry. They later started an engineering firm manufacturing small cars and engines.
- Suzuki made its first motorcycle in the year 1952 which was called Power Free. It was fitted with a two-stroke 36 cc engine and featured a double-sprocket gear system which allowed the rider to pedal without using the engine or shun the pedals and then use the engine.
- The era of 1950s was the “golden age” for motorcycles. The use of bikes in several films like Rebels Without a Cause popularised these two-wheeled vehicles. The motorcycle industry was dominated by the United States and Europe throughout the 1960s until the Japanese manufacturers like Honda, Yamaha, Kawasaki and Suzuki rose to prominence.
- Japanese toilet company, TOTO had launched a green motorcycle which runs neither on gasoline nor electric motor. It runs solely on biogas from livestock waste. The brand intends to raise awareness among customers “through the development of environmentally-friendly products”, said Kevin Fujita, a TOTO spokesperson.