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The first motorcycle was built by Gottlieb Daimler and Wilhelm Maybach in 1885 with a four-stroke internal combustion engine. In 1894, the Hildebrand & Wolfmüller became the first motorcycle to be sold commercially. It had a 1,428cc four-stroke with 2.5 bhp and a top speed of 25 mph. In 1895, American inventor E.J. Pennington built a machine capable of 58 mph speed and also coined the term motor cycle. A British manufacturer Matchless used French-made engines in 1899.The most known motorcycle Harley-Davidson was the brainchild of William S. Harley and Arthur Davidson. The first available bike was built with a 3-1/8 inch bore and 3-1/2 inch stroke. Like minded people across the US and Europe came up with better ideas, engines and propelled the motorcycle industry. Soon names such as Excelsior, Indian, Pierce, Merkel, Schickel and Thor were seen racing for the top slot. By 1902, an English engineering company Royal Enfield had started making its mark. They developed 239cc Enfield engine and installed it on a bicycle. The famous Bullet was developed between 1924 to 1930. Since 1965, the company has also been producing diesel-powered bikes. In 1902, Triumph motorcycle produced its first motorcycle using single-cylinder 2.25 bhp Belgian Minerva engine. By 1907, more than 1,000 motorcycles were made by them. In 1951, The BSA Group purchased them and became the largest producers of motorcycles.However, the second world war devastated the motorcycle industry, forcing many companies to shut down. It was revived by the technological advances made in Japan. In 1946, Honda was started with a 50cc engine. By the turn of the century, the European markets were facing stiff competition from Honda, Yamaha, Kawasaki, Suzuki. The Japanese offered good looking faster bikes with bigger engines at a reasonable cost. By 1960 Honda's CD450, outran every western bike. In 1969, they introduced the SOHC inline 4-cylinder 750 engine for the first time. Motorcycle accessories

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This article was published on 2010/09/14