First patent on a motorcycle

In 1885, two German engineers added a combustion engine to a bicycle frame and invented the first true gasoline-driven motorbike. Working on their prototype ideas in a small workshop at Cannstatt near Stuttgart, Gottlieb Daimler and Wilhelm Maybach attached a one-cylinder Otto-cycle engine to a wooden bicycle frame. Gottlieb Daimler filed the patent on August 29, 1885. The original design had a 4-cycle single-cylinder engine producing 0.5 hp of force.

This invention was a historical turning point in the automotive industry because, before this innovation, engines were used for stationary machines. However, the idea of a two-wheeled motor vehicle was not originated by these two gentlemen. Sylvester Roper, a U.S. Civil War veteran invented a steam-powered “primitive “motorcycle.” But the gas-powered design won the race, and today Daimler is acknowledged for inventing the first successful motorcycle.  The model built by Daimler and Maybach is still preserved and maintained at NSU Museum in Neckarsulm, Germany.

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