Ever get so bored that you start mindlessly just googling stuff? Typically when I get really bored, and I've already sucked every morsel of usefulness out of Netflix, Amazon Prime, and HBO Max, I start in with Youtube videos. I usually look for mods for the bikes or cool new facts about the bike I have on order (and have had on order since November). However, when all that has been exhausted too, I reach a new level of desperation. Since motorcycles are like totally my thing, it is my go-to subject matter. I just started googling for exciting facts about bikes... googling, and googling... and so, as you can see, I was VERY bored—welcome gentlemen and women to the fruits of my utter and absolute boredom. I have to say; I got pretty involved in this little venture once I started finding new facts that I had never known about... pretty interesting stuff after all. Add to that; now my motorcycle repertoire is fifty facts more robust. Go ahead now read on, intrepid moto- explorer, read on.
Just the facts, ma'am.
1) Did you know what Yamaha's logo actually depicts? It is an image of three intertwined tuning forks. That is because, in 1887, Yamaha started as a piano manufacturer. That's right, in that time, Yamaha fanboys and girls were pounding on white ivory keys and carving out concertos instead of pounding pavement and carving curves. Today, Yamaha is a multinational conglomerate that produces all manner of stuff like boats, swimming pools, RVs, electronics, motorcycles (of course), and even wheelchairs. Just think, if you wind up shiny-side-down one day, then you can stay brand-loyal in perpetuity with your Yamaha wheelchair.
Click on the logo for a very cool timeline of the history of Yamaha.
2) Kawasaki aint no slouch either... In addition to motorcycles, Kawasaki also builds ships, power plants, industrial equipment, robots, and spaceships.
3) Backward Biker: The record for the longest-ever backwards motorcycle ride was set by Dipayan Choudhury in Jabalpur, India on October 7, 2014, lasting 125.52 miles (202 kilometers). However, then it was broken in 2020 by Havildar Pradeep from Bangalore (Karnataka) India. He did the longest backward motorcycle ride by covering the distance of 204.4 km in 4 hours 47 minutes 16.19 seconds and made a new world record for the International Book of Records.
4) You've heard people call motorcycles "Hogs", right? Well, they say that the origin of the term “hog”, when referring to a Harley-Davidson motorcycle, was from the early part of the 1900s Harley’s racing team, the Wrecking Crew. Lawrence Ray Weishaar (September 9, 1890 – April 13, 1924) was a Class A Racing Champion in the 1910s and 1920s. He rode for the Wrecking Crew, and helped to popularize the nickname 'hog' in reference to Harley-Davidson by carrying the team's mascot, a small pig, around on victory laps. Of course, HOG became the official acronym of the Harley Owners Group. Harley has become very fond of the term "Hog", even suing for exclusive rights to its use:
5) Steve McQueen’s famous 65 foot motorcycle jump in the movie "The Great Escape" was done by stand-in rider Bud Ekins and he did it in just one take... pretty badass.
6) Harley crate motors aren't as modern an idea as one would have thought. It turns out that in the early days you could get a Harley-Davidson for the Do-it-Yourselfer. This was pre-1905 before complete motorcycle limited production was established.
17) Who wants a Honda... real cheap? Insurance statistics show that in inner cities, one in five motorcycles are stolen. Honda is the most common brand stolen, and Harley is the least.
8) Breakin' the Law: So, it's not illegal? Legend has it that it is NOT LEGAL to ride side-by-side on motorcycles... sharing the same lane, and that is why you must stagger. I've even heard a Motorcycle Safety Foundation instructor (who shall remain nameless) emphatically emphasize (that's two "emphs") that it is absolutely illegal to ride next to one-and-other. It turns out this is not true at all. It is legal in Florida (where I'm at) and most other states for two bikes at a time. Three bikes... not so much. Staggered riding is brilliant riding, but again... it is NOT ILLEGAL for two bikes to ride side-by-side.
9) iRobot Racing: It's for real ladies and gents. They aren't just gunning for our jobs anymore; they are out to get our hobbies too now! If you thought that riding was one thing that the steady march of automation and artificial intelligence would not interfere with, well, er... think again. It's not just UberEats we need to worry about, folks... check out MotoBot: a fully autonomous motorcycle-riding humanoid robot that even took on the wold champion MotoGP rider, Valentino Rossi! Oh, and guess what... also made by Yamaha.
Click the pic for more on MotoBot:
10) Snakes on a Plane: Ok, well, not on a plane, but in a box. Evel Knieval (born Robert Craig Knieval) holds the world record for breaking the most bones yet surviving. During his stunt career, he spent a total of a whopping three years in the hospital! Before his bone-breaking bonanza, as a boy, Knievel had seen the Joie Chitwood show. He decided that he could do something similar using a motorcycle. Promoting the show himself, Knievel rented the venue, wrote the press releases, & set up the show. He even sold the tickets and served as his own master of ceremonies. After enticing the small crowd with a few wheelies, he proceeded to jump a 20-foot-long box of rattlesnakes and two mountain lions. Two mountain lions... Whaaaaat?
11) Emo Philips American actor, stand-up comedian, writer and producer was a motorcycle fan.
“I asked God for a bike, but I know God doesn’t work that way. So I stole a bike and asked for forgiveness.”
― Emo Philips
12) The very first Harley-Davidson motorcycle had a tomato can for a carburetor. Did you know that?
13) We're not in Kansas anymore, Toto! After three years of design and prototyping, Toto's ”Toilet Bike Neo” embraces the idea of using, you guessed it, poop as a renewable resource. The bike completed an 870 mile journey across Japan, but while the prototype is certainly grabbing everyone's attention, the company has no intention in commercializing the product.
14) Gotchu by a mile, brah. The longest motorcycle is 26.29 m (86 ft 3 in) long and was created by Bharat Sinh Parmar (India). It was presented and measured at Lakhota lake, Jamnagar, Gujarat, India, on January 22, 2014. Bharat's bike is more than 4 m (13 ft) longer than the previous record holder's.
15) A Very Vivacious Velocipede Indeed: Ole' Sly H. Roper was at it again. Toiling and slaving in the dank recesses of his basement, Sylvester knew he had a winner when he tightened up the last bolt on his intrepid creation dubbed "Velocipede". Nary, a soul, to disagree, the Roper Steam Velocipede would go on to tickle and tantalize the tatty-patched patrons of Punxsutawney. Engrossed in a histrionic historical "who-done-it" though, the Velocipede is now considered only by some as the "first motorcycle". Others would disagree, recognizing the Michaux-Perreaux Steam Velocipede" the "Pede of Predilection".
16) Flying Motorcycle Madness: "La Moto Volante" "Dude, I was like, totally flying back there, brah". Well, no you weren't, bro... not unless you were flying the Lazareth LVM 496... the ACTUAL flying motorcycle. Yessir, that is correct... the ACTUAL flying motorcycle. All you need to do is get a loan for $500,000 (or ask Daddy) and get in the very short line to buy one of the five of these that exist. I want one.
17) Lawrence of Arabia was apparently killed in a motorcycle accident after swerving to avoid boys on bicycles.
18) Edward Butler ( the British inventor, not the male butler you named Ed in the Sims: Parenthood game) is credited with coining the term "Motorcycle" when inventing a three-wheeled gas-powered vehicle back in 1884.
19) Sonny Barger ( the founder of Hell's Angels) preferred Japanese bikes over Harley-Davidsons.
"In terms of pure workmanship, personally I don't like Harleys. I ride them because I'm in the club and that's the image but if I could I would seriously consider riding a Honda ST1100 or BMW."
20) Only about 30% of all stolen motorcycles are recovered. That is about half of the rate of recovered automobiles.
21) Modern sportbike tires don't contain any "real" rubber. They are made entirely from synthetic rubber.
22) Kawa-sock-it-to me: Did you have any idea that Kawasaki really had no interest in motorcycles initially? Solely involved in aerospace at the time, they only started producing motorcycles as a marketing ploy to draw attention to their "heavy industries".
23) When rounding a corner, 75% of a motorcycle's grip comes from the front tire.
24) Front tires disperse water at three times the rate of rear tires.
25) The Dare Devils Team of the Indian Army Signal Corps achieved a motorcycle pyramid consisting of 201 men balanced on 10 motorcycles, on July 5, 2001 at Gowri Shankar Parade Ground, Jabalpur, India. The pyramid travelled a distance of 424 ft (129 m).
26) Mamma Mia'... Of course he's Italian. This is one beast of a bike! Fabio Feggiani's passion has paid off after he built the the tallest ever rideable motorbike. The Guinness World Records team have measured it up and confirmed that it is five meters tall from the top of the handlebars to the ground. Fabio says it gets plenty of attention:
"When the people see my bike they became crazy and they laugh, and some people say you're crazy man what's that?'.
I'm very glad I am in the special club. Let's go!"
27) Most Expensive Motorcycle: The world's most expensive motorcycle is the Neiman Marcus Limited Edition Fighter, costing an insane $11 million!
Neiman Marcus is an American chain of luxury department stores, so when it decided to unveil a bike for auction, it received a ton of press, and the price went through the roof.
As a result, the bike started out at auction at the bargain price of $110,000 but eventually sold for $11 million.
Of course, that's just that ONE individual Fighter, but the Confederate Motorcycles Fighter model aint cheap no matter how you look at it.
The Confederate Fighter uses a girder-style front suspension made up of titanium, aluminum, and carbon fiber bits and a 120ci 45-degree air-cooled V-Twin. From there, things diverge rather rapidly, with the Fighter's carbon fiber monocoque chassis being replaced with a backbone unit made from titanium connected to front and rear bulkheads cut from solid chunks of billet aluminum.
28) SS-Supa Fast: Brough Superior was the first company to claim that its motorcycle could go a whopping 100 mph. That motorcycle was the SS100 built in 1924. Each and every SS100 was tested to reach 100 mph, and if it failed to do so, it was back-to-the-drawing board until it could pull-off the 100 mph benchmark. In 2016 Brough Superior brought the SS100 back for another go-round.
29) "Hayabusa" is Japanese for peregrine falcon, which preys on blackbirds. It was also the nickname of a fighter plane used in World War 2: the Nakajima Ki-43, which was used as a Kamikaze plane towards the end of the war.
30) Italian Stallions: Ducati Motor Holding S.P.A. is the motorcycle division of Italian company Ducati headquartered in Bologna, Italy. The company is owned by German automotive manufacturer Audi through its Italian subsidiary Lamborghini, with Audi itself owned by the Volkswagen Group. Pretty cool, eh. So, Ducati is the Lamborghini of the motorcycle world... even if it is German.
31) An explosive Situation: Did you know that Ducati originally made vacuum tubes and condensers as well as other radio components. They had nothing to do with motorcycles until after Allied bombers destroyed their factory in 1944. In 1950 Ducati started offering motorcycles built from SIATA built motors called Cucciolos (Puppies... after the sound they made). Eventually, the company split into Ducati Elettronica, which continued to make electronics and Ducati Meccanica, which became the Ducati of today, building motorcycles.
32) Wheelie? Is that wheally true? Doug Domokos was inducted in the American Motorcycle Association (AMA) Hall of Fame in 2002. He was nicknamed “The Wheelie King” and once held the record for the longest wheelie at an amazing 145 miles in length. That record stood for over 8 years.
33) Only 3 states in the US do not require a helmet for any motorcyclist, while 28 states require a helmet for certain riders and the other 19 states plus the District of Columbia require a helmet for any rider (called a universal helmet law).
34) Co-Morbidity? A man who died in a motorcycle crash in July of 2020 was counted as a COVID-19 death in Orlando FL. According to the report, Orange County Health Officer Dr. Raul Pino was asked whether two coronavirus victims in their 20s had any underlying medical conditions that could have made them more susceptible to the virus.
Pino's answer was that one of the two people who was listed as a COVID death actually died in a motorcycle crash. Despite health officials knowing the man died in a motorcycle crash, it is unclear whether or not his death was removed from the overall count in the state.
Dr. Pino tells FOX 35 that one...
..."could actually argue that it could have been the COVID-19 that caused him to crash."
35) Suzuki started out as a loom maker for Japan’s booming silk industry at the turn of the 20th century.
36) Twisted Gripper: The twist-grip throttle of the motorcycle was invented in 1867, and the concept hasn’t been improved since.
37) NEO ne'er-do-well? Nope, think again. After shooting a movie in Australia, star Keanu Reeves gifted Harley Davidson motorcycles to each member of his stunt performers’ team. But that's not all... Reeves is known to be a very generous, thoughtful, and humble celebrity.
According to Hello! Magazine, the actor gave away approximately $75 million dollars of his Matrix sequels earnings to the members of the costume and special effects team. Keanu understood the significance of their hard work in making the movie. As a token of gratitude, he gave around $1 million dollars to each of the crew members. When asked about this, the actor said,
"Money is the last thing I think about. I could live on what I have already made for the next few centuries."
38) The first-ever blind person to set the record in 2003 for riding a motorbike was Billy Baxter, who lost his eyesight when he was serving in Bosnia.
39) The longest journey ever made with the use of a motorcycle comes from Emilio Scotto of Buenos Aires, Argentina. According to the Guinness World Book of Records, he covered 457,000 miles and 214 countries and territories, from January 17, 1985 to April 2, 1995.
40) Fast as @%&$!: The top speed in the history of MotoGP is 221.5 MPH (356.4 km/h), set by Andrea Dovizioso, during the race at the 2018 Italian Grand Prix.
This just in: on 3/27/2021 on the same day that I was writing the above top speed statistic, Johann Zarco (Pramac Racing), set a new outright top speed record for MotoGP, hitting an amazing astonishing 224.94 MPH (362.4 km/ h) at Losail!
41) Ever wondered what the name is of the world's smallest motorcycle? It's Smalltoe, and was made by Tom Wiberg. The bike's front wheel diameter is .62" (16 mm), and its rear-wheel diameter is .86" (22 mm). He rode it for more than 32.8 feet (10 meters)) in Hökerum, Sweden in 2003.
42) Leslie Porterfield was previously the Guinness Book of World Records' "Fastest conventional motorcycle speed (female)"record holder with her land speed record of 232.522 mph( 374.208 km/h) set at Bonneville Speedway in 2008. That record was broken in 2019 and is now held by Erin Sills at 237.275 mph (381.857 km/h).
43) "You wouldn't like me when I'm Angry!"
Team green edges out Ducati as the world's fastest production track bike with the Kawasaki H2R. Power/weight ratio of 1.585 bhp/kg is just .048 bhp/kg more then the "Super-light" Ducati Supperleggera.
Kawasaki Ninja H2/R
Claimed peak power: 322bhp
Estimated dry weight: 193kg (425 lbs)
Long live the king. Last time out the astonishing, $55,000, supercharged H2/R came out top and, although the competition is closing in, it remains there today – just barely. Kawasaki set out to produce the world’s most powerful production machine and it achieved just that. In full bore, track only ‘R’ trim, the Kawasaki is claimed to produce a whopping 306bhp, rising to 322bhp with ram air effect. That, combined with a lightweight, tubular steel trellis chassis (although the 425 lb dry figure is a guesstimate based on its published 476 lb wet figure) is what keeps it on top.
Ducati Superleggera V4
Claimed peak power: 234bhp
Claimed dry weight: 152.2kg (335 lbs)
Just when you thought Ducatis couldn’t get any more exotic and potent than the astonishing Panigale V4 R, the Bolognese firm unveiled its most grandiose machine ever for 2020. ‘Superleggera’ is the name applied to Ducati’s limited edition, ‘superlight’ versions of its flagship superbike and, with a full 234bhp (with race exhaust) and just a 335 lb dry weight due to its lashings of carbon fiber, it’s certainly their most powerful and lightest yet. And, with a price tag of $100,000 it’s also their most expensive. …
44) Did you know that tires have speed ratings?
Yes, the H rating is out of place and that’s not a typo. When tire speed ratings were first developed in Europe in the 1960s, there were only three ratings: S, H and V. As tire technology developed and new speed classes were introduced, the ratings table expanded to include the full alphabet. But the letter H kept its original speed rating of 130 mph, so it sits later in the chart. Z-rated tires will sometimes have the letters ZR embedded with the tire size information instead of in the
45) Nice for your Noggin': In 1914, a British physicist, Eric Gardner, started to see patients with injuries produced by motorcycle accidents. As a consequence of the large number of patients he attended, he got the idea of developing a helmet to cover the head of these motorcycle riders.
In fact, Gardner managed to make the use of the helmet obligatory for the riders in the Isle of Man’s TT races in 1914. So, we can establish that the first helmets and helmet rules date from 1914.
46) Superior Suspense: Harold Willis came up with the idea for motorcycle rear suspension in 1937 after observing the latest aircraft landing gear with oleo-pneumatic units (called Oleo landing gear) made by the Dowty Company of Gloucestershire England. These were springless gas/air units that used a clever valving system to push oil into a pressurized chamber, and became progressively 'harder' as the oil compressed the air inside. Air is a perfect, progressive, frictionless spring medium as it’s compressed; the ‘Oleo legs’, as they were called, function exactly like modern ‘air shocks’ and ‘air forks’ do today. They are effectively the same design, just updated.
Click the pic to read more:
47) Forteon Flop? A patent is pending for a motorcycle seat that ejects a rider in a crash and then wraps them in a full-length airbag suit to protect them from injury.
Brooklyn start-up Airbag for Bike has posted a digital animation of the patent-pending device, claiming it could save “millions from serious accidents and death”.
They also say it would allow “millions of new riders previously hesitant to sit on a motorcycle because of safety, to enjoy motorcycling”.
If you watch the animation below, you can see that although it is a great concept, it probably would not work well in a ‘real-world” situation. First of all, the seat would have to be the right size and shape to fit the unit underneath (which I can already tell you many motorcycles would not support), but also in the animation, the bag comes right out of the seat in places, as opposed to from underneath. The animation makes that look necessary, and so in the real world might require ports in the seat for the bag to escape. It just seems to me that the animation takes liberties with reality, and the mechanism for the bag’s locomotion would not be possible, or at least practical.
As of this writing, the Indegogo listing for this product with $100,000 goal was closed without any backers.
48) Honda began selling pushbikes in 1946 fitted with two-stroke 50cc generator engines originally designed for use with army field telephones. In 1992 (another 46 years later) it launched one of the most complex production motorcycle ever made with the Honda NR750. The NR boasted oval pistons with two connecting rods and eight valves per cylinder. Initially made as a racing only model, Honda later made 300 road versions of the NR available to the public.
49) In 2017, California became the first state to legalize lane-splitting through the AB-51 Bill.
50) "Two Swords": Just to stick it in the eye of the nay-sayers, I just had to slap the Niken down as fact number "fiddy". The name Niken is a coined word meaning "two swords", referring to the dynamic movement of the front two wheels like a sword master's two blades.
The development concept was called "New Type of Agility & Controllability".
Well, thanks a whole bunch for coming by and reading all of these interesting facts that I gathered up for your viewing pleasure. Hopefully, this experience was not as boring for you as how boring the boredom of mine was that lead to this happy compilation. If you did enjoy the read, or even if you did not, I'd ask that you subscribe. This way, you will be forced to experience more of our down-and-dirty- motorcycle reviews, stories, facts, and adventures. If you like motorcycle stuff, or if you are just a glutton for punishment, either way... you'll have a good time so, if you haven't already, just subscribe below.
Until next time, ladies and gents. Peace.
* P.s. These facts were gathered via the Google Machine. I have not independently verified them. Many of them exist on other motorcycle-related blogs, so I blame those lazy bastards for not fact-checking if there are any faults or fallacies intertwined with these facts. Most of this is my personal phraseology, but some of the shorter, unembellished entries are copy & pasted... many of those will have links within to the whole story written elsewhere. There are also many links to entries with my phraseology, so just because it has a link does not in any way mean that I did not write the entry. We are meant to be having fun here, so let's not get hung up o the details.