Two wheelers


In 1869, G. T. Goddard in The History of the Velocipede, and in Axel Josephsson’s 1902 Bicycles and Tricycles wrote that the velocipede’s forerunner was introduced in 1779 at the Place Louis XV (later Place de la Concorde) by its’ inventors, Blanchard and Magurier. On July 27, 1779, the Petit Journal described the shape of the steering system as resembling an eagle’s wing.

In 1815, the world’s biggest eruption occurred in Indonesia’s Tamboray volcano, leading to terrible weather in Europe, Asia and America the next year: 1816 was called the year without a summer. Horses died of starvation or were killed for food.

In Karl Drais – Two wheels Instead of Four Hooves, Hans-Erhard Lessing wrote that to compensate for the lack of horses, the German baron Karl Drais invented the velocipede in 1817. Cyclists riding on sidewalks endangered pedestrians: the velocipede was prohibited for decades, as a result, in Germany, England and the US. In Europe, it had a spectacular second coming to the point that races were created in 1867.

Here again, incremental change involved many inventors:

  • The Parisian Michaux added pedals to the front wheel in 1861: the bicycle was born!
  • A larger front wheel made it possible to lengthen the transmission and increase speed. This led to the Big Bi.
  • Rear-wheel transmission using connecting rods (McMillan, 1839, and/or Alexandre Lefebvre, 1843) San Jose Historical Museum.
  • The chain is first applied to the front wheel (Rousseau, 1875) and then to the back wheel (Meyer and Guilmet, 1869), increasing the angular speed of the pedals. A longer transmission also increased speed and indirectly made it possible to go back to a normal-sized front wheel so that the riders’ feet could touch the ground.
  • In 1885, Starley invented the Rover Safety Bicycle whose castor angle was adapted to the automobile in 1896.
  • Subsequent adaptations followed relatively quickly: a metal frame, air tires, a hollow-tubed fork made from a sword sheath.
  • For a summary of the next group of minor inventions, click here.

Richard Klein historical bike

perreaux 1868

Two-wheelers are the simplest, lightest structures for experimenting with engines. In 1868, Louis-Guillaume Perreaux built a motorcycle using a Big Bi frame.

Note the vehicle’s hybrid engine and all-wheel drive transmission.


In 1885, Gottfried Daimler put an engine on a two-wheeler with a wooden body to experiment without having to resolve the basis problems. Pragmatism…..

millet 1888

The 1888 Millet motorcycle with a 5 cylinder in star engine in the rear wheel.


1894 Hildebrand and Wolfmuller motorcycle, two cylinder boxer, 4 stroke, transmission by connecting rods.


Ladies first ! The Parisian motorbike La Jumella in 1922, with trailing and leading arms suspensions , front and rear dampers, steering ?


The 1923 German motorcycle Megola was as aesthetically and technically interesting with its 5-cylinders in star engine in the front wheel inspired by aeronautics, as it was poorly adapted./p>

Wallas 1926

The american 1926 George Wallas motorbike with a front suspension with double wishbone (SLA).

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