August 29, 1885 – The first motorcylce?

The further development of inventions follows those things that are already successful, not those that fail. With that idea in mind, on this day in 1885, what is often referred to as the first motorcycle, is patented by Gottlieb Daimler and Wilhelm Maybach, known as the Daimler Reitwagen. There is some controversy over whether or not it is actually the first motorcycle, as there was one or perhaps two creations built prior that featured motorcycle like tendencies. For example, the Montrice Pia, a child’s tricycle fitted with an internal combustion engine in 1882 by Enrico Bernardi. It has been considered the forerunner of the modern motorcycle and is often considered the first successful internal combustion powered vehicle ever. Other challengers include  Michaux-Perreaux steam velocipede or Roper steam velocipede. The Daimler Reitwagen initially featured a wood beam frame, rear drum brakes, no front brakes and a 264 cc four stroke, single cylinder engine with a single speed transmission and no suspension. Over the next few years it would receive regular updates to its various parts. It also had auxiliary stabilizers, similar to training wheels on children’s bikes. The original bike was destroyed in a  fire in 1903, but several replicas exist. Pics:Daimler Reitwagen replica at Mercedes Benz museumPlans for the Reitwagen

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