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Old 02-23-2008, 09:25 AM   #1
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Interesting motorcycle facts - from MCN

The pneumatic tyre was invented by John Boyd Dunlop in 1888 for use on push-bikes. Boyd also invented the word “pneumatic”.

Slick tyres offer more grip in the wet than treaded tyres up to the point at which they aquaplane.

Modern sports bike tyres don’t contain any natural rubber.

Front tyres disperse water at three times the rate of rear tyres.

When cornering, 75 per cent of a bikes grip comes from the front tyre.

The GS in GSX-R denotes four cylinders with overhead valves. The X means four valves per cylinder and the R is for race replica.

Vespa means wasp.

Cucciolo (the name of the first Ducati) means puppy.

Hayabusa is the name of a Japanese falcon that preys on blackbirds (you gotta larf!). It was also the name of a WW2 Kamikaze fighter plane.

Steve McQueen didn’t do the famous 65 ft motorcycle jump in The Great Escape. American Triumph dealer Bud Ekins did it – in one take.

The first Honda motorcycles were pushbikes with generator engines for army field telephones bolted on.

Kawasaki also makes spaceships.

Yamaha makes swimming pools and unmanned helicopters.

Ducati once made radios.

BMW is the only current major manufacturer to reject the use of telescopic forks on its big bikes. Yet BMW was the first to use and patent them, on the R12 in 1935.

Devil, Satan and Lucifer have all been names of motorcycle manufactures.

Suzuki went from GP also-rans to world champions in 1962 after works MZ rider Emst Degner defected to the firm with all the company’s technology.

Yamaha started making bikes in 1954 but didn’t produce a four-stroke motorcycle until 1970, when the firm built the XS2 650 twin.

Harley-Davidson built push-bikes between 1917 and 1923.

The Kawasaki motorcycle division was established in 1962 for no other reason than to publicise Kawasaki ’s heavy industries, which was huge but unknown to the general public.

Evel Knievel holds the world record for breaking the most number of bones and surviving. His real name is Robert Craig Knievil. The nickname Evel is said to have been given to him by police when he was jailed alongside William (Awful) Knofel. Knievel used a double in the film Viva Knievil. During his stunt career, Knievil spent a total of three years in hospital. When Knievil came to Britain to jump 13 buses at Wembley in 1975, he refused to drive his Cadillac on the left-hand-side of the road, insisting on driving on the right.

The Fonz (aka Henry Winkler) couldn’t actually ride a motorcycle.

In the 1970s cop show CHiPs, Larry Wilcox and Erik Estrada, who played bike patrolmen Jon and Ponch, were so dissatisfied when their Kawasaki Z1000s were swapped for BMWs that they put the BMW fairings on the Kawasakis and continued to use them.

Contrary to popular opinion, the motorcycles used in Easy Rider have not both been lost or destroyed. One of them, which was wrecked during filming, has been restored by Dan Hagerty, who played Grizzly Adams in the TV show of the same name.

No one knows what became of the Triumph 6T ridden by Marlon Brando in The Wild One. its worth 500,000. Street Hawk only ran for 13 episodes.

Although BMW claims it has been making Boxer twins continually since 1923, production stopped for a few months in 1986 when the company decided its future lay in triples and fours. Customer outrage persuaded the Germans to restart the twin-cylinder engine production lines.

MZ invented two-stroke expansion chambers.

The current owners of Bimota-Lorenzo-Ducati is a direct descendant of the original founder of Ducati. Cagiva is a shortening of the words Castiglioni - the founder - and Varese - the town where the company is based.
Triumph also makes golf balls.

Magnesium wheels are porous, and allow tyres to deflate if the protective paint is scraped off. The same process occurs with alloy wheels, only much more slowly.

Dynos only measure torque and engine speed. Peak power is then calculated using a mathematical equation.

Titanium ore is abundant. The reason its known as an expensive material is because its strength and hardness makes working with it difficult and costly.

Early bike helmets were lined with cork
Before becoming famous for bike helmets, ARAI made helmets for building sites.

The founder of ARAI, Hirotake Arai was a stunt rider.

Princess Anne and George Harrison have both owned custom-painted ARAI helmets.

Barry Sheen’s King helmet was Bell Star helmet with a King sticker on it.

The term ‘motorcycle’ was first coined by British inventor Edward butler when he built a twin-cylinder tricycle prototype in 1885.

Some poly carbonate helmets are made from melted-down bottle crates.
Helmet manufacturer FM also make bottle crates.

British superbike rider Scott Smart is Barry Sheen’s nephew. Smart’s mum 42, Maggie, was the first ever MCN grid girl in 1971.

Mike Duff, the Canadian rider who won the Belgian 250cc GP in 1964 and the Dutch 125cc in 1965 is now Michelle Dufff, following a sex change.

Castrol Honda makes a special sticky tape that improves airflow over race bikes’ bodywork. Laid across the nose section, it allows the air to slip up and over the helmet and leathers of the rider more smoothly.

Under WSB rules, acid is used to check if a component that should be aluminium or steel, say it isn’t in fact titanium. A colour change indicates the presence of exotic lightweight material.

The first motorcycle ever was the SH Roper 1869 steam cycle.

The first production bike to advertise a top speed of over 100mph was the Brough Superior.

The first bike to ever top 200 mph was supercharged 499cc NSU in 1956. It achieved 211.4 mph

The first rider to ever go over 300mph was Don Vesco in 1975, on a 1496cc Yamaha-engined streamliner.

The first production motorcycle was the 1488cc, 2.5hp Hilberand & Wolfmuller Motorrad, made in Germany from 1894-97

Super-fit Troy Bayliss has a resting heart rate of 36 bpm, around half the normal rate. During a race, Bayliss’ heart rate rises to 186bpm.

Nobody in the 2004 GP, WSB or BSB series has the number one plate on his bike.

Honda only started racing to win the TT, in 1959 with the RC142.

Jean-Phillipe Ruggia was the first racer to regularly get his elbow down without crashing

When Valentino Rossi was five, his dad Graziano built him a go-cart to discourage him from getting into bikes.

Jim Moodie and Sean Emmett have both worn sanitary towels inside their helmets to stop sweat dripping in their eyes in hot conditions.

Joey Dunlop was once a passenger on a fishing boat that sank on the way to the Isle of Man TT.

Brands Hatch started life as a grass track circuit.

“See God. Then back off” Kevin Schwantz on his late braking technique.

“I did not come here to (make love to) spiders. Rob Phillis , when asked about his ambition of a podium finish.

“You can only piss with the cock you’ve got” Neil Hodgson.

“If anyone can go faster on that Aprillia, [Mod edit]" Colin Edwards.

The con-rod of a sports bike engine at full chat is enduring alternate compression and tensile forces of 10 tons, 500 times a second.

The foot-operated sequential gear change was invented by Velocette’s Harold Willis in 1927.

Shoei helmets have been known to withstand bullets

The most technically complex production motorcycle ever was the Honda NR750 of 1992, with its oval pistons, eight valves per cylinder and two con rods per piston.

When torque in ft/lb. and power in bhp are plotted on the same scale, the curves always cross at 5252rpm.

In 10,000 miles, the average four-cylinder bike engine will have done 100,000,000 revs.

****’s angels’ founder Sonny Barger says in his autobiography that he prefers Japanese bikes to Harley Davidson!

Gatso speed cameras were invented by dutch rally driver Maurice Gatsonides.

The front page picture of the first ever MCN shows six tweed-suited gents drinking coffee together.

After he saw Honda NR750, Massimo Tamburini tore up his design for the Ducati 916 and copied all the Honda’s main styling cues.

Lawrence of Arabia was killed while riding his Brough Superior.

Under its own power, Triumph’s rocket III can accelerate 0-60mph at almost exactly the same rate as it would when dropped out of a plane.

Honda Super Blackbird riders crash, on average, once every 10 years.

One in five ungaraged bikes in inner cities gets stolen.

Insurance companies estimate that up to 25 per cent of bike theft claims are fraudulent.

An average of 50 from every bike insurance premium is spent on settling a relatively small number of very expensive personal injury claims.

On average, engineers are the most likely people to crash. Lecturers are the least likely.

The first monkey-style bike, the excelsior welbike, was designed to be dropped from planes with paratroopers during world war 2.

The highest altitude reached by a land motor vehicle under its own power is 20,065ft by two Chinese Jinlong motorcycles on Mount Everest in May 2002.

The world’s smallest motorcyclist, Hungarian circus performer Pityu Toth, is only 2ft 4in tall.

Last edited by kurt; 02-24-2008 at 07:10 AM.
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Old 02-23-2008, 10:26 AM   #2
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Re: Interesting motorcycle facts - from MCN

Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Brown View Post
Kawasaki also makes spaceships.

My Kawasaki thought about being a submarine once. It sent me on ahead to "check the waters".
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Old 02-23-2008, 05:09 PM   #3
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Re: Interesting motorcycle facts - from MCN

Quote:
On average, engineers are the most likely people to crash. Lecturers are the least likely.
Where did they come up with this? I always thought drunks were the most likely people to crash.

I would agree that engineers are more likely to ride and enjoy motorcycles, which might lead to them being overrepresented.
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Old 02-24-2008, 05:35 AM   #4
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Re: Interesting motorcycle facts - from MCN

Ah, the ever eloquent Colin Edwards.

BTW, "push bike" is British for "bicycle".

Tom
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Old 02-24-2008, 10:19 AM   #5
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Re: Interesting motorcycle facts - from MCN

"The first production motorcycle was the 1488cc, 2.5hp Hilberand & Wolfmuller Motorrad, made in Germany from 1894-97"
What about my 2.5hp B-S powered Sears minibike that my dad bought me when I was 8yrs old? You seem to have omited that moment in history!!
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Old 02-24-2008, 01:38 PM   #6
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Re: Interesting motorcycle facts - from MCN

Quote:
Originally Posted by Waco Kid View Post

Quote:
On average, engineers are the most likely people to crash. Lecturers are the least likely.


Where did they come up with this? I always thought drunks were the most likely people to crash.

I would agree that engineers are more likely to ride and enjoy motorcycles, which might lead to them being overrepresented.

As an engineer and a lecturer, I am not sure whether to raise the BS flag or breathe a sigh of relief.
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Old 02-24-2008, 07:59 PM   #7
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Re: Interesting motorcycle facts - from MCN

Quote:
Originally Posted by Waco Kid View Post
Where did they come up with this? I always thought drunks were the most likely people to crash.
Nah ................ 'cause most of them are still trying to kick start an electric start motorcycle.
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Old 02-24-2008, 08:54 PM   #8
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Re: Interesting motorcycle facts - from MCN

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Originally Posted by ColGoodnight View Post

BTW, "push bike" is British for "bicycle".

Tom
Thanks for clearing that up! I was about to Google it.
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Old 02-24-2008, 09:05 PM   #9
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Re: Interesting motorcycle facts - from MCN

"Yamaha makes swimming pools and unmanned helicopters."

Yamaha also builds pianos and guitars. It is, was, and has always been, first and foremost, a musical instrument manufacturer.

This struck home when I dismantled my first XS650 motor. The valves have the three crossed tuning forks logo embossed on them.

Yup, triple tuning forks rule. Course, I'm a musician, so I'm biased.
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Old 02-24-2008, 10:47 PM   #10
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Re: Interesting motorcycle facts - from MCN

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rman of 237 View Post
"The first production motorcycle was the 1488cc, 2.5hp Hilberand & Wolfmuller Motorrad, made in Germany from 1894-97"
What about my 2.5hp B-S powered Sears minibike that my dad bought me when I was 8yrs old? You seem to have omited that moment in history!!
Unless youre a minimum of 123 years old, the H&M bike is older. That and the oldest B&S bike I can find a reference for is ~1920, so....
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