A motorcycle has an internal-combustion engine and is powered by gasoline. It usually has a steel frame and two wheels. Its handlebars are attached to the front and back of the bike, and a cushioned seat sits on top. It also has brakes, a headlight, taillight, turn signals and a horn.
Before becoming specialized and specific, motorcycles were more general-purpose vehicles. They were available in various sizes and had a variety of features, but they all shared similar equipment, riding positions, frame design and other elements. Street bikes from different manufacturers were so similar that they were often referred to as UJMs (universal Japanese motorcycles).
Around the turn of the 20th century, the modern era of the motorcycle began with the establishment of well-known motorcycle companies like BMW and Moto Guzzi. It also started with a wave of popularity for the new sport bike, which elevated professional motorcycle racing to a higher level of prestige and pushed mechanics, designers and riders to new heights of performance.
More recently, the popularity of electric motorcycles and an increase in small-displacement options have broadened the appeal of motorcycling to a new generation of perspective riders. Discounted tolls, free parking in non-car spaces and HOV lane access could help drive even more people to explore this exciting form of transportation. It’s important to remember that motorcycles are a very dangerous way of getting from point A to B, and all motorcyclists need to be extra vigilant when on the road. Obey traffic lights, signs and speed limits; keep your distance from other drivers; and always wear a helmet. Avoid alcohol and drugs before you ride — they can affect your judgment, coordination, balance, throttle control, ability to shift gears and alertness.