A motorcycle (or motorbike) is a form of transport to move people from one place to another. It does not have 4 wheels like a car. It has 2 wheels like a bicycle. But it has a motor like a car. A motorcycle is normally driven by one person. One may also take another person with him, on the back of the motorcycle. There are also motorcycles with a sidecar, then 3 people can be transported.
In 1901, the first successful motorcycle was made by "Indian" motorcycles in Springfield, Massachusetts. Since then, many other companies have made them. There are different manufacturers of motorcycle, like Honda, Suzuki, Yamaha. A well known American manufacturer of motorcycles is Harley-Davidson.
Motorcycles are used both for transportation and extreme sports. Since motorcycles can be lighter than cars, they can accelerate more quickly. But it also makes them not as safe as cars, because they do not have a protecting chassis around them like cars. Very often motorcycle-riders are injured heavily in accidents. A motorcycle rider can wear a helmet and clothing that has armor. This special clothing may reduce the rider's injuries in an accident.
In the middle of the last century, motorcycles were used by many as a cheap method of transportation. Many people who did not have the money to buy a car, could afford a small motorcycle. Back then motorcycles were also much slower and with less motor-power. Today, motorcycles are used more as a hobby. Unlike cars, motorcycles do not have a protection against wind and rain. That makes it difficult to drive in winter or at bad weather.
On-road bikes (ones that are allowed on public roads) require the rider to have a special type of driver's license to be ridden legally. Off-road bikes are not allowed to be driven on public roads.
Speed and stunts are the main goals for off-road bike sports. Many on-road bikes are much faster than off-road bikes and can be used in sports such as motorbike racing.
Motocross is a form of motorcycle racing. It is on an off-road circuit. The sport came from motorcycle trials competitions held in the United Kingdom. Motocross is a physically demanding sport. It is held in all weather conditions.
- Setright, L.J.K. (1979), The Guinness book of motorcycling facts and feats, Guinness Superlatives, pp. 202, 211, ISBN 0-85112-200-0
- "History of Individual Motocross World Championships". fim-live.com. http://www.fim-live.com/en/sport/vintage/vintage-news-detail/article/1275383389-history-of-individual-motocross-world-championships/. Retrieved 11 October 2011.