Two-wheeled motor vehicles powered by a crank or engine that is attached to the rear wheel and used to propel it. Motorcycles are generally much smaller than cars and take up less space to store, park or ride. They are also cheaper to purchase and operate than automobiles, requiring only a fraction of the fuel they need to travel the same distance.
In the United States, most motorcycles are manufactured by Harley-Davidson and Indian. During World War I, many manufacturers stepped up production to help the Allied war effort. After the war, many GIs began buying civilian motorcycles as they returned home. This is when the motorcycle industry started to shift away from large, intimidating bikes for tough guys into a new category of small, friendly motorcycles for everyone.
There are six main categories of motorcycles. These include street motorcycles designed for city riding and tarmac roads, sport bikes for canyon carving and track racing, cruisers for leisurely rides, dual-sport bikes that can handle both road and dirt, and off-road motorcycles built for dirt or motocross races. Within each of these categories are numerous brands, engines, and models.
Today, there are more women than ever owning and riding motorcycles, a trend that has made some major motorcycle companies invest in creating female-friendly models. Motorcycle riders are more diverse in age than ever before too, with people over sixty making up a large percentage of the biker population. The reason behind this is likely because, as Jax Teller from Sons of Anarchy might say, a bike gives you the freedom to be whoever you want to be.