The Dangers of Riding a Motorcycle

Motorcycles are the most agile of the two-wheelers, able to gain speed quickly and maneuver in traffic more easily than cars or trucks. Their small frames can even fit into parking spots that are too small for a car. However, despite their agility and quick speeds, they are also the most dangerous of all vehicles to operate. They’re often seen as symbols of freedom and danger, thanks in part to Hollywood movies such as Marlon Brando’s role in The Wild One, but there’s a much deeper meaning behind riding a motorcycle that goes far beyond a bad boy image or a thrill ride.

The first true motorcycles were built around 1885 by Gottlieb Daimler, Wilhelm Maybach and Nicolaus Otto, who used their invention of the internal combustion engine to create a bicycle-like vehicle with a gasoline powered rear wheel drive system. Unlike the safety or boneshaker bicycles of the time, it had no center of gravity offset and the wheels were mounted directly above each other.

Today, there are countless types of motorcycles available on the market: cruisers, bobbers, scramblers and more. But the common features of a motorcycle are a gas or electric motor that converts reciprocating motion into rotary motion, an automatic transmission to transfer this rotary motion to the back wheel, and two hand levers and foot pedals for the operator to control.

There are many safety features on modern motorcycles, including anti-lock brakes and traction control systems that can prevent the bike from skidding when accelerating or turning sharply. But the most important safety feature on any motorcycle is the rider’s brain. Alcohol, illegal drugs, or medications that slow your reaction time can seriously impair judgment and coordination, throttle control, balance and the ability to shift gears. So don’t ride a motorcycle if you’re under the influence.