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Massive Errors in Logic, Facts, and Authority (lack of)
The first sentence on this page is in error. The MOTOR cycle's history begins with the creation of the technology that created it. It did not spring from Zeus' head as a complete adult. Neither did the bicycle. Neither did the Steam Engine, and most certainly not the petroleum engine which had a painful birth over several decades.
The use of a clip-on engines by bicycle shops has been inappropriately considered to be the creation of a motorcycle. It is not. It is the creation of a moto bicycle. The term for these machines throughout the world was moto bicycle for decades, and still is in some areas. The use of the word motor came much later.
From the standpoint of logic, if you cannot show a straight line in development from ANY modern motorcycle (which would be best served in the golden years of the 1950s post war era, not today as too many motorcycles have become grotesques and caricatures of venerable designs, then the one off creation, the moto bicycle, has no place in the history of the Motorcycle.
Neither should there be any fraudulent material admitted as if it has merit. The charlatan E.J. Pennington being a massive fraud never produced or delivered on any of his promises although he had some input in a company with some automotive credentials (like John Delorean).
One off creations, unless they are the exception such as the first motorized vehicle as the Petroleum Reitwagen is, have no influence. Indeed most of the moto bicycles were produced from parts being promoted in catalogs of mix and match bicycle components, exactly as BSA, FN, De Dion-Bouton, and so many other suppliers had on offer. This is not innovation. It is just a form of copying.
In examining the errors within this page, the first is in attributing the title of motorcycle to any steam machine. None of these was anything more than a curiosity. These machines have been accorded far too much recognition than their importance deserves. The Perreau Steam Velocipede was patented solely in the name Perreaux, so the name of Michaux-Perreaux is inappropriate. The machines of Roper were singular creations, although he kept making improvements, none were even sold. The Smithsonian Institute dates the first Roper at 1871. The 1867 date has been stated as being the opinion of a museum curator who was guessing.
Dates given are opinions in the absence of a patent; there is no valid dated material for Roper. Copeland's machine, exists originally an artists conception made from a drawing, and might never have been built. The machine that exists is a modern creation. Steam machines were attempted for decades, and proved to be unsuccessful. They lead nowhere. They should be cataloged with steam history, not motorcycle history. The entire issue of steam history is moribund with the exceptions of ship and power plant use.
The idea that E.J. Pennington made anything is ludicrous. He is a known swindler. The machine he claims to have invented is very likely to be the Hildebrand & Wolfmüller, which bears a strong resemblance to his drawing. I also reject the idea that his engine produced no heat and that he developed fuel injection. His claims were examined, and found to be completely false. His claims defy all the principles of thermodynamics and so can be completely disregarded, indeed, should be.
If we accept the idea that a steam velocipede is somehow a motorcycle, then we must also include the history of the development of the steam engine as motorcycle history. That's as valid as the idea that anyone still speaks Aramaic. It's a dead end. Although Aramaic is more alive with a small village still speaking that language.
Steam, by the way, was killed off by the Winton Diesel engine. Steam locomotives were not developed to a high enough level to compete with the Diesel engine. There were attempts to modernize them, but they came too late and were ineffective.
There is a criterion that can be applied to what is an ancient motorcycle and what is not. It would disappoint most of the current fan base. If a moto bicycle has bicycle pedals, it's a moto bicycle, which in the modern word is a MOPED.
The 1885 Petroleum Reitwagen was not. It had no pedals. The H&W was not a moped, it was push started. So is the Holden a Motorcycle, but the 1897 Werner is a moped, the 1898 Peugeot is a motorwheel, the Millet is a motorwheel, the 1898 Laurin and Klement is the first clean sheet of paper motorcycle built to be a motorcycle. The 1900 Werner has the SAME engine mounting and was patented in the pattern that many believe to be the same frame design as the modern motorcycle (but that's wrong too).
The real motorcycle wasn't created until the 1910s. It wasn't the 1910 BSA, nor the 1910 FN, nor the 1911 Calthorpe, nor the 1911 Flying Merkel, nor the 1912 Excelsior which was the first timed at 100 mph, nor the 1912 NMC (from Japan), nor the 1912 Sunbeam, nor the 1912 Yale (nee California), nor the 1912 Wanderer, it could have been the 1913 New Hudson, which had no bicycle pedals. Or it could have been the 1913 W.E. Brough, the 1914 BSA. But Especially it could have been the 1914 Indian with Electric Starting. This comes closer to the modern 1970 motorcycle than any previous machine and was NOT just a clip on engine attached to a bicycle frame.
In reality, the first REAL motorcycle is the 1905 Scott, with it's two cycle engine, water cooling, unconventional frame, kick starter and many other advanced features. The Scott was so advanced that it is often ignored.
But these newly arrived "authors" aren't really interested in accuracy or logic. They are merely looking up obscure singular references from dubious sources which, because the reviewer lacks judgement, are being given credit where there should be none.
Motorcycles that have been produced in large scale for public consumption have had internal combustion engines, either Otto, Day, Clerk, Diesel, or Wankel types. Since 1969 all modern large motorcycles have had electric starting, lights, turn signals, disc brakes, front and rear brakes, effective front and rear suspension (although some modern machines are substandard in this). All modern machines have sufficient fuel capacity to allow a useful range suitable for traveling (except cruisers which often do not).
The way this page is currently written, it should be called
May 2011 (UTC)
- I'm adding a reference to E.J. Pennington back into the article. Whether or not his machines were successful mechanically is beside the point. They existed. They were built, tested (and found lacking), and photographed - there is no lack of evidence on these counts. Pennington filed for and received patents on them. The only important matter concerning Pennington was his use of the term "motor cycle" to describe his invention, not whether or not his particular motorcycles worked well. He used the term in his patents filed in 1893, the earliest known and verifiable useage of the term - and then proceeded to use the term "The Motor Cycle" in promotional literature. This is all verifiable. 22.214.171.124 (talk) 08:57, 18 March 2014 (UTC)