The first motorcycle was also the first car (and vice versa!)

In 1885, Gottlieb Daimler and Wilhelm Maybach built their ‘Reitwagen’, which most experts agree was the first motorcycle even though it actually had four wheels. Even the inventors didn’t think it was a practical vehicle; it was just a proof-of-concept, rolling on two ungainly wooden wagon wheels, with two outrigger ‘training wheels’ to keep it upright.

 The 1886 “Benz Patent-Motorwagen” is generally considered the first automobile, but it had only three wheels.

The 1886 “Benz Patent-Motorwagen” is generally considered the first automobile, but it had only three wheels.

 Yet another pair of Germans, Hildebrand and Wolfmuller, produced the first commercially-viable motorcycle in 1894. They also coined the term ‘motorrad’ which means ‘motorcycle’ in German.

Yet another pair of Germans, Hildebrand and Wolfmuller, produced the first commercially-viable motorcycle in 1894. They also coined the term ‘motorrad’ which means ‘motorcycle’ in German.