On April 25th, 2010, during The International Classic MotorCycle Show held in Stafford, England, legendary auction house, Bonhams, will auction a relatively clean-for-its-age but original Hildebrand & Wolfmüler motorcycle. Sometimes the further back we look into the early history of something, the details of origin can get a little sketchy, opening the doors of debate […]
World’s First Motorcycle
German inventors built "riding car" in 1885
Here at Motorcycle.com, we spend an awful lot of time searching out and covering stories about the motorcycles that will shape the future of the industry. Sometimes it is also a good idea to turn around and look back at just how far we’ve come. The first known motorcycle in existence was constructed back in 1885 by German inventors Gottlieb Daimler and Wilhelm Maybach near Stuttgart. Essentially a motorized wooden bicycle, the Reitwagen, (riding car) as it was called, was the first petroleum-powered transportation device.
The “Reitrad” was registered with the patent office on August 29, 1885 creating a whole new way to travel. The first public test ride occurred on November 10 of the same year with Daimler’s younger son, Adolf in the saddle giving birth to the public fascination for motorcycles that still exists today. It may seem like a basic and rudimentary design but just think, if it weren’t for the invention of this gas-powered wooden gadget 124 years ago, we might still be getting around by horse and buggy.