10. Hildebrand & Wolfmüller – 1894


The Hildebrand & Wolfmüller Twin isn’t the world’s first motorcycle, but with approximately 1,000 examples built between 1894 and 1897, it is credited as the first motorcycle to achieve series production status. In addition to being the first commercially successful motorcycle, in 1896 the Hildebrand & Wolfmüller model was entered in the first recorded race exclusively for motorcycles from Paris to Mantes, France, and back. Other firsts include lubricating oil carried in the frame’s front down tubes while water for the liquid-cooled model resided inside a modified rear fender.

1894 Hildebrand & Wolfmüller

Country of Origin Germany
Engine Type Liquid-cooled, four-stroke, side-by-side Twin
Engine Capacity 1488 cc
Horsepower 2.5 bhp @ 240 rpm
Bore x Stroke 90 x 117 mm
Transmission Direct drive to rear axle, then sun and planet reduction gear to wheel
Weight 115 lbs.
Top Speed 24 mph