9. Holden – 1899


The bike named after its constructor, Colonel Sir Henry Capel Holden, deserves recognition for being the world’s first four-cylinder motorcycle. Resembling a longitudinally-mounted, flat-Twin, both cylinders, in fact, house a pair of pistons mounted on each end of a single connecting rod. The Holden also featured a battery and coil ignition system including a distributor and “detachable igniters,” or, in other words, an early form of spark plugs.

1899 Holden

Country of Origin Great Britain
Engine Type Flat-Four, four-stroke
Engine Capacity 1054 cc
Horsepower 3 bhp @ 420 rpm
Bore x Stroke 54 x 115mm
Transmission Direct drive to rear axle
Weight 106 lbs. (air-cooled), 132 lbs. (liquid-cooled)
Wheelbase 47 in.
Top Speed 25 mph