Two-wheeled motorbikes (motorbikes, motorbikes) have been a popular means of transportation in many countries. Along with demand, motorcycle manufacturing companies in many countries have been constantly competing to create and improve designs and specifications to affirm the brand. It can be said that the motorcycle is not only a means of transportation but also a work of art. The owner of a motorbike is not only for traveling but also for expressing his or her interests.
In Vietnam today, there are many brands, each brand has many lines of cars and many motorbikes circulating on the roads, making the collection of two-wheel motorcycles very diverse.
The image above the first of the article is a picture of a Michaux-Perreaux alcohol-powered steam engine bicycle of the Ile-de-France museum brought to display at the Motorcycle Art exhibition in Guggenheim in New York in 1998. It was a bright candidate for the title of “first motorcycle”. So “other candidates besides Michaux-Perreaux? …”
This week’s “Invention 1 Week” column takes you back to the 19th century and goes through the land of wine to the hometown of cowboys riding horses, across the country of beer and sausages and coming hometown of pizza …. There your questions about the history of the first motorcycle will be answered.
Second half of the 19th century: History of motorcycles began
The idea of motorcycles seems to have happened to many engineers and inventors especially in Europe after the invention of the invention: steam engine (James Watt), electric motor (Michael Faraday) , bicycles, internal combustion engines (Etienne Lenoir), … between the end of the 18th century and the first half of the 19th century. The idea was expressed by the introduction of “motorized bicycles”. in the second half of the 19th century, marking the development history of motorcycles.
1868 – In France
The Michaux-Perreaux steam engine bicycle was the first motorbike to be born in France by Pierre Michaux and Louis-Guillaume Perreaux. Pierre Michaux (June 25, 1813 – 1883) was a blacksmith who supplied parts for Paris commercial vehicles in the 1850s and 1860s. Louis-Guillaume Perreaux (February 19, 1816 – April 5/4 / 1889) was a French engineer who designed the first alcohol-powered steam powered bike in France. Their car was patented in 1868 and in 1869 was presented to the public.
There is still some controversy about the author of this car due to Perreaux’s age in the patent. However, the majority are recognized as Michaux-Perreaux motorcycles. Currently, the only original Michaux-Perreaux is kept at the Ile-de-France museum
The Michaux-Perreaux consists of a wrought iron frame, designed in the form of a modified bicycle frame for raised seats to make room for small steam engines. The pedals attached to the front wheels of the bicycle are still retained from the bicycle. The front wheel is bigger than the rear wheel, both are made of wrought iron wood, spokes forged. The engine is mounted on the vertical bar of the frame inclined at a 45 degree angle, behind it is the boiler and the fuel, water tanks. It is a one-cylinder steam engine made of copper plating (external combustion engine), capacity of 0.5 horsepower. Engine movement is transmitted to the rear wheel according to a mechanism consisting of a pulley wheel and a belt. However, the first car still had no damper and brakes.
When operating a Michaux-Perreaux, it was first ignited to ignite the fuel to boil water and turn into steam, then the driver sat on the seat and used the foot pedal to move the car forward. increase the steam pressure in the cylinder so that the engine runs the car. The maximum speed of Michaux-Perreaux then reached 15 Km / h.
1869 – In the US
Leaving the land of our wine to Texas subcommittee watching nature lovers – cowboys riding guns before going to the National Museum of the United States to find out the second candidate for the throne. first motorcycle “.
France’s first steam bike was born shortly after in the United States, in 1869, Sylvester H. Roper first introduced his steam engine in Massachusetts. Sylvester Howard Roper (1823 – 1896) was a prolific inventor in many fields. Currently, the prototype of the Roper1869 steam motorcycle is kept at the US Smithsonian Institution
The Roper is still a combination of steam engine and bicycle but the engine mounting position is located between two wheels like a modern motorcycle. Structural, Roper includes steel frame, designed in the form of a bicycle frame with 2 equal wheels. The distance between the front and rear wheels is 49 inches. Two armored wooden wheels on the outside, 34 inches in diameter. Hanging under the seat is a coal boiler, attached to the frame by a pair of springs. At the rear wheel, on each side of the frame a set of piston pistons, with a pipe connected to the boiler. In addition, a short chimney of the boiler erected from behind the saddle.
Engine movement is transmitted to the rear wheel according to the handwheel transmission mechanism. Footrest is attached to both ends of the front axle. Roper engine power of 0.5 horsepower and a speed of 16 km / h. Roper is considered to have many modern motorcycle features, including a cable attached to the steering wheel operating the throttle, a chain from the handlebar to pull the curved metal plate like a spoon into the front wheel as brake system.
The operator prepares to operate the Roper by opening the side door at the bottom of the boiler, igniting the coal in the furnace to boil water in the boiler and generating steam to power the engine. Water is supplied from the tank at the top of the boiler. When the steam pressure is high enough, the driver tightens the cable to “accelerate” the car forward.
Roper’s neighbors recounted that many pedestrians were frightened, annoyed by the noise and the pungent smoke when he rode the car he invented to the street. He even entered the police station for that reason but was soon released due to a patent.
Video about the Roper
1885 – In Germany
Taking a direct flight from Washington to Berlin, now you and I are in the country of famous beer and sausages, but we have to temporarily “hold fast” to carry out our main task on the journey is to find out third contender for the title of “the first motorbike”.
A replica of the Reitwagen is located at the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart
Replica of the Reitwagen of Honda Motegi Museum, Japan
The candidate for the title of “world’s first motorbike” here is called Reitwagen by the German Gottlieb Daimler (1834 – 1900) made in 1885. Patent No. DRP 36,423 was awarded Gottlieb on August 11, 1886 in Germany. The prototype of the Reitwagen was lost in a major fire in 1903 at Daimler’s DMG factory in Cannstatt, so the Reitwagen exhibits in some museums are exact replicas according to its drawings and records.
How did Daimler build the Reitwagen? From a passion for mechanical engineering, Gottlieb Daimler showed his passion for mechanical engineering during high school. In 1852, Gottlieb Daimler did not follow his father’s baking career, but decided to choose mechanical engineering and leave his homeland to start mechanical engineering work at Graffenstaden. In 1857-1859, he returned to study mechanical engineering at the Stuttgart Polytechnic University. Later, in order to expand his technical knowledge, he went to several European countries to work on JJ Lenoir’s internal combustion engines, locomotives, etc.
In 1863, Daimler befriended Wilhelm Maybach, a 19-year-old industrial designer and later became his long-term partner. In 1872, Daimler and Maybach went to work for Nikolaus Otto’s company. Within the company, Daimler and Maybach joined the engineering team with Otto focusing on building a four-stroke gasoline engine. In 1877, Otto patented a four-stroke internal combustion engine. In 1882, Daimler and Maybach left Otto Company with the same idea formed earlier, they set up a factory to jointly research and develop small high-speed engines to be able to fit on a variety of vehicles. on the ground, in the river and in the air.
Secret, hard-working solve. Daimler and Maybach are well aware that the existing Otto engine limitation is ignition and fuel supply – this is a problem that the two men have to solve. Maybach found inspiration in a drawing by British Watson engineers. After many experiments, Maybach has come up with a “hot tube” ignition system that ensures stable ignition and can accelerate the engine as desired.
The above system has the structure and operation according to the principle: a tube is heated from the outside, directed at the cylinder at the position of the spark plug later. When compressed in pistons in a cylinder, the fuel mixture resists the hot pipes and is burned naturally. In the process of manufacturing research, creative activities are kept strictly confidential by the two men.
Inside the factory where Daimler and Maybach worked day and night in secret
The 4-stroke gasoline engine is horizontal with the heating tube
Although knowing the patent of a 4-stroke gasoline engine, Otto DRP 532 is still valid, but with the difference in engine size, the ignition system was built and especially with the art of G.Daimler’s words. the patent for a 4-stroke gasoline engine that was horizontal to a hot fire tube was issued on December 23, 1883. It was anticipated that it would have to race for patent with Otto, Karl Benz and other inventors, so only one the week after the patent for the “4-stroke gasoline engines with horizontal ignition”, G.Daimler went on to file another patent for a system that “controls engine speed by controlling it.” exhaust valves “to protect their inventions.
An improved version of the latter was a vertical cylinder four-stroke engine, named “pendulum clock” (because it looked like a pendulum clock) and patented in April of the year. 1885. In the “pendulum clock”, the handwheel mechanism and flywheel were first encased in an oil and dust resistant crank, on which a gas-cooled cylinder. It is compactly designed and suitable for installation in a wide range of equipment: 60 kg weight, 264cc cylinder capacity, 0.5 hp (0.37 kW) at 650 rpm (650rpm). This is considered a precursor to modern gasoline engines.
The Reitwagen was born
Prototype image of the Reitwagen
Daimler and Maybach installed a “pendulum clock” in a wooden bicycle that created the first motorcycle and named it Reitwagen or Einspur. In 1885, Daimler filed a patent and one year later, he was granted a patent for his Reitwagen car.
The Reitwagen is made up of a wooden frame, steel wheels lined with steel on the outside, handles and saddle. The two small wheels act as a stroller similar to those of the two auxiliary wheels on a toddler’s bicycle. The T-shaped handle that falls backwards is made of steel. The seat is a U-shaped curved metal sheet, leather wrapped and placed directly on the engine. Reitwagen weighs 90 kg, 264cc cylinder capacity using fuel is gasoline or kerosene. Transmission system to the rear wheels according to the structure of pulleys and belts. Reitwagen can reach a maximum speed of 12 km / h.
Reitwagen must be started before riding and operating. To start the engine, light the small flame underneath the hot ignition first and use the wheel to spin the engine a few times. It takes about one minute after starting the engine to run well, the driver on the seat and impact on the drive control lever for the car to run.
Because there is no clutch, so to change the speed, the operator acts on the belt support to select the pulley wheel for the belt (similar to the shifting mechanism of bicycle forks and wheels). Two selectable speeds are 6 or 12 km / h depending on the pulley belt selected.
Historical moment – first experiment. The son of Daimler Paul, 17, became the first motorbike driver on November 10, 1885, when he rode the Reitwagen from Cannstatt to Untertürkheim and back (about 10 km) at a speed of 12 km / h . Given the road conditions at the time, Reitwagen hardly had a comfortable journey. However, the biggest problem encountered was the heat of the engine flame under the seat.
Watch the video about the Reitwagen
First motorbike accident
The car of Sylvester H. Roper – USA in 1894.
Still a steam engine after more than 25 years of improvement and development since the Roper 1869 was born. The Roper 1894 was involved in a motorbike accident for the first time with its inventor.
Analysts’ comments – debates are gradually being removed
Using a broad definition for a motorbike, there were the first two steam-engined two-wheelers, one built in France by Louis-Guillame Perreaux and Pierre Michaux in 1868, one built in the United States by Sylvester Roper soon after, which he demonstrated at fairs and circuses in various places. With a sufficient definition for a motorcycle with two wheels and an internal combustion engine, the Reitwagen built in Germany by Gottlieb Daimler and Wilhelm Maybach in 1885 was the first motorcycle in the world, the arrival of It is a beginning for the history of more than one hundred years development.
A debate over the identification of the first invented motorbike occurred, some arguing that two wheels and a steam engine had to be considered, though not developed, but its birth sparked the Later innovations, others emphasized that an internal combustion engine is an important component. Most experts agree that “Reitwagen made in Germany in 1885 was the first motorcycle in the world”.
However, Reitwagen is only a test result of Daimler and Maybach’s development of a 4-stroke internal combustion engine, so it has not been produced commercially. The first mass-produced motorcycle was Hildebrand & Wolfmüller “Motorrad” (or H&W Motorrad) built by the brothers Henry and Wilhelm Hildebrand in cooperation with Alois Wolfmüller and Hans Geisenhof and patented in January of the year. 1894 in Germany. Vehicles fitted with 4-stroke gasoline engine, 2 cylinders parallel capacity of 1489cc, capacity of 2.5 horsepower at 240 rpm, cooled by water. Speed is about 45 km / h. This was also the first time the phrase “motorbike” (in German, “Motorrad”) was used. They organized the production in Munich and also licensed the production of this vehicle in France with the name “The Pétrolette”.
Copy of Hildebrand & Wolfmüller
Video car of Hildebrand & Wolfmüller