Official definition : a single track
vehicle with two wheels and an engine
Let us now define a real Motorcycle
should be air-cooled and have a maximum of two cylinders : one
cylinder for solo ride and two for duo. Very exceptionally three
for performance freaks. The longer the stroke than the bore,
capacity per cylinder should
be a minimum of 500 cc, except for non unit-construction machines
and certain forgotten and idiosyncratic 2 strokes.
should have its own exhaust and silencer, preferably of the sausage
shape or reverse-cone type.
wheels should be spoked and
not of the hideous cast artillery type.
should be black. Natural leather is acceptable.
of the motorcycle is unimportant provided that it is black. White
or gold pin-striping is acceptable. For the more eccentric one
can tolerate Midnight Blue, British Racing Green, Metallic Grey,
Blood (Indian) Red and even in cases of extreme fantasy, Candy
substitutes are not Motorcycles: Consumer durables, poofs bikes,
girl-traps, idiot/sucker traps, leisure vehicles, fashion objects,
ride-to-work bikes or road burners, but not Motorcycles.
Those machines with over-square, liquid-cooled engines
are the complete antithesis of the real motorcycle engine.
The gaping air-intakes and rear lamps akin to the poop of a pirate
ship may be common currency today but they have nothing to do
with the history of the motorcycle. The cast wheels should not
have attempted to leave their wheel-barrow origins behind and
it is not by dressing them up in garish colours that this can
be hidden. The bodywork with all the stoutness of a pat of butter
in the sun, are a sore on the image of the motorcycle. The plastic
itself is an abomination.
truthfully these machines have nothing to do with motorcycling.
Furthermore the owners of such machines often find
themselves a few years later at the wheel of an automobile if
they haven;t already ended up into one.
Let us add that a vehicle apparently responding
to all the criteria on this page but trying to mimic "Motorcycles
of other countries" known since the start of the 20th century
and plagiarising notably the esthetics and even the sound of
their V twin, can never be but a pale, cut-price imitation. This
together with their fadish appearance and very approximate design,
not forgetting their disastrous resale value.
This definition of a real Motorcycle has been
executed in good faith. :-)
doesn't of course extend to machines other than touring motorcycles
because competition machines have needs that allow any tricks
and wizardry in the quest for ultimate performance. Even going
as far as inventing 30 years ago the RC 164 with 6 cylinders
of 42cc each and musically divine!