How Have Motorbike Feature Designs Changed Over The Years?

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How Have Motorbike Feature Designs Changed Over The Years?

Just visualize for a moment. You wanted to go to a destination 10 km from your present destination in the shortest possible time. So what is the easiest way? By public transport, bike and car, you can reach the place. But remember the situation, millions of years ago. Your human ancestors have to walk those distances. Then the wheel got invented, and then the bullock cart. So, if you look at the changes, it was all due to developments in the tool designs that made way for improvements. In recent times, in all parts of the globe, you use bikes to commute from one place to another. In this article, we will focus on how have motorbike feature designs changed over the years.


Motorbike Designs

Like any modern devices, the history of the motorbike can also give the thrills to a bike lover. But the developments which have made the riding safer have happened in a short time. Yes, the basic design has remained, for decades. But the appearance, the function has changed for the parts (features). So, let us start with the latest part of the 1800s.

world war I motorbike


Do you know the name of the motorbike which became the first design? No? Then please note, that the name is the Butler Petrol Cycle. It was first shown at the 1885 International Inventions Exhibition (London).

But it took nine years for a model to get the name as a motorcycle. Year – 1894. First commercial motorcycle and the name – The Hildebrand and Wolfmuller.

The trend changed in times of World War I. The improvement in motorbike design during World War I was very high. There were different versions of motorbikes from various manufacturers.  The reasons are very well known. Instead of dispatch riders (men on horses) doing the delivery jobs, it was the motorbike riders who became symbols of fast messenger service.

In this article on how have motorbike feature designs changed over the years, we will look at the recent trends and also the future.

Period Between 1916 to 1980s

Your ancestors always used to ride on horses and other animals. So, the animals did the job of moving around the rough roads. With bicycles and motorbikes, you have to take care of riding the roads in a safer way. Although the motorbikes got used during the First World War, the riders had a difficult time riding the dirt roads and in the forest.

So, the Government of developed countries brought about many changes to improve the conditions of roads. And yes, to prevent accidents. So, various symbols such as painting on the road signs about sharp bends and stop indicators made the motorbike riding safely.


Yet, the ability to make the vehicle stop was a problem, as the brakes were present only in the rear wheel.

  1. Front Brakes

In the period between 1915 to 1920, the motorbike models were more fast and powerful. So, the ability to apply sudden brakes and make the vehicle come to a stop became the priority. The feather in the cap for introducing front brakes goes to the Harley Davidson model. It was the year 1928 and the version – Model JH. This model had a front brake. It provided double safety to bikers and a smooth stop.

  1. Control Features Of Bikes

In the period between 1920 to 1970, there was no governing body to regulate the control features that have to be present in motorbikes. The features on controls such as turn signals, brakes, and clutches varied as per the manufacturer. It was only after 1972, that regulations came on the placement for motorbike control features. The main reason, for the common placement of features in a particular part of every vehicle, was – the rider will find it easy to drive any motorbikes.

  1. Fuel Injection Systems

When it comes to innovations, the first always went to cars. Take the fuel injection system for example. The feature got implemented in cars in the 1950s.

It was only in the later part of the 1970s and early 1980s, that fuel injection system got implemented in motorbikes. Till the time, poor bike riders relied only on traditional method carburetors. After 1980, strict control measures by Environmental Agencies forced motorcycle manufacturers to turn to the new system. These systems make use of sensors to ensure that the fuel gets burned in a more efficient manner.

  1. Antilock Braking Systems (ABS)

As the name implies, the antilock braking systems control the brakes to avoid the wheels from getting locked, when you need to immediately stop the vehicle. This technology only came to the fore in the 1980s.

Years (1990 to 2016)

  1. Tires

So, which is the soft part of a motorbike tire? You are right. It is the center part. You drive the bike straight over the stones, shrubs, and plants. So, the center suffers friction more than the tire ends. If the tire is very hard, the duration may be long. But just remember the time if you have to make a turn. Then you can fall off-balance.

It was in the year 1994, the Michelin made use of dual compound tires for its motorcycles which participated in races/competitions. This model tire contained hard rubber in the tire center. The result was beneficial. The life and durability improved for the tires. This improvement in tire models is one of the best motorbike feature designs that have changed over the years.

  1. Airbags

Introduction of airbags to a car was to prevent loss of human lives. But an airbag for a motorcycle rider is a different concept. It could mean prevention of injury and death. But even in recent times, airbags in motorbikes have not spread all over the globe. At present, the airbags are used only in bike races and competitions. The rider wears a jacket or vest, that makes use of sensors to activate the airbag to blow in case of a collision or accident. Please note, that the timing has to be perfect. The response should be in milliseconds. This is one aspect, where motorbike features should change in the future.

  1. Traction Control

Another safety innovation for improving the balance of the motorbike rider. In fact, this feature provides the best safety measures during slippery conditions. It was the reputed bike manufacturer, Ducati, which first introduced the concept of traction control to prevent their models against skidding. This feature makes use of the sensors present in Antilock braking systems to measure the speed of two wheels.

If the two wheels run at various speeds, then the traction control reduces the power in the rear wheel, thus improving the balance for the rider.

The Present Years (2016 and Beyond)

  1. Hubless Wheels

Already introduced in many models, this feature will become the face of future bikes. Imagine a motorbike wheel, and you cannot ignore the spokes on the wheel. But hubless wheels are different. In similar bikes, you can find that the inner ring has been attached to the rotating wheel parts. These wheels can reduce stress on the entire motorcycle structure according to bike experts.

  1. Smart Helmet

When electronic appliances can get connected to a common device and obey voice and text commands, can a bike helmet be far behind? There are many smart helmets in the market. You can receive or make calls. You can even listen to music via the mobile phone. Or even converse with other bikers riding along and get to know the future road by GPS.

  1. Bike Repair

There was a time when for maintenance service, you have to take your bike to the nearest service center. Or opt for the road bike mechanic. There was no transparency in fees nor do you know the time, your bike can get the service. You have to park your vehicle in the garage. Then, go for retrieving the vehicle back home after getting the message.

The situation has changed in recent times. Does your bike need a maintenance service? You do not have to go to the roadside mechanic. Let us imagine a situation. You are in Pune and have a Kawasaki bike. The vehicle needs maintenance. You just need to download the app of home maintenance company which have the best bike mechanics in Pune on their payrolls. Scan the profiles of bike mechanics and choose the best to provide service to your vehicle on the weekends. So, technology has brought about a change even in bike repair.


So, have you read the article? In this article, we have focused on how have motorbike feature designs changed over the years? Do you want to know the next big change in bike feature design? Keep visiting our website for more updates.

By |2019-01-29T10:17:03+00:00January 29th, 2019|Biking, Dirt Bikers|55 Comments

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