While many motorcycles are used for transportation, a few types of motor bikes are designed for racing. In this case, they feature powerful engines designed to be driven by one or two riders. Other models are used for recreational riding. Motorcycles can also be used to transport cargo.
Motorcycles have become a symbol of freedom and rebellion for many people. They can be a great way to escape the stresses of everyday life and experience the pleasures of speed, beauty, and the company of other like-minded individuals. The 1969 road movie Easy Rider, starring Dennis Hopper and Peter Fonda, shaped public perception of motorcycles for decades to come. In addition to influencing the look of motorcycles, the film promoted the idea that bikers are bold and independent.
Today, a wide variety of motorcycles are available from numerous manufacturers. Some of these motorcycles are modeled after vintage designs. However, the modern motorcycle features new technology, including hands-free communication devices and high-definition helmet speakers. These advances are making motorcycles more accessible to newcomers to the sport.
A modern motorcycle consists of a gasoline engine that converts reciprocating piston motion into rotary motion. This rotary motion is transferred through a transmission system to the rear wheel, propelling the vehicle forward. Steering is accomplished by leaning the bike, a method that requires considerable skill and practice to master.
Most contemporary motorcycles are equipped with a speedometer, odometer, and tachometer, as well as a fuel gauge that displays the amount of gasoline left in the tank. Some motorcycles are also designed with a reserve tank that is accessed by turning the petcock (petrol tap) on the side of the bike. This arrangement allows the rider to switch to a separate fuel supply when the main tank is empty.