A motorcycle (also called a motorbike, bike, moto or cycle) is a two or three wheeled motor vehicle. Motorcycles vary considerably depending on the task they are designed for, such as long distance travel, navigating congested urban traffic, cruising, sport and racing, or off-road conditions.
Motorcycles are one of the most affordable forms of motorised transport in many parts of the world and, for most of the world's population, they are also the most common type of motor vehicle. There are around 200 million motorcycles (including mopeds, motor scooters, motorised bicycles, and other powered two and three-wheelers) in use worldwide, or about 33 motorcycles per 1000 people. This compares to around 590 million cars, or about 91 per 1000 people.
Most of the motorcycles, 58%, are in the developing countries of Asia – Southern and Eastern Asia, and the Asia Pacific countries, excluding Japan – while 33% of the cars (195 million) are concentrated in the United States and Japan. In 2006, China had 54 million motorcycles in use and an annual production of 22 million units. As of 2002, India, with an estimated 37 million motorcycles/mopeds, was home to the largest number of motorised two wheelers in the world. China came a close second with 34 million motorcycles/mopeds.
Famous quotes containing the word motorcycle:
“Actually being married seemed so crowded with unspoken rules and odd secrets and unfathomable responsibilities that it had no more occurred to her to imagine being married herself than it had to imagine driving a motorcycle or having a job. She had, however, thought about being a bride, which had more to do with being the center of attention and looking inexplicably, temporarily beautiful than it did with sharing a double bed with someone with hairy legs and a drawer full of boxer shorts.”
—Anna Quindlen (b. 1952)
“Kicking the heart
with pains big boots running up and down
the intestines like a motorcycle racer.”
—Anne Sexton (19281974)
“Today, only a fool would offer herself as the singular role model for the Good Mother. Most of us know not to tempt the fates. The moment I felt sure I had everything under control would invariably be the moment right before the principal called to report that one of my sons had just driven somebodys motorcycle through the high school gymnasium.”
—Mary Kay Blakely (20th century)