Sunday, 17 May 2015 03:47

Moto Cycles Featured

The first motorized quadricycles were called "horseless carriages". In 1895 a newspaper contest resulted in the name "Moto Cycle" meaning "moving rapidity (moto) on a cycle". In 1898 "Modern Machinery" magazine had an article about the Moto Cycle.  During the era before mass production many small shops built a lot of custom variiations. Some became popular and were produced in small numbers for sale to the public.

There were races, fairs and many promotions for the new method of transprtation. Moto cycles appeared on many roads. Gasoline stations were built. Roads had to be improved to be smoother and allow for two vehicles to pass. Mudholes and other problems were soon resolved. Wooden plank roads and and other pavement appeard. As smooth pavement became common speed increased and the modern automobile was born.

As the new moto cycles became popular the first moto cycle race in the United States was held. On July 25, 1895 The Chicago Times-Herald newspaper held a moto cycle race in the city. A newspaper article about the race was the first widespread use of the term "moto cycle". One racer wrote that he intended to enter one with four wheels and a four horsepower engine. It weighed 675 pounds and designed to seat four people plus cargo. It would have sold for about $600.

The prize was $5000. The weather was snow on race day and the course was 54 miles. Speed averaged 7.5 mph. The winner was the Duryea Motor Wagon pictured here. Duryea is also considered the first sucessful gasoline engine moto cycle built in th USA.

During the late 1800's the first  moto cycles, were built including Henry Ford's 1896 Quadricycle, another version of a moto cycle.

Nowdays the name "Moto Cycle" still appropriately describes the motorized bicycles, tricycles and quadricycles that are becoming popular for being practical and economical methods of transportation.

More in this category: Motorized Tricycles in Daily Use »