10 Facts You Didn’t Know About Motorcycles

Did you know that motorcycle helmets were made mandatory because of Lawrence of Arabia? How about the name of a popular Hollywood star who bought motorcycles to all the stuntmen that worked on a certain movie? Do you know who this star is?

Here are ten fun facts about motorcycles you might have never heard before!

1) The smallest functional motorcycle in the world is called Smalltoe, and Tom Wiberg built it. The tiny bike has a 0.62 inch (16 mm) front wheel diameter and a 0.86 inch (22 mm) rear wheel diameter. Wiberg actually rode it for more than 10 meters in 2003.

2) The longest distance for riding a motorcycle in a 24 hour period was 2,019.4 miles. An American has set the record, and his name is L. Russell Vaughn. He rode the Continental Tire Test Track in 2011 using his own Harley-Davidson Electra Glide Limited 2010. Vaughn completed 238 laps on the test track and won a place in the Guinness Book of World Records.

3) In Japan, they built a motorcycle that’s powered by human waste. It is called the Toilet Bike Neo, and it was invented and created by high-end toilet manufacturer Toto. This extraordinary machine uses human waste that gets turned into biofuel that gets stored in two compressed gas cylinders. This biofuel allows you to ride 300km before you need to refill. And yes, by refill we mean exactly what you thought.

4) The Matrix star, Keanu Reeves, is very passionate about motorcycles. In fact, he is so crazy about bikes that he formed his own company: the Arch Motorcycle.

Reeves used a part of his profit from the blockbuster Matrix to buy motorcycles for all the stuntmen who worked on the movie with him.

5) Many world-known celebs are/were motorcycle riders. Some of the most enthusiastic celebrity motorcycle-lovers include:

  • Steve Tyler
  • Tom Cruise
  • Clint Eastwood
  • Bob Dylan
  • Brat Pitt
  • Keanu Reeves
  • George Clooney
  • Clark Gable
  • Richard Hammond
  • Ewan McGregor
  • Pink
  • Richard Hammond

6) Most popular motorcycle manufacturers produce so much more than just motorcycles. Their products are extremely versatile. For example:

  • Besides motorcycles, Kawasaki produces space rockets, trains, ships, jet engines, helicopters, personal watercrafts, equipment tractors, electronics, and even missiles.
  • Suzuki also makes cars, wheelchairs, and marine engines.
  • Yamaha is another popular motorcycle maker that makes more than just bikes. They include products such as musical instruments, golf carts, industrial robots, car engines, wheelchairs, electronics, boats, and RVs.

7) Yamaha actually started as a piano manufacturer.

yamaha piano photo
Photo by mararie

8) Helmet use for motorcycle riders was mandated after Lawrence of Arabia (Colonel T.E. Lawrence) died in a motorcycle accident. The fatal accident happened when he swerved to avoid two boys who were riding a bicycle.

lawrence of arabia photo
Photo by rrllmm392

9) Malcolm Forbes, Forbes magazine founder, owned 50 Harley-Davidson motorcycles.

10) Do you know how many motorcycles it takes to fill up the same parking space a single car does? It takes eight of them.

What are your favorite motorcycle fun facts? Do you know about some interesting ones we haven’t mentioned? Share them in the comments section!