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1960s Honda CB350

A Visual History of Motorcycle Design

Now up: we take a walk through the 1920s and 1930s and first world war motorcycles.

Motorcycle development during the First World War took big leap forward, with civilian and military versions of motorcycles from a number of different manufacturers.

Motorcycle production was ramped up for the war effort – dispatch riders replaced messengers on horses, and motorcycles additionally became very useful for reconnaissance and police missions.

World War 1 Royal Enfield Motorcycle

World War 1 Indian Motorcycle

Throughout the 1920s and 1930s, motorcycle development kept up the pace seen during the First World War, and many manufacturers made faster, more stable and easier to ride motorcycles. There were more than 80 different motorcycle manufacturers in Britain during the 1930s.

1930 BSA Motorcycle

Next up: World War 2 and the “Bigger is Better” rage of the 1950s.


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  1. “Japanese makers such as Suzuki, Kawasaki and Yamaha put together modern designs that became best sellers around the world.”
    How can that sentence NOT include the name Honda? (I know there are two pictures of Honda’s, but to not include them in the text is a slight.)
    What IS that title-page model, by the way? Looks suspiciously like the 2nd ride I ever bought new…a CB160.

  2. crazy to see the evolution of the motorcycle. The bikes from the 20’s are pretty impressive for that time.

  3. Bike service center @Southwestcycle

    It is called perfect evolution, from 18’s to till date there are many changes in the motorcycle design , engine and in many things.

  4. Chop Shop Customs

    Loved seeing the time line. Thanks for putting the post together and sharing!

  5. It’s amazing to see where we came from and exciting to see where we are going! Thanks for posting these photos and article! I found it interesting and informative!

What do you think?