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A motorcycle (also called a motorbike, bike, or cycle) is a two three or four wheeled motor vehicle. Motorcycle design varies greatly to suit a range of different purposes: long distance travel, commuting, cruising, sport including racing, and off-road riding. Motorcycling is riding a motorcycle and related social activity such as joining a motorcycle club and attending motorcycle rallies.
In 1894, Hildebrand & Wolfmüller became the first series production motorcycle, and the first to be called a motorcycle. In 2014, the three top motorcycle producers globally by volume were Honda , Yamaha (both from Japan), and Hero MotoCorp (India).
Motorcycles are mainly a luxury good in the developed world, where they are used mostly for recreation, as a lifestyle accessory or a symbol of personal identity. In developing countries, motorcycles are overwhelmingly utilitarian due to lower prices and greater fuel economy. Of all the motorcycles in the world, 58% are in the Asia Pacific and Southern and Eastern Asia regions, excluding car-centric Japan.
According to the United States Department of Transportation the number of fatalities per vehicle mile traveled was 37 times higher for motorcycles than for cars.
^ Foale, Tony (2006). Motorcycle Handling and Chassis Design. Tony Foale Designs. pp. 4–1. ISBN 978-84-933286-3-4.
^ Cossalter, Vittore (2006). Motorcycle Dynamics. Lulu. ISBN 978-1-4303-0861-4.
^ "Top Five Global Motorcycle Companies: Performance, Strategies and Competitive Analysis". researchandmarkets.com. August 2013. Retrieved 2016-01-24.
^ "Traffic safety facts, 2008. Report no. DOT HS-811-159" (PDF). NHTSA's National Center for Statistics and Analysis. 2008. Retrieved 15 September 2010.
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