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A Honda Super Cub engine. The most popular motorcycle in history, with over 60 million produced. A motorcycle engine is an engine that powers a motorcycle.
Motorcycle engines are typically two-stroke or four-stroke internal combustion engines, but other engine types, such as Wankels and electric motors, have been used in small numbers. Most engines have a gearbox with up to six ratios. Reverse gear is occasionally found on heavy tourers, for example the Honda GL1600, and sidecar motorcycles, such as the Ural. The rider changes gears on most motorcycles using a foot-pedal and manual clutch, but early models had hand-levers.
More recently, some have automatic or semi-automatic gearboxes. In the United States, V-twin engined-motorcycles with capacities of 850 cc or more have been the norm since the 1920s.
This 1818 caricature was thought for many years to be entirely fanciful, until the Michaux-Perreaux, Roper and other steam cycles were rescued from obscurity, and the stories of the early steam cycle experiments were rediscovered. There were no steam motorcycles in 1818, but there soon would be.
The first motorcycles were powered by steam engines. The earliest example is the French Michaux-Perreaux steam velocipede of 1868. This was followed by the American Roper steam velocipede of 1869, and a number of other steam powered two and three wheelers, manufactured and sold to the public on through the early 20th century.