The wheel is one of the most important parts of the motorcycle,
because if it didn’t have a wheel, the motorcycle would not move. It
wouldn’t even stand up. The back wheel gets turned by the engine which
makes the motorcycle move.
Motorcycle wheels work basically the same as bicycle wheels. The wheels have a rim, spokes, a tire, a hub and an axle. The axle is connected to
the frame of the motorcycle and the hub rotates around it. The hub is
connected to the spokes and the spokes are connected to the rim. The
tire fits around the rim.
The tires run better in water and dirt when they have ridges. So
if you rode a motorcycle with really smooth wheels you would probably
slip in water. Tires are made of rubber.
The frame is probably the most important part of the motorcycle.
The suspension system makes the ride less bumpy when you are going over
big dirt piles or jumping off 300 foot high cliffs.
The frame is
the part of the motorcycle that holds all the parts together, it is made
of welded metal tubing.
The Suspension System
The suspension system’s job is to make the motorcycle’s ride smooth and to keep the wheels close to the ground on rough roads. The
most common kind of suspension systems on a motorcycle have telescoping
forks for the front and a swing arm with shock absorbers
in the rear. If the motorcycle had no suspension system when it hit a
bump, the whole motorcycle would bounce. But with the suspension system,
when the motorcycle hits a bump, the springs are squeezed by the wheel,
and the person on the motorcycle feels less of the bumps.
The rider uses their hands and feet to control the motorcycle.
The rider uses the right handlebar to control the throttle by twisting
a throttle grip. The rider uses a lever on the right handlebar to
control the front brake. The rider uses the lever on the left handlebar
to turn off the clutch. The rider uses the right foot to press a brake
pedal for the rear brake. The rider uses the left foot to shift gears.
There is a switch to turn on the motorcycle. There is also a switch to
turn on the lights. The instrument panel has different instruments that
show the rider things they need to know to ride the motorcycle. These
are the instruments:
Motorcycles are pretty amazing machines. Although they come in many sizes and speeds, they all have the same basic working parts that make them start, go and stop.
Bruce A., and Edmundson, David D. Motorcycles:
Fundamentals, Service, Repair. Tinley Park: The Goodheart-Willcox
Company, Inc., 1987.
Kerrod Robin. How•It•Works: Motorcycles. New York: Gloucester Press, 1989.
Phillips, John. Personal interview. 16 January 2005.
Kern, Walter. “How Does a Motorcycle Work?” About. 16 January 2005 <http://motorcycles.about.com/cs/beginners/1/blpart034.htm>.
Animated clip art image of motorcycle in upper left corner of page original creation by page author, Leo.
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