Freedom Riders Having So Much Fun
Tina M Wenger
Photograph - Prints Of Photographs
Most of the motorcycles, 58%, are in the developing countries of Asia – Southern and Eastern Asia, and the Asia Pacific countries, excluding Japan – while 33% of the cars (195 million) are concentrated in the United States and Japan. In 2006, China had 54 million motorcycles in use and an annual production of 22 million units. As of 2002[update], India, with an estimated 37 million motorcycles/mopeds, was home to the largest number of motorised two wheelers in the world. China came a close second with 34 million motorcycles/mopeds.
A motorcycle (also called a motorbike, bike, moto or cycle) is a two or three wheeled motor vehicle. Motorcycles vary considerably depending on the task they are designed for, such as long distance travel, navigating congested urban traffic, cruising, sport and racing, or off-road conditions.
Motorcycles are one of the most affordable forms of motorised transport in many parts of the world and, for most of the world's population, they are also the most common type of motor vehicle. There are around 200 million motorcycles (including mopeds, motor scooters, motorised bicycles, and other powered two and three-wheelers) in use worldwide, or about 33 motorcycles per 1000 people. This compares to around 590 million cars, or about 91 per 1000 people.
While people choose to ride motorcycles for various reasons, those reasons are increasingly practical, with riders opting for a powered two-wheeler as a cost-efficient alternative to infrequent and expensive public transport systems, or as a means of avoiding or reducing the effects of urban congestion. In places where it is permitted, lane splitting, also known as filtering, allows motorcycles to use the space between vehicles to move through stationary or slow traffic.
In the UK, motorcycles are exempt from the £10 per day London congestion charge other vehicles must pay to enter the city during the day. Motorcycles are also exempt from toll charges at some river crossings, such as the Severn Bridge, Dartford Crossing, and Mersey Tunnels. Some cities, such as Bristol, allow motorcycles to use bus lanes and provide dedicated free parking. In the United States, those states that have high-occupancy vehicle lanes also allow for motorcycle travel in them in accordance with federal law, in addition to a reduced fee on certain toll roads. Other countries have similar policies.
In New Zealand, motorcycle riders are not required to pay for parking that is controlled by a barrier arm; the arm does not occupy the entire width of the lane, and the motorcyclist simply rides around it. Many car parks controlled in this way supply special areas for motorcycles to park, so as not to unnecessarily consume spaces.
In many cities that have serious parking challenges for cars, such as Melbourne, Australia, motorcycles are generally permitted to park on the sidewalk, rather than occupy a space on the street which might otherwise be used by a car.
There are three major types of motorcycle: street, off-road, and dual purpose. Within these types, there are many different sub-types of motorcycles for many different purposes.
Street bikes include cruisers, sportbikes, scooters and mopeds, and many other types. Off-road motorcycles include many types designed for dirt-oriented racing classes such as motocross and are not street legal in most areas. Dual purpose machines like the dual-sport style are made to go off-road but include features to make them legal and comfortable on the street as well.
Each configuration offers either specialised advantage or broad capability, and each design creates a different riding posture.
October 15th, 2013
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