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Thread: 1869 Roper Steam Velocipede first motorcycle - video and photo

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    1869 Roper Steam Velocipede first motorcycle - video and photo

    Roper Steam Velocipede from 1869; one of the three "first" motorcycles (the motorcycle may have been an example of multiple discovery). 1:30 video of replica:

    And I believe this is the original, at the National Museum of American History:

    Fullsize image:

    The inventer of the Roper Steam Velocipede, Sylvester H. Roper, also suffered the first recorded motorcycle fatality. Autopsy revealed the cause of death was heart failure. We don't know if Roper crashed and then his heart failed as a result of his head wound, or if, per the generally preferred story, that he was overcome by the sheer joy and exhilaration of riding one of the first motorcycles.



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    KustomsbyKent (09-24-2018), PJs (09-25-2018), ranald (09-24-2018), Seedtick (09-24-2018), Toolmaker51 (09-29-2018), will52100 (09-29-2018)

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    One thing is for sure they had a great center of gravity nice and low
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank S View Post
    One thing is for sure they had a great center of gravity nice and low
    I'm not surprised it claimed a life, even if by stress. I wonder how it managed the roads back then they must have been smoother than many today . Mind you, one wouldn't be able to travel far without refuelling (city bike): somewhat like the early cell drill/drivers= a couple of wood screws(finished by hand in hardwood) and they needed refueling/charging.

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    I can't understand why this wouldn't be considered a motorcycle, steam powered or not...Was the Stanely Steamer not a car? A velocipede by "modern" definition is human powered land vehicle and usually has pedals of some sort...this doesn't. Back then Nothing was called a Motorcycle so it didn't exist nor in the vocabulary of the time. My hit is these modern historians are "Trying" to put a name and local (modern) habitation to something that never existed before...why we gotta do such things...Just appreciate it for when and what it was to bring forward!! Brilliant Engineering and Craftsmanship!

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