Dirt bikes represent the billion-dollar industry, but have you ever thought that how did all start? Or what was the first dirt bike ever made?
Motorbikes were made over a century ago, but it evolved in the present situation with many inventions and developments. With the active involvement of automobile companies, motorcycling has a $42 billion annual business, and it might add up to a $10.88 billion industry by 2025.
So, let’s see how it all started.
Who Invented the Dirt Bike?
Although there are many data on the first dirt bike ever made, which can confuse you, according to some authentic sources, Siegfried Bettmann invented the first dirt bike in 1914, which is the truth. It all started when Bettman used to modify motorcycles to make them more versatile for off road driving.
However, it was not so popular until the 1950s and became famous when Soichiro Honda brought them to the market in 1948. While modifying, Bettman made the bike lower along with some small tweaks, which did not actually perform well. And that’s why Bettman’s dirt bike didn’t gain popularity.
The First Bikes with Motors
If we look at the history of dirt bikes, the first motorcycle was created in the 1860s in France. However, it was powered with steam and alcohol. The engine of the first-ever motorcycle had a single cylinder. The fun fact about that bike was that it did not have brakes. Thus it was pretty crazy to ride.
Multiple sources suggest that another motorcycle was made in the late 1860s in Boston, but the exact date is unknown. In 1885, few Germans created an advanced motorbike that was closest to what we are using today. However, the Germans used an actual combust engine.
Modern Day Dirt Bikes
Modern day dirt bikes started evolving in the 1940s to 1950s. However, Honda is a pioneer of modern dirt bikes, while other companies also started making them afterward. Let’s see the industry leaders of the modern dirt bike industry.
Honda is the pioneer and played a big role in manufacturing a modern-day dirt bike. However, before starting the dirt bike production, Honda was already in the automobile industry. So, they thought of making the bikes more off-road-friendly. Next, they added bigger tires, stronger suspension, and whatever you are watching today. However, the first Honda dirt bike is Z50 Mini-Trail, created in 1968 and actually made for the dirt.
Initially, Yamaha was not a motorcycle company, and their product line was totally different. They had been making many random products. However, they started making motorcycles out of nowhere and brought out the first-ever motorcycle in the 1950s. Since then, they have continued to work, and at present, Yamaha is considered as one of the top dirt bike brands in the world.
Suzuki has been around for a while but entered the dirt bike market in the early 1950s. However, they started making motorcycles during World War 2 as the demand for smaller and lighter transportation was on the rise. The first bike from Suzuki had a 36cc 2 stroke engine.
Kawasaki was an aircraft manufacturer company during the first and second World Wars. However, they started making motorcycles in 1949 and made the first dirt bike in 1963, a 125cc bike. They have continued making dirt bikes and today became one of the top dirt bike manufacturers on the planet.
Compared to other top dirt bike companies, KTM came later in the market. However, they are not that late either. KTM actually entered the bike industry after the wars but started gaining popularity in the 1970s. Since then, they have been working on bringing out more modern bikes and now they produce high-end dirt bikes.
What was the First Dirt Bike Brand?
It is Honda, obviously. Honda is the first brand that started rolling out dirt bikes commercially, which made them popular. However, they gained popularity during the 1950s and 1960s.