In the Americas (both North and South), however, "motorcycle" is practically the only term used. American motorcyclists may refer to their motorbike as a hog (if it's a Harley), but they don't ride motorcycles for whatever reason.
Here in Europe, we have several terms for them: motorbike, motorcycle, tricycle, trike, three-wheeler. Some of these can be mixed up, since you will sometimes see people riding trikes or four-wheeled motorcycles. But mostly they are different things. For example, a motorbike is a two-wheel vehicle, while a moped is a type of motorcycle that uses a small motor instead of a human power source.
So when talking about vehicles like buses, trucks, tractors, etc., we usually call them machines or engines, depending on the size. But for something that goes between your legs and takes two wheels at a time, there is only one word for it in America: motorcycle.
The nickname "hog" eventually became associated with any Harley-Davidson motorbike. As time passed, the corporation accepted the term, and "HOG" is now used as an abbreviation for the Harley Owners Group as well as the Harley-Davidson Motor Company's stock market listing.
Harley-Davidson created the Indian line of motorcycles in 1899. Although not made anymore, once were the most popular motorcycles in America. The company got its start in Milwaukee, Wisconsin but now has facilities all over the world including India.
There are currently two models of Indians for sale: The Classic and the Heritage. The Classic is available in three sizes (50cc, 75cc, and 100cc) and comes with a kick starter instead of a throttle. It has a single cylinder, four-stroke engine that produces 5 hp. The larger Heritage model replaces the kick starter with a hand-powered clutch and has six sizes available (45cc, 60cc, 75cc, 90cc, 105cc, and 120cc). This model has a double-cylinder, two-stroke engine that produces 10 hp. Both models come with drum brakes on all wheels. A windshield is optional on both models.
Indians are known for their easy riding position and good gas mileage (20 mpg city, 30 highway). They are also very affordable ($600-$2500 depending on size).
A motorcyclist is someone who rides a motorbike. A bike is a two-wheeled vehicle. While it was initially and still is a contraction for "bicycle," it is also a widespread slang name for a motorbike. A "biker" is someone who rides a "bike."
Motorcyclists can be either passengers or drivers. A passenger motorcyclist is someone who rides along side of the driver on the back seat or floorboards of a car, truck, or van. They may hold on to the handlebars or wear a helmet, but they don't steer the bike nor drive any part of it themselves. Most states require riders to wear helmets when riding as a passenger.
A driver motorcyclist is someone who rides the rear wheel of the bike. They usually hold on with one hand and use the other hand to turn the steering wheel. Some drivers like to wear a helmet too but this is not required by law in most countries or states.
Sport bikes are fast, lightweight motorcycles designed for racing or recreational riding on open roads. They have lean-forward positions, low seating heights, small wheels, and light weighting. Because sport bikes are meant to be ridden hard, they often have high horsepower engines and no gearboxes.
If you ride a "bicycle," your vehicle may also be referred to as a "bike." You may be referred to as a "biker," "bicyclist," or "cyclist." If you ride a "motorcycle," your vehicle may also be referred to as a "bike," and you may be referred to as a "biker." Even if "cycle" is contained in "motorcycle," "bike" is not. Only vehicles with pedals can be bikes.
Bikes were first used in the late 1700s. Early bikes were mostly adaptations of ordinary household items such as wheels and axles that had been attached to each other using wood strips for support. By the early 1900s, metal parts were added to bicycles to make them stronger and more durable. In 1868, Charles Howard adds rubber tires to his bikes. In 1876, John Kempster builds the first bicycle with integral frames and components; it has straps instead of chains for braking. In 1877, Horace Dodge creates one of the first motorcycles when he attaches a motor to a wooden frame. In 1884, Samuel Zimmerman patents the first steel bicycle frame. In 1890, Edward Turner builds the first modern motorcycle when he attaches a motor to an iron frame. In 1896, Arthur Davidson builds the first Harley-Davidson motorcycle. In 1903, Walter Zimm builds the first aluminum motorcycle.
Today, most people know a bike when they see it because they have two wheels and a seat. But many different types of vehicles could be considered bikes.
A bunch of "bikers" is known as a "pack." The term "biker" dates back to the early days of motorcycle manufacturing. All motorbikes have a bicycle model and are based on it. Sometimes these motorcycles were called "motor bikes" instead of "motors," so the name "biker" was not very specific then.
People who ride motorcycles but don't consider themselves part of a gang or group, such as family members or friends who have been asked to be riders in a group for safety reasons, are sometimes called "baggers."
The term "biker" is often used as a derogatory label, particularly by non-riders, but it is also used as a respectful title by some motorcyclists themselves. There are many different types of bikers, from touring cyclists to street racers, and the type of riding that someone does not only affects how they are labeled but also what kind of bike they should get if they want to join in their favorite activity.
Bikers come from all walks of life and can be found almost everywhere there are vehicles capable of doing more than 100 miles per hour. They are often seen on freeways where there are no traffic lights or stop signs and this makes them attractive alternatives to traditional cars which would likely cause accidents if both groups were present on the road at the same time.