HORSE VS. MOTORCYCLE
From four hooves to two wheels
MILLENNIA BEFORE EUROPEAN BUILDERS bolted their steam- and petrol-powered engines to crude twowheeled carriages and created the first “motor-cycles,” nomads on the steppes of ancient Eurasia were ripping around on horseback. For 5,000 years horses reigned supreme as man’s most effective and efficient means of transportation. The mobility horses provided changed the course of human history, helping to spread people, goods, and ideas around the world.
Internal combustion displaced digestion as our primary means of energy conversion for transportation, but the legacy of the horse lives on in motorcycling. Equestrian vocabulary is sprinkled throughout the language we use, and we reference horses every time engine output is discussed. From the tall leather boots of motor officers to the diminutive stature of the world’s fastest roadracers, there are vestiges and reminders of the ultimate analog riding conveyance all around us.
And when it comes down to it, horses still outperform motorcycles in a number of ways. They’re selfbalancing, for starters, a technology engineers have yet to master on motorcycles. Their fuel is readily available, growing on the ground. And rivers, lakes, and other bodies of water are often unsurpassable obstacles on a motorcycle—but not on horseback.