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  • Rollie Free

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    Roland "Rollie" Free (November 18, 1900 – October 11, 1984) was a motorcycle racer best known for breaking the American motorcycle land speed record in 1948 on the Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah. The picture of Free, prone and wearing a bathing suit, has been described as the most famous picture in motorcycling. After an early career in motorcycle retail, Free became a regional racer of the 1920s and 30’s on Indian motorcycles. In 1923, Free tried out for his first national motorcycle race, the 100-Mile National Championships on the board track in Kansas City, but did not qualify. He developed his career in longer-distance events, and raced in the very first Daytona 200 on the Daytona Beach Road Course in 1937. He also set several American Motorcyclist Association Class C speed records including a run at Daytona in 1938 on an Indian Chief that he had tuned himself. He joined the Army Air Force as an aircraft maintenance officer during the Second World War; during this time, he was stationed at Hill Field in Utah, where he first saw the Bonneville Salt Flats.

  • List of motorcycle manufacturers

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    The following is a list of motorcycle manufacturers worldwide, sorted by extant/extinct status and by country. These are producers whose motorcycles are available to the public, including both street legal as well as racetrack-only or off-road-only motorcycles. The list of current manufacturers does not include badge engineered bikes or motorcycle customisers, but the list of defunct manufactures may include some of these if they are well remembered for their historical significance.

  • Motorcycle

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    Norton motorcycle scooter A motorcycle, often called a bike, motorbike, or cycle, is a two- or three-wheeled motor vehicle. Motorcycle design varies greatly to suit a range of different purposes: long distance travel, commuting, cruising, sport including racing, and off-road riding. Motorcycling is riding a motorcycle and related social activity such as joining a motorcycle club and attending motorcycle rallies. In 1894, Hildebrand & Wolfmüller became the first series production motorcycle, and the first to be called a motorcycle. In 2014, the three top motorcycle producers globally by volume were Honda, Yamaha (both from Japan), and Hero MotoCorp (India). In developing countries, motorcycles are considered utilitarian due to lower prices and greater fuel economy. Of all the motorcycles in the world, 58% are in the Asia-Pacific and Southern and Eastern Asia regions, excluding car-centric Japan. According to the US Department of Transportation the number of fatalities per vehicle mile traveled was 37 times higher for motorcycles than for cars.

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