To the average person, motorcycles are often associated with danger. The danger of riding open on 2 wheels versus the safety and security of an enclosed automobile, or the danger of violent rebel motorcycle gangs who live outside the law. At the same time, there’s also a mystique that motorcycles carry and those macho stereotypes that repel some people are also the same factors that attract others towards them. The image of the rebel biker has been around since the 1950s, but motorcycles themselves go back even further. In 1885, Gottlieb Daimler and Wilhelm Maybach--the German inventors who would eventually help Karl Benz develop the automobile--created the Daimler Reitwagen, the world’s first petroleum-fueled/internal combustion engine-powered motorcycle. Throughout the end of the 19th century, motorcycle manufacturers began spreading across Europe, mainly in Germany and England. England’s Triumph, Norton, and BSA (Birmingham Small Arms) would go on to become legendary motorcycle marques. The Americans got involved, as well and the early 20th century saw the arrival of Indian in 1901 and Harley-Davidson in 1903. Both World Wars heavily employed motorcycles for military use and after the second World War, these former military vehicles found new life in the motor racing circuit. Among the most popular motorcycle racers were BMW, Vincent, Triumph, and Harley-Davidson. Throughout the years and into the 1950s, motorcycle racing led to the rise of high-performance Italian and Japanese bikes for the racetrack and the rugged, death-defying reputation of the club racer helped birth of the modern biker image. Italian and Japanese brands such as Ducati, Aprilia, Yamaha, and Honda are synonymous with the sportbike scene. Alternatively, motorcycles are extremely popular in other parts of the world for their fuel efficiency and as a more practical and economical option to a car. Today, the Chinese and Japanese dominate the motorcycle market but whether it’s a sportster, hardtail, softail, cruiser, sportbike, chopper, or hog, HQ Powersports has your ride covered when it comes to brand new, OEM-spec replacement parts for motorcycles.