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Motorcycle, motorized bicycle developed in 1885 by Gottlieb Daimler. The engine of a motorcycle may be either 2-stroke or 4-stroke and is usually air cooled. Chain drive is almost universal. In lightweight machines ignition is often achieved by means of a magneto inside the flywheel. Motorcycles were first widely used by dispatch riders in World War I. Between the wars the motorcycle industry was dominated by simple, heavy British designs. After World War II Italy developed the motor scooter, designed for convenience and economy, with 150cc 2-stroke engines. In the 1960s the Japanese introduced a series of highly sophisticated, lightweight machines that are now used all over the world.

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21st Century Webster's Family Encyclopedia21st Century Webster's Family Encyclopedia - Mississippian to Mud hen