The first vehicles that could be considered motorcycles were barely identifiable as such, and the first commercially available motorcycles were little more than strengthened versions of the bicycles of the day with small, simple motors fitted to them. For a time, they were simply a way to get around and represented a cheap, practical alternative means of personal transport during the emergence of the automobile. Many decades on, these curious little two-wheeled machines have obviously become so much more than that, having grown in size, speed, cost and arguably most of all, in social significance. The development and design of motorcycles long ago took on their own bold direction, dictated more by passion than common sense and at times more by form than function, and has resulted in over a century of bike designs that have challenged the limits of human ability and the laws of physics. At the same time, unique cultures and subcultures have developed around motorcycles or the various motorsports that they are used for. Associations or even assumptions, both positive and negative, have become associated with certain motorcycles and the people who ride them, while the bikes themselves have a meaning of their own for people. Even the mention of a certain model name or the faint drone of a particular exhaust note in the distance, for some people, conjures up images of a specific bike.