Bicycle vs Motorcycles.

Discussion in 'The Bike Cafe' started by Bike_Tyson, Sep 3, 2009.

  1. Bike_Tyson

    Bike_Tyson New Member

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    Can anybody figure out why bicycle chains or "drive side" is designed to be on the right hand side, while motorbikes are designed on the left?
     
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  2. jhuskey

    jhuskey Moderator

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    I take a stab at it knowing someone will probably have a different answer.
    Most engines are built to rotate in the same direction making it practicle for the chain to be on the corresponding side.
    As far as a bicycle I believe that some tandems have chains on either side as well as some "motorized bikes".
    As far as regular bikes I believe the design comes from the old standards that eveolved in the 1800's therfore they just haven't changed because thats the way it's always been, of course this part is theory.
     
  3. dougadam

    dougadam Member

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    Sounds good to me
     
  4. frenchyge

    frenchyge New Member

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    ...because of the Coriolis effect, which also explains why they are opposite in the southern hemisphere. :p
     
  5. one_beatnik

    one_beatnik New Member

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    They aren't. Motorcycles vary hugely from brand to brand. Mine is on the right and is a drive shaft. Some shaft drive bikes are on the left. Same with chain/belt driven bikes.
     
  6. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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    Yup. Older Triumphs had right side drive. I believe all shaft drives are on the right.
     
  7. one_beatnik

    one_beatnik New Member

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    No even those vary quite a bit.
     
  8. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

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    An engine will spin in which ever direction the starter motor and ignition/fuel system wants it to spin.
     
  9. stevebaby

    stevebaby New Member

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    I don't have the faintest idea why this is so.
    Hope this helps.
     
  10. jhuskey

    jhuskey Moderator

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    Well, I said most. Boat motors are built with right and and left rotation and I think I heard that Honda engines rotate counter to most. Even a car engine with worn cam lobes can definitely run backwards but no indefinitely.
     
  11. tlnelsn

    tlnelsn New Member

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    For the sake of being controversial, I'm pretty sure it's because bicyclists are right and good, while motorcyclists are, as the left hand was associated with evil in ancient times, well, not good. If you are both bicyclist and motorcyclist, you probably have a lot of internal conflict. Sorry.
     
  12. one_beatnik

    one_beatnik New Member

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    That's funny. Yep...do I ride the bike or the bike. It's very confusing at times!
     
  13. Bike_Tyson

    Bike_Tyson New Member

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    I hope you ain't nit-picking. What I'm referring to, as we can see on the roads daily, and COMMONLY and generally, in the 21st century, most motorcycles have chains on the left side, bicycles on the right.

    Oh, now we all knew you have a motorbike with drive shaft (not chain-driven). That's cool, congrats! can we move on?
     
  14. jhuskey

    jhuskey Moderator

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    I do get a lot of funny looks riding a Harley Soft Tail wearing Lycra as well as a few snikers and jeers wearing gang leather colors while riding my Fondriest.
     
  15. frenchyge

    frenchyge New Member

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    He's just giving you the honest answer to your question. There's no universal truth about motorcycles that dictates that the chain be on the left, and this is aptly demonstrated in the fact that some bikes drive from the right, even here in the 21st century.

    As far as bicycles go, there's also no universal truth which dictates that the chain should be on the right, but as there's a huge incentive to have compatibility between frames and components I expect that's enough reason for manufacturer's to conform to a standard. With motorcycles, a single manufacturer designs and builds most of the components on a particular bike so there's less reason to create or conform to some standard established across multiple brands or even models.
     
  16. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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    That's likely the best answer yet.
     
  17. shane_riddell

    shane_riddell New Member

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    Aircraft such as piston powered twins can have counter rotating props. The engines are rotating in the opposite direction, makes for a slightly easier engine out operation in emergencies. I could get into the aerodynamics but that sounds like a different forum. Its been an interesting question.
     
  18. stevebiker

    stevebiker New Member

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    Bicyclists: Fit, trim, athletic, often driven and sometimes competitive.

    Motorcyclists: Fat, lazy, beer drinking, uses Harley to substitute for what's missing in the sack.
     
  19. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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    Have you taken a close look at some of the cyclists around?

    Harley gives motorcycles a bad name, so their riders shouldn't be counted.
     
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