A motorcycle is a motor vehicle that has two wheels and can be ridden by one or more people. It is powered by an internal combustion engine, and can be propelled forward or backward. Some modern motorcycles may be powered by alternative fuels such as electricity or petroleum-electric hybrid engines.
For the rider, a motorcycle offers an exhilarating experience that is not available in a car. There are many reasons for this: Motorbikes are cheaper to buy and maintain, they take up less space and use less fuel than cars, they are faster, and can be used in traffic (lane-splitting is legal in most states). The sensation of speed, maneuvering and leaning adds to the thrill of riding a motorcycle.
However, riding a motorcycle is not without risk. Motorcyclists can be injured or killed in accidents involving other vehicles, even if they are wearing full protective clothing. The most common causes of death are head injuries and leg amputations. It is important for new riders to learn as much as possible and keep practicing their skills, attending safety courses and participating in the Enhanced Rider Scheme.
In addition to the excitement and sense of freedom, motorcycling can bring social benefits. Motorcycle riders are part of a special community that can form unique bonds with other bikers. They often greet each other with hand waves, or a thumbs-up sign, and acknowledge each other when passing on the highway or at stop streets.