Hildebrand 1.5 hp steam motorcycle, 1889.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
This prototype motor biycle fitted with a small steam engine In 1889, was built by the brothers Heinrich and Wilhelm Hildebrand of Munich in 1889. The water is carried in the curved tank above the rear wheel. In the early 1890s, the Hildebrand brothers abandoned steam propulsion and switched to petrol engines for their motorcycles. In 1894 they collaborated with Alois Wolfmuller and Hans Geisenhof in producing the first practical motorcycle to be put on the market.