The Roper Steam Velocipede was a steam-powered velocipede built by inventor Sylvester H. Roper of Massachusetts, United States sometime in 1867–1869. It is one of three machines which have been called the first motorcycle, along with the Michaux-Perreaux steam velocipede, also dated 1867–1869, and the 1885 Dailmer Reitwagen.
It was built on an iron frame retrofitted with steam engine. Roper velocipede's entire bar was rotated with both hands, and it had a dual function. When turned forward, the throttle opened, and when turned backwards it applied the spoon brake on the front wheel. The seat doubled as the water reservoir; or the water tank can be described as saddle shaped. A hand pump transferred water from this tank to the boiler. The boiler was between the wheels with a chimney from the boiler angling backwards behind the rider, with the firebox in the lower half of this housing, all of which hung from the frame with a spring to absorb shock, while two stay rods attached the bottom of the housing to the back of the frame.
There were three water level cocks on the left side, near the water pump, and a drain valve on the bottom. The two cylinders, with bores of about 2 1⁄4 in (57 mm) were located on either side of the frame, from the upper part of the boiler near the chimney, connecting to 2 1⁄2 in (64 mm) cranks on the rear wheel. Exhaust steam, conveyed by tubing to the base of the chimney, provided a forced draft.
Article source : Wikipedia