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August 29: Gottlieb Daimler patents the first motorcycle on this date in 1885


Tucked on the back of the fairway at last year's Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance was this contraption, which looks like a cross between a bicycle and some kind of 19th-century medical device. Brought by Mercedes, it's a replica of the world's first motorcycle -- an attempt by Gottlieb Daimler to explore how he might package the four-stroke gasoline engine invented by Nicolaus Otto. While there had been a steam-powered two-wheeler before, Daimler's invention, patented 128 years ago today, is generally considered the primordial vehicle from which modern motorcycles and automobiles evolved. (The real item was lost in a fire during the 1930s.)