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Why do most motorcycles have their drivelines on the left hand side?

Home Forums General Discussion Chit Chat Why do most motorcycles have their drivelines on the left hand side?

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  • #36043
    Eddieb
    Keymaster
    • Town/City: Tauranga
    • Bike: Suzuki DR650 ADV, BMW R100GS
    • Rank: Round the World Adventure Globetrotter

    Random thought of the day: Why do most motorcycles have their drivelines on the left hand side?

    While over the years motorcycles have had drive lines on either side of the vehicle as you sit on them but by a vast majority for most motorcycles the driveline seems to be on the left hand side.

    Is there a technical, social, political or any other reason for this?

    Harley seems to make it’s big block models with a left side driveline, but the Sportsters are on the right. For most KTM’s the chain is on the left but with the 640 LC4 models the chain was on the right, BMW has made the R1200GS with the driveshaft on both sides in different iterations of the model. I can’t recall ever seeing a japanese manufactured bike with the driveline on the right side.

    Got any ideas?

    #36064
    Andrew Thomson
    Participant
    • Bike: Super Tenere, Concours 14, WR250R, RMX450Z
    • Rank: 1000cc Rider

    No idea.

    Maybe just for looks? Not many bikes with side stands on the right so when lent over to the left on the stand you don’t see some mucky old chain? Mufflers look better than chains?

    #36634
    Dpslinger
    Participant
    • Rank: 125cc Rider

    I presume it has to do with the rotation of the engine etc.

    #36943
    Don Wardell
    Participant
    • Rank: 50cc Rider

    For higher-capacity members: Keep having fun dwelling on mechanical enantiomorphism reasons, but consider that maybe the Rider’s likely proclivity for crural dexterity is the basis.
    For members with 50cc brains like mine: Watch football on TV. Notice goal kickers are predominantly right-footed. Put kick start on right side. Put drive train on much-easier-to-design other side.
    Damn! It has happened again! I will have to jump on the bike and cool my head down with some wind.

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