The first motorcycle was a steam powered oddity built by Sylvester Roper in 1869. It was a steam powered bicycle or motorcycle. It went through several revisions, and by 1896 it could do 40 mph, and ran 7 miles on one load of coal. The small boiler was mounted between the riders legs on a bicycle-like frame. It had two cylinders, and a smokestack. Twist grips on the handlebars served as throttle and brake. The inventor liked to say, "It would climb any hill and outrun any horse."
Roper died like we all should, at the age of 73 riding the third version of his crazy contraption around a track at 40 mph. He died in the saddle, and was dead before his bike hit the ground.
Shown is his earliest version, and the last version.