In the early period of motorcycle history, many producers of bicycles adapted their designs to learn the new internal combustion engine. As the engines became more powerful and designs outgrew the bicycle origins, the number of motorcycle manufacturers increased. Many of the nineteenth-century inventors who worked on early motorcycles often moved on to other inventions. Daimler and Roper, for example, both went on to develop.
At the end of the 19th century the first major mass-production firms were set up. In 1898, Triumph Motorcycles in England began producing motorbikes, and by 1903 it was producing over 500 bikes. Other British firms were Royal Enfield, Norton and Birmingham Small Arms Company who began motorbike production in 1899, 1902 and 1910, respectively. Indian began production in 1901 and Harley-Davidson was established two years later. By the outbreak of World War I, the largest motorcycle manufacturer in the world was Indian, producing over 20,000 bikes per year.