Edward Joel Pennington from Indiana (1858-1911) is often credited with having invented the word “motorcycle”, using it for the 1st time in 1893. Inventor of many things – ignition systems, balloon tires, airship, etc – he basically was the first person to invent a gas-powered motorcycle, demonstrating his original motorcycle design in Milwaukee in 1895.
He was well known for his grandiose and exaggerated claims regarding what his inventions could accomplish.
He was able to get financial backing for many of his business ventures, but most failed even before any product was produced. Some even accusing him of fraud but he never did jail time. After the failure of his motorcycle plans, E.J. Pennington turned to cars and although he had investors and pre-paid orders, none was delivered (the original design is preserved by the National Motor Museum in Beaulieu, Hampshire, England.)
After so many failures he spent his time trying to collect money from those he accused as having violated his patents. E.J. Pennington is still today considered by many as the main inspiration for the founders of Harley-Davidson.