What would you call a motorcycle that doesn’t tip over, drives like a car, is fully enclosed and has room for two passengers?
Non-existent might be a good descriptor.
A company called Lit Motors has a different name for such a vehicle: the C-1, which it hopes to start selling by late 2013, with full production coming in 2014. Is this the urban transportation vehicle that can finally gain public acceptance and start changing the way we commute in cities?
Yes. Assuming it really, truly, doesn’t tip over.
When I hear the word “gyroscopes,” I think of the Segway Personal Transporter, which was introduced in 2001. Remember that little invention, which at the time was described as “world changing”? Of course, the only thing it changed about the world is the way tourists explore San Diego. The C-1 is different, though. It’s car-like enough for regular drivers to feel comfortable in, unique enough to garner the attention of potential buyers, affordable enough for regular people and efficient enough to justify a purchase. That seems like a winning combination.
Plus, it has gyroscopes.
The proposed fully enclosed 2-passenger electric motorbike uses an electronically controlled gyroscopic stabilizing system to stay upright when stopped or turning or even when struck from the side in an accident. Like a Weeble Wobble.
The vehicle will incorporate electric hub motors in both wheels, which are claimed to bring the C-1 to a top speed of about 120 mph and provide a driving range of 150 to 220 miles per charge.
In all truth that’s where it starts to feel a little fishy to me. For such a small vehicle, where exactly are those batteries, gyroscopes, drivetrain and suspension parts going to go? Even if they did all fit, and all work as advertised, what about price?
Plans call for an initial run of production vehicles to be available at a price of about $24,000 by late 2013, with that price going down to $16,000 once full production gets under way in 2014. There’s no word on how many vehicles the company can, or hopes to, produce. Or how the C-1 will handle on snowy, slushy New York mornings. Or what happens when the gyroscopes go out and these things start tipping like cows on prom night in Arkansas.
If the Lit Motors C-1 is real, and lives up to its promises, would you be interested?