No. of Recommendations: 7
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/11/technology/start-ups/for-s...


For Some Drivers, an Electric Motorcycle Could Be the Best of Both Worlds

By BRIAN X. CHEN
New York Times, October 10, 2012

... For protection, the motorcycle is encased in a metal shell, and it is controlled like a car, with a steering wheel and foot pedals. Two big gyroscopes under the floor are designed to keep it from tipping over, even when a car hits it from the side. The C-1’s top speed is 120 miles an hour, and it can travel 200 miles on a full charge.

A small start-up called Lit Motors is developing the C-1 ...

Only one gyroscope is needed to maintain balance, but there are always two running; each gyroscope has redundant computer chips, controllers and sensors, so if any one of those fails, there are extras to back it up.

The bike is made up of 2,200 parts, or one-tenth the number in the average car...

There are two main target markets for the vehicle, said Ryan James, chief marketing officer for Lit Motors: motorcyclists between 45 and 60 years old who are concerned about safety but don’t want to give up their two-wheeler and younger commuters who live in urban or suburban areas where driving a car can be a bother or feel wasteful. ...

Mr. Kim hopes to bring the price down to $14,000 by around 2016, putting it in the range of a nice Ducati motorcycle or an entry-level car like a Honda Fit. ...
[end quote]

What do you'all think of this innovation?

Wendy
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No comment on recharge time. Range is minimally acceptable. Price is steep for anyone who often drives with a passenger or hauls significant cargo.
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<Price is steep for anyone who often drives with a passenger or hauls significant cargo. >

There is apparently a market for upscale motorcycles. This new one appears to be aimed at commuters who want the safety of a roll cage and gyroscopes. That makes sense to me, because my anxiety rises whenever I see a regular motorcycle on a busy interstate highway.

No motorcycle is useful for anyone who wants to haul significant cargo (unless they live in the rare area where a side-car is practical).

Wendy
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Wendy,

after WW II in the 1950s or early 60s such an invention already was created.......there are photos somewhere on the web....dont know the name of it off hand.....

Dave
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What do you'all think of this innovation?

Useless and overly complex

-has a full body, like a car

-controlled by wheel and pedals, like a car

-uses two complex and expensive gyros to do what two simpler and cheaper road wheels do

-still lacks crash protection and traction of a car

Buyers would no doubt start demanding air conditioning, elaborate stereo, cruise control and in dash video game.

I'd take Subaru's 1969 answer any day (360cc 2 stroke engine)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5IKk_XiF4v8

I like the vid because it shows the fun of driving a car that small....and the guy's baby sleeps through the whole thing.

Honda 600 (600cc 4 stroke 2 cylinder, air cooled)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4RLFjSc3DvQ&feature=relat...

first generation Civic, a thundering 1.2L

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=smh6i6JNWN0&feature=relat...

Don't need any over priced, over complicated bike that wants to be a car.

Steve...If you aren't addicted to winding a light car with a small 4 cylinder through the gears, I can't explain it
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No motorcycle is useful for anyone who wants to haul significant cargo
I do all my grocery shopping from my Suzuki SV650 (weather permitting) and have hauled 50lb sacks of potting soil and dog food easily. In my younger days I did plumbing jobs with pieces of copper pipe cut to length and strapped on.
If this board allowed pics I could send you one of some Asian guy with what looks like a full ton of newspaper for recycling carried on a small motorcycle, not to mention the shots of a whole family on a bike.

Edy
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I could send you one of some Asian guy with what looks like a full ton of newspaper for recycling carried on a small motorcycle, not to mention the shots of a whole family on a bike.

I agree, but the subject line on this thread is "Safe electric motorcycle" and in order for the driver of that thing to be anywhere near safe he'll have to be wearing a helmet, elbow & knee pads, shin guards and combat boots 'cause if he gets hit by anything bigger than a Volkswagen he'll go shooting across the intersection like a hockey puck.
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Should be a trike. Don't need the gyros because it is inherently stable. And a trike provides a small space to actually carry something.
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Should be a trike.

Trikes are unstable too. Recall there used to be trike ATVs, but they were banned because they were too dangerous, so now all ATVs are quads.

You know what happens if you start with an Austin America, put on an aftermarket head, a couple of big honking Weber carbs and get rid of useless stuff that adds weight, like an interior, headliner, sound insulation? you do get a glimps of the outside of the car partway through the vid.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dtvZC0p2K9Y&feature=relmf...

It's more stable than any bike or trike, and carries more groceries!

Steve
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Motorcycles have three advantages over other configurations:

1) Can cut through thick urban and expressway traffic, and can park for free or very cheap, making them ideal for modern urbanites, especially those with a spouse with a 'car' to accomplish bulk hauls from costco;

2) Can (if rider trains and maintains reflexes correctly)(see S McQueen) radically SWERVE, an invaluable and life-preserving maneuver unavailable to 3+ wheelers, making motorcycle ideal for committed survivalists;

3) Far outdo automobiles as archetypal mount in lieu of horse making them ideal for people seeking 'mountable companionships' (see M Brando).

I expect to replace my petrol motorcycle with an electric eventually, not for safety's sake but for quiet, convenience, and (I expect in 10 years time or so) lower overall price of fuel and maintenance.


david fb
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Trikes are unstable too. Recall there used to be trike ATVs, but they were banned because they were too dangerous, so now all ATVs are quads.

So make it a quad then--wheels set as wide as the body. Stable because a quad--no gyros needed. Or keep a single gyro so idiots can't tip over.

Easy to make a 4-seater too, but that would be a real car-so would need to meet car requirements.
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Easy to make a 4-seater too, but that would be a real car-so would need to meet car requirements.

Prepare to have your mind bent...don't worry, will not hurt a bit.

The Honda Gold Wing bike has a 1.8L 6 cylinder engine, and costs $24K

That is a larger engine and larger price tag than a Civic.

Put training wheels on the Gold Wing and it has everything the car has, except the safety, carrying capacity and all weather comfort.

If vehicles were regulated by engine size or power, the impact on light car design boggles the mind, and they'd still be safer than a bike.

<insert video of crazy quick Civic here>

Steve
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...making motorcycle ideal for committed survivalists;...

Until you run out of gas.

Then you hoof it; with or without a horse.

Desert (rode Honda CB 160's back in the day) Dave
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If vehicles were regulated by engine size or power, the impact on light car design boggles the mind, and they'd still be safer than a bike.

They are regulated by weight (or used to be).

Under 1000 lbs and it was not a car (original Subaru--sold for $988). It weighed under 1000 lbs.
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<(see S McQueen) ... (see M Brando)...

I expect to replace my petrol motorcycle...>

I didn't realize that you are a combination of McQueen and Brando (in their prime, of course)!

Wendy (swooning)
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