Are you one of those people who like the idea of a motorcycle, but aren't comfortable with the whole "keeping your balance" thing? If you are, then Thrustcycle Enterprises' GyroCycle may be for you. Already existent in working prototype form, the self-balancing electric motorbike may be commercially available as soon as next year.
Like other self-balancing bikes, the GyroCycle stays upright via internal flywheels that create a gyroscopic effect when spinning. This means that not only will it automatically pull itself back up after leaning into turns, but it will even stay up on its own when it isn't moving – as long as it's still powered up.
With this in mind, Thrustcycle previously created two enclosed-body prototype bikes, that don't require riders to put their feet down when stopped (not unlike the Lit Motors C1). The company is still interested in pursuing that design, but sees the GyroCycle as a quicker way of initially breaking into the market. The balancing technology used in the cycle is reportedly fully transferrable to a larger, enclosed vehicle.
Thrustcycle co-founder Clyde Igarashi says that the final version of the GyroCycle will utilize an oil-cooled and -lubricated motor from production partner Zev, along with components from that company's 8,500-watt lithium battery system. The bike will have a range of about 80 miles (129 km) and a top speed of 75 mph (121 km/h).
"We're working with a custom builder for the first limited production run and anticipate being on market in 2017," Igarashi tells us. "Price has not been finalized for the limited run but it should be less than $20K. The price for full production runs in the future should be significantly lower."
The prototype – which admittedly looks kind of odd – can be seen in the following video.