Looking for a functional middle ground between an electric skateboard and a powersport utility vehicle, Seattle's Flux Design Co is preparing the Track 1 for market. This two-wheeled, one-tracked board looks like a strange, unmanned interplanetary rover pictured on its own, but it's definitely designed to be manned, letting its rider accelerate over everything from soft sand and snow to hard dirt and pavement. With removable handlebars, a swappable battery and light, high-performance materials, this board seems quite ready for all-terrain domination.
We've seen a number of different terrain-gnawing tracked boards and personal transporters over the years, including the scooter-style DTV Shredder, dual-track Ungoverned board, all-electric Scarpar Powerboard and Skizee personal snowmobile. Those designs abandoned wheels completely in favor of tracks, but the new Track 1 mixes it up, with a rugged combo of dual front wheels and rear drive track intended to guarantee a fast, maneuverable land-boarding experience over gravel, dirt, snow, grass, pavement ... you name it.
The Track 1's power comes from a rear 5-horsepower-plus electric motor spinning the track. That track increases the size of the contact patch, which allows the board to float over soft terrain types that would sink regular wheels. In fact, Flux says the track creates a contact patch equivalent to that of a 30-in (76-cm) wheel, a size that would obviously be quite impractical for an electric board.
Track 1 riders use a remote control to reach speeds over 20 mph (32 km/h), and lean into turns to steer. Removable bindings improve foot grip and control, and the rear-driven track helps initiate sharp turns and dust-kicking skids, with motor-braking bringing the board to a stop. Flux says the board will climb hills up to a 50 percent grade.
In terms of range, Flux estimates between 8 and 15 miles (13 and 24 km), a wide spread that reflects the versatile nature of an all-terrain board meant to transition between bumpy hill climbs, floaty sand runs, fast, smooth straight-lines and more. The battery is also removable, so riders can carry a spare and increase range.
The electric track drive isn't the only impressive bit of tech on the Track 1, which also uses a variety of advanced, lightweight materials to keep weight down, ensure durability and deliver a responsive ride. The deck is made from layers of carbon fiber, Kevlar and a core material, and the removable handlebars use a carbon, aluminum and chromoly construction. Flux says that it spent particular time and effort on the design and material blend of the track, landing on a tire-like tread and a proprietary mix of polymers and composites that keep weight down and offer all-surface durability and traction and all-weather performance.
The Track 1 also includes LED lighting for night riding, and although it's designed to be ridden in wet sand, fresh snow and other wet environments, Flux advises against submerging it.
Beyond that, Flux is keeping things purposefully general right now because it's still testing various layouts and components ahead of production. So we're short a few of the usual specs, like battery type, controller style, torque, etc. We'd be inclined to wait until that type of information is available before putting money down, but for those that want to get in on early bird pricing and are willing to take the usual risks associated with crowdfunding ventures, Flux is offering the board through an Indiegogo campaign at pledge levels starting at US$2,499, which is a $1,000 discount off the $3,499 estimated retail price.
You know this is one that you have to watch to understand, so check out the Track 1 in action in the clip below.
Source: Flux Design Co