Urban Transport

Video: How to build your own motorized monowheel

The Make it Extreme team show how to build this funky monowheel from scratch
The Make it Extreme team show how to build this funky monowheel from scratch
View 1 Image
The Make it Extreme team show how to build this funky monowheel from scratch
1/1
The Make it Extreme team show how to build this funky monowheel from scratch

Monowheels are kind of ridiculous, largely pointless and far from a practical way to get around. On the other hand, they're also pretty fascinating – and never more so than in this seven-minute video detailing how the Make it Extreme team went about building one.

The idea of traveling around in a giant, powered single wheel has been around since the 1860s, believe it or not. Richard Hemming put in a patent for his "Flying Yankee Velocipede" back in 1869, and plenty have been built since the gasoline motor came onto the scene.

Nobody these days looks at a monowheel as a serious piece of transportation. They're too unstable, too slow (the world speed record is just 61.18 mph (98.5 kmh), and … well, they have a certain tendency to somersault the rider forwards if you hit the brakes too hard, a process known as "gerbiling." We imagine gerbiling isn't as pleasant as it sounds.

Today the monowheel is more of a curiosity and a showpiece – I'd wager there's not a motorcyclist alive that hasn't wondered just what it'd be like riding one.

If that's you, but you wouldn't have the first idea on how to build one, then the Make it Extreme guys have the perfect video for you. It shows, in accelerated step-by-step format, how they built their own 110cc monowheel from scratch, including the main wheel roller system, the way they cut and stretched old motorcycle tires to fit on the outer rim, the friction drive system, and the suspension system they used to keep the main roller in contact with the outer rim. It makes terrific viewing. Check it out below.

If you're feeling particularly inspired, they'll sell you the full plans and designs on their Patreon page.

Source: Make it Extreme

Making a Monowheel

3 comments
VincentWolf
Why in heavens name would you make it using a smelly gasoline engine your bound to be breathing in the fumes from? Use electric jeeze.
fred_dot_u
Making it electric would also provide for more precise speed control. With accelerometers in the package, there could be programming to reduce or prevent gerbil-ing of the creature within.
Douglas Bennett Rogers
Didn't see him use it on much of a grade. It would keep you level on a grade if you were careful. Ditto for the acceleration vector.
Thanks for reading our articles. Please consider subscribing to New Atlas Plus.
By doing so you will be supporting independent journalism, plus you will get the benefits of a faster, ad-free experience.