Motorcycles

Self-balancing motorbike makes a stand

A rendering of the GyroCycle
A rendering of the GyroCycle
View 2 Images
A rendering of the GyroCycle
1/2
A rendering of the GyroCycle
The GyroCycle stays upright via internal flywheels that create a gyroscopic effect when spinning
2/2
The GyroCycle stays upright via internal flywheels that create a gyroscopic effect when spinning

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.

The GyroCycle stays upright via internal flywheels that create a gyroscopic effect when spinning
The GyroCycle stays upright via internal flywheels that create a gyroscopic effect when spinning

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.

Source: Thrustcycle

Bumblebee Test Gyrocycle

14 comments
RockCabin-Mining
Great Idea. The person shooting their video should get a self balancing camera mount.
JamesDemello
Lit Motors C-1 motorcycle will probably serve as a forecast of how long it will take for this motorcycle to get to market - never.
Grunchy
HONDA - get your act in gear! Anybody can make a self-balancing bike, even you guys. Come on - self balancing Vultus, already.
RussellD
At least this hasn't been tried every 5 years for the last 60 years. I wonder why the streets are not full of them. Hmm... There is a fundamental problem. For your homework, I want you to tell me what it is. Too bad the demo unit is so bulbous—it actually looks ridiculous.
Tom Lee Mullins
I think that looks unique. With the concept, I don't really see where the feet would go? In the one in the video, the feet seem to be on either side of the front wheel? I would rather go with the one from Lit Motors.
Future3000
paint it red... Akira!
HarryFerrari
RussellD, what is the fundamental problem? This one looks hideous but what is wrong with the concept?
ljaques
A gyro in a bike? I can just imagine haulin' butt around a corner when the gyro decides "Hey, you shouldn't be leaning over." and immediately puts the bike straight up. Oops! Well, at least they're only going to cost $20k? Bwahahaha.
RussellD
Harry Ferrari, ljacques has partly nailed it. The only time you would want gyro assist on a bike is at standstill, and even then, the only advantage would be the elimination of the necessity to put your foot down to keep from falling over. Is this worth the complexity required so that the gyro, which must be kept spinning, does not otherwise adversely affect the handling of the bike? The gyro assembly would have to be free to rotate around the longitudinal axis while the bike is underway so it doesn't interfere with the desired banking of the m/c for cornering, with limited movement allowed around the lateral axis to allow the bike to go up and down hills without straining the housing. The movement around the longitudinal axis would have to have a braking mechanism to keep the bike upright at or near standstill which would have to be released just after starting off, so the bike is once again free to lean into turns. This is a ton of complexity merely to eliminate the need to extend your leg and put your foot down at stops! It becomes second nature quickly, or else you get tired of falling over and realize you don't belong on two wheels and buy a car. If you think it is desirable to motor around vertically on a motorcycle, you are mistaken. You might as well have 3 or 4 wheels under you. Actually, the fastest basic configuration is three wheels; two forward and one rear with a forward weight bias as in front engine, front wheel drive.
HarryFerrari
Thanks Russell. I have also wondered how much energy is expended to operate the gyro. Plus the cost of the added complexity when as you mentioned there is a very simple solution.