Urban Transport

87-mph electric unicycle sounds like instant death ... and scary fun

87-mph electric unicycle sounds like instant death ... and scary fun
With the all-new V13 Challenger, InMotion looks to hit new levels of speed and excitement (older InMotion e-unicycle pictured)
With the all-new V13 Challenger, InMotion looks to hit new levels of speed and excitement (older InMotion e-unicycle pictured)
View 7 Images
With the all-new V13 Challenger, InMotion looks to hit new levels of speed and excitement (older InMotion e-unicycle pictured)
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With the all-new V13 Challenger, InMotion looks to hit new levels of speed and excitement (older InMotion e-unicycle pictured)
The new InMotion V13 Challenger attempts to combine a more powerful e-drive with a stable, comfortable, more customizable riding platform
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The new InMotion V13 Challenger attempts to combine a more powerful e-drive with a stable, comfortable, more customizable riding platform
V13 specs
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V13 specs
With its easily disassembled multi-piece body and removable suspension components, the V13 Challenger can be ridden with or without cushion
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With its easily disassembled multi-piece body and removable suspension components, the V13 Challenger can be ridden with or without cushion
With a weight around 110 lb (50 kg), the InMotion V13 Challenger will require a bit of muscle to lift and carry
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With a weight around 110 lb (50 kg), the InMotion V13 Challenger will require a bit of muscle to lift and carry
The InMotion V13 Challenger aims to be the fastest, most powerful electric unicycle in the world
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The InMotion V13 Challenger aims to be the fastest, most powerful electric unicycle in the world
The InMotion V13 Challenger rides on a 22-in off-road tire
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The InMotion V13 Challenger rides on a 22-in off-road tire
View gallery - 7 images

After springing its electric unicycle (EUC) lineup for full off-roading, electric transport specialist InMotion is upping the ante (and danger) once again. The all-new V13 Challenger debuts as the fastest, most powerful one-wheeler in the world, according to the Chinese company. Capable of putting out a peak of 10,000 watts and powering up to speeds of 87 mph (140 km/h), the V13 is more explosive than many electric two-wheelers. An improved suspension, modular design and updated electronics promise to deliver a ride that's as safe and personalized as it is ferocious.

The new V13 Challenger features a host of new components and design features to help maximize power and speed while keeping the rider safe (ish?). A 126-V electrical architecture with upgraded cables ensures smooth, safe power delivery from the 3,024-Wh battery pack to the 4,500-W motor, which boasts a peak output of 10 kW and maximum torque of 300 Nm.

InMotion estimates that all that power and torque can be focused into a top lift speed of 87 mph (140 km/h) – lift speed, also called free spin speed, is the top speed the V13 will register when simply lifting it straight up off the ground and punching the accelerator. The actual speed it will reach on the ground will depend upon the weight of the rider, ground surface, battery status and other factors, but the fact we're even talking about nearly 90 mph on a unicycle should be highly enthralling, highly terrifying or maybe both, depending upon your e-wheel experience or lack thereof.

With a weight around 110 lb (50 kg), the InMotion V13 Challenger will require a bit of muscle to lift and carry
With a weight around 110 lb (50 kg), the InMotion V13 Challenger will require a bit of muscle to lift and carry

Based on one of the first retailer ads for the V13 Challenger, it looks like actual top speed on the ground will fall around 56 mph (90 km/h) — still enthralling and/or terrifying and a sizeable increase over InMotion's current speed king, the 43.5-mph (70-km/h) V12. That same ad lists range at 124 miles (200 km).

Of course, stuffing as many kilowatts as possible into a single-wheeler and letting first-adopters absolutely rip with no other considerations could prove a recipe for disaster and lawsuit, so InMotion does plenty of additional tweaking and upgrading. That starts with a new suspension that delivers 3.5 inches (90 mm) of cushion by way of independent air shocks and dampers on each side of the wheel. We still wouldn't be eager to hit a bump at highway speed, but InMotion promises a smooth, stable ride. The user can adjust pressure and damper settings based around his or her weight and ride preferences or remove the suspension bits entirely, should they prefer an unsuspended ride.

With its easily disassembled multi-piece body and removable suspension components, the V13 Challenger can be ridden with or without cushion
With its easily disassembled multi-piece body and removable suspension components, the V13 Challenger can be ridden with or without cushion

InMotion also upgrades the electrical components supporting the powertrain, adding a dual-hall sensor layout for more precise motor control, upgrading the battery management system (BMS) with new algorithms, and adding component redundancy to improve safety.

The V13 Challenger rider platform includes adjustable-tilt pedals, a touchscreen computer, a headlight and tail light, USB and USB-C ports for mobile device charging, an upper safety cage around vital electricals that doubles as a set of lift handles, and a folding trolley handle for rolling the wheel by hand. It rides atop a 22 x 3-in off-road tire, and multi-piece construction makes it easier to break down for repairing a flat or making modifications.

In terms of charging, the V13 has two ports located above the tail light that combine for 1,764 watts. When the owner uses both, the battery charges in 2 to 2.5 hours.

InMotion introduced the V13 Challenger last week, and while the company said it would launch immediately, it does not yet appear on the InMotion website or Amazon store. E Riderz, an InMotion dealer in Australia, has it up for preorder at a special price of AU$5,699. Special preorder pricing is expected to be $3,999 in the US.

Source: InMotion via Electrek

View gallery - 7 images
14 comments
14 comments
Fairly Reasoner
you first
Daishi
Europe: "Our ebikes are limited to 15 MPH of assist for safety". InMotion: "So anyway, we made a 87 MPH unicycle"
guzmanchinky
Well, it's amazing that we can do this, of course. The question is, should we?
El Greco
I wonder what the stopping time/distance from 50mph with the forward-leaning pose pictured. You'd have to get your weight well behind the wheel before you even start slowing.
rlseifer
I know this isn't a joke, but it must be a joke.
freddotu
I took a spill on a Focus Design's SBUv1 at 15 mph and left some palm skin on the ground. At these speeds, even the 56 mph level, one needs a complete set of leathers, perhaps an air bag enclosure, a sci-fi stasis chamber and oxygen supply.
Jinpa
Guess who is the crumple zone.
BlueOak
Like a cop friend once observed about rice rocket street bikers riding at extreme speeds.. “A self-correcting problem. Equilibrium will be restored.”
Marco McClean
I'd think you'd need a /Snow Crash/ micro-second-inflating Michelin-man suit to do this. In the cover illustration the guy doesn't elbow protection, much less heavy leather. This is even more idiotic than the high-speed stand-up scooters. Nevertheless, next we'll see Red Bull ads of college kids jumping off ski jumps and flipping and twisting in the air on these.
TpPa
It should be called the "Splat", tiss the noise you will last hear when you hit a semi, a big old tree off road. Save's money though, you don't need to call emergency services to the crash, just the coroner to make it legal
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