Urban Transport

Two-wheeled chain-drive electric skateboard can keep up with cars

Two-wheeled chain-drive electr...
The Speedboard isn't limited to use on asphalt
The Speedboard isn't limited to use on asphalt
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The Speedboard weighs 26 lb (12 kg)
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The Speedboard weighs 26 lb (12 kg)
The Speedboard's clear deck reveals its 52 batteries
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The Speedboard's clear deck reveals its 52 batteries
A close-up view of the Speedboard's chain drive
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A close-up view of the Speedboard's chain drive
The Speedboard has a turning radius of 8 ft (2.4 m), and can accommodate riders weighing up to 250 lb (113 kg)
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The Speedboard has a turning radius of 8 ft (2.4 m), and can accommodate riders weighing up to 250 lb (113 kg)
The Speedboard isn't limited to use on asphalt
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The Speedboard isn't limited to use on asphalt

There are now quite a few electric skateboards on the market, although they pretty much all have four wheels, are direct- or belt-drive, and top out at around 20 mph. The Speedboard is a little different, in that it has two wheels, a chain drive, and goes up to 30 mph (48 km/h).

Currently the subject of a Kickstarter campaign, the Speedboard was created by Los Angeles-based mechanical engineer David Jackson. Not a stranger to the world of crowdfunding, he was previously successful at Kickstarting the Coffee Joulies beverage-temperature-maintaining device.

But as far as the Speedboard goes … yes, instead of the usual two small wheels in the front and two in the back, it has just two larger wheels – one at either end. Thanks to a patented spring-loaded linkage mechanism, the front wheel can pivot up to 30 degrees relative to the rest of the board, automatically doing so as the rider leans into turns.

This setup is designed to let users carve through corners, snowboard-style. Additionally, thanks to the 10.3-inch Kenda pneumatic tires, they're also able to ride over relatively rough terrain such as gravel roads.

A close-up view of the Speedboard's chain drive
A close-up view of the Speedboard's chain drive

The chain-drive drivetrain was chosen to "maximize reliability and safety." It consists of a 9-tooth hardened steel pinion mounted on the motor shaft, driving a 70-tooth steel sprocket on the rear wheel via a steel chain with a tensile strength of 1,300 lb (600 lb).

Jackson chose the 30-mph top speed in order to let riders keep up with the other motorized traffic, as opposed to constantly getting passed and potentially cut off. Riders control that speed and activate the brakes using a handheld radio remote control unit.

The rear wheel is driven by a 4,000-watt motor, which is in turn powered by an array of 52 lithium-ion batteries located inside the deck. These can be removed and carried as four separate battery packs, allowing the board to be taken aboard airliners. One charge should reportedly be good for a range of 16 to 24 miles (25 to 38 km), depending on user weight and riding style.

The Speedboard has a turning radius of 8 ft (2.4 m), and can accommodate riders weighing up to 250 lb (113 kg)
The Speedboard has a turning radius of 8 ft (2.4 m), and can accommodate riders weighing up to 250 lb (113 kg)

Aircraft-grade 6061-T6 aluminum is used for the board's rails, with the deck consisting of transparent polycarbonate. In its current form, the whole thing weighs a claimed 26 lb (12 kg).

Should you be interested in getting a Speedboard, a pledge of US$1,999 is required – that will include a helmet, and free shipping within the US (the planned retail price is also about $1,999, but without the helmet and shipping). Assuming it reaches production, deliveries are estimated to begin next May.

A previous attempt at a two-wheeled electric skateboard, the Yiiboard, failed to meet its Indiegogo funding target.

The video pitch below shows some Speedboard prototypes in action.

Source: Kickstarter

SPEEDBOARD: The 30mph Two-Wheel Electric Skateboard

6 comments
paul314
Good luck wearing shorts if you come off that board at 30 mph.
christopher
Meh. The Bajaboard is faster right off the shelf, and it's just terrifying going anywhere near that speed - these are not like unpowered boards - the acceleration and braking threaten to throw you off the front or back at any instant, so you need perfect x+Y balance and total confidence in the controller and power - you simply can't go fast without serious threat to your health. Good luck trying for the plane - I did that once, and it required days of preparation and hours of sketchy meetings with airline staff, phone calls to their head office on the day, and they only begrudgingly let me on. Rules that say you can, and them actually deciding to let you, are two very different things!
ChairmanLMAO
handheld controller! yuk! it's got to be hard wired! and there should be some kind of on board controller. see alot of potential though even if it requires autonomous integration of artificial intelligence (or a leash). i think it looks better than the segway though.
MD
meh.. Speed is just a function of energy and power, pretty simple formula.. A sprocket motor and battery can easily be added to any wheeled vehicle.. (I am mostly dismissive of claims of "revolutionary" - NB most of the powered board type transportation devices are not technically road legal anyhow (neither toys nor registerable vehicles) which reduces their overall utility in many areas..) Stability is a harder nut to crack... I have had a Dirtsurfer for well over a decade, it is a bit clunky, limited turning radius, but stability at high speed is hard to beat... (Gravity street racer, and off-road downhill / wind powered board... So the essence of this toy are not revolutionary, even if the "patented" packaging is.... )
ljaques
Wow, that price and it still doesn't really do offroading? Feh. RE: shorts/sandals, if you have a strong stomach, check out the pics on the motorcycle site I saw this morning. Wear Proper Gear! https://tinyurl.com/yertc29o
Worzel
I'm a biker, and I wouldn't risk my skin and bones on this contraption, no matter how much protective gear I was wearing.