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Here’s a potential game-changer: a two-wheeled, in-line motorcycle that won’t tip over, even if you try to knock it down. The team at Lit Motors envisions a world where nobody’s afraid to ride motorcycles because they’re as safe and intuitive as climbing into a car. At Maker Faire they’re showing off a prototype electric bike that’s stabilized by a gyroscope, as well as a beautiful concept bike with a fully enclosed cockpit called the C-1. They promise their futurebike “will employ H2V, H2C, V2I, and V2V connectivity” so it can automatically respond to traffic, road condition, and weather data.

But the self-balancing technology is where the excitement is. They spun up the gyros on the prototype and CTO Kevin Bretney let me give it a shove. It’s amazing to feel the bike shove back. The gyros swings on gimbals in response to attitude changes, immediately rebalancing the bike in response to your touch. The team explained that when the gyroscopes are fully weighted, it’ll take 5,000 pounds of force to push the bike over: “That’s like a rhino or small elephant!” Check it out in the West Lot.

Keith Hammond

I’m projects editor of MAKE magazine.


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Comments

  1. Eofhan says:

    How does one turn?

    1. Heph says:

      I am not sure but if those things have counter-rotating electric gyros one would for lean-stearing reduce the rotation of the Gyro that pushes against the direction in which you lean.

      This stuff reminds me to the Gyro-cars in the museum of Retrotech. http://www.aqpl43.dsl.pipex.com/MUSEUM/TRANSPORT/gyrocars/gyrocar.htm

  2. Buckets says:

    Some of us are not scared to ride motorcycles now…

  3. Septic says:

    WTF, learn how to ride and Motorcycles aren’t scary.

  4. [...] wait, there was so much more. Adam Savage in a cage with lightning bolts, Teslas and motorcycles that stand on their own (gyroscope-power), Lego cities with working trains and tiny cities made out of rolled up masking [...]

  5. Gerald Tcimpidis says:

    Hi. Does anyone know what type of gyro is used in this motorcycle, how much it costs, its weight, and where I can get one identical or similar to it? I’ve been searching for a government-surplus gyro on Google, with no luck in finding something that isn’t way too small, or used only for guidance purposes.
    HELP!

  6. Sachin R says:

    Anybody who isn’t scared of a motorcycle isnt a rider. Always be scared of something that could very likely be the cause of your untimely injury or death some day. As a motorcycle rider I am very much afraid of going down each day, and having that fear/respect for the beast that I’m riding makes my a safer rider and more vigilant.

  7. Guy Pike says:

    a bike has two wheels and a motor, ie 3 gyroscopes already!