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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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