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Lit Motors C-1: Electric Motorcycle That Won't Fall Over

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The trouble with motorcycles, as anyone who has ever suffered road rash will tell you, is that falling off is actually rather painful.

You have to try much harder to fall off a car, but those aren't without issues either--they're rather heavy, and that makes them relatively inefficient.

The Lit Motors C-1 seems to fix both those issues in one vehicle, combining the comfort and topple-resistance of a car, with the excitement and efficiency of a motorcycle.

And it's really, really cool.

Staying upright

You'll notice at first that the C-1 has only two wheels. It also has enclosed doors, so you won't be putting your feet down every time you stop.

In a motorcycle, you'd quickly fall over. Falling over when you aren't even moving, as any biker will tell you, is dumb.

To stop you looking dumb, the C-1 uses gyroscopic stabilization. Two gycroscopes mounted low in the chassis keep the vehicle upright, even when standing still.

Together, they provide 1,000 pounds of gyroscopic torque. For some perspective, that's some serious stability--and Lit has demonstrated this by trying to push it over. It won't budge. How about tying a Jeep to the C-1 and trying to drag it over? Nope, that doesn't work either.

"You'd need a baby elephant to knock over our vehicle," says Lit founder Daniel Kim. So unlike a traditional motorcycle, you won't be falling off it. Unless you find yourself in an elephant enclosure at your nearest zoo. It does have "landing gear" which extends when you park, but while the vehicle is on you're going to stay fairly upright.

Lit has released some basic specifications, too.

Top speed is said to be over 100 mph, 0-60 mph can be reached in under 6 seconds, and the company quotes a range of 200 miles on an 8 kilowatt-hour battery pack. The whole vehicle weighs only 800 lbs and looks fairly aerodynamic, which explains both the performance and the range.

Can I buy one?

At the moment, the Lit C-1 is only a prototype, but the company expects production versions to be on the road by 2014.

It's also taking deposits from interested parties. The initial production run is expected to cost around $24,000 each, or around $19,000 after tax incentives.

That's a lot for a tiny electric vehicle, but understandable from a small company making a high-technology product. If it goes into full-scale production, the price could drop as low as $12,500 before incentives.

As for the uninspiring name, that's likely to change--Lit says it's simply a development code.

Would you ride around in a Lit C-1? Leave your thoughts below.

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Comments (16)
  1. I love this "thing." Please note that it leans into the turns.

    You really need to see the video.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O1aAmWim838
     
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  2. Looks awesome, but I'd hate to be the person in the "back seat"
     
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  3. I'm intrigued... My only hope is that they can bring the weight down since it's roughly double the weight of a typical 600cc. sport tourer. Then again, if it rides differently, perhaps it's not as bad as it sounds.

    Unfortunately, getting this would probably mean no Tesla/BMW/Audi/??? EV for me when my Volt lease ends in 2015, so I'll have to watch this and wish them luck. I'll be checking to see how this turns out but I just don't know that there is a mrket for this any time soon. But I really hope I'm proven wrong, too.
     
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  4. Yawn. "Enclosed motorcycles"--while visually and conceptually exciting--have been suggested before.

    Hello? Carver One?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carver_%28automobile%29

    "Persue Mobility"?
    http://www.flytheroad.com/
    http://mikephilbin.blogspot.com/2009/01/persu-hybrid-indulge-yourself-consume.html

    The eco X-tracer/all-electric Monotracer--which actually was "real" in that it participated (and won?) the automotive "X-prize" back in the day...
    http://peraves.wordpress.com/
    http://www.progressiveautoxprize.org/teams/xtracer
    http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1073616_all-electric-monotracer-x-prize-winner-enters-production

    Sooo... Wake me if this one ever makes it pass the VERY PRICEY HAND-built prototype stage...
     
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  5. I like this one... especially in wetter and colder climates (U.K. for one)... not much use down here in south Florida. Everything looks good except that passenger seat... I would hate to be stuck back there. Since it is still in the prototype stage I am sure they will work in minimum 2 feet between the passengers chest and the back of the drivers seat. Apart from that I really like it... now lets see if this thing takes hold or goes away like all the other inclosed motorcycles...
     
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  6. Wonderful concept, hope it takes off....but potential buyers will be worried about two issues:

    1) The biggest problem, the thing that jumps out at you as you see this is that it could very easily be stolen by being just harnessed onto a normal pick-up truck....The thief probably wouldn't even need a winch. It could be loaded manually with the strength of two normal, healthy men!....Which means that comprehensive insurance would be come prohibitively expensive! So how would you lock it in place at your workplace parking spot which probably has no secure rack for chains and cables?

    And of course, 2) what would really happen to you in a collision with a regular car, even a small car?
     
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  7. I suspect that a motion sensing alarm system would be needed, really no different than on motorcycles. But I do wonder how much insurance will cost.
     
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  8. if it gets a real 200 mile range and comes in under $15,000 I am in! this is too cool
     
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  9. [Begin rant]
    Anyone remotely familiar with cars should know that torque is not measured in "pounds" but ft-lbs. Thus, the text that says "1000-pounds of torque" is like fingernails on a chalkboard to anyone with basic knowledge of mechanics.

    Fortunately, other outlets seem to have gotten this right.
    http://ca.autos.yahoo.com/news/the-lit-c1-bets-the-future-of-driving-on-a-gyro-balanced-two-wheeler--134620289.html
    Looks like "1,300 ft-lbs" is the correct number and units.
    [End rant]

    Now I need to go take my medication, I am just not feeling right. :)
     
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  10. Seems much meaner than I intended. Sorry about that.
     
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  11. I like the "recumbent" riding style of this thing. I ride a recumbent bike ans always wanted an E-motorcycle version of the 'bent.
    You can probably lose the doors and gyro, use handlebars instead of a steering wheel, and sell it for a bit less.
     
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  12. Yes I would love to drive one, my only question is can you still tilt in the corners?
     
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  13. Yes
     
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  14. Wasn't this on Top Gear UK a while back?
     
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  15. Looking forward to test driving in 2114 as price and specs
    look excellent.

    However, suggest two very intense lights on the front
    which are spaced like car headlights.

    Otherwise, their oncoming siloette will not register
    with many drivers, and the results are often ugly.

    ct
     
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  16. I've been saying for a long time that this is what I would have if I could find one that didn't cost what a car cost. I've been car pooling with my daughter to save gas but it really is not ideal. Each of us having one of these would be ideal, if the price was closer to $10k. The back seat would not be an issue for me since I'd be riding with my husband most of the time.

    I see some concern about this being stolen. I don't see where it would be any different than with any motor cycle. And as far as being hit by a car, same thing. Not something that is going to end well unless the body of this thing is made from some really strong material that I'm not aware of you are going to get hurt the same as you would on any motor cycle.
     
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