Lit Motors C-1, electric gyroscopic motorcycle [Image: Lit Motors]
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.
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.