Electric motorcycle rocks one wheel

We had to call it an electric motorcycle in the title because electric unicycle just sounds lame. But the video after the break shows you that this prototype is anything but lame. It takes minimalism to the extreme when you’re talking about powered transportation. The self-balancer is reminiscent of a Segway but the rider sits astride one wheel rather than the standing form-factor that [the Woz] loves so much for gaming. Looks like Ryno Motors is trying to gather capital to put these into production. We’re not going to hold our breath until we see them in the wild, but we’d be surprised if they don’t pop up on the big screen at some point in the near future.


  1. Anonymous says:

    “How fast can it go?”
    Stopped watching right there.

  2. chango says:

    Between this and the 1W handheld laser, I propose HAD start a feature called “Danger Fridays”.

  3. pilotgeek says:

    Hey well he’s wearing a helmet so you guys can’t have your typical whine-a-thon.

  4. svofski says:

    @chango lmao

  5. Colecago says:

    In the video he isn’t

  6. M4CGYV3R says:

    It’s like a high-powered Segway and a unicycle got it on…

  7. gordon says:

    Looks amazing.
    But what a “face plant” under heavy braking.

  8. Brad says:

    Give me one of these instead. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uno_%28dicycle%29

  9. rageahol says:

    20 mph top speed with a 30 mile range?

    try a bicycle.

  10. Larry says:

    Check this out form PS mag. 2008 inventions of the year. They look very similar.


  11. D_ says:

    The Ryno looks slightly more practical than a Segway for use on the street albeit not by much. A toy for the rich and famous, and a model for hackers to try to duplicate in their home shops. With the self balancing feature, it’s probably no more dangerous that a motor cycle or a slow bicycle. The safety down side is the low visibility to others on the road. How ever those who do see it may cause accidents as they take a second look at it.

  12. Emerica says:

    Alberta won’t legalize a Segway for a sidewalk, let along any roads. This thing gets to go straight to the X-games.

  13. gregman_1 says:

    @chango- let’s not forget the chainsaw-powered flashlight from last week.

  14. Nivekian says:
  15. bzroom says:

    How do you steer such a thing? is it simply the radius on the outer tire edge is greater than the inside?

  16. Erik Johnson says:

    @bzroom I image the same way a unicyclist does, by leaning

  17. Addictronics says:

    Monocycle perhaps?

  18. Almost_There says:

    It’s a darn good thing the Ryno comes with a Windshield so you can use it in the rain! :)

  19. bzroom says:

    Ok maybe i should rephrase, how does leaning alone turn a one wheel vehicle. If not by creating a cone shape from the wheel.

    Also, i’m pretty sure unicycles do not turn by simply leaning. The rider likely uses his body weight and friction on the tire to torque the system into a new orientation.

  20. DerAxeman says:

    It would be better if the thing wasn’t restricted to 25mph. Mopeds do 35mph

  21. s says:

    ah, the typical hack trolls complaining about safety. I swear, you guys must be industry shills.

  22. EdZ says:
  23. Taylor Alexander says:

    As with most of this stuff, Trevor Blackwell did this first. ;)


    Not to say that this one isn’t also awesome! It certainly looks nicer than trevor’s! :)

  24. jim says:

    Brilliant, but does it go over 5mph, and what’s its range? I’m not seeing a great amount of space for batteries here.

  25. Tyler says:

    You lean on a unicycle to turn, but that is a wider radius turn. To turn sharply all you have to do it twist your body sharply.

  26. xorpunk says:

    The braking issue is solved with anti-lock breaking..

  27. xorpunk says:

    I’d try getting more range with lipo and better motor design while maintaining or improving top speed.

  28. khslrlghrgewr says:

    reminds me of the wheel from the comic strip B.C.

  29. Dave Eaton says:


    Conservation of angular momentum is part of it. The wheel spinning is like a gyroscope, which exerts a counter-torque when you try to change the direction of the rotation axis. On a unicycle, you don’t have all that much mass, and it can be pretty hard to maintain balance. I suspect it gets easier with a big wheel like this one.

  30. Leithoa says:

    They need to make a speeder bike body kit for it.

  31. ken says:

    Gyroscopic effects only contribute a little to bicycle and motorcycle handling [http://socrates.berkeley.edu/~fajans/pub/pdffiles/SteerBikeAJP.PDF]. Turning requires a combination of leaning and steering.

    Stopping this vehicle requires a burst of acceleration to position the wheel forward of the CG before controlled deceleration. It looks like braking is motor powered, and therefore far less effective than a motorcycle’s brake.

    I’m not at all surprised by the 25 mph top speed. It is really tough to build an efficient electric vehicle with fixed gearing; limiting top speed help a lot. Also, the “up to” 30 mile range sounds sounds optimistic (downhill with a headwind, anyone?), but all electric bicycle vendors offer rosy range numbers.

  32. Custos says:

    Reminds me of one of the bikes in the Shadowrun RPG. I want.

  33. Jesse says:

    Sick as hell.

    Monobikes have been features quite a bit in anime, awesome to see another part of sci fi become reality. There are a few other examples out there of course but it’s cool to see more people doing it.

    Google “venus wars” for some cool anime monobikes.

    30 mile range and 30mph with a footprint smaller than a bike? yes please. Perfect for going around town when i don’t feel like pedaling.

    slightly OT, but would something like this be possible via the same mechanism?

  34. Dan Fruzzetti says:

    Univolt. uniDCycle. monopedelectrocycle. i dunno. i can’t come up with any good names.

    @ken: downhill with a headwind is kinda like level terrain.

  35. Dan Fruzzetti says:

    PS – the numbers for my 2001 prius were also overly optimistic. not for my 2006, though.

  36. buffalo_aaa says:

    this is the closest thing to creative a real-life Gizmoduck costume! LOOK AT IT, IT’S SERIOUSLY THE BOTTOM HALF OF GIZMODUCK!

  37. xorpunk says:

    @ken:hydralic brakes require 0-burst, but still gyro burst sequencing and idling. It works if you want to go from 20MPH to 0MPH in 8-15 feet(depending on landscape).

  38. Gert says:

    It’s so cool but also so dangerous.
    I would like to see a James Bond Scene with the antagonists minions chasing Bond on one of these.
    They’ll need to make it go faster though.

  39. bothersaidpooh says:

    epic hack, 10/10 for ingenuity.

    only problem i can see (other than whether it is road legal with all the ‘ealth & safety Stasi) is that if the battery fails or goes flat at high speed the failure mode will be uhm, painful.

    perhaps a backup battery would be a sensible idea.

  40. [C] says:

    This looks a lot like Bombardier’s concept, the Embrio: http://www.gizmag.com/embrio-one-wheel-concept/2350/

    Which is to say: I want one.

  41. piku says:

    That’s cool.

    Now make a petrol powered one that’ll do 90.

    No, really… go on, do it.

  42. Thaddeus says:

    braking.. face plant in the making..

  43. the Steven says:

    Not on a bet.
    Roadrash on the face would really suck.

  44. Almost_There says:

    >The braking issue is solved with anti-lock breaking..

    The braking issue is solved with roadrash!

  45. justcurious says:

    how does it handle speed bumps? or potholes? I doesn’t seem have any kind of suspension.

  46. localroger says:

    The reason leaning turns you on a forward-moving unicycle is that your center of mass is to the side of the wheel. This means part of the thrust generated by the wheel against the ground goes into rotating your body instead of pushing you forward, and you turn. The way you stop turning (since by definition you’re kind of falling over when you lean) is by using your lower body to turn the unicycle so that the thrust vector is pointed directly at your center of mass, and running the cycle back up under yourself. On a pedal powered unicycle that is just touring, not doing tricks, the offsets aren’t large, just a few inches off-balance can have a dramatic effect but is also easily corrected. (It’s been many years but I have ridden one.)

  47. nimitzbrood says:

    Sorry but if I’m going to ride on one wheel it’s going to be the venerable monowheel like this one:


  48. soopergooman says:

    Y’know I dont get the whole one wheeled thing. Twisting to turn that could lead to long term issues with your lower back. sure its compact and space saving but wouldn’t two wheels in the center side by side work better? Oh wait. someone did that…

  49. tech-no-pest says:

    saw this in an anime years ago…Venus wars… now just have to figure the comp rate for a 30mm cannon >:)

  50. atombomb1945 says:

    Anyone Remember Gizmoduck?

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