Motorcyclist’s vulnerability to bodily harm and weather has spawned several enclosed motorcycle designs over the years. Fascinated by the idea, [Meanwhile in the garage] finally got around to building his own. (Video, embedded below.)
The vehicle started life as a 125cc scooter, stripped of all the unnecessary bits, he welded a steel cockpit onto it. A windshield, doors, and side windows were also added. The ends of the handlebars were cut off and reattached at 90 degrees to fit inside the narrow cockpit. A pair of retractable “training wheels” keep the vehicle upright and at slow speeds.
Legalities aside, we can’t help but think that the first test drives should not have been on a public road. It almost ended in disaster when a loose axle nut on the front wheel caused steering oscillations which caused the vehicle to tip over. Fortunately, there were no injuries and only light cosmetic damage, so a more successful test followed the first.
While many companies have tried, enclosed motorcycles have never achieved much commercial success. Probably because they inhabit a no-mans-land between the rush and freedom of riding a motorcycle and the safety and comfort of a car.
For some less extreme conversion, check out this electric motorcycle, or a rideable tank track.
41 thoughts on “A DIY Enclosed Motorcycle To Keep You Dry In The Rain”
Something I’ve been kicking around making is something akin to the Honda Caren http://auctiong.uamulet.com/AuctionGoodsDetail.aspx?qid=688851
To limit the head scratching, it’s basically a small displacement motorcycle where you sit to it’s side and the bars and controls are shifted over to the side. Basically steering from a sidecar. I’ve got this 150cc Kymco scooter sitting in my garage as a donor vehicle. Not for any practical reasons, just cause it’d be fun to do.
Do it, that thing looks freaky!
The thing about something like this is that it is actually no longer a motorcycle by the time it’s finished ! It’s pretty much a car. I can see those training wheels getting in the way and or knocked off pretty easily.
With no place to put anything
It’s so stupid looking it’s almost but not completely cool looking
Well, I like that better than riding a two-wheeled motorcycle in the rain. It’s not just the inconvenience of getting wet, but the feeling of having the front wheel suddenly slide out from under you. With a third wheel, that involves a lot less pain.
Or go with an MP3 (not the audio file).
Very cool. Who of us into things that go vroom vroom hasn’t had this idea float past their neuron? The driving/filming definitely has a “Safety third!” feel to it, though!
You can get enclosed trikes in the U.S. No training wheels but they are street legal and less likely to fall over.
I would say that falling over with no injuries counts as a 100% successful first test ride.
And, let’s be honest, if safety is your top priority, or in the top 100, you don’t ride a motorcycle.
(I ride (and very occasionally race) motorcycles, this isn’t a dig at motorcycling)
For safety just ride in a tank. Trains might be an issue though.
Then drive a train instead.
I suggested something similar recently and my friend pointed out that many tank operators when operating tanks in their intended situations end up dead.
I remember Toyota made something similar, if a bit larger.
It had lots of crash protections (buckling engine area, roll cage) and was actually able to automatically lean over to corner at speed.
Here’s a general idea:
Great until you get a crosswind. This was a problem with one of Honda’s cruiser bikes a while back… it was completely faired and lots of folk complained that it was a bear to control in the wind.
Not owning a bike, and never had, I was thinking it was a good idea until I read your comment. Now I think it’s a terrible idea.
In general crosswinds on a single track vehicle are not a huge problem if you are going fast enough.
This may be counterintuitive but the righting force available goes up faster than the (unwanted) change in heading. The problem is that you can’t always go fast enough. You end up with Speed (1994) Syndrome.
The one issue in america for example the bmw had a seat belt but still required a helmet and there was possible issues of neck trauma in a front collision.
One episode of “CHiPs” had a bank robbing team with a fancy motorcycle+sidecar where the sidecar was on a vertical slide so the bike could still lean. The robbers used that capability to outrun police cars because they could go faster and get through places too tight for the cars.
The slide system was a commercially made product which for some reason wasn’t a sales success. I don’t recall the name of the TV episode.
A slide seems overly complex, a pivot would do. Last century the rider rules in the UK allowed different capacity limits for learners with and without a sidecar. This spawned a (limited) market for minimalist sidecars that would allow learner riders to ride larger machines without passing their tests.
Would be better to have the pivot low down like this:
There are commercially available versions (street legal even in Germany) of this idea since 1972: the Pervarves Monotracer
I’ve thought about something more minimalist: a scooter (or in my case bicycle/ebike) with a single curved sheet of lexan that goes from just above the front wheel in one big arc up over the rider and ends under the seat.
That stops (vertical) rain from hitting you in the face, stops the roostertail spraying your back, but still gives you full foot control and doesn’t feel quite as coffin-like, and has somewhat less side loading in heavy side winds. (But it also has a positive divergence feedback issue in that a side gust makes it tip which increases its cross sectional area which makes it tip more…)
I’ve seen one of these that appeared to be a commercial product years ago.
Have you ever seen a BMW C1? You seem to have reinvented it.
I saw a C1 at Barbers Motorsports Museum. It’s rather incredible that it ever got beyond a napkin drawing. It always looked dorky in pictures. But when you see it in person? Wow, it’s bigger and dorkier than you could imagine.
GM built the”Lean Machine” and displayed a video of it at EPCOT’s Wheels of Motion pavilion back in early 80’s
I’m instantly reminding of the movie “Malcolm” (1986).
Not a new idea. I saw many similar kits on (motor)bikes when I was in Europe in the 1980’s and I suspect they’d been around for a while before that.
Not quite as good looking mind you…
I’m pretty impressed by his CAD-by-eyeball technique.
Agree. And horrified by his crimp-by-hand and solder-where you-should-crimp techniques. And Parkside brand should be forbidden to sell any item as “tool”
Reminds me of the Quasar – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quasar_(motorcycle)
These kinds of designs can only make me see this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z-raKTdH-nk
I like how little he talks….
How. Much and can you deliver
The only problem I see is that it will be hard for the medical establishment to extract your organs without can opener. Who needs a helmet in a rolling casket!? Nice looking build, I wouldn’t want to ride in it though. I’d feel more safe without the frame boxing me in.
What about the PVC one?
I was a fan of the Pulse. https://www.carscoops.com/2020/06/1988-pulse-autocycle-is-an-aircraft-shaped-honda-goldwing-powered-oddity/
Seems like it ought to have a stick rather than a steering wheel…
Still no wiper for wet weather
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