A reality of motorcycle travel is and has always been the possibility of dumping the bike. Beyond the chances of getting in a crash with another vehicle, it is possible for a rider simply to lose his or her balance and put the two-wheel vehicle on its side.
Now, Hawaii-based Thrustcycle Enterprises just announced the debut of a new prototype GyroCycle – a self-balancing electric motorcycle set for production in 2017. The GyroCycle would look to be the market’s first self-stabilizing gyroscopic motorcycle.
It’s difficult to explain how gyroscopic vehicle design works without getting overly technical. We’re talking about a self-balancing motorcycle here, not a toaster. But, the bike uses internal flywheels to create a gyroscopic effect that forces the bike to remain upright and stable both during riding and while parked while the engine is running. Obviously, the idea is to give the rider more stability and control at speed while improving safety conditions.
A fully electric vehicle, the mechanical battery powering the engine stores and releases energy contained in the flywheel, recaptures energy during braking and transfers it back into the flywheel for later use in acceleration.
Thrustcycle would like to get this machine on the roads by 2017, but those details aren’t locked down yet. The suggested initial price point for the machine would be a surprisingly accessible $20,000 or less. If that plan comes together, Thrustcycle’s next project would be a smaller, front wheel-steered scooter prototype before moving on to other vehicles like watercraft and hovercraft.