TechFlesh Blog

11 Extreme Alternative Motorcycles… and One That Flies

This electric unicycle incorporates motorcycle-like steering geometry that uses accelerometers and gyros to accelerate, brake, and help you stay balanced. The Ryno offers a 20-mph top speed and an estimated cruising range of 20 miles from its lithium iron phosphate battery. Christopher Hoffman says that unlike the Segway, his creation is “very gentle and responsive, and feels like a part of your body.

BRP Can-Am Spyder RS-S

Brought to you by the same folks who build Ski-Doo snowmobiles, this so-called backwards trike has become a cult favorite on urban roads. Plenty of die-hard two-wheelers still disparage the three-wheeled set, but the Spyder’s RS-S spin-off offers gas-charged Fox Racing front suspension that works in conjunction with ABS, power steering, and traction and stability control hooked into a 998-cc V-twin Rotax engine pumping 106 hp. This Canadian-built oddity is quite possibly the tetchiest way to hit the road on three wheels.

Uno Cycle

Ben Gulak was only 16 when, after visiting smog-choked China, he dreamed up this eco-conscious transportation solution. But the two-wheeled concept never made it to market. The inventive Canadian has since enrolled at MIT and developed decidedly more aggressive recreational products, such as the DTV (Dual Track Vehicle) Shredder, which looks like the love child of a Segway and a tank. Inspired by the success of Bombardier (the company behind the BRP Can-Am Spyder), Gulak says his Boston-based BPG Werks has presold 5000 Shredders.

Peraves Montoracer

Using a retractable rear tire that acts as a stabilizer when stationary, the Monotracer can reach lean angles of up to 52 degrees in turns. Claiming complete wind protection and air-conditioned comfort, thanks to a carbon and Kevlar monocoque, the slim-profile ride is powered by a four-cylinder BMW motorcycle power plant capable of achieving 65 mpg at a constant 55 mph.

Boxx

This battery-powered square scooter actually incorporates some clever design features, including an all-aluminum, weld-free chassis, and a 10-pound motor embedded in a wheel that doubles as a heat sink.

Piaggio MP3

Thanks to a parallelogram suspension and two front wheels, the Piaggio MP3 exhibits a shocking amount of grip when it’s leaned into a turn. And while its oddball looks certainly aren’t for everyone, the MP3′s underseat storage and tall windshield make it a surprisingly effective commute weapon.

Campagna T-Rex 14RR

A 197-hp Kawasaki four-cylinder propels the flagship model to 60 mph in a voracious 3.9 seconds, and its open-air cockpit makes it one loud, screaming beast. But like its carnivorous dinosaur namesake, this three-wheeler is a tad one-dimensional—excellent at devouring pavement but not for much else. For a mellower, everyday ride, look no further than its Harley-Davidson V-twin- powered stablemate, the V13R Roadster.

Sbarro Pendolauto Concept

It may be old news in an ever-changing world of transportation technology, but this concept that debuted at the 2008 Geneva Motor Show still captures our fancy with its clear wheels, form-fitting body, and leaning four-wheel design. Specs were sparse when this one-off was unveiled, and now that it’s faded into obscurity, we just want Franco Sbarro’s whimsical creation even more.

Boss Hoss Gangsta Trike

In a world obsessed with fuel economy, it’s strangely reassuring that someone’s still building wholly unreasonable fuel-sucking throwbacks. Packing a 4.8-liter or 6.2-liter V-8—the latter driving 445 hp and 405 lb-ft of torque to 275-mm rear tires—this big-boned anachronism offers so much of a good thing, it’s downright bad.

Evolve Xenon Lightcycle

If you’re a deep-pocketed Tron geek, you may find it impossible to resist this $55,000 Lightcycle replica built by the same folks responsible for the ultra socially conscious Evolve electric scooters. Clad in conceptual bodywork and OLED light tape, this lithium-ion-battery-powered ride features huge, hubless 32-inch wheels and a 100 mph top speed. We’re guessing the target market for this futuristic ride is more concerned about sweet sound effects and styling details than commuter friendliness or ergonomics, though Evolve says it’s phasing out this model and working on a “more ride able, practical” version in the coming months. Costume sold separately.

Bonus: PAL-V One

Currently in prototype form and expected to become commercially available in 2014, this dual-purpose ride looks like a scaled-down version of an Apache helicopter.

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