An eleven-person company in San Francisco called Lit Motors has built a working prototype of a self balancing, fully enclosed electric motorcycle.
According to company founder Daniel Kim, this motorcycle of the future will have a top speed of 125 miles per hour, reach 60 from a standing start in 6 seconds and will have a range of 200 miles between charges. Kim says the vehicle “takes the romance and the efficiency of a motorcycle and we integrate that with the safety and the comfort of a car.” The prototype is called C-1. The name “will change as we near production.”
The C-1 will be 112 inches long, 40 inches wide, 55 inches tall and will weigh 800 pounds. Kim expects the bike to sell for about $24,000 “for the first production run.” He hopes to build enough of the vehicles to lower the cost to $12,500. “We are really doing our best to get an affordable vehicle to a mass market,” Kim said. “We’re not really trying to rock the boat too much, but it is definitely disruptive technology.”
In a press release the company said, “Since the C-1 is classified as a motorcycle, it allows you to lane split, ride two abreast in one lane, use the HOV lane, use motorcycle parking, and all the myriad other advantages motorcycles have. We estimate it will cut most commute times by up to 50 percent. If you live in the city, this could be your primary vehicle: easy to park and slip through traffic, with services like Zipcar, Getaround, or traditional car rentals available when you need a larger vehicle or an extended road trip. If you live outside the city, this could be your primary commuting vehicle, with a larger ‘family car’ at home. This allows the commuter in the family to commute easily and efficiently, saving money and time every day.”
The company also hopes to find a market with police departments. According to a CNN story about the motorcycle, “Anything that is safer than a standard cop bike, and keeps the driver out of wind, rain, and sun is a major selling point in the law enforcement community.”
Kim claims owners with access to a quick charge station will be able to get an 80 percent charge in about 30 minutes. The bike uses aircraft style landing gear when the motor shuts off.
The company has preorders for about 500 of the machines and hopes to start production in 2014.