• Mar 29, 2011
MonoTracer E – Click above to watch video after the jump

For newbies, it can be difficult to drive the MonoTracer E. In fact, last fall, Susan Carpenter, a writer for the LA Times, tried to pilot one but ended up tipping over. You can tell the folks over at Translogic were fully aware of this when they got to try out the MonoTracer E for themselves. They start their write-up as an attempt "to become the first media outlet to successfully pilot the MonoTracer E." Do they succeed? Certainly.

Translogic's Bradley Hasemeyer went to the Richmond International Raceway in Virginia and got a lesson in the machine from Jim Lorimer of 21st Century Motoring, the official North American agency for the MonoTracer. Once Hasemeyer got the hang of the thing – and he, too, had some difficulties – he realized that acceleration is "crazy fast" (offiicaly 0-62 time is 4.5 seconds). When you're not going quite that fast (under 15 miles per hour), the safety-minded outrigger wheels automatically deploy.

If you want to get behind the wheel of one of these things for yourself, the good news is that the 300 mpge Automotive X-Prize-winning X-Tracer (as the MonoTracer E was called during the competition) will be coming to market, hopefully later this year. The bad news is it will cost around $90,000 (hey, that's down a bit from previous predictions). Whether that's too much money for you or not, you can check out the video after the jump for free. Oh, and note the training wheels.

[Source: Translogic]



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  • 17 Comments
      • 3 Years Ago
      I ridden in that very same vehicle here in LA. It's so freaking fast that nothing, and in LA this is saying something, nothing can beat you.

      With the proper gearing this bike will hit 200 mph, and as they stated, the 0-60 is 4.5. As good as that sounds, the 60-120 is a mind-blowing 3 seconds!

      When riding this vehicle, you are the center of attention. No one know what the hell it is, and everyone is jockeying around you with cameras shooting pics. Once they get their fill, it's time to zoom ahead so others can get a look. I've never had so much fun on LA's freeways, not even when I got to drive a Tesla Roadster for a while, although that was a kick in the pants, too.
      • 3 Years Ago
      he's a good host. very lucid fellow. someone should and probably will pick him up for a show on discovery or natgeo or such.

      the vehicle is still ridiculous but if you have a 100k to spend on a toy you might use a couple of times then no, you still shouldn't. 2 wheel drive is high risk even though you are much better protected than a motorcycle. a crash is still a crash.
      but interesting to see anyway.
      • 3 Years Ago
      I love this concept, it would be the perfect commuter. But unless this is $15,000 or less it's a no go.... Come on Honda, Yamaha or any other motorcycle company, make a super efficient enclosed commuter!
      • 3 Years Ago
      @ Paul Scott and Scott

      I really wonder why we need 60 to 120 in 3 seconds?
      Are we trying to develop efficient and environmentally friendly vehicles, or are we still in the hot rod/muscle car age?

      And yes, $90k is way out there. A version for much closer to or even less than $15k with much more practical performance is doable.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Gene, I agree this is a bit much for the average person, but just as Tesla proved the higher end of the EV market is a phenomenally quick and sleek sports car, this bike proved the upper end of the technology for two wheels. Once people understand that electric vehicles have this capability, they will more readily understand that it can be downsized for more practical means. I get a lot of people asking me about the capabilities of EVs, still under the impression they are just golf carts. Showing them the Tesla and E-Tracer, and then giving them a ride on my RAV or LEAF, they then fully understand what a modern EV is.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @ Paul Scott - I agree wholeheartedly.

        For EV's right now it is all about awareness.

        For me it was the unbelieveable speed of the Tesla Roadster from 0-60 miles that got my original attention to EV's from there my interest in them spread to point where I now want my next car to be a plug-in EV and where I today feel somewhat dirty driving a gas car.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @ Paul and Aussie

        "For EV's right now it is all about awareness."

        OK, I'm aware. But, educating the world is not much of a business plan.
        Example: Roadster $109k+++ with a 200+ mile range = 1500 sales.
        doubt that is anywheres near breakeven.

        Instead of a Roadster --- curb weight 2700 pounds+ --- Cd of .35
        or Model S --- curb weight ~4000 pounds --- Cd of .26
        They could have built an INSIGHT performing - curb weight ~1856 pounds - Cd of .25
        range close to 200 miles with half the battery pack of the Roadster (###,$$$) ???

        I'd even accept a top speed of 75mph (top highway speed in my state is 70mph).

        Instead they (Tesla) opted for an even bigger, heavier car, luxurious, limited production, lots of fru-fru, running up the costs.
        $57k Model S
        I don't think it can ever hit breakeven (at that price). - but that's off topic

        Monotracer e --- I'd guess they can hit breakeven on this one at $90k or $100k !!!
        but, sadly, I won't be buying one, and probably won't be seeing very many


        • 3 Years Ago
        Granted, the MonoTracer E, in its current form, is not for everyone. In fact, it is for the the "very few" who can afford it. But the REALLY important thing here, is that the "two-wheel" platform is the most efficient vehicle platform possible. And Peraves has found a way to make this two-wheeled platform not only '10-times' safer than any other two-wheeler out there, but ALSO useable in wet and cold conditions -- which means it can be the transportion mode-of-choice MUCH more often.

        There is no reason why a more affordable (albeit much less performance-capable) version could not be made. For the time being, Peraves is sticking with the high-tech/high-performance stuff. If anybody wants to bring forth some development funding for the "MonoTracer For The Masses", please contact me. Jim@21stCenturyMotoring.com
      • 3 Years Ago
      Susan Carpenter is taking a "bad rap" for her MonoTracer E driving attempt. She (& the MonoTracer E) was a victim of a stripped bolt-hole. Neither she, nor the training axle failed; the bolt-hole, however, was in need of a heli-coil insert, which it received and then worked great for the Translogic test-drive. Susan will have her day...
      • 3 Years Ago
      watch out for them potholes....
        • 3 Years Ago
        Seriously. This car is sweet but out here in LA I think I'd need those training wheels permanently or much wider tires.
      • 3 Years Ago
      The BMW C-1 is as close as it gets for a production vehicle.
      They seem to have an electric prototype too.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BMW_C1#C1-E_electric_version
      • 1 Year Ago
      I would love one of these...The only problem for me is the cost.. And that is saddening...Because if these were to be Mass Produced the cost of these would come drastically down. (Unless GREED gets in the way of course)...But it really is pathetic, that as bad as most economy's are around this world... ONE of the Big Auto / Motor-cycle makers around this world won’t snatch this awesome Machine up and go to work....Just goes to show EVERYONE!!!... How much the Oil Companies have us enslaved...If massed produced and sold at 18-25 thou in the US this machine would become the new norm…
      • 3 Years Ago
      watched the video

      The gasoline-powered version only gets 55mpg? Aaaaaaargh. I've got a 4-wheeled car in my driveway that can beat that.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Granted a 500cc engine with 40-50 hp would do alot better. Maybe they will make more of an effort to make a more efficient model. BTW, do you own a Honda Insight? I have followed my gas mileage on fuelly.com for almost a year now and have averaged around 66mpg. 55mpg would suck.
        • 3 Years Ago
        2000-2006 Honda Insight 5sp manual w/air conditioning.
        EPA 61 city/ 70 highway
        Tough time beating the EPA with AC, otherwise just a little concentration on good habits breaks 70.

        Why not so popular? Easy - people say they need (prefer) SUVs and pick-ups.

        My sister wouldn't even take a ride in my car. Said it was too small and unsafe.
        I replied; 'no, your car is too big - - - which makes my car unsafe"
        and yes, I do feel intimidated around 6000 pound vehicles carrying one moron talking on a cell phone.

        Imagine: If most cars got over 40 mpg, we wouldn't need to import any oil at all.

        and everytime I hear EV manufacturers saying their next EV models will be SUVs Aaaaaaargh!
        Where/when does it end?
        • 3 Years Ago
        Alright, I'll bite -- what kind of car do you have?

        I hope you don't say Jetta TDI or Prius or I'll be forced to call you a liar...
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