• Video
  • Sep 19th 2011 at 12:50PM
  • 38
The C-1 enclosed motorcycle from Lit Motors could change the transportation world in a big, big way. Yes, it may be a little early to make that sort of unqualified sweeping statement – the first drivable prototype won't be complete for another six months – but if everything works out as planned, prepare to be impressed, if not amazed.

You see, the two-wheeled all-electric all-wheel-drive C-1 combines the small footprint of a motorcycle with the comforts and safety of an automotive cabin to create an affordable, yet stylish, super-efficient vehicle. And it does it without holes in the bottom to poke your feet through à la Fred Flintstone or the retractable training wheels we've seen on another enclosed motorcycle.

How it accomplishes its magic-like balancing act is really the cool part of this machine's story. It does it with flywheels that deliver 1,300 pound-feet of stabilizing torque. Of course, if the discs always spun strictly on the horizontal, it would be a little tricky to actually turn the C-1 since you need to lean, so the C-1's brain takes the input from the steering wheel and other factors into account and alters its axes accordingly. Neato, huh?

In a phone interview, Lit Motors CEO Daniel Kim told AutoblogGreen that once the company is building in volumes of 10,000 or more units, the price for the C-1 is expected to be around $16,000. That money gives you 0-to-60 in about six to eight seconds and provides a range of 150 miles.

Hit the jump for a nice little video from the company showing how the C-1 works and how it might be integrated into one's cosmopolitan lifestyle (including how it would deal with a computer-simulated broadside attack from a Nissan Leaf) and as well as a bonus clip from Smart Planet featuring Mr. Kim himself discussing his creation.





I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 38 Comments
      GR
      • 3 Years Ago
      I'll buy it only if the pretty girl comes with it, lol. But in all honesty, it seems like a pretty cool car. For 16k however I'd probably want an extra seat, even if it meant sacrificing on the car's range.
      • 3 Years Ago
      This seems like a wonderful idea to me, recognizing that we don't need to drive around in 3000 pounds of steel. It may actually be overspecced, though. I'd be happy with a lower cost and lower range, since I'd be using as a daily driver around town. 50 miles of range would be plenty, and perhaps I could have the option of renting a bigger battery for a couple of weeks for the rare occasion that I take a longer drive.
      paulwesterberg
      • 3 Years Ago
      Awesome. I think it still needs an automatic kickstand or something so it doesn't need to power its gyroscope when parked.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @paulwesterberg
        Its got a kickstand. See towards the start of the first video. They probably have not highlighted it because a kickstand is, well, pretty well a kickstand. Maybe they use a more sophisticated control though, so it can be engaged from the inside. No doubt two person models and so on would be to follow. I like the idea of safe, weather proof two wheel transport with its efficient use of roadspace, together with the elimination of combustion engine fumes.
      • 2 Years Ago
      with battery technology moving forward,the only problem I see is getting the gyro's to work without upsetting the handling of the bike.I know nothing about how the system is set up,but the gyro's are going to have too adjust their speed quickly,so as not to make the bike want to go straight when you want to turn.But I have faith in their team,,failure doesn't seem to be a option.I'm excited,if they succeed they will start a new revolution of streamlined vehicles,both fuel and electric.I see people who would never ridden a motorcycle,smiling,there depression gone,having fun again
      Dan Frederiksen
      • 3 Years Ago
      very clever. I hadn't realized that you could continue to push on a gyroscope. the solution might be too costly to be practical but it is neat if it can hold at a red light on two wheels.
      Jay
      • 3 Years Ago
      Dean Kamen, here's your dope slap. &:-p This could have been the big brother to Segway...
      • 2 Years Ago
      Jerry G I had one of these built almost 20 years ago by Dan Ryker of Gyro Hawk in Oregon, who collaborated with Tom Summers, the engineer who developed the guidance system for the Hellfire air-to-ground missile. The technological challenges are daunting. The biggest problem is what happens when the thing tips over, and no matter how redundant the systems are, it will eventually. Then it will be worse than standing up a Gold Wing! The other issue is the gyros themselves, if they use plain bearings and run in air they are extremely noisy. Our prototype used two 80 pound gyros spinning at 6,000 rpm and the cabin was so noisy you had to shout to be heard. Getting them up to rotational speed quickly was also a challenge, and once spinning they can be dangerous if they fly apart. I am glad to see this concept revisited and I hope Dan Kim makes progress toward what will ultimately be the future commuter vehicle. Corbin's Sparrow using three wheels was actually more practical, but overheating voltage controllers doomed that attempt. San Francisco is a good proving ground, as the hilly terrain and odd angled streets will severely test the attitude control geometry. Good Luck Dan!
      godscountry
      • 2 Years Ago
      A few years ago BMW put together a couple of concept tilting 3 wheeler's,the Simple,which I love because of it aerodynamic body that works so well and the Clever which also is very impressive.Carver had a nice vehicle,but I'm convinced the high price turned the most important market away.Had it had a little more power and better bodywork[which a new company is Lic to do] as well as lowering the price,it would have sold well or at least better.I don't think you can really afford to build toys for the rich within certain markets,I'm no expert,just a consumer looking outside in.But the Simple was so so nice,as comfortable as their sedans,so they said,fun,incredible fuel economy and you could power it by anything,maybe even rubber bands,how about that new light weight Honda 1.6 diesel engine or electric power,even a performance version,maybe a turbo,a 6 cylinder MC engine.But the Simple like most vehicles never seem to make it to market,my thoughts,build it in small volumes,beta test it.I'm a 60 year old male,and I'm so bored by what i see rolling around ,2 tons of steel with one person it it,20 miles per gallon,the same rounded square body,so you see,the choices by us,few,maybe a smaller boring car ?,where's the fun,the joy of owning something you enjoy driving?I just hope I get to drive something that's fun and responsible before my times up,it doesn't look good.I really hope these small companies succeed because the rest seem to be afraid to throw a wrench into the mix. just my 2 cents
      Erik Goossens
      • 3 Years Ago
      I want one!
      • 3 Years Ago
      Still haven't addressed the problem motorcycles have of sliding on wet surfaces. Give me three wheels with antilock brakes, please. The flywheel system would be great for energy storage and recovery ala Beacon storage systems. The combination of energy recovery with the ability to return to upright position would be great even with four wheels.
        Dan Frederiksen
        • 3 Years Ago
        it is exactly that problem it addresses.. your idea of using such a system to turn over a 4 wheeler is... curious
        fly by wireless
        • 2 Years Ago
        Not true. It will simply slide like a car does: upright. Far better than a motorcycle whose front wheel slides and dumps the rider onto the street at speed.
      • 2 Years Ago
      I love it, I just wish a regular person like myself can afford to buy one. I hope one the price will come down. Good luck to the whole company.
      goodoldgorr
      • 3 Years Ago
      Nice vehicle but i doubt that it can be commercially viable unfortunatelly. If someone can drive that in regular traffic then congratulations.
    • Load More Comments
    Share This Photo X