In Detail: YikeBike

It would be impossible to reinvent the wheel, but reinventing how we get around on one is exactly what small New Zealand-based YikeBike Ltd hopes to do. If you ever see one of these little YikeBikes, you'll quickly notice that it is ridden in a unique fashion. YikeBike hopes to do what the Segway couldn't: take human mobility full-circle. As you can see from our episode, Bradley precariously sits on the top of the YikeBike and grips the handle bars that float out to the sides, pointed forward. The foot pegs are located on the front wheel. You can imagine that spending too much time on the YikeBike could be uncomfortable...and we aren't talking self-esteem issues.

The YikeBike isn't just a fun and funky way to ride around. It's purpose built to assist people in cities with vast public transportation. The YikeBike can travel up to 15.5 mph at a range of 6.2 miles. That may not be enough for your daily commute to the office, but getting from your home to the train station is much faster on one of these. And, because it folds into a very compact size in only 15 seconds, urban commuters can quickly get off and on to their next destination. Riders don't have to worry about carrying around a heavy electric bike all day; the YikeBike can weigh as little as 25.3 lbs in the $3,985 Carbon version or as much as 32.3 lbs for the under $2,095 Fusion version.

The YikeBike is a new form of personal transportation, but its roots go back as far as the 1880s as a Penny-farthing bike, with a big wheel in the front and a little wheels in the back. By utilizing this design, the YikeBikes smaller rear wheel is able to fold directly into the larger front wheel. The big wheel houses the electric motor that that gets the YikeBike up to speed quickly.

The electric motor puts out a total of 1 kW, but considering it is the smallest and lightest electric folding motorcycle in the world, that number seems to be enough. The electric brushless DC motor is powered by a LiFePO4 battery that can be fully recharged in only 40 minutes. This makes the YikeBike perfect for mid-day charging at a café or office. Another way the battery recharges is by regenerative braking. In fact, the entire braking system is regenerative. There is no actual mechanical brake, so anything past heavy regen braking will have to come by way of your feet. Yes, like Fred Flintstone.

Looking forward, YikeBike is planning to reduce the cost of their the bikes. As of now, it might be too expensive for people looking for an alternative to walking, but there are a lot of positives here: fast charge times, decent range and lightweight design to name a few. Now, the only thing you may or may not like is the amount of attention you would get while riding.

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