Lit C1 - the enclosed motorcycle

Concept becomes reality, but will it ever be accepted by bikers?

Posted: 31 May 2012
by Visordown News

Lit Motors C1 motorcycle

AMERICAN innovators Lit Motors have been punting out computer generated pictures of their self-balancing, electric powered, fully-enclosed two-wheeler for a while now. But this is the first video showing the thing in the (bare) metal and in action.

Where it was once simple to define what was motorcycle and what was car, our lives here at Visordown are being made increasingly hard by machines like the Lit C1. It's clearly not aimed at traditional motorcyclists, with a far wider target audience of eco-conscious commuters in its sights, but it has got two wheels and motorcycle-style dynamics (i.e. it leans around corners) so arguably it falls under our remit.

The Lit C1's USP is the fact it's got built-in gyroscopes, spinning at 12,000rpm, to help keep it from toppling over. Just like the gyroscopes you might have played with as a kid, as long as they're spinning they'll balance, automatically correcting to account for movements and assuming the right amount of lean in corners to counteract centrifugal forces.

As shown in the video, they even mean the C1 can be reversed like a car, still balancing quite happily in what looks like blatant defiance of the laws of physics.

Of course, we'll still have to wait to see if Lit's promises of a 120mph top speed, and 220 mile range from an 8kWh battery can be realised, let alone whether it can be done at anything approaching an achievable price – Lit hopes the first models will cost $24,000 (£15,500) and that prices could come down by a third once production is ramped up.

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Discuss this story

It's got a steering wheel, so no, it doesn't count as a motorcycle :-p

Posted: 31/05/2012 at 12:22

Looks like a domestic iron

Posted: 31/05/2012 at 12:44

So if you fit a Ford with handlebars does that make a bike?

Posted: 31/05/2012 at 19:36

looks really good, perfect for envirnment, save energy, I hope this is will be future's transportations. to everybody yeh!!!

Posted: 01/06/2012 at 02:10

I like it. It's a step in the right direction.

Posted: 01/06/2012 at 03:31

A brilliant idea that no one will buy (especially in America)

Posted: 01/06/2012 at 08:42

$24,000 is what will keep these from selling here in the USA. I think it is pretty cool. I want one

Posted: 02/06/2012 at 00:59

Whoops, looks like I ended up in Luddite Central.

It's an amazingly cool device that deserves a future. I'd have one like a shot.

Posted: 05/06/2012 at 21:52

mmmmmm dois it fall over if you get a low or flat battery ?

Posted: 06/06/2012 at 17:41

8kwh to do 220miles? it will in my fu...

Posted: 06/06/2012 at 19:05

It requires handlebars....But...Bring it on! Motorcycling without getting wet or cold....Can't wait, except the price!

Posted: 07/06/2012 at 12:24

Well it wobbles along at 2MPH and your head sticks out of the roof, could this be the future? No! The Quasar of the 70's was a better bet than this thing. Even the well thought through BMW C1 was a better design. If you want a leaning car go for the Carver.

Posted: 05/01/2013 at 20:37

my concern is with the gyros controlling the lean angle,will it feel like a motorcycle or more like a car with two wheels.Large turning radius,slow response etc.Time will tell.I prefer the gyros to be used on braking,and at stop lights,momentary standing only A backup outrigger system[Peraves Monotracer] with omni wheels[to eliminate scuffing]as a fall safe and for servicing the bike.

Posted: 18/05/2015 at 18:27

I believe there a place for enclosed motorcycles,despite some people not liking them,it time to move forward.No ones claiming they will be a replacement to current designs.Buts lets be honest,enclosed motorcycle do a few things really well,they improve both the range[electric motorcycles] and the fuel economy for combustion engine powered bikes .Were not talking about a few miles per gallon or liter,were talking about doubling the mileage and or range of the motorcycle.Current motorcycles have no real protection,fine,we accept the risks,but lets be honest,a enclosed motorcycle can be made to be as safe as a small car.BMW proved it with there Clever and Simple concepts.I think we should embrace the technology,while it might not be for everyone,I sure wouldn't mind cruising around getting 1 liter per 100Km in the rain,with a little protection extra around me.

Posted: 18/05/2015 at 18:44

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