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.