Top 10 Motorcycles with Roofs

Motorcycles with roofs are hardly common, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t out there, or that there are some ‘quality’ machines to choose from

Lit C1

Motorcycles with roofs have always fallen into an unhappy netherworld, slipping into a crack between ‘proper’ bikes and cars and usually ending up getting no love from fans of either.

But that hasn’t stopped a steady trickle of prototypes, concept bikes and occasionally full-production models with something above your head.

From car makers like Toyota to marques that specialise in both two and four-wheels like BMW, and even some more recent additions to this nichest of niche categories from electric bike manufacturers, there’s plenty of quirks to be found in the world of roofed two-wheelers.

10. Lit C1

We’re dropping this one in at the bottom because it’s one of those projects that’s been ongoing for ages without ever making over the line that separates concept from production. 

Originally, the bike was unveiled in 2010, and pre-orders opened in 2015. By 2017, the bikes still hadn’t been delivered, so those who had pre-ordered were reimbursed and production plans were cancelled. However! Just last year pre-orders were re-opened, with prices starting at $32,000 (around £25,000) and first deliveries hoped for 2026.

If it ever does reach production, the Lit C1 could be the most convincing roofed bike yet. An electric scooter, its USP is that it’s got a massive gyroscope built into its chassis which allows it to stand upright even when it’s stationary. Some of the firm’s prototype videos are impressive, showing the bike still standing after determined efforts to knock it down. The real bonus is that it can be completely enclosed, since there’s no need to be able to get a foot down.

9. BMW Simple

This was a concept bike that never actually got a proper unveiling. As with many of the car-bike hybrids with roofs, it’s actually got three wheels to lend a bit more stability, but unlike the firm’s CLEVER concept, on which the rear wheels and engine remained upright while the front tilts, the Simple’s rear pair also lean. The stealth fighter-esque styling is also a bonus. 

8. Toyota i-Road 

Another bike-with-a-roof, that also gains an extra wheel, comes from Toyota and, as such, is given a car-style twist. Inside there’s a steering wheel rather than handlebars, but it leans like a bike so we’re giving it a pass. Although not a production machine, it’s more than just a concept as Toyota has made a handful of them and handed them out to members of the public for a sort of beta-testing procedure. How much further it will go is uncertain, but Toyota is still playing with the idea. 

The i-Road is electric, of course, and gets the inevitable lower-case ‘i’ in its name, that was all the rage back in the early-to-mid-2010s, to remind you that it’s hi-tech.

7. Honda Elysium

This 2001 concept bike was actually a convertible, since the roof would fold away when not needed. And it’s got a certain appeal, not least thanks to its 750cc flat four engine, which at the time of its unveiling was clearly a piece of one-upmanship in light of the recently-revealed Yamaha T-Max and Suzuki Burgman 650 which were forging a new market for large-capacity scooters. 

The Elysium (ironically the place, in Greek mythology, at the ends of the earth to which certain favoured heroes were conveyed by the gods after death) never reached production, which is something of a shame as, had it been sold, it might have actually been a pretty interesting proposition.

6. Peugeot HYmotion 3

Another one not to make production, the HYmotion was first shown in 2008 when there was actually talk that it might be manufactured. Not just a three-wheeler, it was also three-wheel-drive, with twin electric motors up front and a supercharged 125cc single with 20bhp powering the rear wheel, meaning it was basically a before-its-time mini Kawasaki H2R with a roof. Basically.

​5. NIU TQi GT

The NIU TQi GT bucks the trend set by pretty much every other bike in this list by being pretty new. Taking the apparently popular approach to roofed bikes of two wheels at the back and one at the front, the TQi GT is more a scooter than a motorcycle. And, coming from NIU, you already guessed its a battery electric.

And, being a battery electric, you could probably guess at its approximate power output. Yes, it’s a 125cc-equivalent with around 10kW of power, or around 13bhp. Dual lithium batteries should provide a decent range of more than 200km.

The only downside with the TQi GT, that you might be able to guess from the abundant vagueness above, is that you can’t buy it. Despite being originally presented by NIU in 2020, and remaining on the radar since, it has not yet reached production.

4. Quasar

If you ever had a copy of the Observer’s Book of Motorcycles back in the late 70s/early 80s, the Quasar was the one bike in there that you were never likely to see in real life. A mish-mash of Reliant Robin 850cc engine and feet-forward, roofed styling, it was built from 1975 to 1982 and just 21 were delivered.

3. Benelli Adiva

Back when BMW was making waves with the C1, Benelli got in on the roofed scooter action with the Adiva. While it offered none of the BMW’s crashworthiness, it had the more usable day-to-day advantage of being a convertible, although the roof panel was so slim it wouldn’t provide much weather protection regardless of whether it was up or down. The original was in production from 2001-2006, and Adiva lives on as a separate company, now making a range of Piaggio MP3-based leaning three-wheelers – still roofed, of course – called the AD3.​

2. BMW C1

While other roofed bikes have either not reached production or have offered nothing more than a bit of protection against the rain, the C1 was a bold effort to make a motorcycle with a car-style safety cage. It was crash tested and in some countries was exempt from helmet laws as a result (not in the UK, though). It was big and heavy, so the 125cc version struggled a bit, but there was also a 200cc model that managed a little better. Buyers weren’t convinced, though, and sales were pretty dismal. Second-hand prices, from a quick scan, range from £1,300 to £3,000.

1. Peraves Ecomobile/MonoTracer/Monoracer

Swiss firm Peraves turned out its own breed of two-wheeled supercar for a couple of decades, and despite massive price tags sold a decent number of them over the years. The basic recipe of BMW power (from a K-series four-cylinder engine) and an aerodynamic, lozenge-like shape made for impressive top speeds and economy, while deployable stabilisers stop the thing from falling over when stationary. The MonoTracer improved on the Ecomobile’s styling and added an all-electric power option and has since lost the ‘T’ to become the Monoracer under the canopy of a, Czech-based firm called Peraves CZ, founded in 2009 with Peraves founder Arnold Wagner at the helm. The original Swiss company went bankrupt at the end of 2015, leaving Peraves CZ in full control of the Monoracer.