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Roofs on bikes. Why?

Lit C1 car-bike hybrid

BIKES don't have roofs. They don't have roll bars or crumple-zones either. But for some reason there seems to be a never-ending supply of inventors out there with grand schemes to revolutionise motorcycling by adding some car DNA to bikes.

The latest to come onto the Visordown radar is this one, the Lit C1. OK, so at the moment it's little more than a few computer-generated pictures and a wood-and-polystyrene mock-up, but apparently it 'combines the efficiency and freedom of a motorcycle with the safety and convenience of a car.'

Just like all the other car-bike hybrid ideas of the past then. Quasar, anyone?

Normally these ideas start to come apart at the seams once the reality of trying to stop at traffic lights (or anywhere else) turns up: stabilizers, automatic side-stands and a variety of other gadgets have been tried in various past efforts along these lines, all with limited success. Or the inventors follow the Quasar/BMW C1 route and remove the sides so you can get your foot down – eliminating the weather protection and some of the safety in the process.

The Lit C1 gets around the problem a different way, using gyros to keep it upright (see video here). It's clever, although we're guessing that the spinning weights in those gyros have got to be pretty hefty to counteract forces that could otherwise knock the bike over.

Of course, being a modern concept vehicle, it's electric-powered, although quite where the firm is getting batteries that can power the twin gyros (with, apparently, 1300 lb-ft of torque – just for the gyros!) while also getting the claimed 120mph top speed and 200 mile range is a mystery to us. Presumably they're coming from some source that every other maker of electric bike and car has so far failed to notice, as nothing else comes close to matching those figures...

Despite scepticism over the car-bike-Mork's spaceship that is the C1, we're actually a bit more enthusiastic about the firm's other idea, the Cargo Scooter (last image below). Again it's only a prototype at the moment, but when it comes to taking advantage of small hub-mounted electric motors, it could make sense for short city-based deliveries: just imagine “Domino's” written on the side and you'll get the idea. Or perhaps it could be used for transporting rival firm Boxx Corp's new electric bike...

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