Category Archives: Not quite a car

The Slingshot, or maybe the Slingsh*t

Continuing on the three wheeled theme, I stumbled across this motorcycle in Battery Park City over the weekend.  The Slingshot also puts two wheels up front, with one in the back.  Why would you design a car with only three wheels?  To avoid safety and emissions standards of course!

The bottom of their FAQ reads:
SLINGSHOT® IS A THREE-WHEELED MOTORCYCLE. IT IS NOT AN AUTOMOBILE, IT DOES NOT HAVE AIRBAGS, AND IT DOES NOT MEET AUTOMOTIVE SAFETY STANDARDS. THREE WHEEL VEHICLES MAY HANDLE DIFFERENTLY THAN OTHER VEHICLES, ESPECIALLY IN WET CONDITIONS. ALWAYS WEAR DOT APPROVED FULL FACE HELMET AND FASTEN SEAT BELTS. DRIVER MAY NEED A VALID MOTORCYCLE ENDORSEMENT. DON’T DRINK AND DRIVE. ©2015 POLARIS INDUSTRIES INC.

 

Slingshot

Slingshot – In the Wild

The Slingshot is being produced by snowmobile manufacturer Polaris – and you can pick one up for only $22K …. airbags not included.

They have a number of videos pointing out how much fun it is.

I wonder if they consider riding in an ambulance fun?

Raht Racer, pedal powered electric trike

Taking a brief break from our series on Inline Magazine in 1997, let’s discuss the Raht Racer. This is a kickstarter, so it will probably never come into existence but if it does, it will be a covered trike with an electric motor and pedals for charging on the fly.

raht1

The designer claims a top speed of 100mph and range of 50 miles, and it seats two people. It has an electric motor and pedals, but the pedals are connected to the generator, not the wheels. So if you start running out of juice, you can pedals like a madman and keep the thing moving. It’s an intriguing idea.

A prototype exists.

A prototype exists.

It’s on kickstarter and they project a selling price of $35k to $45k when it comes to market, if it ever does. I have no idea whether or not this thing would be street legal in much of the United States. I hope it is, as I hope it achieves the intended specs, and I hope less expensive models are released.

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May-15 Update (Gary)

For all we make fun of Kickstarter here at WheeledThing… not everyone gets funded.  Case in point, the Rat Mobile… I mean Raht Mobile – which pulled it’s funding attempt with 191 backers and nearly $30K in donations.

I’m all for dreamers – but the fun of bike riding is that it’s you and the road.  Wind in the face, ultra maneuverability… slap in the electric motor and the seat belt and windscreen and it is a pedal car.  Put that thing on the streets of NYC and you’re stuck in traffic just like everyone else in a car… and you get to inhale their exhaust too!   This thing may be good for the wide open spaces of MN, but don’t try this “at home”.

RatMobile2

Their video features a green screen, which they don’t project anything on, a guy with an amplifier and guitar… which is a waste of time and Scott Olsen – founder of Rollerblade and RowBike and SkyRide (looks like we have more posting to do) and Rich Kronfeld wearing a helmet with the chinstrap open and waaay to long.   And Rich… I love my bike commute.  The problem is not the bike, it’s the low density sprawl of MN.

RAHT RACER Launch Video from Clint Bohaty on Vimeo.

How about a Trike with a Roof

OK – so maybe the Elio does not work for you… $6,800 for a three wheeled motor/car is a bit much.  What if I told you, Organic Transit offers something really similar, but for the low, low price of $5,995 that also holds two passengers! That’s right, you can replace that gas motor with some pedals and an electric motor, a solar panel on the roof and a top speed of 20 MPH and you can pocket almost a $1,000 savings!  Did I mention this bike has three speeds!

OrganicBicycle

Best of all, you they are in production!  Just click the buy button and you can have your very own really wide tricycle that will get stuck in traffic like everyone else.

I give them kudos for effort, but this thing is another solution looking to solve a problem, and is a bit off the mark.

Now, say hello to Rob Cotter

‘Ello Elio – A motorcycle with a roof!

Nice Orange Motorcycle…dude
OK – from what I understand, Elio Motors is trying to convince car owners to buy a motorcycle, by telling them that is both cheap ($6,800) and efficient (84 MPG).  These numbers are great compared to your average SUV, but compared to a Honda touring bike, say the CTX 7000, the numbers are almost the same at $7,500 and 64 MPG.

ELIO_STILLS.00I also thought that  three wheels=motorcycle=helmet.  Wonder why they don’t show people wearing them in their photos.

The sales pitch: use less, buy an Elio – oh yeah, and it’s American.
“Divorced dad wanted to stop commuting in his minivan, so he created the Elio”

How about use even less and ride a bike?  Is that the American way, ignore the technology out there and get some venture capital together and make a road show.

Jalopnik has good piece on it.  They sold 40,000 and were gonna ship in 2014, then 2015… now 2016.  At least Ryno Motors was selling something that looked cool…

Say hello to Raymond Loewy:

Firefly

Turn your wheelchair into a chopper. Just strap on an electric motor, and you’re off to the races!

According to their site, “Firefly™ – Go Twice as Fast!  The Firefly is an electric https://diazepamhome.com handcycle that snaps on to your  wheelchair. Go twice as fast and twice as far as a power wheelchair!”

Grandma must have been going pretty fast if this only doubles her speed!

http://riomobility.com/en/powerhandcycle/firefly-benefits.html