Purchasing new hardware? Read our latest product comparisons

Get your skates on with the FlyRad motorized unicycle


November 7, 2010

The FlyRad motorized electric unicycle

The FlyRad motorized electric unicycle

Image Gallery (8 images)

We’ve seen a few vehicle designs that have had a crack at bringing the unicycle out of the circus and onto the street, such as the self-balancing eniCycle, the UnoMoto, the EMBRIO and Honda’s U3-X. Here's a very different approach. Although it is a one wheeled motorized vehicle, there's nothing self-balancing about the FlyRad – the design requires the rider to wear a pair of inline skates while they sit, stand or simply get dragged along in a way that reminds us of the Zap Powerski.

Invented about six years ago by Thomas Rank, the latest edition of the FlyRad comes in three sizes: one for adults, one for teens and one for children. The currently configured adult model is fitted with a 500W motor powered by a 36v battery. It weighs about 24 kg (53 lb) and can reach a maximum speed of about 40 km/h (25 mph), traveling about 50 km (31 miles) on a single four hour charge. It can also be fitted with a 1,000W motor and stronger batteries for those looking for an bit of extra oomph.

Users can “ride” the vehicle in a number of ways including sitting, standing, squatting or hands free. Riders can even switch positions on the go. In standing mode the device is held much like a jackhammer which tows the rider along, while in sitting mode the rider sits on the saddle with a pair of skates acting as the vehicle’s front wheels.

Since steering is controlled by the skates, the rider can let go of the handle bars altogether to give the sensation of flying that presumably gives the FlyRad its name. When ridden in this way the FlyRad stays in place by transferring the rider’s weight onto a couple of pads attached to the bottom of the handlebars that push down onto the rider’s upper legs.

Designed as a form of environmentally friendly transportation as well as for fun and extreme sports, the FlyRad took a silver medal at iENA 2010, the International Trade Fair for “Ideas-Inventions-New Products” held in Nuremburg in October.

The first FlyRad (German) is expected to be available in 2011 at a price yet to be announced.

About the Author
Darren Quick Darren's love of technology started in primary school with a Nintendo Game & Watch Donkey Kong (still functioning) and a Commodore VIC 20 computer (not still functioning). In high school he upgraded to a 286 PC, and he's been following Moore's law ever since. This love of technology continued through a number of university courses and crappy jobs until 2008, when his interests found a home at Gizmag. All articles by Darren Quick

Not sure if this achieves anything at all, but it\'s a fun idea anyway.

Damian Burke

My biggest concerns about this unicycle is I hope I am not too old at 57 to ride one. It is going to be crazy if they are street legal.

Fred Noelke

How about an option of a longer axle fitted with foot pegs on this device. Then the skates would not be needed. Seriously, their is a version of unicycle with the seat replaced by handlebars, so what I\'m asking for would be rideable, and probably way more fun than the stabilized motorized unicycle concoctions. since you would have way more controll with your nearly your entire body capable of displacement instead of just the portion above your waist. Also your own egs would be used for suspension instead of groin area full of nerves on rigid seat post.

Dave B13

Fun concept. Like the comment above, affix 1 or 2 wheels (w/suspension) and eleminate need for inline skates.


Looks like the correct way to use this would almost certainly be sitting on an office chair.

Blue Ocarina

That looks like an ergonomic nightmare. All the forces from road bumps are directed straight into the knees, and the padded leg lock system would greatly reduce balance control.


Wow, a three wheeled unicycle. Who would\'a thunk?

Facebook User

No, No Facebook User, it\'s a 9-wheel unicycle if we\'re gonna split sum hairs d;-teehee) Shurrr looks like fun. Other comments appropriate regarding the design d;-)


all they got to do now is find a way slap a tax on it and regulate it. good job on this scooter, just shows, all has not been invented yet. so get 2 thinking ..

Jay Finke

I have detailed the e-bike laws for NJ below. They are very similar to most states. We are working with several states illustrating the need to allow e-bikes on path systems. Pete\'s Electric Bikes is a leader in sales, service and rentals of e-bikes. We believe advocacy is part of our mission.

We also carry the Kalkhoff Electric Bike. It is a great product. Come on in and test ride one.

New Jersey:

An electric bicycle is classified as an %u201CElectric personal assistive mobility device%u201D in New Jersey, defined as %u201Ca self-balancing, non-tandem, two wheeled device, designed to transport one person which uses an electric propulsion system with average power of 750 watts (one horsepower), whose maximum speed on a paved level surface, when powered solely by such a propulsion system while operated by a person weighing 170 pounds is less than 20 miles per hour.%u201D Operators must obey all bicycle regulations, and be above 15 years of age or have a mobility-related disability.[34]

Motorized tricycles are not legal on public roadways and sidewalks in New Jersey,[35] and motorized scooters are only permitted for riders with mobility-related disabilities.[36]


I\'m 61 years old and sometime in the last few decades I saw something very close to this in Pop Mech. or Mech. Illustr. It was gas powered and had no handlebar. It was held like a witch\'s broom and had a seat. It was designed to be steered by skates (as in most of the photos in this article) and the seated rider used his legs as shocks. There were no thigh pads so the rider had to support his weight by lifting the \"broom\" handle which I assume had a throttle and brake lever. I hope someone here can provide more specific information since some credit is due to the earlier inventor whether or not Mr. Rank is aware of him.


Dear Mr. denbecr, everybody who uses internet knows that there are some vehicles invented which have only one wheel. I know most of them and also their inventors. There are also different kind of brooms in the world. I hope when ever you clean at home you give some credit to the earlier inventor of your broom. I bet you never invented anything up to now.

To all inventors: We go on inventing, builting, having fun and make the world better. Time is to short for arguing. Have a nice relaxing christmas time ! Thomas Rank


Dear Mr. Rank

I agree, it needs dreamers, inventors and visioinaires.. Without those people, mankind would still live in caves :-))

We - from Easy-Glider - had the same dream like you. And realized it during 5 years. The latest model R6 should enter the world wide market in summer 2011.

Please feel free to visit our homepage: http://www.easy-glider.com and stay tuned!

Sincerely Peter Fehervari


Dear Mr. Fehervari,

Thank you for sharing your opinion.

Wishing you and Strosekdesign a Merry Christmas and a Happy New year !

Please feel free to visit our homepage: http://www.FlyRad.de

The FlyRad team


To find out more about \"FlyRad\" follow this link:


Have a great day!

Thomas Rank with FlyRad team


This has many fascinating disability applications, and may need a separate transport system.

Footpaths, bridleways, cylepaths, roads.

Something in between for the many small electric vehicles that are being developed.

Issues of shared space are wonderful!

Clive Durdle

Electric road rash


Hi Frank and it is indeed fun and a sure whizzer around most streets and above all, FUN to be toying with.

On the serious side, its a GREAT transportation for plying between home and work within a radius of that limited power support provided albeit a standard battery cell or an upgraded version.

I wouldn\'t think anyone would seriously take this on, clad in a handsome 2-piece suit heading for a desk job with predicted shower spells in the offing...:) but summer times and no rain would make all the difference to polluted street congestion and halving travel times by 65% for sure.

However, involving one\'s limbs can be a serious toll as well after several runs made and esp. for those with deficient knee ligaments but this option I see it as rather creative and adventurous suited for the young, not for the responsible 30-plus onwards executive office worker dressed to appear smart and unsoiled once destination is reached.

Oooh, how I wish I was back in my teens with such mobile toys... WOOT!!! ;)

** I am a Retiree since 1986 and am now almost 60 when 2013 shows up.


Now it is reality ! You can use FlyRad on ice, great funsport. Riding on ice is very easy, steering no problem !!! See links: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h6-BS2DS6tY http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_wvGCgL28yI http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W2REwg1UTpA http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t6ncXiG_ipI

Post a Comment

Login with your Gizmag account:

Related Articles
Looking for something? Search our articles