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Yikebike

The Honda UNI-CUB β has no conventional accelerator, brake or steering mechanism, yet it i...

“It has a top speed of 6 km/h, it balances itself, and you couldn’t crash it if you tried. How can you possibly see that as one of the biggest thrills of your life?” That was the response from an automotive journalist colleague at the Tokyo Motor Show after I eulogized riding Honda’s UNI-CUB β personal mobility device. After a lifetime of journalism covering every form of technology, cars, motorcycles and "boys toys,” from driving and riding exotica worth a decade's wages, this was one the greatest thrills I had experienced – being one of the first to ride a landmark personal transportation device as important as Henry Ford’s Model T.  Read More

The range of Yikebikes now ranges from US$2000 to US$4000

With big changes likely in the global transport infrastructure, the race is on to create the missing link – the smallest, lightest man-packable form of motorized transport yet known. Honda, Toyota, Volkswagen, BMW and Nissan have all shown vehicles in this area, but none have yet hit the market. The best-of-breed is currently the Yikebike and it announced today that it has further extended its lead, lightening its US$4,000 Carbon model from 11.5 kg to 11.2 kg and extending its range to 15 km (9.3 miles). There's also now a choice of Yikebikes with two cheaper versions at 12.7 kg ($3,000) and 14 kg ($2000).  Read More

As car ownership grows, congestion grows and parking in city centers becomes more expensiv...

Auto China is probably the most influential automobile show in the world at present. China now produces and consumes more cars than any other nation, so its needs will heavily influence personal transport globally in coming decades. Some early trends are emerging as to what we'll see, and as congestion in China increases and parking centrally becomes prohibitively expensive, a car will increasingly only get you part of the way to your destination. Geely and BMW both showed cars with inclusive last-mile transport at Auto China, but the number of last mile Transportation Appliance options under development by auto manufacturers is growing rapidly.  Read More

The Yikebike is a miniature, electric penny farthing made of carbon fiber capable of 25km/...

The Yikebike is a miniature, electric penny farthing made of carbon fiber capable of 25 km/h (15 mph) with a range of 10 km (6.2 miles), or 20 km (12.4 miles) if you carry a spare battery.  Read More

Yikebike Fusion - a bit heavier, a lot cheaper

The Yikebike is a sensational product - I called it the first "transportation appliance" when I rode the miniature electric penny farthing last year. Funnily enough, when I wrote about the ingenious range-extender earlier this year, I wrote that the Yikebike ticked all the boxes but one - its range. Now that the company is to offer a slightly heavier version at roughly half the price, you can probably bury the last objection that could be aimed at the Yikebike.  Read More

Yikebike's ingenious range extender

The Yikebike is a miniature, electric penny farthing made of carbon fiber and now it's on sale, it is quickly gathering a cult early-adopter following thanks to its weight of 10.8 kilograms, that it folds so small it can fit in a backpack, and that it will run at 25km/h (15 mph). Until now, it has ticked all the boxes except one - its limited range of just 10 kilometers. Now it has released an extender battery pack so you can add additional 10 kilometer increments to the range of your YikeBike. Each battery costs US$195 and weighs 1.95kg and there's a special backpack to carry multiple batteries so it becomes a very practical solution that offers the Yikebike unsurpassed bang-per-kilogram and versatility as a commuting appliance. Though it's hard to equate the US$3600 price tag with primary transport, the addition of a Yikebike to any automobile storage compartment significantly extends the capabilities of both vehicles. The facility to carry secondary transportation inside cars has been explored many times in recent years by Honda and Ford in particular … and it makes a lot of sense.  Read More

The Wirthwein Ducati V8

The Intermot motorcycle and bicycle fair rolled around in Cologne earlier this month with a lot of focus clearly beginning to shine on the area of electric bikes, scooters, bicycles and even smaller devices. Gizmag looks at the 10 kg Yikebike, the world's fastest electric scooter, Kawasaki's 210 bhp ZX10R, BMW's six cylinder masterpiece, Horex's V6 and one of the most astounding engines we've yet seen - the Ducati 868cc V8 of German engineer Dieter Hartmann-Wirthwein. The layout of his engine (pictured) enables a compact four cylinder engine to be built on a single cylinder crankcase.  Read More

The upright riding position allows the rider to see more and be better seen by others

So what do you do when you challenge yourself to come up with a design to make traveling around busy, congested cities as easy and stress-free as possible? According to the folks behind the YikeBike - which was officially launched at Eurobike 2009 trade fair in Friedrichshafen Germany this month - you start with a blank sheet of paper, throw a good-sized front wheel in for stability, swap pedals for a brushless electric motor and abandon the familiar forward-leaning riding position of the bicycle altogether.  Read More

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