Monday, 29 March 2010

More cool electric vehicles

OK, I know I have talked about electric cars before, what can I say, when I get a bee in my bonnet, its in there for a while. This is different though, hear me out, because before I was talking about cars and today I'm talking about the wonderful world of bikes.

You gotta love a motorbike, the speed, the freedom. The very idea of a motorbike is excitement. I have been ragging bikes around since I was big enough to reach the handle bars, and I hope never to stop. The problem with electric bikes so far has been that the have focused too much on keeping the weight low.

Most electric bikes have basically been push bikes with a weedy little electric motor to help the feeble-legged get up hills. The have lacked the raw-meat excitement of a proper motorcycle. That's why when I saw this.

Wow, huh? This little beast is made by KTM and is totally electric. I'm trying very hard to get a test drive of one of these - I will keep you all posted. Of course part of the appeal of bikes is the ability to get around congested cities as well as the thrill of tearing up a dirt track.

Anyone who has been to a city with truly awful traffic will appreciate what it is like trying to get around. Paris is (for me) the worst. You hope that if you sort yourself out with car hire France will open up for you. Instead you find yourself sucked into the Stygian nightmare of navigating Paris's streets and confusing parking regulations.

One answer to this problem in cities has been suggested as being vehicles like the pricey Segway. The problem with this is really one of self respect. You just don't look cool riding one. You look like a fat, rich, idiot who is too lazy to walk. What can be done? Well perhaps this:

By combining the kind of easy to balance parallel wheels with a motorbike style seat and handlebars perhaps some of the problems of the Segway are solved. Not would the rider look better hunched daringly, athletically over the controls but having a seat could make it more suitable for longer journeys. What will make or break this gadget for me (and probably many other traffic maddened city folk)is the range and the speed. If it can go fast enough and long enough, then sign me up!

1 comment:

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