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An Innovative Motorbike

If you live in the San Francisco area, then you may have seen one of Lit Motors’ electric motorcycle’s driving around town. The U.S. based automotive manufacturer recently unveiled their C-1 electric motorbike to the public, and it’s stirring up quite a storm.

What makes the C-1 a unique standout in the industry, besides its electric 8-10 kilowatt battery, is the gyroscope built into each model. This allows the motorbike to maintain an upright position at all times, whether driving or stopping at the intersection. Much like a Segway, the gyroscope balances the vehicle electronically, and can even prevent it from rolling over if struck during an accident.

Daniel Kim, the C-1’s designer, explained how travelling the world and viewing transportation structures in third-world countries inspired him to create this revolutionary bike. “I met thousands and thousands of people, and learned how cultures function and how people get around,” he said. “It was an amazing experience. That’s basically what informed me, for the rest of my life.”

Currently, the C-1 is only available for a $250 pre-order refundable deposit, and will cost around $24,000 USD when it is ready for sale. The bike can reach speeds of 120 mph+, and has an estimated range of 150-220 miles-per-charge, depending on what kind of battery the owner purchases.

European automotive manufacturer Peraves developed an early competitor to the C-1 in 2010, although their bike doesn’t have a gyroscope. Instead, it relies on two wheels that manually slide out during a stop to keep the bike from tipping over. The Switzerland-based company took top honors in the X-Prize’s Alternative Class-Tandem category in 2010.

The Peraves MonoTracer MTE-150 is an all-electric motorbike/car that promises to turn heads when driving down the street. While the C-1 can squeeze out approximately 200 miles-per-charge, the MTE-150 can reach 325-350 miles on a single charge.

Clearly, the electric motorbike industry is becoming a popular area of transportation, especially as city sizes increase. Zipping around in a comfortably enclosed motorbike while saving money and time certainly has its benefits.

As more companies introduce bikes of their own, competition will increase and prices will drop–allowing us all to experience life in the eco-friendly lane.

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