GyroCycle, a Self-Balancing Motorcycle
Thrustcycle, based out of Honolulu, has unveiled its new self-balancing electric motorcycle prototype, the GyroCycle.
Not only is the GyroCycle self stabilizing, it’s also electric, morphing two trends in motorcycling that continue to garner traction. This bike’s prototype announcement runs parallel with another self-balancing motorcycle prototype that was recently unveiled, the BMW Motorrad Vision Next 100 Concept.
“The GyroCycle an energy efficient vehicle with rock solid stability,” says Thrustcycle Enterprises LLC President Clyde Igarashi. “The gyroscope functions as both a stabilizer and mechanical battery so you get the benefits of both.”
For self stability, the GyroCycle utilizes internal flywheels, which create a gyroscopic effect that ensures the bike will remain upright and stable both during riding and while at a standstill (when powered up).
Thrustcycle says because the GyroCycle’s system maintains a fixed plane in space, the vehicle will be less likely to lose traction when going into turns because the gyroscope will maintain lateral integrity. “The self-balancing function gives the rider more control and greatly increases safety,” Thrustcycle says.
Besides reusing energy stored in the flywheel for the self-balancing motorcycle function, the GyroCycle also utilizes a mechanical battery that reuses energy normally lost during braking. This energy is absorbed back into the flywheel and is later used for accelerating.
Thrustcycle knows others like BMW Motorrad are creating the same gyroscopic and electric-motorcycle technology, but embraces it.
“These are the concepts that Thrustcycle has been promoting for a while now,” says Igarashi. “We are eager to demonstrate them with our GyroCycle. We are further encouraged by the announcement that Lingyun Intelligent Technology, based in Beijing, is also entering the gyroscopic vehicle technology race. We see the entrance of large competitors as vindication of the potential in technologies that we’ve been pursuing for years.”
Thrustcycle says the first production models will be completed in 2017, and it aims to be the first company to bring a self-balancing motorcycle to the market. The cost should be under $20,000, Thrustcycle says.
Electric motorcycles only have a small market share in the USA, but hold a much larger share in Europe and Asia. A report by QY Research reveals that in 2015, about 38 million units of electric motorcycle and scooter were sold worldwide, generating revenue of $13 billion. According to an analysis by Navigant Research, that figure is expected to grow as battery costs decrease.
Besides the GyroCycle, Thrustcycle is also designing an electric scooter prototype, along with implementing some of the technology on watercraft and hoverboards.
Thrustcycle, which manufactures all prototypes in Wilsonville, Ore., says it is currently largely self-financed, and the company will seek more options, including possible licensing of the core technology, after they bring the first GyroCycle model to market.
About the Thrustcycle Team:
Co-founder Clyde Igarashi, who holds an MBA in finance from New York University, first met co-founder and engineer David Ryker nine years ago while working on an energy storage project. Both were interested in green technology and building cleaner, more energy-efficient vehicles.
“When I got the chance to do something that I felt could do some good, I decided to go for it,” says co-founder Clyde Igarashi said. “When David started telling me about this enclosed two-wheeled motorcycle he made in the 90’s (which he called Gyro Hawk), I was intrigued by the idea of not only making transportation more efficient, but also making motorcycles safer. We decided that the idea was worth revisiting and formed Thrustcycle Enterprises.”
For additional information, visit Thrustcycle.
Thrustcycle GyroCycle Photo Gallery