What do you have when your vehicle has two wheels side-by-side? A rickshaw. A segway. And now, a motorcycle!
The Uno was unveiled at the 2008 National Motorcycle Show in Toronto earlier this month. A motorcycle with one wheel? No, it just looks that way. The Uno has two wheels. Side by side. Close together. It runs on electricity and is controlled by body language. The only controls are an on-off switch. To go forward, you lean forward. Lean further to go faster. Lean back to go backwards. The Uno has two gyros, one to control forward (and backward) motion, the other for turning.
The Uno was invented by 18-year-old Ben J. Poss Gulak. Motorcycle Mojo has the story of how the Canadian engineering prodigy built the Uno. He had been impressed by the pollution in China, which led him to come up with a workable electric motorcycle. Gulak's ideas inspired everyone from a software salesman to a top motorcycle mechanic to help him out. The model showcased at the Motorcycle Show is his third prototype.
The electric motor and the ease of operation make this a fascinating development. But there are some questions. How easy is it to brake? How much training does it take to learn to control a moving motorcycle by shifting your body weight? And will straddling two wheels leave you walking bowlegged and sore, like a day of horseback riding?