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Ryno one-wheeled electric motorcycle defies gravity

Who needs four or two wheels when one will suffice?

Personal mobility vehicles like the Segway and the Toyota Winglet are hardly the pinnacle of style. One competitor, however, is trying to bring some much-needed cool to the party with its Ryno one-wheeled electric microcycle.

The odd-looking Ryno, which looks like half a motorbike, uses a combination of clever gyroscope sensors and accelerometers to keep it upright ─ a feat that seemingly defies gravity. Steering, braking and decelerating are all achieved using your body movements.

A handbrake can be used to brake and foot pedals can be folded out if you fancy a bit more stability, while checking how much battery you have left and other useful information can be done with a backlit onboard digital display.

Two ‘high output SLA batteries’, which can be recharged in six hours using a 12v charger, give the one-wheeler a range of 10 miles at its top speed of 10mph (fast running pace). A choice to upgrade to lithium-ion batteries (which should provide better range) is available for an additional fee. 

Parking the 160-lb steel-framed Ryno is simply done by leaning it forward onto the grey bar at the front. Rubber feet on either side protect the metalwork from damage.

One of the most impressive aspects of the Ryno is its uncanny ability to balance. Reports say it will stand there without a rider even when you press down hard on the handlebars. Even steep inclines up 20 per cent are no match for the unicycle. Still, one good sideways push would be enough to tip it over.

So how did the Ryno come to be? “My daughter drew a sketch of a one-wheel motorcycle she saw in a video game and asked me to build it,” Ryno CEO Chris Hoffmann told Wired. “She was 13 years old.”

The Ryno will cost US$5,295 when it goes on sale. For your money you can expect a Ryno charger, ‘powerful LED headlights’, two SLA batteries and a Ryno display stand to keep it upright when not in use. Pre-orders are open now and first deliveries are expected in April 2014.

A Ryno rack is available for an extra US$169.95 if you need a place to carry things when out and about.

Watch the Ryno in action here.

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