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Motorized Unicycle Takes Off
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A man in Portland Oregon has invented a one – wheel motorcycle. With a self balancing system built in, the inventor has assured skeptical spectators that it has more balance than your typical unicycle. There are a few companies on the market experimenting with motorized unicycles. The electric model of Portland’s Ryno Motors can travel about 30 miles on a single charge, and goes about 15 mph — lower than capacity to keep it in the legal category with scooters. It should be on the market in 2012 for $4,200.

Mechanical Engineer Chris Hoffman made it his pet project for the last five years, after his daughter asked him to make one, inspired by one of her video games. After she drew out what she meant, Hoffman was impressed enough to make one.

The self-balancing handlebar shifts the riders weight, and it uses counter-steering, so that you have to press the left bar to turn right. Tight turns are of course impossible.

  
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It weighs125 pounds, making it more convenient than other units for parking, storage, and transportation. The consumer version is destined to have a removable battery, and unlike this model, which uses a regenerative braking system, a disk break, which means it will have higher speed capacity.

So it seems the self-funded project might just take off. Its sci-fi, video game, anime physique may give it appeal to a younger generation. It certainly turns heads wherever it shows up.

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