Unicycles, or monocycles, are nothing new in the business. We’ve seen different kinds of iterations in the past and while most fall under the “novelty” category, a Japanese company is preparing to change the game with the introduction of an electric-powered monocycle called the Onewheel.
Ok, so technically, it’s not a motorcycle in the strictest sense of the word. But it can be classified as such if you have a loose definition of said word, which in this case I do.
The Onewheel is not production ready just yet, but the latest prototype does point to it becoming a reality sooner than later. Work has been done on making the monocycle as safe and as functional as possible, including the installation of a gyro to keep the rider from spilling every time his or her balance goes awry.
It also comes with a handlebar that steers the monocycle in both directions and it’s electrically powered, thanks in large part to batteries that can be recharged without any problems. A fully charged Onewheel monocycle is good enough to cover nine to 18 miles and these figures can double if a customer decided to double up on the batteries.
Right now, the Onewheel is only capable of hitting 12 mph, but don’t be surprised if the day comes when the monocycle starts putting up speeds in excess of 50 mph. Don’t get your hopes up thought because from the looks of things, the Onewheel electric monocycle is still scratching the surface of what it could possibly become in the future.
200 units of the Onewheel are scheduled to be built with prices ranging from $2,000 to $2,500 depending on certain specifications. Sadly, Japan’s the only country getting the Onewheel for now so if you’re interested in one, pray that the Onewheel is successful enough to be exported.
Continue reading to read more about the Onewheel electric monocycle.
Why it matters
You can always count on the Japanese to come up with some weird yet admittedly awesome products. Like I said, monocycles in general have been around for generations, but an electric monocycle that has the potential to go as fast as 50 mph? That’s something not a lot of people have seen before.
Hopefully, the development of the Onewheel electric monocycle goes as smoothly as our imaginations of riding it in our part of the world soon.
The price - $2,000 to $2,500 - is a little steep for what it is now and I’m a little worried that the price of the machine will go up once the Onewheel is further along in its development. That’s the only major issue I have other than questions on whether the electric monocycle can meet safety standards and regulations here in the US in the event the product is offered here.
All that said, I’m somewhere between curious and excited as far as the development of the Onewheel monocycle is concerned.
I want to see what a working production model will look like and whether or not, its promise of providing a more personal level of urban transportation comes to fruition.