Motorcycles & Bicycles

The Bike Camper

You wouldn’t want to pedal very far with one attached to the back of your bike. And you definitely would want to avoid hills were you to try. But, man, would you be styling once you reached your destination. That’s because, with a Bike Camper in tow, you’d have a bed, television, couch and kitchenette with you.

A bike camper, sadly, can not found for sale at any of the world’s best bicycle stores. Instead, each is a “working sculptures”—pieces of art that are fully functional but that are built to be admired more than used.

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8 Alternative Powered Motorcycles

There’s been a lot of press about the race to replace the internal combustion engine in automobiles. What’s gone less noticed is that motorcycles are undergoing their own paradigm shift. Your next two-wheeled ride may be powered by an electric motor, hydrogen fuel cells or even solar power. Here’s a look at eight especially cool, environmentally-friendly, motorcycles in various phases of development:

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Two Cool Motor(uni)cycles

Compared to a car, a motorcycle is cheaper and more energy efficient. That’s what happens when you cut the number of wheels in half, from four to two. But what if you cut the number of wheels in half again, from two to one?

A decade ago the idea of a motorized unicycle might have been the subject for a gag article on The Onion. Even if it were possible to keep balanced while riding a motorunicycle it wouldn’t be possible to go much faster than walking speed (or to turn, or to stop) without falling down.

Then the Segway personal transporter came along. The Segway showed how gyroscopes can be used not only to maintain balance on a moving object but to control it through shifts in the rider’s body weight.

Here’s a look at two motorunicycles. Or at least they appear to be motorized unicycles at first glance. In fact, each makes use of an additional wheel (though in different ways). And neither makes use of a traditional combustion engine.

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Derringer Motorized Bicycle

The Derringer motorized bicycles have a sort of back-to-the-future thing happening. The look is 1920s retro, complete with a brown leather seat and tall white tires. But the engine at the frame’s center is pure modern technology. It’s a 4-stroke, 49cc motor capable of switching instantly between the three modes of operation: full power, engine assisted pedaling, and full manual pedaling. In full power mode the Derringer is works like a motorcycle and is capable of traveling as fast as 40 mph (65 kph) while getting up to 150 mpg. In pedal assisted mode the gas mileage can be as high as 180 mph. That makes the Derringer a way to get around that’s as fuel efficient as it is cool. $3,500


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The Magic Wheel

The lowly skateboard was in dire need for a technological upgrade. And it got it in the form of The Magic Wheel. This is not a sort of skateboard you’d want to jump off ramps or slide down banisters with. The Magic Wheel is more utilitarian than that, an excellent vehicle for making your way around urban areas (once you get the hang of how to use one). The Magic Wheel has the maneuverability of a skateboard. Like a skateboard, it is also near-instantaneous to get on and off. It also has some properties of a bicycle, allowing riders to move rather fast — up to 13 mph (20 kph). Check out the video, below.


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