No, it’s not a photograph of a motorbike that has been half-erased using Photoshop, this really is a genuine vehicle. A self-balancing electric one-wheeled motorcycle, the creation is referred to by its creator John Dingley as the Mega Hub Motor Electric Unicycle — because why bother building something this awesome unless you give it a name that sounds like something straight out of a Saturday morning Japanese kids’ cartoon?
The Mega Hub Motor Electric Unicycle (we’ll call it the MHMEU for short) is based on a 3,000-watt brushless hub motor in a 17-inch wheel, with a smaller stabilizer wheel sticking out in front. It utilizes a Kelly motor controller usually found in electric boats and also comprises a jet intake from an old aircraft, and self-balancing components packed into a 1950s Ural motorcycle headlamp pod. The results are something utterly unique.
The project appears not to have been built with any kind of eye on commercialization and is a labor of love on the part of Dingley. If you want to find out a bit more about it, we highly recommending visiting his webpage where there is a series of videos detailing various stages of production.
Dingley claims that learning to ride the vehicle takes just five minutes, but acknowledges that the experience is a bit terrifying. He says that it travels faster than any previous vehicle he has built, but he has yet to go much beyond using 20 percent of its maximum engine power due to, well, concerns about his safety. “The main speed limitation is fear,” he noted.
“The steering system … looks as if you are shifting your weight left and right by turning the handlebars, but actually, this is not true,” he described in one of the previous videos. “You are the heaviest part of the machine, and so when you turn the handlebars, the wheel leans over onto one edge of the tire because the hinge joint at the back between upper and lower parts of the frame is not vertical but angled, and you stay more or less where you were before. The tire contact patch is now curved and so will start you turning to one side.”
The less said about disembarking, the better!