Dubbed the Wheelsurf, this motorised monocyle is the brainchild of Brazilian engineer Tito Lucas Ott.
The machine is comprised of two wheels: internal and external rims. The inner wheel is connected to the outer wheel by three nylon-rollers, holding it all in place. The connection between inner wheel and outer wheel is established by a smaller wheel driven by the engine. This presses against the outer wheel and when it is rotated, passes the kinetic energy of the rotation on to the outer wheel, which in turn rotates itself.
Like the driven wheel of a regular motorcycle it brings the surface it presses against into movement relative to it’s own axis which, as seen from the vehicle, itself remains static.
To ride the Wheelsurf, the driver sits inside the wheel and fires up the 3.4HP two stroke engine with a pull cord. The vehicle can reach its top speed of 40km/h in less than eight seconds. Automatic transmission and the absence of a steering wheel means that the only control the driver has is over acceleration and braking.
To steer the vehicle the driver shifts his or her body weight, and to brake, you either take your hand off the accelerator or apply a handbrake. This is apparently rather a delicate operation, as sudden braking can cause the driver to go spinning around inside the vehicle.
Tito Ott envisages Wheelsurf being used solely for fun, and away from public roads. He adds that a trained user will be able to perform all manner of crazy stunts, like ‘spinning with the wheel, driving upside-down or spinning backwards.’
The WheelSurf is currently priced at $3800.00