Just when you thought you’ve seen it all, along comes the RYNO, a self-balancing, electric-powered vehicle that on first glance appears to a cross between a Segway and a motorcycle. The full name of the machine is the RYNO microcycle and the hope of Chris Hoffman, CEO of Ryno Motors is that his new invention will usher in a revolution in urban transportation. Full details of the personal transportation system have been reveled in an interview with Hoffman in FIX who after years of work and promotion is now ready to finally sell his creation.
While the machine bears some resemblance to a motorcycle with it’s thick steel frame and wide tires, it’s purpose is more directed to replacing the humble bicycle than our favorite two wheeled mode of transport. The RYNO is powered by two electric batteries and can travel at speeds of up to 10 mph, with a maximum range of around 15 miles. Not really what you’d to use to commute to and from work, but perhaps helpful if you’re needing to travel between meetings in the CBD. As it stands, the RYNO will full under the jurisdiction of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) in the United States and is therefore subject to the same set of rules as other personal mobility products like scooters or electric wheelchairs.
RYNO uses advanced motion-sensor technology to detect even subtle input from its rider,
and reacts accordingly. Lean forward, and the bike will accelerate forward. Lean back, and the bike follows suit, standing up taller and slowing down. It’s been designed to be more at home in a bicycle lane rather than the footpath, too – it’s maximum speed of 10 mph is actually an artificial one, put in place to ensure riders of the RYNO doesn’t fall within the jurisdiction of requiring licenses or limiting their use to car clogged roads.
According to Hoffman, the idea of the RYNO came from a 13 year old girl who queried him on whether it was possible to build a one-wheeled motorcycle she saw in a video game. Six years and three prototypes later the RYNO is now ready for release to the mass market. Three hundred machines are ready to go on sale for $5,295 which means they’ll be competing directly with motorcycles and scooters.
When the Segway hit the market in 2001, it promised (and failed) to revolutionize transport as well, so what makes the RYNO any different? Accoridng to Hoffman, the Segway is “too big to use in offices and buildings. It takes up a lot of floor space, too, and it puts its riders head and shoulders above everyone else – that’s why the RYNO works,” he says. “I don’t take up much more room than I normally would just standing here. I’m standing flat on my feet, with the bike between my legs, and I’m at the same eye level as the other people in the elevator, not towering above them. That’s the key.”
The batteries in the RYNO take 6 hours to charge fully, though quicker charging and longer lasting lithium ion batteries are available as an option. It weighs 160 pounds and has an impressive 260 pounds carrying capacity and unlike a Segway, you can choose to either sit on the seat or stand on the pegs.