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Tag Archives: Transportation

Is The Honda Grom The Moped For Grown Ups?

honda_grom

You could argue that anyone can ride a Vespa-type of moped, but there is a strong contingent that will find it rather emasculating. There’s something about traditional mopeds that only teenagers and girls can get away with, and please don’t shower us with complaints; we’re just stating a known fact about a particular demographic. And yet not everyone that would want to ride a “grown-up” bike has the time, money or inclination to really do so. The 2014 Honda Grom appears to possibly bridge the gap between the two. While it’s definitely still a moped, the 125cc motorcycle seems to have enough muscle to please the manly man (or rather the manly 20 something), while still not entering the territory of higher-priced, higher insuranced, higher consuming, full-fledged motor bikes. Starting at only $3,000, you can use the Grom to go to college without spending half your tuition money on real-bike costs and without running as much of a chance of meeting a ditch at high speed.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ Werd ]

Attaching A Scooter To A Carry-On Bag? If That’s Not Genius, What Is?

scootcase-micro-samsonite

It’s been out for a bit, so bear with us. But having seen the Micro Luggage Scootcase for the first time only recently, we were duly impressed and decided to write about it anyway. It’s a hard-shell, cabin-sized luggage with a built-in kickboard scooter! Running late to catch your next flight? Deploy the scooter, roll past everyone and arrive at your gate on time without even breaking a sweat. It’s genius.

It was developed by Micro, a Dutch scooter company, in conjunction with Samsonite over a period of 3 years (no word on why it would take 3 years to develop something like this), so you know you’re not getting some cheap piece of garbage. The scooter is non-detachable so if some overzealous TSA agent takes a power-trippy objection to it, you may have some problem. But we don’t think there’s any regulation against scooters in airports, is there? Better be sure, because as cool as this is, it’s not cheap: €299, or about $390.

[ Product Page ]

Strap Your Head To A Seat And Finally Sleep On That Plane

We’ve all been there, nodding off on a plane only to wake up fifteen minutes later with a neck ache, and drool on our chins. It’s not pretty, put we still put up with these indignities in the name of efficient global transportation. Or something. The Relax ALLY Travel Restband tries to offer a simple solution: just strap your head to the seat! It’s a simple strap that can be configured to attach to pretty much any sized seat, and which will hold your head upright as you go to sleep. And it’s not like you have to worry about being restrained in case you need to urgently set yourself free: the thing fastens with a snap button.

It’s $39 and comes in its own carrying case. It’s the early hours of the IndieGogo campaign, but should this be funded, you should get yours next month.

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Japanese Company To Launch One-Man Electric Helicopter (Updated With Video)

A Japanese company called Hirobo has announced their plans to launch a one-man helicopter that runs on batteries. The counter-rotating flying vehicle can be remote operated or flown by a pilot, and reaches speeds of 62mph for up to 30 minutes. The reason you’d want to be able to remote control it is in cases of rescue operations where you could just fly it up to the person in need, have them hop on, and bring them back to safety. The silent operation of the electric motor would also help locate a person hypothetically crying out for help.

The HX-1 is an ambitious and costly project. $125 million will have been poured into it by the time its 2021 rollout comes about. The reason for the long development time? Mostly regulatory, according to the president of the RC helicopter manufacturer, Kotaro Matsuzaka. But it’s not a simple concept either as a working prototype is slated for testing in early 2013. Should things go as planned, an unmanned version would cost 10,000,000 yen (US$125,000) while the one-seater would fetch three times as much.

VIA [ NewLaunches ]

Donky Bike Is Made For Ferrying Cargo

When you saunter over to the field of human-powered two-wheeled locomotion, you realize that the options are plentiful. From the efficient speed machines of the road bike, to the spongy spring masters of the mountain bike, and everything in between. The Donky bike falls somewhere along this spectrum, becoming the urban dweller’s best friends. If you’ve eschewed the pleasures of an automobile for the more environmentally friendly bicycle, you’ll still need to ferry some loads form time to time. The Donky bike features a strong beam that bisects the frame and distributes weight evenly. None of that weight is carried on the handlebars like regular baskets, which means you’re free to transport relatively heavy loads without impairing ride dynamics too much. This, along with a tight turning radius, make it an obvious option for anyone wishing to live a greener, more efficient city life. It comes at a price however, as the Donky will set you back a hefty $800.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ Gizmodo ]

Flying Down A Hill On A Bicycle With No Saddle, No Pedals

Locomoting about on wheels isn’t always about finding the most efficient method to do so. There’s nothing wrong with having a bit of fun in the process, and the Fliz contraption you see above seems to fit the bill. In one way it’s like a bicycle, only there’s no pedals and no saddle, only a harness and a large u-shape frame from which you suspend. You propel yourself forward by running, and then tuck your feet in for a few seconds, giving the rider a sort of floating, flying sensation. In that sense the Fliz is also like a skateboard. But there is a handlebar and brakes, so at least flying down a hill headfirst doesn’t have to result in immediate death.

It looks like fun, and we want one! But we don’t think there’s any way to buy it. There’s only a prototype, and it’s apparently been submitted as an entry in the James Dyson Award competition. Maybe if it wins and there’s enough interest, it could turn into a real product. In the meantime, you can hit the jump for a couple more pictures and a video of it in action.

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Brammo Empulse Electric Bike Has Actual Clutch And Gear Transmission

By David Ponce

The thing about most electric vehicles is that there’s no real need for the traditional gears, or even a clutch for that matter. While some say this can be more efficient, it also produces a driving feel that’s completely alien and upsetting to purists. The Brammo Empulse electric bike tries to alleviate some of that pain by introducing the

“Integrated Electric Transmission (IET™) – IET™ is a mechatronic propulsion unit that emulates the feeling and performance of a traditional internal combustion engine, with a specially developed electric motor, clutch and gear shift, that enables the 2012 Empulse to accelerate hard from the line up to a high top speed, something that is just not possible to achieve with a single ratio electric motorcycle.

The bike is also the first to feature water cooling and its battery will be fully charged in 8 hours. With a full charge you should get a 121 mile city range, 56 mile highway and a combined 77 miles. There’s a 100mph top speed and two driving modes: Normal (limited acceleration and top speed) for added range and Sport for the reverse combination. Assuming 13 cents /kWh for electricity, it’s going to cost you roughly $4 for 400 miles of range and at current gas prices, that works out to 336mpg. Unless we screwed up our calculations somewhere.

In any case, expect to pay $16,995 for the Empulse and $18,995 for the Empulse R, which features carbon fiber accents and fully adjustable front and rear suspension. The company is accepting pre-orders now.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ GearPatrol ]

Boxx Electric Bike Looks Like A Suitcase, Seems Really Useful

By David Ponce

Try for a second to get past its strange appearance; this is an actual working electric bicycle with decent specs. On a standard configuration you will get 40 miles per charge. An upgrade doubles that. And the standard configuration charges the battery back up in 4 hours, the upgrade cuts that down to 1. The 1 meter sq. (36 inches sq.) device weighs 120 lbs and can carry a rider tipping the scales from 90-300 lbs. It goes up to 28mph to 35mph, a speed which is electronically limited depending on regional moped laws. The all aluminum construction features a glove box, a cargo bay, an all LED dot lighting system with hazzards. And the list goes on. This thing is pimped out.

And it’s expensive. At $4,000 to start, this isn’t an impulse buy, but damn if you won’t be the coolest kid on the block riding around on this thing. And it does appear like it will be available this year.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ Technabob ]

Behold The Poor Man’s Segway

By David Ponce

I still remember when the Segway hadn’t launched and the Internet was abuzz with rumors of project Ginger. That was 11 years ago… Then we saw the self-balancing personal scooter’s pricetag and our faces fell; it could have been the future of personal transportation, but it was a future no one could afford. And to this day, it’s still too expensive, so one might turn to something like the above Personal Rover. It’s not self-balancing. It’s not filled with wondrous technology. It’s not even really pretty. Heck, it’s pretty darn ugly to be honest. But it is only $1,000. For what’s still a good chunk of change, you’ll get four wheels, two ski poles and an 800W motor that can propel you up to 15mph for around 12 miles. Charging then would take 4 to 8 hours.

And for the first 50 customers, there’s a $200 off deal which appears not to have been reached yet. It’s shipping now.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ Gizmodo ]