There are two types of Single Wheel Motorcycle known by similar names that can sometimes be misunderstood and cause confusion. The most accepted definitions of the two types of motorcycle are shown below.
Mono-wheel Motorcycle (Unicycle): A Mono-wheel Motorcycle is also known as a Unicycle in which the rider sits on top of a Single Wheel.
Monocycle: is a Single Wheel Motorcycle in which the rider sits inside the single wheel.
The Beginning of Monocycles
As previously discussed, a Monocycle is a vehicle in which the rider is seated and controls the motorcycle from within the single wheel. The oldest known Monocycle in the world was built in 1894.
Monocycles were popular from that time onward, as demonstrated in this 1935 video below.
Monocycles were even promoted for children in 1927.
Steam Punk Monocycle – The Best of Two Worlds
1970’s Retro Monocycles
Monocycles were made popular in the Men In Black movie.
Japanese Anime Series – Yu-Gi-Oh!
Looks like Monocycles are taking over.
Wheel Surf Monocycle
A perfect example of a Monocycle is the WheelSurf Monocycle, which is powered by a Honda GX35 engine, can travel 30 mph (50 km/h) and weighs 110 lbs (50 kg). The rider steers the Wheelsurf by shifting their weight. Although it has a hand brake, braking is limited to the counterbalance of the rider leaning backwards. If the rider brakes too hard, they will start spinning with the outer wheel.
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Wheels of Tomorrow Monocycle
Kerry McLean of Michigan USA made his first Monocycle in 1971. In the past 30 years, Kerry has built 14 Monocycles and sold six. The image below is one of his earlier Rocket Roadsters.
Pictured below is another Rocket Roadster, which is a bit larger than the previous, and looks a lot more comfortable.
In 2001, Kerry McLean achieved the Guinness World Record for the fastest Monocycle reaching a speed of 91.7 km/h (57 mph) at Irwindale Speedway, California, USA.
After many modifications and improvements, pictured below is his Buick V8, “Wheels of Tomorrow”, Monocycle.
Unfortunately Kerry did have an accident while riding his Rocket Roadster, luckily he did survive and continues to ride his Monocycle.
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World’s Fastest Monocycle – Guinness World Record 2017
The current World Record holder is Kevin Scott from Lincoln, a member of the UK Monowheel Team, who recorded a speed of 98 km/h (61 mph) on the monocycle named “WarHorse”, at Elvington Airfield in North Yorkshire, UK in 2015.
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A Very Talented Monocycle Rider
Considering the Monocyle is difficult to steer, difficult to stop and has a tendency to spin the rider inside the wheel, I think the Mono-wheel Unicycle is more likely to become popular in the future. The greatest disadvantage of the Monocycle would be the cost of replacing worn out motorcycle boots.
Introducing the Semi-wheel Bike
That looks like an improvement on the Monocycle.
Benefits of Monocycles
Why are there so many people creating Monocycles? What are the problems with standard motorcycles?
Well there doesn’t seem to be any problems with standard two wheel motorcycles, however, there are benefits with single wheel motorcycles.
- save money on rubber tires
- variety by providing an alternative for consumers
Disadvantage of Monocycles
- stability issues need to be resolved to prevent speed wobble developing at high speeds
- steering is virtually impossible
- vision is obscured while you’re riding
- if you brake too fast you gerbil over, “flipping heels over helmet”
I am sure we will be seeing more Monocycles in the future. To learn about Mono-Wheel Unicycles, click the link below…
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Thank you for visiting Haul N Ride. Dave