Oh, it's cute alright. Very stylish. And on the face of it, a motorcycle that can't tip over probably has an intrinsic appeal for non-motorcyclists -- who presumably think that 'tipping over' is a big problem for us.
It may come as a shock to Lit, but their motorcycle is not the first one to have two gyros that prevent it tipping over. There's another motorcycle on the market that has two gyros that keep it upright. It's the... all of them.
Look, I hate* to be the guy who calls the emperor naked here, but...
(*Actually, I love being that guy.)
Motorcycles turn by leaning. Note that the Lit prototype is not fitted with car tires, it's fitted with motorcycle (i.e. toroidal) tires. That shape is essential if your vehicle is going to turn like a motorcycle, by leaning over.
This thing, this leaning thing, that we all implicitly love and understand, is actually pretty complex if you try to turn it into a physics lesson. If you're scientifically 'lit'erate, feel free to read the Wikipedia entry on bicycle and motorcycle dynamics. If that makes you dizzy, though, all you really need to remember is that at most speeds, camber thrust is the dominant force turning a motorcycle. It explains why a motorcycle that's leaned way over can turn sharply, with a much smaller steering angle than, say, a car would need to negotiate a turn with the same radius.
Camber thrust is trivial at walking speeds. At walking speeds, motorcycles' and cars' turning dynamics are the same -- you turn by steering in the direction you want to go, not countersteering. (At those speeds, motorcycles are unstable; a vertical-axis gyro that spun up only at walking speed would serve a purpose. It would help prevent those embarrassing parking-lot tip overs we all have as beginners.)
Why I point that out is, all the demonstration videos of the Lit C1 prototype in use show it traveling at less than ten miles an hour. You hardly have to lean it to turn it at those speeds, but as soon as you get that thing up to useful speeds, if it isn't going to lean at all, it would be far better to fit it with a car tire with a 'flat' contact patch and a carcass construction intended to transfer a very different set of forces. (Look at the tires on sidecar racing outfits. Those are motorcycles that don't lean. None of those guys would dream of running normal motorcycle tires.)
Summary of this part of the rant: If it is going to steer like a car, it needs a car tire (and a lot more steering lock, which is not evident in photos of the front suspension.) If it's going to steer like a motorcycle, it needs to lean.
I'm assuming that the steering wheel, as opposed to a handlebar, is a nod to the fact that Lit expects this thing to steer like a car, not countersteer like a motorcycle. If that's the case, those motorcycle-profile tires will help the Lit to roll slightly out of the turn (as cars do) because the gyros won't** keep it dead level. When it rolls out, however slightly, the same camber thrust that turns a bike into the corner when it's leaned in, will actually promote radical understeer.
(**Unless the gyros are actively 'counter-tilting' in real time to compensate for roll forces -- a complex system that would require powerful servos to overcome gyro inertia and which, in the event of failure, would cause a guaranteed crash.)
The upside to that is, Lit won't have to submit it to car crash testing, and meet current safety regulations with things like air bags, saving investors millions of bucks. The downside: you will need a motorcycle license to operate it. i.e., the only people who will buy it are probably already motorcyclists. That's already a small market, made smaller because you're appealing to motorcyclists who don't want to feel things like wind, and leaning into turns... which are why a lot of people take up the sport.
|Steering wheels on single-track vehicles? Already been done. By a crazy dude I see pedaling around KC.|
Last but not least, the Lit spec sheet is laughable. I admit that the vehicle's shape and layout will result in a far lower drag coefficient than you'd find in any other electric motorcycle. And, the longer wheelbase with a lower c.g. may make it easier to recover energy in braking (by transferring more brake bias to the rear, where it's easier to engineer a KERS.) But the claimed battery size, top speed & acceleration, and range just don't square with anything that's ever been experienced in the real world. The claims are disingenuous at best.
|Note to Lit Motors: See that registered trademark of BMW? No, not the blue and white roundel, but the vehicle name just below it? How do you think BMW, which is working on its own electric version of the C1, feels about the name you've picked? I'll be surprised if your desist letter isn't in the mail.|
Now, let's tone down the, "The electric bikes did in four years what it took the ICE bikes fifty years to do..." rhetoric. First of all, the EVs piggybacked their designs on 100+ years of established motorcycle architecture. And second, when that Norton Manx lapped at over 100 miles an hour, it did it in a six-lap race. It would take the MotoCzysz an entire day to put in six 100mph laps, because it would involve five multi-hour pit stops.