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Review by Dylon P.11 years ago
Okay, Chris found this site for me, but this is now my new dream mode of transportation. I will probably never be able to afford it but if anyone I know is reading this review, please buy it for me! The ability to carry it around makes this the ultimate mode of transportation. No parking. I only wonder if it can up up hills.
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Review by Chris O.11 years ago
The Yike Bike is the first realization of a new concept of personal transport, the minifarthing (please see my review of www.minifarthing.com). At the time of writing it hasn't yet been made available to the public, though it's due to make an appearance in about a month and pre-ordering, at £2,995 in the UK and 3,495 Euros in Europe, is now possible (if you're fabulously wealthy). It will not be selling in the USA as yet, but is available all over Europe and in New Zealand where it is assembled from European and Asian parts. Uggs aren't essential but will add to overall coolness.
One of Time Magazine's top fifty inventions of the year, there's no doubting that the battery powered Yike Bike is super-cool at least for now. You should watch the YouTube clip on this site, to see the vehicle in action, and especially being folded up and slung over the rider's shoulder at the end of the trip. Is that going to impress the girls or what?!
Top speed is 25kph, which is ...er ... times five and divide by 9 ... about 17 miles per hour by my quick reckoning, or about five times the speed of a brisk walk. And it's apparently electronically limited to that speed, suggesting that faster sports and off-road versions might be possible in the future.
The company argues that the cost of the vehicle will recoup itself in just a year, using many of the arguments that would also apply to a bike or motorbike. The main difference is that you can take the train or the bus without the hassle a bicycle can cause and then unfold your Yike Bike and ride the rest of the way to work.
I guess you really have to see this and form your own opinions. The Yike Bike is currently being promoted showing a rider with no head protection, presumably since the vehicle isn't subject to bike law; that's something they'll have to address, and carrying a helmet around may take a little off the edge of portability. Unless it's a folding helmet, of course. The Yike Bike doesn't seem to offer any scope for luggage, however small, though presumably it's possible to wear a backpack without disturbing the center of gravity sufficiently to topple the bike over. But is it? I guess it depends on the weight of your laptop. For school-age kids, though, who are obliged to carry half a library around in their backpacks, this doesn't look like a practical solution as of now.
I imagine most people with any interest in personal transport issues will be wishing the project success, and perhaps doing a little more than wishing given that the concept of an alternative has failed so often before. If anyone remembers Sir Clive Sinclair's attempt at sustainable electric personal transport, you'll know how many people fell about laughing over that one. But perhaps our romance with the car is less ardent these days, and there's finally room for a genuine alternative.
Me, I'm waiting until the thing can do that trick with the suitcase, in Iron Man 2. Now that, that would be cool.
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