First it was the Segway, now the electric, one-wheeled motorcycle (monocycle might be more fitting) dubbed the Ryno, is looking to become the transportation method of choice for city folk. Not to be confused with the four-wheeled, off-road bruiser, Yamaha’s UTV Rhino, this little tike emits zero emissions and is operated much like the Segway with the operator leaning forward to move forward and leaning back to slow down or stop.
“The RYNO is a fun, efficient, and convenient way to get from place to place,” says Chris Hoffmann, CEO and founder of RYNO Motors. “It’s half the bike and twice the fun.” With its small stature, low cruising speed, and portability, Mr. Hoffman sees it a great mode of transportation for short jaunts like around the city, across campuses, and amongst office complexes. The Ryno’s small footprint allows it to travel onto subways or buses, inside elevators, or be stored inside an office with minimal intrusion to others. And with its ability to be charged via a normal AC outlet it seems to be pretty user friendly. For many people, with its relatively lightweight (160 pounds dry) the Ryno might be the ideal solution for more compact/portable city living as opposed to a scooter or smaller displacement motorcycle like a Suzuki Boulevard S40.
Watching the Ryno video of Mr. Hoffman cruise around the city of Portland it’s quickly evident that the Ryno does draw a lot of attention from curious onlookers—and even a motor cop. While the rider still needs to maintain side-to-side balance, the electronic self-balancing aspect of the cycle makes it relatively easy for riders to get familiar with it, taking about an hour to get used to and a few days to become a proficient rider. A beginner setting limits speed to about 6pmh and the standard setting unleashes the full speed of 10pmg. As far a distance traveled on a full charge, that depends on rider weight, riding style, and terrain, but can support up to ten miles of travel.
For those who have ever watched Animal Planet and thought it would be a fun idea to ride a rhino, this may be as close as you’ll ever get. With a price tag of about $5,300, Ryno Motors is taking orders on the machines, with a $150 refundable deposit, and plans to begin producing the bikes in 2014.