Let’s face it, every time someone says “bike”, the only images that pop into your head are of the chunky MotoGP racers that Yamaha makes, the chrome-heavy choppers inspired by Harley Davidson or the antique looking motorbikes of yore like the Royal Enfield. But there is still a vast universe of bikes that don’t necessarily look like anything we expect a two-wheeler to be and yet they are adored by a few hundred thousand bikers around the world trying to rebel in their own way. Here’s a compilation of bikes that are breaking the rules and rewriting the book on what bikes are supposed to look like.
1. Ryno Electric Unicycle
Developed by a Portland, Oregon-based company, the Ryno Electric Unicycle may look like a shabby Segway impersonator, but its makers assure us that it is in fact far from it. The gentle and responsive bike runs on a Li-ion phosphate battery pack and has a range of 20 miles and a non-threatening 20-mph top speed. The bike stays balanced, brakes and accelerates using gyros and accelerometers with a motorbike-like steering mechanism. The $4500 Ryno Electric Unicycle is expected to hit the markets in the first half of 2013.
2. BRP Can-Am Spyder RS-S
In the league of reverse trikes, the BRP Can-Am Spyder RS-S has carved something of a niche for itself. Built in Canada, the trike from Bombardier comes with a 106 horsepower V-twin 998CC Rotax engine and features technological goodies like traction and stability control, power steering, ABS and a Fox Racing front suspension that makes it a buttery smooth ride on urban streets. The BRP Can-Am Spyder RS-S starts retailing at $16,499.
3. Uno Cycle
It may look like one half of a modular gas guzzling meanie, but this Dual Track Vehicle (DTV) by Canadian MIT genius Ben Gulak is a must have for the eco-lovers. Dubbed the Uno, the vehicle is something of a spiritual successor to the designer’s earlier attempt at making an Eco-friendly urban personal mobility solution called the Shredder. Even though the first look doesn’t do it justice, the aggressive recreational sports bike could be the industry frontrunner when single wheeled bikes become fashionable, sometime in the future.
4. Peraves Montoracer
With the soul of a sports bike and the form of a family carrier, the Peraves Montoracer really does take its eco-responsibilities much more seriously than any other bike you may have seen so far. By ferrying around many, instead of just one or two, people around at a time, the Swiss made Montoracer offers cruise speeds of 55 mph while returning a 65 mpg fuel economy thanks to a thrifty four-cylinder BMW bike engine inside. In turns, the bike leans in up to 52 degrees and uses a retractable rear tire to balance itself when still. The slim-profile ride has a carbon and Kevlar monocoque that is air-conditioned to optimize driver and passenger comfort.
5. Boxx Scooter
It may look like a CPU casemod with wheels, but the Boxx scooter is one of the most outstanding automobile designs we have seen in quite a while. Running on a 10-pound in-wheel motor, the scooter features a weld-free chassis and an all-aluminum construction that makes it sturdy yet lightweight. Funded by a Dubai-based backer and built by a Portland-based outfit, the Boxx retails for $3995 with the 80 mile range battery costing an extra $599.
6. Piaggio MP3
For a three-legged bike offered in 250, 400 and 500 CC engine options, the Piaggio MP3 is as refreshingly normal as they get. With a tall windshield and roomy under seat boot, the MP3’s twin front wheels come with a parallelogram suspension that makes turning a delight. The bike may be a bit bulky for tight parking spots but at least parents/girlfriends/wives will never perceive it as a risky vehicle for you to own. However, the $7199-$8899 price range may make a bigger dent in your pocket than an average bike (plus health insurance) might.
7. Campagna T-Rex 14RR
If you can’t afford a real sportscar but want your regular commuter to look and feel the same, the Campagna T-Rex 14RR might be a good investment for you. Running on a 197-hp four-cylinder Kawasaki engine, the trike comes with an open-air cockpit that may mess your hair up a bit when you floor the accelerator and go from 0-60mph in just 3.9 seconds!
8. Sbarro Pendolauto Concept
If oversized four-wheeled bikes are your thing, Franco Sbarro’s Pendolauto Concept might be something you should investigate further. The one-off creation was showed at the 2008 Geneva Motor Show though its maker didn’t provide any specs to make the bike more appealing to potential owners.
9. Boss Hoss Gangsta Trike
The flaming body paint may make this trike look more mainstream than some of the others in our compilation, but the Boss Hoss Gangsta Trike is anything but conventional. Standing comfy on 275-mm rear tires, the trike is offered with a V-8 engine offered in 4.8-L or 6.2-L configuration that offers 405 lb-ft of torque and 445 hp output.
10. Evolve Xenon Lightcycle
Tron fans love every new Tron-inspired bike out there though the Evolve electric scooters’ Lightcycle replica is the closest you can get to actually owning a Tron bike that can get you from point A to point B. The future-ready bike comes with a lithium-ion-battery run powertrain that offers a 100 mph top speed while tugging along on the mammoth hub less 32-inch tires! With OLED lights providing a daytime running light effect, the $55,000 beauty is yet to be refined further before you can actually walk into a dealership and buy it.