Wheelsurf- Reinventing the Wheel

The Wheelsurf is a single-wheeled ride-inside vehicle. Featured in this year’s ‘Future of Transportation’ exhibit, there are many possible applications for this unique vehicle. It can be used in theme parks as an amusement ride, provide a new advertising method or can be used as a personal recreation vehicle, allowing riders to enjoy a new sport.

The Wheelsurf consists of an inner and an outer frame. The outer frame rotates and is constructed out of a rubber tire. The rider sits in the inner frame, which consists of three small wheels that make contact with the outer frame, an engine, the drive train and a gasoline tank.

The Wheelsurf is gasoline powered by a 1.5 horsepower Honda GX31 engine operating at 7,000 rpm. On a full fuel tank of 0.65 liters, one can ride the Wheelsurf for two hours at a speed of up to 30km/h. While riders can steer the vehicle simply by shifting their body weight, braking is a bit more complicated and involves releasing the throttle, gently applying the handbrake, and leaning back to counterbalance the forward thrust.

The Wheelsurf can travel on most roads and pavements and can even travel on grass, but is not recommended for use on uneven surfaces. In addition, the Wheelsurf is to be used only on private property. Although there is no age requirement for driving the Wheelsurf, the recommended age is 16, as the rider has to weigh at least 50kg to provide sufficient counterbalance during acceleration and braking.

The Wheelsurf can be purchased for about $7000 (around $8500 including shipment). It joins several other innovative (and expensive) transportation technologies such as the Airboard Hovering Scooter and the Moller M400 Skycar.

In 2006, TFOT covered an innovative motorcycle concept named EMBRIO – a one-wheeled hydrogen fuel cell-powered, gyroscopically balanced recreational vehicle. A different concept recently covered by TFOT is “One” – an innovative concept for a collapsible bike which can easily be stored in the trunk of a car.

More information on the Wheelsurf is available here. A video showing the vehicle in action can be found here.

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