Ryno Motors has shipped its first one-wheeled electric gyroscopic motorcycle to an international customer, but plans for mass production have been postponed.
The Portland, Oregon, company has put a stop to orders as it tries to raise additional funding to refine the product and reduce production costs.
Company boss Chris Hoffmann says the hundreds who have paid a deposit for the revolutionary urban mobility machine will have their deposits refunded because of the long delays in going to production.
“We will continue to strive to build a reputable, sustainable and trustworthy global business, and hope that we can deliver a quality product to you in the near future,” he says in an email to customers.
The Ryno is a cross between a Segway and a motorcycle, powered by an electric motor. It uses gyroscopic technology which is basically a spinning internal wheel with a “free” axle to keep balance.
It’s not a replacement for a motorcycle, but more of an urban get-around with a limited top speed of 16km/h (10mph). It is easily transportable so you can ride it to the train or bus, take it on board, ride to work, take it inside, up the elevator and store it next to your desk where you can plug it in and charge it for the commute home!
Sounds like a great idea, but getting it to market has been problematic.
Ryno Motors sales and marketing director David Combe told MotorbikeWriter that they had planned to have it available for sale at $US5295 by early this year and had received interest and deposits from hundreds of customers from about 60 countries, including Australia.
However, Chris says that the company had to come to grips with “the reality of engineering, testing and delivering a safe and reliable, world-class product to the market”.
“Unfortunately, the process took far more time and resources than we had originally anticipated,” he says.
“We did make substantial progress with our product development during the year. We were able to develop quality pre-production units that ride beautifully and safely. However, we were also hoping to refine and cost reduce our mechanical design during 2014.
“Unfortunately this was not accomplished, and this means that our plans to ship units in volume through dealers (at our original target price) by the end of this year cannot be met.”
Ryno has built a small number of pilot bikes which will be placed with a few “strategic customers” around the world to promote the product and gain “valuable real-world feedback” on the operation of the machine.
“Assuming all goes well, it is likely to be late in 2015 before we can start to sell Ryno cycles in volume,” he says.
Ryno stands for Ride Your New Opportunity.