All you really need is one wheel

typed for your pleasure on 16 November 2007, at 1.43 am

Sdtrk: ‘The torture garden’ by Death in June

Attention, those of you who grew up in the Eighties or are into late-Eighties anime culture: hands up if you remember the show ‘Spiral zone’. Right, that’s three of you. Hrm.
To jostle your memory somewhat, leprous-looking bad guys were going round a future Earth with these huge generators that emanated a gas that turned ordinary people into, uh, zombies or something? I’m not entirely sure. I do know that the show was based on a series of highly-detailed action figures from Japan that competely impressed me, as they were about six inches tall with removable cloth suits and plastic armour — kinda like a precursor to all those Dragon / 21st Century Toys / Blue Box 12″ figures that seem to be so popular these days. But the reason I’m dragging you lot by the hair down Memory Lane is that the good guys rode motorcycles with one giant wheel, which I thought was ace. ‘OMG,’ you scream at the top of your lungs, pronouncing it ‘omj’, ‘I remember those cycles! I always wanted to ride one myself!’ Well, thanks to some lunatics from the Netherlands, now you can. Introducing: The Wheelsurf.

Not as fab as a Vespa, but definitely cooler than a Segway

The Wheelsurf consists of an inner and an outer frame. The inner frame has three small wheels that make contact with the outer frame. The outer frame is the actual rotating wheel and has a solid rubber tire. The rider sits inside the inner frame that also contains the engine, drive train and petrol tank.
The Wheelsurf is steered by shifting your weight. Although it has a hand brake, braking is limited to the counterbalance you can provide by leaning backwards. If you brake too hard, you will start spinning with the outer wheel. Which of course is exciting…

Of course it’s ‘exciting’! That doesn’t mean it’s ‘good’! I keep picturing that nutty YouTube video with the hamster and the wheel and the momentum and the Schadenfreude. You know which one I’m talking about.
Apart from any errant braking incidents though, the Wheelsurf looks rather neat. If they came in colours apart from red and yellow, I’d buy one! And if they weren’t $7,000 USD, that is

Random similar posts, for more timewasting:

This was the Future, Vol.17: supplemental on December 12th, 2009

Moderns on January 29th, 2007

11 have spoken to “All you really need is one wheel”

  1. Miss Hyde writes:

    OH EM GEE, can I have one for christmas? I only say the anime once when i got bored at 3am and it was on the anime network and at the time i was having an affair with a tub of ben and jerrys ice cream but I REALLY WANT ONE! Hyde x

  2. ray rentell writes:

    Hi there Davecat.

    Well the light was not a train thankgoodness.

    I would really like one of them being a bike rider anyway, they look really good fun but not to good at stopping me thinks.

    As always I learn another word in the English langauge when I visit here,Schadenfreude ( even though its German or maybe Austrian ),it certainly applies to the little hamster. RATFLMHO
    (as your not to keen on abbreviations ; roll about the floor laughing my head off)

    And is it easy to put my own avatar in the reply box ?

  3. PBShelley writes:

    Hm… I’m trying to imagine the early-adapters on the highway surrounded by SUVs… :-O

    Shoot, strap on a propulsion system and we can have our jetcars AND with less concern/emphasis on the braking issues!


    Hi Rentell,
    I learn a lot here as well xD
    To get your lovely girls into the avatar box you need a Gravatar account (free). If you squint real hard you can see that little rectangular box on the lower side column that will take you there straightaway 😉

    Regards 🙂

  4. Davecat writes:

    PBS and girlies –
    Hell, with a Wheelsurf, you could dart in between SUVs, all while wearing a smug look on your face. That’s almost worth the price alone…

    I used to think that jet or hovercars were a good idea, but look at all the tossers who can barely steer their automobiles while on a flat surface. Pull up? Balls to that; which button operates the heat-seeking missiles?

    Rentell and girlies –
    Yeah; some video of that vehicle going through its paces would’ve been nice. Perhaps I’ll write them. Cos I’m curious as to how the whole stopping thing would work as well… ‘Stop? What d’ya mean, stop?’

    And Schadenfreude is indeed a German word that I learned like only a year or so ago. It roughly means pleasure or enjoyment derived from someone else’s misfortune. Like when you see an old lady slipping and colliding with a basket of tomatoes (which I don’t know about you, but I see that all the time), or pretty much 80% of YouTube. A fine word! Leave it to the Germans to come up with a term for that sort of phenomenon.

    Hyde-chan –
    ‘An affair with a tub of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream,’ how cute. 🙂 And you can get a Wheelsurf for Xmas if you’ve been good…

  5. Omega Knight writes:

    I’m so sorry about that pic , i already changed the hot link , sorry again 🙂
    Your blog site is really good ,and i like this 😉
    If you like ,visit me at my blog site when you have free time ,i so welcome 😀

  6. SafeTinspector writes:

    There was a edutainment “documentary” on Showtime during the mid-eighties titled “Gizmo,” which was made up mostly of public domain and stock footage of gadgets and wierd inventions of the early twentieth century.

    Along with the Dymaxion car (the one at Henry Ford Museum!), and a bath-house where people rode fully-clothed on a conveyor belt through a pool of dry cleaning chemicals (sounds safe, really) and all sorts of impractical flying machines was just such a motorcycle as the one shown here.
    It looked pretty fast, very maneuverable, and the footage looked like it was from the 1930’s.

  7. Dr. Goldfoot writes:

    Hola Davecat!

    Actually there IS a Wheelsurf video — the official site linked to a video on YouTube. And yes, it looks like fun, though not safe enough to be a legal motor vehicle (darn those safety regs!)

  8. Davecat writes:

    Dr Goldfoot –
    Safety regulations be damned! Or damp, one or the other.
    I want a street-legal Wheelsurf in either black, grey, or black with grey highlights! Or grey with green highlights! How many SUVs do I have to work over with a baseball bat to get one?

    Upon reflection, I think I know what you’re referring to, with the Thirties-era Wheelsurf. I have a pic of one floating round my image library harddrive… it’s called a horseless sulky, or something.
    O, here it is, towards the bottom. Just goes to show that good ideas never disappear completely — unless they’re completely under-developed…

    Omega Knight –
    No harm done. But now you know! 🙂
    Glad you dig ‘Shouting etc etc’! I’ll have to check your blog out more often!

  9. Miss Hyde writes:

    Oh i do love ben and jerrys ice cream! But i don’t understand how people can eat a whole tub of the stuff. I feel ill after 1/4 but thats just me… And i’ve been a very good girl this year… I think… :s

  10. Bundini writes:

    This looks exactly like the vehicle Mr. Garrison came up with in an episode of south park: the entity.

    Trey Parker and Matt Stone are prescient.

  11. Davecat writes:

    Thankfully, though, the controls don’t (necessarily) have to go into your orifices. Advantage: Wheelsurf!

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