Wednesday, 15 September 2004
Got A Wheel? Then Add A Motor!
CREDIT: © Kerry McLean/Personal Page on 'American Road Shop'
WHERE: Walled Lake, Michigan, USA. WHAT:
MAP: Walled Lake. Thumbnail pops-up larger image on source web site.
Yesterday, when we asked rhetorically "Whatever Will They Think Of Next?" we should have known that anything with a wheel will eventually end with a motor attached. The history of monowheels, and later motorwheels, goes back further than we imagined. Douglas Self's Museum of Retrotech shows an example built by Rousseau of Marseilles in 1869. This web resource is a comprehensive delight for visitors.
There are those, such as acrobat Jackie Chabanais with his Tractowheel, whose approach is less than completely serious. In a similarly whacky British Channel-4 TV programme 'Scrapheap Challenge', both teams in the competition managed to complete working monowheel machines, guided by expert Kerry McLean. Kerry built his first monowheel over twenty years ago, holds the world monowheel speed record, and is totally serious about monowheels, raising them to a transport art form.
You may visit Kerry's personal page to see both his 'Rocket Roadster' superuser version, featured in our thumbnail picture, and a market version that he will build for ordinary riders. In this context 'ordinary' is clearly a relative term, although the machines are street legal in the state of Michigan at least.
There is further coverage from three specialist sites: 'Classic Motorcycle Mechanics' includes three video clips; BikerWorld has the clips and photo galleries; and on AutomobileMag we saw for the first time the technique for cornering a monowheel. Finally, enquiring minds will want to check out the science , and learn anti gerbilling techniques before attempting that self build RIOT Wheel project.
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Jules Laforgue (1860-1887)
"Ah! que la vie est quotidienne."
Oh, what a day-to-day business life is.
'Complainte sur certains ennuis' (1885)