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PHOTO CAPTION: Folding Yike Bike is powered by electric motor and lithium batteries with range of 10 km at 20 km/h..

Yikes! This Bike's Electric

Carbon fiber Yike Bike is powered by chainless electric motor and lithium batteries with range of up to 10 km at 20 km/hr.

Published: 25-Sep-2009

What's the simplest way to get from A to B with the aid of a machine? That's the question the New Zealand-based creators of recently launched YikeBike set out to tackle from scratch. The result is a super-lightweight folding electric bicycle, with eco-iconic looks. The YikeBike is the first production version of the Mini-Farthing design concept which has been five years under development. Departing entirely from the norm, YikeBike features a radically novel riding position, steering mechanism and wheel configuration. It's the evolutionary offspring of a Segway and a penny farthing.

So why the strange design? First, YikeBike does away with exposed mechanics (chain, gears, standard brake mechanisms etc.), replacing them all with a lightweight, 1.2 kW electric motor and "smart electronics". Allied with the carbon fibre frame, this helps keep the weight down to less than 10kg, reduces the need for maintenance and makes the YikeBike a breeze to carry in its case. The electrics also power safety features, such as anti-skid braking, brake lights and indicators. It's claimed that the design is the equal of its 120 year old predecessor in terms of stability, and even safer as the upright position increases visibility and allows the rider to jump off unimpeded in the event of a crash. (A

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