Kickstarter Campaigns For Motorcyclists

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Best Motorcycle Crowdfunding Campaigns

The crowdfunding phenomenon has democratized the process of backing a project. Now innovators, creative-types and big-thinkers can market their idea to the world and get the people to send money to make their dreams a reality.

From the very outset, Kickstarter has been the premier launch-pad for projects ranging from individuals who want to go on an adventure and write a book about it, to people developing highly useful and practical solutions to everyday problems. It’s an exciting, potentially ground-breaking and vibrant world full of people with big ideas.

For motorcyclists, no longer do we have to rely on the major brand-names to produce the products we want for the problems we have. Here are some current and exciting Kickstarter campaigns for motorcyclists:

Keep your chin up, Nuviz has a solution.
Keep your chin up. Nuviz has a solution.

1. NUVIZ: HUD (Heads-Up) display for motorcyclists

What is it?: A new externally-mounted HUD display for your helmet that can display everything from navigation directions and telemetry to race-related data and weather forecasts. It can also record video and take photographs.

Why it’s cool: A HUD is one of the best ways to read relevant information while riding. It projects the image into the distance and as a result your eyes do not have to bounce back and forth between looking at the road and looking at the display.

What’s not so great: The price. The Early-Bird Special to get a Nuviz HUD is $479, with the dollars continuing to go up from there. The video quality is not up to GoPro standards but the other features makes up for it.

Conclusion: This is one to watch.

 

A super leggy pitbike for the urban jungle.
A super leggy pit-bike for the urban jungle.

2. MotoPeds: DIY 50cc motorized bicycle that looks cool and gets 100+ mpg

What is it?: A do-it-yourself kit to build a 50cc+ motorized bicycle from custom and standard downhill mountain-bike parts. They look fantastic, offer lightweight and nimble performance, and the plan is to sell partial kits starting at $599 and complete kits starting at $1500 sans motor. We’d go for the kits with the Marzocchi suspension that have been custom tuned for MotoPeds. Additionally, the flexibility to source your own engine is great for tinkerers who want to build something faster than the norm.

Why it’s cool: For one, it theoretically does not have to be registered for the street. So you can ride it in the bike lane, park it on the sidewalk and generally take it places where motorcycles and scooters are restricted. It also has the potential to get fantastic mileage (100+), making it a superb option for those looking for something with a bit more charisma than a typical gas or electric scooter. Finally, it’s a neat project that kids and adults can work on together.

What’s not so great: The current design, although robust-looking, perhaps lacks some practicality for carrying luggage and possibly a passenger. Although, with only 50cc, your passenger will have to be quite petite. The price can either be a plus or a minus, depending on your perspective. For the near $2k+ it will cost to build a complete MotoPed, you can easily source a well-maintained scooter or motorcycle on your local Craigslist. That said, neither the scooter nor the motorcycle can be ridden legally in bike lanes, locked up against parking meters or quietly pedaled onto campus and parked right up next to the lecture hall for an 8 am Physics 100A class.

Conclusion: If you have the green, its a fun project.

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Lit Motors kubo
The Lit Motors kubo is designed to be the ultimate urban utility vehicle.

3. KUBO: An electric scooter like none-other. Is this the most practical vehicle for the city?

What is it?: An electric scooter with amazing carrying capacity (22’’ square cargo area with 300lbs capacity). The other features read like a veritable all-stars lineup when it comes to practical 2-wheeled motorized transportation: a lockable compartment under the seat, 50 miles of theoretical range, a 45 mph top-speed, adjustable seat-height, built-in charger, and to top it off, it’s designed and manufactured in San Francisco.

Why it’s cool?: Imagine the most practical and effective vehicle for an urban environment and you’ll come up with something almost exactly like the Kubo. The ability to carry so many different kinds of loads using the various hooks, straps and nets makes it the ideal every-day vehicle for going to school, work, the gym, the grocers and even the laundromat.

What’s not so great: With 16-days to go, Lit Motors is still very far from their goal of raising $300,000. The problem is is that the deliverables below the $5000 pledge are not attractive enough and the $5000 pledge is a large amount to throw down on so early in the game. That said, Lit Motors is one of the most creative and innovative start-up companies in the electric vehicles market. Their other project, the C1, has huge mass-market potential and incorporates the same attention to conceptual and practical creativity that the Kubo demonstrates.

Conclusion: If it does not get funded right away, we are sure it will be in the future.

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I’ve got eyes on the back of my…bike.

4. Cerevellum: A gadget for bicyclists with strong potential for motorcyclists

What is it?: An integrated rear-view camera, cyclometer, GPS tracker, taillight and accident recorder for your bicycle. There are features on this device that could make it an excellent motorcycle accessory with a few modifications.

Why it’s cool: A large LCD screen to keep an eye on your rear would be a welcome addition to the current two-mirror setup that most motorcycles have. The addition of a 5-minute recording loop as well as accident recording are a huge plus for motorcyclists. Finally, if the the telemetry component can be tuned for parameters that are more suitable for motorcyclists, this thing could be a excellent alternative for those eschewing the HUD approach.

What’s not so great: Other than the cyclo-centricity of the gadget, it is also relatively expensive and does not offer the added value of the Nuviz HUD with it’s radio, video recording, turn-by-turn navigation and other features. Additionally, the rear-view and accident recording functions could potentially be handled by an inexpensive auxiliary rear view camera transmitting to your smartphone. Your smartphone’s accelerometers could also take the place of the Cerevellum’s own accelerometers for the accident recording “black box” function. This would make for a cheaper, more moto-friendly product.

Conclusion: Wild card.

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What other crowdfunding campaigns you are excited about?

  • Arin Macchione

    I have a hard time believing that you wouldn’t get hassled by the cops for essentially riding an unregistered dirt bike in the bike lane.

    • Modest Husqvarna

      That photo is misleading, you gotta put on the Mtn bike cranks and pedals b4 you thrash it in the bike lane

    • stever

      California Moped Law:

      Gasoline powered mopeds are limited to 50cc, 2 hp, 30mph, and require an M2 endorsement, a DOT helmet, insurance, and a moped plate that is a one-time $19 (or $18, or $20) payment. It needs DOT requirements like headlight, tail light, brake light, blinkers, and horn.

      It can be ridden in the bike lane provided you don’t endanger cyclists.

      Electric-powered cycles capable of a top speed of 20mph require only a C-class license.

      • Jason

        Exactly. As advertised it is not legal to ride on the road since it doesn’t have the required equipment to be considered a moped and likely makes too much power and goes too fast. You could ride it in a bike lane if you turned off the gas engine and pedaled. So you have a really heavy bicycle with a gas mode that you can only use on private land or designated off-road areas.

        If you do anything in the video expect to be ticketed.

        • http://www.motopraxis.com/ Aakash

          By “required equipment” I’m assuming you mean a automatic transmission and a 2-hp or less engine?

          They’ve (MotoPed) addressed many of your concerns on their webiste: http://www.motopeds.com

          From the website:

          “Manual or semi-auto? The manual clutch would be hard to run on the motoped. Because the motoped has pedals, you can’t run a foot brake, so you would have to run both brakes and a clutch on the bars. Trying to work a clutch and a brake with one hand and a throttle and brake with the other might be tricky. The other consideration is legality. If you are trying to ride a bike on the street as a motorized bicycle, some state laws say it must have a fully-auto transmission, meaning no manual clutching and no manual shifting. Lifan makes a 50cc fully-auto single speed if you want to be totally legal as a motorized bicycle, but it is slow. With a semi-auto it is possible to fake a fully-auto (single speed) by leaving it in one gear (2nd or 3rd) and taking the shifter off while you’re on the street. Also, most state laws have a cut-off at 50cc for motorized bikes, so you should have a cylinder that is marked 50cc or less.”

          • Jason

            No. By required equipment I mean the items that stever listed: “DOT requirements like headlight, tail light, brake light, blinkers, and horn.”

            Motoped’s website basically gives a list of moped requirement for each state and says it is up to the buyer to figure out how to make it legal.

            • http://www.motopraxis.com/ Aakash

              Ah, good point. I’ll be speaking with the folks at MotoPeds soon so I’ll ask them if they’ve developed a solution for California’s DOT lighting and horn requirements.

              • Ken Lindsay

                I see guys all over Carlsbad riding motorized bicycles. I haven’t noticed plates on them and the cops don’t pull them over that I know of. Also, I know there is a shop, phantom-bikes.com, that builds them in the Mira Mesa area of San Diego and those bikes run around $1500.

          • Bret McDanel

            I do my front brake and clutch with one hand. When I have taken my motorcycle in for service the techs have been able to test ride it (although one did so only after a lot of complaining about how she wouldnt be able to). I have one hand so I have little choice but really it is not at all hard to do and you can pick it up really quick once you try (or so people who have ridden my bike have told me).

            So I think the legal issue is the only real fallback, which exceeds rider skill required in my opinion.

        • Chuck Carothers

          Hey guys, I am working with Motopeds. These do not follow Moped laws, but Motorized Bicycle laws. In the state of California a motorized bicycle must be under 50cc, an automatic, not exceed 30 mph, and you must have a front and rear light to ride at night. I have ridden one all over Los Angeles and had zero trouble.

          Unfortunately, not all states have the easy motorized bicycle laws of California so we are working on a version that will be Moped legal in all 50 states. This is where all the DOT requirements that are listed will be needed plus others such as DOT approved tires.

          • Piglet2010

            Will you be making a version with a Manufacturer’s Certification Label (per Federal Code of Regulations Title 49, Part 567) and Manufacturer’s Certificate of Origin, as some states require for a moped to be street licensed?

            • Chuck Carothers

              Piglet, yes, we will make versions to be fully able to be street licensed as a moped. I don not know what all it involves, but another member of our team does and is working on it.

              • Piglet2010

                Better include a flippy-flag mount too, since that is required here in Iowa.

      • Bret McDanel

        CA law also requires CARB extortion payments annually for each model year even if there is 0 difference in the equipment between 2 years. In other words the manufacturer and only the manufacturer would have to pay the state of California an annual fee for each model and for optional equipment that is related to the engine/emissions that is available. If they fail to pay one year then suddenly the bike becomes polluting and cant be sold in the state.

        This is why some OHV bikes are red sticker instead of green sticker, the red sticker fee is lower. This is also why some bikes cant be sold or registered in California. If its not CARB listed its not legal in the state.

  • Jack Meoph

    I’m working on the vibro-suck gel seat. It’s going to be epic.

    • Jonathan Crowe

      jack w?

  • John

    The cool thing about Kubo is that there is no way you’ll get hurt on one, as long as you’re a total expert at rigging cargo.

  • Bill

    I am waiting to read someone riding this Moped doing the 5000 miles TAT…

  • Zachary Church

    Awesome! I love this!

  • Chris

    Forget the moped idea, this is the new paradigm for dirtbikes.

  • james

    Kickstarter is the biggest scam to hit consumers ever. It is literally hilarious to me that people give away their cash to private individuals who provide you no equity and will take all the profits from the business that you funded. It literally makes no sense, further to that, if real investors are not willing to front up its unlikely that their is a solid business proposition behind whatever random hipster crap you are funding.

    Seriously. Nobody should give any money to anyone to start a private business unless you are getting a share of the ownership of that business. Unless you just love to piss your money down the drain, personally i prefer to piss my money all over my actual motorcycle not on other peoples hopes and dreams that they are unwilling to fund themselves or by taking on bank funding or venture capital.