Motorized Unicycle from 1950s

It doesn’t look much like a unicycle, but appears to be balancing on one wheel.

More info


Nice - haven’t seen those before. They look to work quite well too - either the self-leveling mechanism is extremely good or the driver has a lot of skill.


One might assume that the driver would eat a lot of mud, stones and assorted other road debris. It is neat though.

What a nifty looking machine. :stuck_out_tongue:

Cool, the driver is even wearing Chuck Taylors. He must be a unicyclist.

Wow, now THAT’S what I call a MUni tire! I never saw/heard of this either.

From what I could see, he’s doing fairly minimal steering, and his body is clearly not moving to try to balance it. So to me, the film shows good success in the thing self-balancing, at least through the maneuvers shown. My favorite is when the big-tired one makes those 90-degree corners!

I’ll give him more credit; it appears he was pretty brilliant. The film mentions that it’s a “test rig”, clearly a work in progress, but he also didn’t seem bothered by road debris in what must have been many hours of driving/testing.

Looks like he did a pretty awesome job with an all-analog set of components. Not a very efficient vehicle though. For your gyroscopes to be effective, they have to either be pretty heavy or spin super-fast. But then again, who designs a one-wheeled motor vehicle in the search for efficiency? :slight_smile:

That movie is fascinating!

Each tire seemed to be shaved to a complete radius. Very cool.


I am truly amazed at his use of mechanical balance.

Amazing find, thanks for putting up the link!

Seems to me the biggest difference between balancing this an a unicycle, is that his center of gravity is below the axle. Makes a big difference.

His name is also Charles Taylor. :astonished:

Brilliant,Charles Taylor was a genius.He had a vision of a production vehicle but never managed to achieve his final goal.If it went into production this would have to be the ultimate collectors unicycle.

i can´t remember when i´ve seen such a brilliant engine :sunglasses: :sunglasses: :sunglasses:

i´d like to drive to conventions with this awesome vehicle instead of my car…

the perfect unicycle carrier!

Truly impressive. Agricultural but very entertaining. And a two seater!

What a fantastic piece of engineering! Thanks for posting.

Incidentally, through the “more info” link I found out that there is something called the American National Unimotorcyclists Society, Inc. (abbreviated A.N.U.S. :astonished: ) Those guys must have seen a lot, if only illustrated by the fact that the poster is “Rocket Class World Record Holder” according to his signature. There is apparently a whole world out there, our motorised brethren. Anyway, they’re properly intrigued as well.

I think there’s been a thread or two about them here before. Though they race “unimotors” there is no balance involved. They are like sledges with a wheel and engine up front, and handlebars at the back. The back end “drags” on the ground. How else could you call it drag racing? :wink:

That is a great example of how mankind existed before the days of computers. Persistence and ingenuity. Identify a problem, figure out a solution. Amazing.

Of course, with a computer he could have made it smaller, faster, more efficient … :roll_eyes:

I think making it smaller would have ruined the idea as it seams the real balance is between the man driving and the engine, Im also guessing weights have to be put on either side depending on the weight of the driver:)

Adding weights to a vehicle is not an elegant solution. I rather guess he could shift the seat forward or backward for initial balance, or make some other adjustment without adding weight.