Innovation or Invention? – Gyroscopically Stabilized Electric Motorcycle

Innovation or Invention? - Gyroscopically Stabilized Electric MotorcycleI came across the C-1 from Lit Motors in an article by Donna Sturgess over on Innovation Excellence that made me wonder, will this be an invention or an innovation?

As you may know my definition of innovation stresses that a new offering must transform the useful seeds on invention into solutions valued above every existing alternative. An there are lots of existing alternatives in this space including:

  • Bicycle
  • Public Transportation
  • Skateboards and Razr Scooters
  • Smart ForTwo
  • BMW C1 (launched in 2000)
  • Standard Motorcycle
  • Standard Scooter
  • Segway
  • Segway Hands-Free
  • Nissan Leaf (and variants)

Is the gyroscopic stabilization and electric drive enough to distinguish it from some of these other options?

What about at a price of $24,000 – up from earlier estimates of $16,000?

For me there are a couple of key questions. Are they going to try to keep it categorized as a motorcycle or try and get it categorized as a car? And if so, will it survive the car crash safety tests. Although getting it re-classified as a car might make it more accessible (no motorcycle license needed), I have a hard time thinking the greater access would offset the publishing of head on and rear crash test results (and pictures). So, I would place this one in the invention camp – unlikely to reach wide adoption.

What do you think? Invention or innovation?

Is this something that will catch on with commuters around the world?

About Braden Kelley

Braden Kelley is a Design Thinking, Innovation and Transformation consultant, a popular innovation speaker, workshop leader, and creator of The Change Planning Toolkit™. He is the author of Stoking Your Innovation Bonfire from John Wiley & Sons and Charting Change from Palgrave Macmillan. Braden has been advising companies since 1996, while living and working in England, Germany, and the United States. Braden earned his MBA from top-rated London Business School. Follow him on Twitter and Linkedin.
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5 Responses to Innovation or Invention? – Gyroscopically Stabilized Electric Motorcycle

  1. Pingback: Innovation or Invention? – Gyroscopically Stabilized Electric Motorcycle | – Stratoliner, Roadliner, Deluxe Forum

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  3. Chris Parker says:

    Interesting assessment. But I think I’d rather drive the C-1 than my car 99% of the time. Only when I plan to purchase large objects or need to carry more than 1 passenger will I drive my car.
    Here’s how I’d classify your alternatives versus the C-1:

    The following are NOT as fast, convenient or climate-controled. All these solutions require me to make vast changes to my lifestyle:
    Public Transportation
    Skateboards and Razr Scooters
    BMW C1 (launched in 2000)
    Standard Motorcycle
    Standard Scooter
    Segway Hands-Free

    The “Smart ForTwo” gets horrible gas mileage.
    The “Nissan Leaf (and variants)” are better analogues to the C-1, but not as efficient or fun.

    So the Lit C-1 is the most efficient and fun transportation solution which does not require me to change my lifestyle.


  4. Thomas Lewis says:

    Enclosed motorcycles have been around for a long time,this is a little different,you don’t have to climb in as in the case of the very expensive Monotracer,you use a door.You don’t have to put your feet down when coming to a stop,it uses gyro’s to hold the vehicle up,unlike like the BMW C-1,which to me is a glorified scooter,with a roof panel.This is aerodynamic,where as motorcycles and scooters are not,which reduces their mileage and or range to about half that of the Lit Motor’s C-1.The Segway and the Telsa are just another toy for the rich to add to their collection,this could really do well,if they can deliver on the promises and keep the price reasonable,which they claim they will lower after production starts up to 16,000 per unit. It just might be bigger than even Lit Motor’s are prepared for.I hope they do well.

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