A gyrocar is a two-wheeled automobile. The difference between a bicycle or motorcycle and a gyrocar is that in a bike, dynamic balance is provided by the rider, and in some cases by the geometry and mass distribution of the bike itself, and the gyroscopic effects from the wheels. Steering a motorcycle is done by precessing the front wheel. In a gyrocar, balance was provided by one or more gyroscopes, and in one example, connected to two pendulums by a rack and pinion.
The concept was originally described in fiction in 1911 "Two Boys in a Gyrocar: The story of a New York to Paris Motor Race" by Kenneth Brown, (Houghton Mifflin Co). However the first prototype Gyrocar, The Shilovski Gyrocar, was commissioned in 1912 by the Russian Count Pyotr Shilovsky, a lawyer and member of the Russian royal family. It was manufactured to his design by the Wolseley Tool and Motorcar Company in England in 1914 and demonstrated in London the same year. hp, with a bore of 90 mm and a stroke of 121 mm. It was mounted ahead of the radiator, driving the rear wheel through a conventional clutch and gear box. A transmission brake was fitted after the gearbox – there were no brakes on the wheels themselves. The weight of the vehicle was 2.75 tons and it had a very large turning radius.The gyrocar was powered by a modified Wolseley C5 engine of 16–20
In 1927 Louis Brennan, funded to the tune of £12,000 (plus a £2000 per year) by John Cortauld built a rather more successful gyrocar. Two contra-rotating gyros were housed under the front seats, spun in a horizontal plane at 3500 rpm by 24V electric motors powered from standard car batteries. This was the greatest speed obtainable with the electric motors available, and meant that each rotor had to weigh 200 lb (91 kg) to generate sufficient forces. Precession was in the vertical fore-aft plane. The car had a Morris Oxford engine, engine mountings, and gearbox. Two sidewheels (light aircraft tailwheels were used) were manually lowered on stopping; if the driver forgot and switched off the gyros and walked away, the car would continue to balance itself using the gyro momentum for a few minutes, and then the wheels would automatically be dropped to stop tipping.
A sidecar is a one-wheeled device attached to the side of a motorcycle, scooter, or bicycle, making the whole a three-wheeled vehicle. A motorcycle with a sidecar is sometimes called a combination, an outfit, a rig or a hack.
A single-track vehicle is a vehicle that leaves a single ground track as it moves forward. Single-track vehicles usually have little or no lateral stability when stationary but develop it when moving forward or controlled. In the case of wheeled vehicles, the front and rear wheel usually follow slightly different paths when turning or when out of alignment.
A drive shaft, driveshaft, driving shaft, tailshaft, propeller shaft, or Cardan shaft is a mechanical component for transmitting torque and rotation, usually used to connect other components of a drive train that cannot be connected directly because of distance or the need to allow for relative movement between them.
Trojan was a British automobile manufacturer producing light cars between 1914 and 1965, and light commercial vehicles for a short time.
Wolseley Motors Limited was a British motor vehicle manufacturer founded in early 1901 by the Vickers armaments combine in conjunction with Herbert Austin. It initially made a full range, topped by large luxury cars, and dominated the market in the Edwardian era. The Vickers brothers died and, without their guidance, Wolseley expanded rapidly after the war, manufacturing 12,000 cars in 1921, and remained the biggest motor manufacturer in Britain.
The Swift Motor Company made Swift Cars in Coventry, England from 1900 until 1931. It grew progressively from James Starley's Coventry Sewing Machine Company, via bicycle and motorised cycle manufacture. The cars ranged from a single-cylinder car in 1900 using an MMC engine, through a Swift-engined twin-cylinder 7-horsepower light car in 1904, and a 3-litre model in 1913. After the First World War a successful range was sold during the 1920s, but the Cadet of 1930 was its last vehicle as it could not compete economically with volume manufacturers such as Ford and Morris Motors.
A motorized bicycle is a bicycle with an attached motor or engine and transmission used either to power the vehicle unassisted, or to assist with pedalling. Since it always retains both pedals and a discrete connected drive for rider-powered propulsion, the motorised bicycle is in technical terms a true bicycle, albeit a power-assisted one. However, for purposes of governmental licensing and registration requirements, the type may be legally defined as a motor vehicle, motorbike, moped, or a separate class of hybrid vehicle.
The gyro monorail, gyroscopic monorail, gyro-stabilized monorail, or gyrocar are terms for a single rail land vehicle that uses the gyroscopic action of a spinning wheel to overcome the inherent instability of balancing on top of a single rail.
Coventry Premier Limited owned a British car and cyclecar manufacturing business based in Coventry from 1912 to 1923. It changed its name from Premier Cycles to Coventry Premier Ltd in November 1914.
Bicycle and motorcycle dynamics is the science of the motion of bicycles and motorcycles and their components, due to the forces acting on them. Dynamics falls under a branch of physics known as classical mechanics. Bike motions of interest include balancing, steering, braking, accelerating, suspension activation, and vibration. The study of these motions began in the late 19th century and continues today.
Rudge Whitworth Cycles was a British bicycle, bicycle saddle, motorcycle and sports car wheel manufacturer that resulted from the merger of two bicycle manufacturers in 1894, Whitworth Cycle Co. of Birmingham, founded by Charles Henry Pugh and his two sons Charles Vernon and John, and Rudge Cycle Co. of Coventry.
Douglas was a British motorcycle manufacturer from 1907–1957 based in Kingswood, Bristol, owned by the Douglas family, and especially known for its horizontally opposed twin cylinder engined bikes and as manufacturers of speedway machines. The company also built a range of cars between 1913 and 1922.
The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to automobiles:
The history of the motorcycle begins in the second half of the 19th century. Motorcycles are descended from the "safety bicycle," a bicycle with front and rear wheels of the same size and a pedal crank mechanism to drive the rear wheel. Despite some early landmarks in its development, the motorcycle lacks a rigid pedigree that can be traced back to a single idea or machine. Instead, the idea seems to have occurred to numerous engineers and inventors around Europe at around the same time.
A scooter or motor scooter is a type of motorcycle with a step-through frame and a platform for the rider's feet. Elements of scooter design were present in some of the earliest motorcycles, and scooters have been made since at least 1914. Scooter development continued in Europe and the United States between the World Wars.
A motorized tricycle, motor trike, or three-wheeled motorcycle is a three-wheeled vehicle based on the same technology as a bicycle or motorcycle, and powered by an electric motor, motorcycle, scooter or car engine.
Car controls are the components in automobiles and other powered road vehicles, such as trucks and buses, used for driving and parking.
The Yamaha Niken is a 845 cc tilting three-wheeler motorcycle, manufactured since 2018 by Yamaha Motor and sold worldwide.
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