Ben Wilson in Sinclair X-1 (2010)

A rare shot of Sir Clive Sinclair's last pedelec, the distinctly FF and recumbent X-1. As seen in TV news reports in 2010. It's being ridden here by Ben Wilson, the man who actually built it. This electrically assisted bicycle looked to have a lot more potential than the ill-fated C5 e-trike of the mid-80s but sadly never made it into production. The proposed selling price was a preposterously cheap £500 when it needed to be at least £1,000 (in my opinion). The wheels are a bit small and there doesn't appear to be any suspension, which would give a painfully bumpy ride over potholes. Also, power was only 200w instead of 250w but it was narrow enough to get through bicycle-sized gaps and high enough to be safely visible to other road users. Compare and contrast with the latest (2017) 250w prototype etrike, the Iris, produced by Sir Clive's nephew Grant Sinclair which, at the time of writing, (October 2017) looks as if it will make it into production. See here: http://www.bikeweb.com/node/3247 PNB
Many thanks to Ben Wilson for the photo.
2020 Update. Having recently tested a Sur-ron Light Bee 'supermoped', which weighs only 50kg including the battery, I'm convinced there would be a market for an X-1-ish lightweight vehicle like this, both electric-only powered and speed-pedelec. PNB
See here: http://www.bikeweb.com/node/3593

Ben Wilson in Sinclair X-1 (2010)

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Agreed

I think we've reached the point where it's no longer a question of whether FFs, big or small, are the way forwards for two wheelers. The question is, why are none of the major manufacturers making them? BMW don't want to be first and have succeeded (despite supplying parts to Peraves for thirty years), Piaggio seem to be mainly concerned about other people apart from them making scooters (see EMN), but what's wrong with Yamaha, with a Tmax that can be converted to FF in days (The original Cmax is still in use) Kawasaki too afraid to seek new markets (outside it's 'existing customer base') Susuki (who?) and of course Honad, describing FFs a decade ago as "almost Simple" (bit like them really). Corporate cowardice? Imagination Failure? What are they like?

Meanwhile teenagers are putting boxes on E-scooters and inventing a new class of vehicle. Riding around Bristol on my ancient heap I only see cargo scooters, Flocks of them.