Introducing the Helix Electric Autocycle
The idea of zooming down the road on two wheels has always held a certain appeal for many of us. With the rapid advancement of electric vehicles, there has been a rise in the popularity of new and innovative modes of transportation. Enter the Helix, an electric autocycle from the California-based Helix Motors. Just like any traditional motorcycle, Helix is classified under USA Federal regulations. But what separates Helix from its peers is the "autocycle" moniker. In this blog post, we'll dive deeper into what an autocycle is, what it means for motorcycle riders and enthusiasts, and its potential future.
First off, let's define what an autocycle is. An autocycle is a three-wheeled vehicle that meets specific requirements to be classified as a motorcycle under Federal regulations. This new classification was created recently, paving the way for vehicles like the Helix. There are several reasons why Helix could be considered the future of electric autocycles. The first is the obvious environmental advantage. Since these vehicles run on electricity, they don't emit pollutants, making them more environmentally friendly than traditional motorcycles or cars. Additionally, autocycles and electric vehicles, in general, are becoming increasingly popular, which means more attention is being paid to their safety and regulation. I wrote about one such vehicle called the Carver, which is not too dissimilar to the Helix. The Carver will be quite a bit slower, with a lesser range.
One of the most significant advantages of owning a Helix is the reduced need for helmets. In almost all states, there are no requirements for helmet usage with autocycles. Heck, some states don't even require them for motorcycles. This may be a surprising fact for traditional motorcyclists who have always known helmets to be an essential part of riding, but let me tell you, there are plenty of people who don't wear them. In either case, autocycles don't require helmets because they have inherent qualities, such as three wheels and a protective frame, that make them safer than their two-wheeled counterparts.
While there will always be risks involved with any vehicular activity, autocycles bring an added level of safety while still retaining the speed and excitement of traditional motorcycles. Adding to the safety factor, the Helix will have several safety features, such as airbags, side-impact rails, a steel roll cage, a proven seat belt system, automatic braking, and automatic lane departure correction.
Another reason Helix may be considered the future of electric autocycles is the increased technology integration into the vehicle. With advancements in electric motors and intelligent systems, drivers can expect a smooth and comfortable ride. The Helix, for instance, has a customized electric motor, which produces a top speed of 100mph (150 km/h) (not too shabby). Also of note is the Helix's capability of going from 0 to 62 mph in 6.4 seconds.
I can't pass over the vehicle's aerodynamic shape as it has a slice-through-the-air design, as seen from this overhead (below). The Helix has a lot going for it, not the least of which is its minimalist size. Two of the company's goals are to reduce traffic congestion and make parking easier. With the Helix's overall design and current size, it should do just that.
Additionally, the Helix has been designed to ensure maximum stability and control over its three wheels, providing a smooth ride with little to no vibration. Autocycles are also generally easier to ride than conventional motorcycles, and the Helix is no different. With the patented Dynamic Steering Control System (DSCS), the Helix tilts the vehicle cabin safely and automatically like a motorcycle (pictured below).
Including a tilt control system means the Helix can be an excellent choice for new riders, who have always wanted to experience the thrill of motorcycling but aren't entirely used to the balancing that comes with two-wheeled vehicles.
Technology integration also means that the future of electric autocycles holds a world of possibilities. We're already seeing innovations in battery technology that allow electric vehicles to store more energy and travel longer distances. Currently, the Helix is rated to have a range in the 200-mile range. As more research and development are poured into this sector, we expect even more advancements in the coming years. Autocycle makers are also taking advantage of the trend towards intelligent systems, ensuring that drivers have everything from built-in navigation to a seamless mobile app experience to make their rides as enjoyable as possible.
So when will we see the Helix autocycle hit the streets? I wouldn't hold your breath because, from the looks of it, it won't be for quite some time. Working capital and enough interest are the hold-ups, and the company, Helix Motors, isn't providing a time frame estimate for production. Early pricing estimates for the Helix autocycle put it at around 25,000 dollars, but this is certain to change.
The Helix and the rise of autocycles demonstrate the exciting future of electric vehicles and intelligent systems. Although brand new compared to traditional motorcycles, autocycles are already considered a viable alternative to conventional two-wheeled transportation. Although safety is always essential while driving a vehicle, the limited need for helmets in almost all states makes autocycles an even more attractive option for many riders. With its electric motor and advanced technology, the Helix proves that electric autocycles are more than just a fad — they're a rapidly growing force in the transportation industry. As we look to the future, it will be interesting to see how autocycles like the Helix continue to integrate technology and become even safer, faster, and more convenient for all riders.