Holy &%$#, what is this thing?
It’s called a Raht Racer, or just Raht.
Is it a bike?
Is it a motorcycle?
Kinda. You can think of it as a a covered, 2 seat, 3 wheeled electric motorcycle with a pedal generator.
Is it a car?
Kinda. Some people are referring to this kind of new class of vehicle as a “Cabin Cycle”, or “Auto Cycle”.
Is it electric?
Yes, the first prototype has a 4.5 kWh lithium ion battery pack and electric motor. The production model will have a bigger battery.
Is it fast?
For a bike, insanely fast. Highway speed up to 90 mph.
Where’s the motor?
Its in the rear wheel, it’s a hub motor, 19hp.
How much does it weigh?
The first prototype weighs about 530 pounds. The production model will be lighter.
Does it have pedals?
Yes, but they spin generators, not wheels.
So, it’s not a bike?
Oh yes, it’s a bike. Just like a conventional bike, you pedal it, it goes, you get exercise, you make your heart happy. The difference is, your physical work goes into making electricity, not forward motion. You do make forward motion, indirectly by contributing to the battery and hence, the motor.
Do you have to pedal it to make it go?
You never have to pedal the Raht if you don’t want to – it will still function as an electric vehicle. It has a throttle on the steering wheel.
So, you can just drive it without any pedaling?
Yes, remember the pedals are not connected to the drivetrain (wheels), so it will go whether you pedal or not. Pedaling extends the range of the car.
What happens when you do pedal?
There are 2 modes to choose from when you drive the Raht: EV Mode and Cyclecar Mode. When in EV Mode, you accelerate and decelerate the Raht with a throttle, like when you press the gas pedal in a car, or twist a motorcycle hand throttle. If you want to pedal and get a workout, you can run an exercise profile program, much like an electronic exercise bike at a health club. This is why the Raht is known as the “exercise bike on wheels”. The program runs and you pedal as you drive. All of your energy is captured by the patented generator system, none of it goes to waste. Workout profiles are managed by an on board tablet computer, which also has GPS. In addition to pre-programmed workout programs, you can let the GPS run the hill profiles. The GPS will read the terrain and tell the system to adjust up or down the pedal resistance instantaneously to match, so the Raht will mimic actual hills. In Cyclecar Mode, the pedals respond to pedal input from your legs just like a conventional bike, only multiplied many, many times. Remember, the pedals are not connected to the wheels. The computer in the Raht calculates your pedal input, multiplies it and sends the information to the motor controller. It’s a”fly by wire” system. So for example, if one complete turn on a conventional bike pedal crank equates to 10 feet of forward motion, (depending on the gear, incline, wind, etc), one complete turn of the cranks on the Raht it might equate to 100 feet. You will be able to accelerate and travel highway speeds through pedaling. The Raht is a faster than ever before bike experience.
Cool. It’s not safe though, is it?
Yes, it is. The Raht has a super strong carbon fiber body, and aluminum roll cage frame. Plus it has safety features such as seat belts, air bag, impact absorption material, and car grade lighting, none of which you would find on any bicycle. There are over 40,000 bike/motor vehicle accidents in the US every year, according to NHTSA. Biking on bike trails is great, but on a busy street it is dangerous.
Price is difficult to pin down at this point because we have not fully completed our production model design. It will likely be about the same price as a high end motorcycle.
Can I buy one?
Not yet, we are still in development. We finished our first prototype and it works. We are working on the financing for the next phase – mass production. Then you can buy one.