The enclosed motorcycle (“cabin cycle”) marries the efficiency of the motorcycle and the weather/crash protection of a car. Such a vehicle can fulfill all the roles motorcycles currently fill – from “fun” machines to police patrol – and many more with the all-weather capability and crash protection.
The Peraves Monotracer and the Carver One are the current production state of the art.
However, both vehicles are very expensive – costing $100,000 and $80,000 respectively – since both need sophisticated computerized powered stability and lean-control systems in place of the now enclosed motorcyclist’s legs – normally used to stabilize the open motorcycle.
While similar to the Carver in layout (with separate passenger and powertrain “pods”), the proposed “Switchblade” (SB) will cost much less – with a price point of rmally cause it to fall over. The Carver uses its expensive powered stability system to keep it upright.
However, if one realizes that as a vehicle leans over, its CG loses vertical height also – and potential energy. Therefore, if the CG height loss during the lean is countered by an equal and opposite lifting of the CG, a net zero energy gain means the vehicle does not fall over.
This is the key to the SB’s gravity self righting ability. When the SB leans over along the fore-aft (longitudinal) axis, a cam-actuated “jacking hinge” causes it to simultaneously “jack-knife” on the side-to-side (lateral) axis between the passenger and powertrain pods – cancelling any CG height energy loss (“H”).
And with constant CG height, the SB will not fall over due to the resulting zero energy balance – regardless of lean angle.
Furthermore, the driver via the foot pedals - can add additional CG height – and potential energy – that is used to return the SB from a lean to an upright position (“E”).
The result is simple mechanically and most importantly – low cost. Slide  shows the working details of the jack hinge mechanism and what Pod they are attached to – Passenger (PASS) or Power Plant (POW).
Finally, unlike a spring-return system, the gravity jack hinge stability system is weight insensitive and will self-right no matter the weight.
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Type of entry:individual
Software used for this entry:Autodesk Inventor, Microsoft Office