Believe It Or Not, The Monowheel Is Real

Gadgets |

This unusual machine has been getting a lot of attention recently, with many wondering if it’s even a real vehicle. It is. Not only are they real, there’s an entire action sport built around them called, of course, monowheeling. One of its athletes, Hunter Hughes, a former unicyclist and dirt biker, is maybe the sport's most recognizable competitor.

Instagram - @hunter_howell_

Hunter, who rode a unicycle professionally for 15 years, stresses that operating a monowheel is nothing like riding motorcycles. Whenever he teaches people how to ride them, he asks anyone with motorcycle experience to take that knowledge and “throw it out the window.” From the moment he first became curious about the crazy machine, he’s been figuring out how it works…

Instagram - @hunter_howell_

The monowheel is powered by a 5 horsepower lawn mower engine that’s mounted in front of the driver. Turning is straightforward enough, requiring the rider to simply lean in whatever direction they want to go. The throttle is attached to one handle and the brake is connected to the other. Too much of the former and it will ride up, while too much of the latter will cause it to dive, and if the brakes lock completely the rider will actually spin inside of it.

Instagram - @hunter_howell_

Most are built on a metal frame, with bike pegs for the feet. There are also versions with tread, called tractor monowheels, that weigh 500 pounds. Beyond the contraption's impressive design, it's reminding people of a classic episode of South Park, but you’ll have to look that up yourself. Before doing that, check out some of Hunter’s GoPro monowheel footage...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3B8xi8LnVdI