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The Crazy Story of Self-Balancing Enclosed Motorbikes and Their Potential for Micromobility

Julia Thayne, James Gross, Oliver Bruce, Horace Dediu

Dec 30, 2022

This week Oliver interviews Danny Kim from Lit Motors. Danny is an OG of the micromobility space. He was thinking about the impact of electric powertrains and what it’d enable in vehicle architectures well before pretty much anybody else, evidenced by both the Kubo and their C1. The C1 is an enclosed gyro-balanced electric vehicle that, in our view, could replicate the performance, weather protection, and safety of a car, but in the package of a motorbike. We think that what Lit Motors is trying to build is not without very substantial risks but has the potential to be a real game changer in the conversation in urban mobility.

It would be remiss not to note that Lit Motors has a storied history, to say the least. A quick scan of their Wikipedia page certainly makes that clear - like Oliver, there are a bunch of people who did put in pre-orders back in 2012 and 2013 that haven't seen a vehicle. But after meeting Danny and learning more about both his journey and also what technical issues they’ve managed to work through we are more excited than ever for the potential future of having lots of these crazy amazing vehicles zooming around our cities. We love bold founders who show incredible tenacity and grit in building something as bold as this.

Full disclosure, as mentioned in this episode, Oliver recently invested in Lit Motors on the basis of their team and technology. None of this should be construed as financial advice, and we are VERY aware that it was an insanely risky investment, but like Marc Randolph, the founder of Netflix said in a recent tweet storm, there are some times when you just want to have a seat in the arena to watch the journey, and to cheer on those crazy enough to try and build a better world. Danny is, in our mind, one of those.

Specifically they dig into:

  • The early days of Lit Motors

  • The promise and potential of gyro-balacing technology in car/vehicles

  • Danny's accident in 2015 and the impact of that

  • The team he's built

  • The plan for the next few years

  • The addressable market and implications of these vehicles if they work

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