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The Gen 2 Balance System

Updated: Mar 18

The Gen 2 Balance System’s integrated control method allows the C-1 to perform the things you can do on your motorcycle with the comfort and confidence of a car.

This newly-engineered control method allows you to go 0 to 60 miles per hour in 3-6 seconds and to lean freely up to a 45° angle around a sharp corner. Ask any motorcyclist this and they will tell you how much experience and courage this takes on a motorcycle!

This type of turn is called a coordinated turn in aviation; no need to be in an airplane to know what it feels like to fly! The control system knows how much to roll the vehicle over to maintain a perfect balance; this is calculated based on the C-1’s speed and your steering angle. The turn rate is stabilized by balancing the centrifugal forces and the gravitational forces.

How does this work?

The balance system of the Lit vehicle platform contains a scissored-pair of gyros that spin and precess in opposite directions. When the gyros rotate front to back, torque is primarily produced in the roll axis of the vehicle, which is used for balancing. In addition, there is a stability augmented steering system.

In a two-wheeled vehicle, in order to turn left, the driver steers right so that the vehicle leans left and then tracts the steering left for the left turn. People who ride motorcycles often learn this subconsciously, but it is not natural when driving with a steering wheel.

With the Gen 2 Self-Balancing System, the control uses CMG countersteering as part of the balance control. The driver simply turns the wheel left, and travels to the left. These are simple mechanical systems, stability augmented steering and gyros.

However, they are not simple to use together despite both being capable of generating roll forces. Finding the mixture between the two within a highly non-linear control space is very complex, but is the key to a high-performance control system.

In a feat of brilliant engineering, we have found a way to integrate these two systems thanks to Dave Bailey. He has developed an integrated control system which successfully blends the forces from the gyros and the steering.

Dave is our VP of Controls and has been part of the Lit team for the last 7 years. With 36 years of experience in Control Moment Gyroscopes (CMG) and Space Systems at Honeywell, he has been an absolutely indispensable and crucial to developing our revolutionary control system.

Demonstrated above is Dave’s simulation which was used to validate the control. For those wanting to nerd out, more detail can be found here in our patent.

This essentially allows the driver to intuitively steer left for a left turn while the vehicle actually steers right inducing the vehicle to lean left and then tract left for a left turn. The Gen 2 Self-Balancing System actively controls how the vehicle drives and feels, thus enhancing the driver experience.

Best of all, despite the complexities of our integrated control system, there is no learning curve to drive and operate the C-1. Just turn on, and go!

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