The Street Flyer looks like the most insanely dangerous, yet over-the-top fun vehicle I’ve ever seen. Still in the prototype stages, the Street Flyer was the brainchild of Dr. Carsten Mehring, who wanted to build a lightweight vehicle that allowed the operator to “run” from a suspended position. The net effect would be to re-create the sensation of hang gliding, without the associated risks or inconveniences (travel to a cliff, for example). The version you see here is a prototype built by students at the Colorado School of Mines; since propulsion comes from gravity or from running, it’s not yet practical for long distance travel.
An electric motor powering the rear wheel would change that, and the fabric covered backbone would allow plenty of room for lightweight lithium ion batteries. While the current Street Flyer lacks practicality, imagine one with a motor-driven top speed of fifty miles per hour and a range of 50 miles per charge. I’m no expert, but I suspect that’s very do-able with current technology, and it probably wouldn’t cost as much as an electric motorcycle. Getting approval to operate a Street Flyer on the road would be a whole other issue, since the vehicle’s size and utter lack of crash protection wouldn’t exactly endear it to the DOT. Still, it looks like an obscene amount of fun, and I’m more than willing to serve as a test pilot for any and all future electric versions. Want more info? Check out the Street Flyer website.